When a person has back discomfort they may be confused as to which treatment option to choose for pain relief. Of all musculoskeletal conditions, low back pain is one of the most disabling, leading to chronic pain, lost productivity and other problems. This article will discuss pain of the back and which treatment option works best for the majority of people.
Discomfort of the back is ubiquitous. In the United States, by the time a person reaches 40 years old, they have an 80% chance of having had at least one significant episode of lower back pain. Not only is back discomfort common, it is one of the most painful conditions a person can experience and strongly affects quality of life.
In my 35 years of chiropractic practice, I have seen thousands of people who have experienced back pain. One thing they all note is that their condition, almost always, limits their ability to function normally in their activities of daily living. Activities like sleeping, working, performing chores around the house, child raising and simple tasks like getting dressed and cooking can become difficult, if not impossible.
When faced with this life altering malady one is confronted with a myriad of choices for treatment. A typical medical approach might be medication or referral to a back specialist for possible back surgery. One must be wary of taking medication for discomfort of the back. Back pain is one of the leading reasons people are prescribed opioid medications. Almost half of all US opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
However, another approach would be to seek chiropractic care for lower back pain relief. Chiropractic care is a safe alternative treatment for relief of back discomfort. Chiropractors do not prescribe medication, nor do they perform back surgery. Instead, chiropractors take an approach that is conservative.
When a patient initially goes to a chiropractor, they will be examined for possible misalignment and improper movement of the spinal bones. Research shows that the majority of people suffering from back discomfort is because of improper mechanical alignment and movement of the bones of the spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical, alignment problems of spine pain. Most patients who visit chiropractors find that the treatment is a safe and pleasant experience because it relieves tightness and spasm of the muscles by correcting the deeper spinal misalignment. The number of treatments and visits a patient will require to attain relief of their back, spinal pain will depend on how long they’ve had the condition and its severity.
A 2013 study from the journal Spine found that patients who saw chiropractors were less likely to have surgery for back pain. Researchers studied 1885 injured workers, suffering from back pain in Washington state and found that the healthcare provider a patient initially visited significantly affected a patient’s likelihood of receiving surgery. People who visited a medical doctor for their back pain were more likely to have an operation than people who visited a chiropractor. Nearly 43% of medical patients had surgery compared to just 1.5% of chiropractic patients. That means medical patients were 28 times more likely to have surgery.
Since the majority of patients with spinal back discomfort can be treated without the use of drugs or surgery, it seems especially prudent to consider safe, gentle chiropractic care for spinal back pain relief.