DOWN IN YOUR BACK?  WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

If you have low back pain, you’re not alone. It has been estimated that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their life.   Although Americans spend billions of dollars each year on identify- ing and treating back pain, it remains one of the leading causes of disability.  Unfortunately, this trend of back pain is a growing problem.  The largest group of back pain patients that receive little help through traditional medicine is the mechanical back pain patient.

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DOWN IN YOUR BACK?  WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

probably would  have prescribed anti-inflammatories, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and sometimes physical therapy. However, there is strong research to support the use of chiropractic in the management and treatment of the patient’s mechanical spine pain prior to exercise.(5)


What is mechanical spine pain?  Mechanical spine pain is spinal pain related to the biomechanics of the spine (the position of spinal joints, the health of muscles, ligaments, and joints), whereas non-mechanical spine pain includes tumors, infection, and acute spinal fractures. If you understand this, you understand some things can complicate mechanical pain like arthritis, obesity, physical fitness, diet, and poor posture. To explain all of these complications is beyond the goal of this article. However, I will explain that there are a combination of treatments that have scientifically been shown to improve spinal pain and increase spinal mobility.


Multiple studies support the positive effects of chiropractic treatment followed by exercise versus placebo or 'sham/fake' treatment followed by the same exercise. I want to explain the results of one of those studies.  The study involved patients

with chronic, non-specific lower back pain. The first group received spinal adjustments plus active exercise therapy. The second group received a detuned ultrasound 'sham' treatment followed by active exercise. Both groups underwent eight treatment sessions over 4 to 8 weeks.


The analgesic effect of spinal adjustments were measured by evaluating pain intensity both before and immediately after each therapeutic session. Periodically, researchers also evaluated participants' disability, fear-avoidance beliefs, and erector spinae (muscles in your back) and abdominal muscle endurance (measured with Sorensen and Shirado tests).  The participants who received spinal adjustments experienced a better immediate ease of pain or analgesic effect; along with lower disability and a trend toward lower pain levels. The researchers concluded that manual therapy, immediately followed by active exercise, tends to induce a more significant decrease in pain reduction in patients with chronic lower back pain.(6)


While exercise has long been a crucial component of chiropractic care, this study provides further evidence of the benefits and success of combining exercise with chiropractic adjustments for relieving  chronic pain.  I do want to point out that this study does not stand alone; many studies from premier medical journals, not just chiropractic peer review literature support the use of chiropractic in the treatment and management of spinal pain. For example, Low Back Pain published in the Journal of the American Medical Association   in 2013(7) and Non- pharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain, evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline published in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2007.(8) The results from these studies support that  chiropractic is an appropriate treatment for chronic low-back pain.


If you suffer from back pain or it interferes with your lifestyle, try chiropractic and exercise.  Medical and Chiropractic experts agree, it may be just the combination you need to get you moving the way you want to again.


References:


  1. Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71.
  2. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research,  Rockville, MD.
  3. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults--United States, 1999.  JAMA.  2001;285(12):1571–1572.
  4. The Rising Prevalence of Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 9; 169(3): 251–258.
  5. Time to recognize the value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.
  6. Balthazard P, et al. Manual therapy followed by specific active exercises versus a placebo followed by specific active exercises on the improvement of functional disability in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012; 13: 162. doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-162.
  7. Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low Back Pain.  JAMA.  2013; 309(16):1738.
  8. Chou R, Hoyt Huffman LH. Nonpharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann of Internal Med 2 Oct.  2007;147(7):492- 504.


   

ROBERT LINTON, DC, FACO, CICO, CCIC

Dr. Linton is recognized by the Kentucky Board of Chiropractic Examiners with a specialty in Chiropractic Orthopedics and Peer Review.  

Phone: 859-499-1009

Email: rlintondc@msn.com

more articles by robert linton

If you have low back pain, you’re not alone. It has been estimated that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their life.(1) Although Americans spend billions of dollars each year on identifying and treating back pain, it remains one of the leading causes of disability.(2, 3)


Unfortunately, this trend of back pain is a growing problem.(4)


The largest group of back pain patients that receive little help through traditional medicine is the mechanical back pain patient. How do you know if mechanical back dysfunction is your problem?  If you answer yes to the following questions, then it is probable your back issue is related to a mechanical spinal problem.



Traditionally, if you fell into this group of patients, your doctor