Low Back Pain

What is causing my low back pain?

  • More than 85% of low back pain is considered “non-specific”, meaning there is no known serious underlying pathology.
  • In other words, the pain you are feeling is coming from the function of your spine and the supporting anatomy around your spine, such as muscles, joints and nerves. This is often caused by SUBLUXATIONS.
  • In the minority of cases, low back pain can be caused by pathology such as cancer, fracture, extremely herniated discs, spinal stenosis and infection.

 

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How do chiropractors help with low back pain?

  • Chiropractors help to restore proper alignment and movement to your spine, relieving pressure on your nervous system.
  • Correction of misalignments called SUBLUXATIONS in your spine result in positive outcomes for both acute and chronic low back pain.
  • Once under control, your chiropractor can help you with preventative strategies by addressing your lifestyle and environment.
  • Your chiropractor will also be able to help identify any rare pathologies that could be causing your back pain and make a referral where appropriate.

 

Patient satisfaction with chiropractic

  • Numerous studies have shown chiropractors to rate among the highest in patient satisfaction.
  • This high satisfaction is related to the overall effectiveness of care, patient communication and providing useful advice and information.

 

The costs of chiropractic

  • Several studies have shown the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care vs. traditional medical management of low back pain. One large study demonstrated 60% fewer hospital admissions, 59% fewer hospital days, 62% fewer outpatient surgeries and procedures and 85% fewer pharmaceutical costs when the patient’s primary care physician was a chiropractor.
  • With healthcare spending rising at an alarming rate, the need for savings has never been greater.

 

Chiropractic Approach VS Medical Approach

Chiropractic Approach

  • Removing interference, allowing self-healing and addressing root causes in lifestyle and environment
  • Very few side-effects, minor in nature
  • Cost-effective and sustainable
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Wellness and prevention model

 

Medical Approach

  • Removal of pain by masking symptoms or altering the natural state of the body
  • Side effects very common, vary from minor to severe
  • Costly and unsustainable
  • High patient satisfaction
  • Diagnosis and treatment model

 

Conservative before invasive

  • In most cases, chiropractic care should be used as a first line of defence for back pain, since side effects are low and treatment methods are natural for your body.
  • Traditional medical approaches using drugs and surgery have their place, however, should only be used in a small percentage of cases considering the nature of most low back pain.
  • Studies have shown that in most cases, long-term patient outcomes are no better with invasive surgical procedures compared to conservative care with chiropractic, meaning that avoiding the high cost and associated risk of surgery is usually a good bet!

 

A wellness approach

  • It’s important for you to realise that chiropractic is not a “cure” for low back pain.
  • In reality, your body does all the healing; chiropractors are there to help ensure proper alignment of your spine and freedom of your nervous system, which maximises your body’s ability to heal itself.
  • As always, it’s important to realise that true wellness and health comes from the combination of many lifestyle choices – your chiropractor will be able to help you form effective lifestyle habits to reduce further episodes of back pain.

 

 

 
REFERENCES
Butler, R. J., & Johnson, W. G. (2008). Satisfaction with low back pain care. The Spine Journal8(3), 510-521.
Carey, T. S., Garrett, J., Jackman, A., McLaughlin, C., Fryer, J., & Smucker, D. R. (1995). The outcomes and costs of care for acute low back pain among patients seen by primary care practitioners, chiropractors, and orthopaedic surgeons. New England journal of medicine333(14), 913-917.
Cassidy, J. D., Côté, P., Carroll, L. J., & Kristman, V. (2005). Incidence and course of low back pain episodes in the general population. Spine30(24), 2817-2823.
Chou, R., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, J. T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. K. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of internal medicine147(7), 478-491.
Haas, M., Goldberg, B., Aickin, M., Ganger, B., & Attwood, M. (2004). A practice-based study of patients with acute and chronic low back pain attending primary care and chiropractic physicians: two-week to 48-month follow-up. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics27(3), 160-169.
Haas, M., Sharma, R., & Stano, M. (2005). Cost-effectiveness of medical and chiropractic care for acute and chronic low back pain. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics28(8), 555-563
Hertzman-Miller, R. P., Morgenstern, H., Hurwitz, E. L., Yu, F., Adams, A. H., Harber, P., & Kominski, G. F. (2002). Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomised to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. Journal Information92(10).
Legorreta, A. P., Metz, R. D., Nelson, C. F., Ray, S., Chernicoff, H. O., & DiNubile, N. A. (2004). Comparative analysis of individuals with and without chiropractic coverage: patient characteristics, utilisation, and costs. Archives of Internal Medicine164(18), 1985.
Liebenson, C. (Ed.). (2007). Rehabilitation of the spine: a practitioner’s manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Manca, A., Kumar, K., Taylor, R. S., Jacques, L., Eldabe, S., Meglio, M., … & Sculpher, M. J. (2008). Quality of life, resource consumption and costs of spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management in neuropathic pain patients with failed back surgery syndrome (PROCESS trial).European Journal of Pain, 12(8), 1047-1058.
Rosomoff HL.(2001).Presentation at the American Academy of Pain Medicine 17th Annual Meeting,Miami, Florida
Van Tulder, M., Becker, A., Bekkering, T., Breen, A., Gil del Real, M. T., Hutchinson, A., … & Malmivaara, A. (2006). Chapter 3 European guidelines for the management of acute nonspecific low back pain in primary care. European Spine Journal15, s169-s191.
Wilkey, A., Gregory, M., Byfield, D., & McCarthy, P. W. (2008). A comparison between chiropractic management and pain clinic management for chronic low-back pain in a national health service outpatient clinic. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine14(5), 465-473.

A Healthy Back for Life

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