For over 125 years chiropractic care has been helping give people lower back pain relief. For many years the evidence was merely anecdotal; people experiencing back discomfort felt better after seeing their chiropractor. However, in recent years there has been research proving that spinal manipulation, provided by a chiropractor, achieves better results than other types of treatment, including medication. This article will provide information regarding back discomfort and research substantiating the efficacy of chiropractic therapy.
As a practicing chiropractor of over 37 years, I have had the opportunity to treat many people experiencing pain of the back. Their pain may have been a sudden, short term, acute pain however, many had been experiencing chronic, long-term problems. Whatever the duration most felt their discomfort was not getting better on its own and realized they needed to take action to get pain relief.
Many had tried medications to see if their back pain might be relieved or eliminated. Most found this type of treatment was found to be less than successful. A research study, published in the esteemed journal Spine April 2013, provided evidence as to why.
Researchers conducted a double blinded randomized controlled study to see if patients experiencing back discomfort would respond better to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or manipulation of the spine. The study showed that patients seeking relief for back discomfort had superior improvement with spinal manipulation compared with placebo and NSAID.
This makes sense when we look at it logically. Most cases of discomfort of the lower back result from misaligned and improperly moving joints of the spine. While medication may provide short-term, temporary pain relief the underlying mechanical problem still exists. However, if the malalignment/movement problem is corrected by spinal manipulation the actual cause of the problem is addressed and improved or eliminated.
The chiropractic profession has dedicated many years of investigation to determine the cause of back discomfort and what treatments work optimally to help with this widespread health problem. Chiropractic practice focuses on providing the best-evidence based care for patients.
While chiropractic educational institutions have done extensive research investigating the cause and treatment of back maladies, tens of thousands of individual practice-based chiropractors have also contributed input as to the best methods to correct improperly moving spinal misalignments. These combined efforts have led to various types of manual therapy techniques to correct spinal mechanical problems that lead to discomfort of the back.
Spinal manipulation, as provided by doctors of chiropractic, can be considered the gold standard treatment option for relief of lower back pain.
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