Brand New Information Based on Results Chiropractic Proven Effective For Low Back Pain

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

This entry is all about chronic low back pain. By now, as I’ve said in the past, even traditional Chiropractor-hating, quasi-scholastic detractors are admitting that, yes, Chiropractic is indeed helpful for low back pain.

When we define “chronic” in the context of neuromusculoskeletal complaints, we define it as being a complaint that is greater than 12 weeks in duration. Right at 3 months. Some patients will come into the office having had a condition for 15-20 years. I tell them that they are more than a little stubborn to have put up with something for so long.

It is common sense that a condition that is chronic will be more difficult to treat. Also, most chronic conditions can be traced back to a biomechanical, neuromusculoskeletal origin. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Lee Green, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. He said, “Neck pain is a mechanical problem, and it makes sense that mechanical treatment works better than a chemical one.” Although Dr. Green is referring to neck pain in this instance, “low back pain” can easily be substituted. What he says could not make more sense. It’s an easy and very concise way to understand why Chiropractic, manipulation, and mobilization are so incredibly effective above and beyond anything else for this sort of issue, including medication.

I have overheard medical doctors (more than once) talking about having back pain and just injecting themselves with something to try to get over it. I would argue that they are simply covering an underlying trigger or cause and ignoring it is to their detriment. It’s my opinion that medication for neuromusculoskeletal complaints is akin to unplugging a smoke alarm because you don’t like the noise, but, the fire is still slowly growing. What have they done to treat anything in a responsible and effective way? Nothing at all.

Here are some low back pain statistics:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • 8 out of every ten people will experience back pain. I will admit that I have never met anyone in 45 years of life on this Earth that fits into the 20% that apparently never suffers from any low back pain.
  • Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office right behind upper-respiratory infections.
  • With such gains and leaps in the medical industry as far as treatment goes, low back pain is stubbornly on the rise.
  • More than half of Americans who experience low back pain spend the majority of the work day sitting. 54% to be exact.
  • Did you know that an equal number of patients first seek help with a chiropractor as seek help with a medical practitioner for back pain?
  • Back pain in general costs $100 billion dollars every year when you factor in lost wages and productivity, as well as legal and insurance overheads.

Now that we all know more about low back pain, let’s go through some things that may put you at greater risk of suffering from the condition:

  • Age: as the spine and supporting structures begin to age and decline, the rate of low back pain will understandably increase.
  • Fitness Level: physically active people do not suffer low back pain to at the rate inactive people suffer. A healthy exercise and core building protocol can help reduce symptoms or instances of low back pain.
  • Weight Gain: Being overweight or obese and gaining weight quickly places increased strain on the low back.
  • Pregnancy: This one goes without saying. Pelvic changes and weight gain both contribute.
  • Genetics: Some forms of arthritis or other systemic conditions are genetic in nature.
  • Work: Jobs that include heavy labor and or twisting, or expose people to vibration consistently, can be problematic. Jobs that require long periods of sitting in a chair can be equally problematic.
  • Mental health factors: Many people are able to deal with chronic pain, but anxiety and depression are conditions that can cause a person to focus on the pain, which tends to raise the perceived severity and significance for the person suffering from the condition.
  • Improper backpack use: Kids suffer back pain needlessly since they are not traditionally in an age range we would consider to be a risk factor. However, backpacks used improperly are a common culprit. A backpack should never be more than 15%-20% of a child’s weight and should be carried on both shoulders with the bottom being at or about waist level.

What does the research say?

The research says a lot, to be honest. In fact, there is more research for the effectiveness of manipulation/mobilization in low back pain than for any other conditions chiropractors commonly treat. The research shows Chiropractic beating general practitioners in effectiveness as well as cost. The research also shows Chiropractic beating common medications prescribed for low back pain. It shows Chiropractic beating physical therapy alone. and Chiropractic beating epidural spinal injections for low back pain. Basically, the research is clear.

In January of 2018, a brand new research paper dealing with manipulation and mobilization was published in Spine Journal by Ian Coulter, PhD et. al. titled “Manipulation and mobilization for treating chronic low back pain: a systematic review.” Spine Journal sounds a little bit like it may be a Chiropractic publication, but it is not. Spine Journal is one of the most highly respected research journals available and is widely read by orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, and just about any other practitioner interested in the spine. This project was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Why They Did It

The authors of the paper stated that there remained questions about manipulation and mobilization efficacy, the proper dosing of the techniques, how safe they are, as well as how they compare to other treatment protocols commonly used for chronic low back pain. I have to say that I had no remaining questions but it seems that these authors did.

How They Did It

  • This paper was a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  • They searched databases for relevant studies from January 2000-March 2017.
  • They chose randomized, controlled trials that compared manipulation or mobilization to sham treatment, no treatment, other therapies, and multimodal therapeutic approaches.
  • They assessed the risk of bias using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network.
  • Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was applied to determine the confidence in effect estimates.
  • 51 trials were included.

What They Found

  • Within 7 trials of manipulation or mobilization, there was reduction of disability when compared to other forms of therapy.
  • Further analyses showed that manipulation specifically was responsible for significant reduction in pain and disability when put up against therapies such as exercise and physical therapy.
  • Mobilization was also significantly more effective when compared to exercise regimens for pain reduction, but not for disability.

Wrap It Up

In the conclusion of the paper abstract, the authors say, “There is moderate-quality evidence that manipulation and mobilization are likely to reduce pain and improve function for patients with chronic low back pain; manipulation appears to produce a larger effect than mobilization. Both therapies appear safe.”

As I’ve said many times, “a lot of research in your favor becomes fact.” Chiropractic has A LOT of research in its favor.

Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY!

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic. Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health!

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!! We cannot make a difference without your help.

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.
Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo TX, Canyon TX, Pampa TX, Happy TX, White Deer TX, Dumas TX, Groom TX, Conway TX, Panhandle TX, Claude TX, Clarendon TX, Borger TX, Tulia TX, Hereford TX, Fritch TX, Bushland TX, and Vega TX communities.

Visit our main website at www.amarillochiropractor.com for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX. Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (806) 355-3000 or click the button below for our contact info.

by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.

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Research Citation:

Coulter I, et. al. “Manipulation and mobilization for treating chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis” The Spine Journal, Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,
http://www.thespinejournalonline.com/article/S1529-9430(18)30016-0/fulltext