By Dr. Jim Byers
July 24, 2013
Did you know that eighty percent of the American public will experience significant back pain at some point in their lives? Most back pain is centered in the lower back and has no specific cause 1, which frustrates attempts to treat the problem.
Back Pain Reduces Your Quality of Life
Back pain can range from the nuisance of annoying twinges while sitting, standing or walking, to disabling episodes that prevent sufferers from enjoying many significant or enjoyable life events. Back pain can even prevent you from working at your job.
When you have lower back problems, you need a solution. What’s the best approach?
You can choose to tough it out. You may self-medicate with over the counter pain relievers. You may see your doctor about the pain. Or you may use the services of a chiropractor.
Can chiropractic treatment really make a tangible difference in your recovery? Let’s find out.
Scientific Studies Provide Real Answers
Some recent clinical studies have been conducted to find answers to these important questions. 2 If you need relief from lower back pain, you need to take these study results under consideration.
One Study Compares Blended Chiropractic and Doctor’s Visits with Traditional Medicine Only
One study compared two groups of patients seeking relief from low back pain. Both groups consisted of military personnel, ranging in age from 18 to 35.
One group of these patients used chiropractic services in addition to traditional medical care, and had twice-weekly visits to the chiropractor for four weeks.
The second group used only traditional medical care to seek a solution for their back pain, which consisted primarily of medication and physical therapy.
The chiropractic patients were given “high velocity, low amplitude manipulation” or HVLA – the technical name for chiropractic adjustments – along with other treatments recommended by their chiropractors.
After four weeks, the results were clear:
- The patients who used chiropractic services had disability scores significantly better than the medical treatment only group. In other words, they had a more full range of pain-free motion.
- Pain intensity was much improved in the group that used chiropractic services compared to the medical treatment only group.
- 73% of the patients in the group that used chiropractors reported complete relief from pain, compared to only 17% of the medical treatment only group.
- “Mean satisfaction with care” – the measure of patient satisfaction with the outcome - was 8.9 on a 10 point scale for the chiropractic group at the end of the study, compared to 5.4 for the medical treatment group.
Another Study Compares Chiropractic Adjustments and Therapy with “Make Believe” Chiropractic Care
Another study conducted by a different team compared the results in patients with acute low back pain, in ages 18 to 55, who participated in three different variations of care.
One group used chiropractic adjustments (HVLA manipulation). Another group used only placebo pain relievers. A final group received “make believe” manipulation that was not true chiropractic treatment, along with a common pain reliever called diclofenac.
Again, the results speak for themselves:
- The patients who were treated with “real” chiropractic adjustments had greatly improved disability scores compared to those who received only mock therapy and/or medication.
- The group that received real chiropractic services had much improved pain intensity measurements over other groups.
- Overall quality of life was better in the chiropractic-treated group than in the other therapy groups.
According to the newest medical studies, chiropractic care combined with traditional medical care can give you the highest possible chance of reducing or eliminating lower back pain.
Chiropractic treatments are clinically proven to be effective. They work and they make a difference. Chiropractic medicine is a proven complement to your regular health care visits.
- On Target, July/August 2013, pp 22-23: