Did you know that the latest research suggests that:
“An adjustment is better than taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for acute low back pain.” (1)
If left untreated, acute low back pain (LBP) will often progress to chronicity. In the extreme cases, we see people having to have surgery, such as spinal fusion, to “fix” their back pain. Spinal fusion surgery is where two (or more) adjacent vertebra are fused together.
Most people are unaware that there is very little evidence that spinal surgery works for LBP. In fact, “lumbar spine fusion surgery only works for specific indications, and can only work when the specific pain generator is identified.” This specific pain generator cannot be identified in 80-90% of cases, yet surgery is still performed. Identifying the pain generator is extremely difficult as there are numerous factors involved (1,2,3,). One of the go to methods is imaging (x-ray, MRI, CT). While imaging is extremely helpful, a review of the literature shows that degenerative (Modic) changes to the spine has an inconsistent association with LBP. This means that just because your imaging shows degenerative changes, doesn’t mean that it is the cause of your pain (4).
Not only is there little evidence, but the surgery is very costly and often results in further complications. For example; more surgery, increased mortality rates, and the spine not actually being fused! (3)
One of the most common ways that LBP will be managed, assuming that surgery is not required or while waiting, is with medications, namely, NSAIDs. The concern here is that there are side effects to prolonged used of NSAIDs, mostly to the digestive system. Studies show that not only is the chiropractic adjustment superior to NSAIDs, but there is a much lower chance of having an adverse drug (medication) event for those under chiropractic care (1,2,5).
So, what does that mean for those of us who are suffering with LBP? Well, if often means looking for alternative methods of treatment to avoid the potential hazards of surgery. The chiropractic adjustment is a non-invasive therapy that is aimed at restoring appropriate function and movement to the spine and body as a whole.
Chiropractic care has been shown to be a cost-effective therapy for LBP among many other common conditions (5,6).
Before you go down the route of surgery, please get assessed by a chiropractor. Maybe, just maybe, you DON’T need surgery OR anti-inflammatory drugs as your first option!
If any of this relates to you or someone you know
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The Drs and Staff of Little Sprouts Chiropractic