How Can Chiropractic Help Chronic Lower Back Pain?
Chronic lower back pain is the leading cause of disability nationwide—here’s how big the problem is, and how chiropractic care can treat your pain.
Discover What Chronic Lower Back Pain Is—And What You Can Do
According to Wikipedia: “A chronic condition is a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time. The term chronic is often applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months.”
In other words: the pain is always there.
“Acute” low back pain is considered the first 72 hours after an injury and sub-acute low back pain is from 3 days to 3 months.
Acute pain will progress to “sub-acute” pain which can progress to chronic pain.
I see most patients in the sub-acute stage and our main goal is to not let that pain get to the chronic stage! 1 out of 7 cases will become chronic.
When a patient comes in to our office our main long term goal is to prevent that patient from becoming a chronic pain patient.
Bad things happen with chronic pain, read this:
The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reports:
Compared to 291 other health conditions, researchers at the University of Queensland’s School of Population Health in Australia, found low back pain cause more Global Disability than any other health problem studied.
Dr. Anders Cohen, Chief of Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York said, “Back pain is the number one cause of lost work days in the United States.”
One third of all work related disability is due to the low back.
Estimates are $100-200 BILLION a year is spent on low back pain (to put that in perspective, about $680 million is spent on breast cancer.)
Listen to what the “experts” in this study recommend:
“Expert” 1 – Reassurance, stay active, and analgesics (pain killers).
“Expert” 2 – Stay in shape, maintain core strength and flexibility.
(Do you think most people already know or would figure out what these “experts” are recommending?)
With all due respect to the authors, the above recommendations are only a portion of proper treatment for low back pain. A condition that is this serious and causes this much disability needs better treatment than “take medicine and hope it goes away.”
Long term use of medication has many known side effects like GI bleeding, liver and kidney damage, increase risk of heart attack and stroke and, what a lot of people don’t realize, is that anti-inflammatory medications actually slow down the rate at which soft tissues repair themselves. People get brief periods of relief and are making the condition last longer. Now, during the acute phase, when pain and inflammation are high, certainly the cautious use of medication is justified.
Lower back pain will “just go away” in 9% of cases. Recurrence rates are 60% after one year and as high as 94% after 4 years.
As a society, we have been listening to medical doctors, orthopedics, physical therapists and pain management doctors for years regarding low back pain.
The stats above tell us how good (or bad) of a job they are doing. So let me ask you this: If you had chronic low back pain would you ask advice of the same people who created a low back pain epidemic? Maybe it is time for a change.
Chronic low back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide!
Chronic Low Back Pain Management
Chronic low back pain can develop from an injury that is not managed properly. For example, someone injures their low back. What do most people do? Go to their Medical Doctor. The MD gives the patient medication, might take them off work and tells them to come back if it still hurts. The next visit the MD orders X-rays, gives more meds and recommends physical therapy. After the meds, rest and PT did not help the MD sends the patient to the Orthopedic, the “spine specialist,” who orders an MRI, gives more meds and recommends more physical therapy and discusses surgical options. Are you seeing a pattern here?
This whole process can take 3 or more months and can cost thousands of dollars AND the patient is still in pain!
The main problem with the treatments above is they do not address spinal bio-mechanics, without addressing spinal bio-mechanics your chances of long-term relief are much less.
Restoring Spinal Bio-mechanics
The way we restore proper bio-mechanics to the spine is with proper chiropractic care and the Cox Technique. Your spine is made up of movable bones called vertebrae, when they don’t move properly that can cause increase pressure on the disc, joints and nerves and can lead to low back pain. Restoring proper motion is crucial to getting low backs well and keeping them well.
Modalities, topical analgesics (like Biofreeze), soft tissue work, distraction, lumbar stabilization training, maintaining and improving range of motion, laser therapy, vibration therapy, anti-inflammatory diets, nutrition and orthotic therapy are just a few of the treatments we use for patient’s individualized treatment plans.
No treatment can guarantee success, especially over a long period of time; however, chiropractic care has been shown to give patients the fastest relief and the longest lasting relief compared to MD care, PT and Orthopedic care.
Isn’t that what we all want when we have a health problem? Fast, long-lasting relief.
What to Expect
When you call to make an appointment a friendly staff person will get your information and your email address and send you our HHI, Health History Intake form. The form is detailed and can be laborious to fill out but we want to be thorough.
On your first visit you will have a consultation where we listen, really listen to your complaints and concerns. Next, an examination is performed which includes a postural exam, spinal range of motion, reflexes, sensation, strength testing, orthopedic tests and a palpatory exam. At the conclusion of the exam we determine what, if any, imaging needs to be ordered such as X-rays or MRI.
On you second visit you get a “Report of Findings.” We sit down face to face and we show you your imaging (X-ray or MRI), explain your problem in simple terms and if we can help you we outline a treatment plan specifically tailored to your specific needs. We also go over your insurance and let you know exactly what your costs will be going forward.
Faster pain relief, longer lasting relief and more cost-effective than other forms of care, chiropractic just may be the answer!