Back pain can be debilitating. 40% of Americans say that pain interferes with their mood, work, or activities, and low back pain is one of the three most common pain complaints. It results in countless doctor’s visits, restricted activities, lower quality of life, and is estimated to cost 100 to 200 billion dollar each year.
Conventional medicine currently has little to offer back pain sufferers. The roots of low back pain are complex and not well understood, and conventional treatment usually includes analgesics or muscle relaxers—which do little to counteract the pain and nothing to address the root cause of the problem. However, research over the past decade reinforces what chiropractors and osteopathic physicians have known for a century: manual spinal manipulation is a very effective treatment for low back pain.
Manual spinal manipulation involves applying controlled force to spinal joints in order to return the joints to optimal function. Systemic review of the literature shows that manual manipulation can both decrease pain and improve range of motion for people suffering back pain. Studies presented in the Annals of Internal Medicine and Spine Journal in 2003 and 2004 show it is more effective than a placebo, and as effective as all other conventional treatments including anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. A significant decrease in medication use for those who receive manual spinal manipulation has also been shown.
Treatment using manual manipulation can also be more cost effective. A review of 1,556 back pain patients receiving both conventional treatment and manual spinal manipulation, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1999, found that patients undergoing manual manipulation received 18.5% fewer prescriptions, 74.2% fewer x-rays, and 90% fewer MRIs, in addition to over 75% fewer referrals than those using conventional treatment only. In addition, manual manipulation has few if any side effects.
Manual spinal manipulation is an effective treatment for low back pain. It has little risk of side effects, and results in both decreased cost to the patient and less dependence on drugs. If you suffer from low back pain, call our office today for proven, effective relief.