Suffering from back pain or other related pains can be quite frustrating, especially if the problem has lingered for some time, and you have to see a doctor for it. If you are currently going through this frustration, you should know that you are not alone.
It has been estimated that 85% of people have experienced back pain severe enough to make them visit a doctor at some point in their lives. However, the cause of such pain is often not exact enough, even though it is a common health issue. As such, there is barely a known universal treatment for low back pains currently.
Doctors’ recommendations for treating such cases vary, ranging from stretching and exercising, balance and rest, pain relievers, heat, and time. The good news about this, though, is that most of the treatment methods adopted by doctors for treating back pain become effective within a few weeks or even days.
The Role of Chiropractic Care for Treating Back Pain
Many doctors refer patients who suffer from backache to physical therapists right away. However, some patients decide to see massage therapists, acupuncturists, or chiropractors on their own. There are currently varying opinions among doctors and health experts on the role of chiropractic care for treating back pain. Also, there is yet to be a high-quality study on the treatment approach to be consulted. As such, many questions have been asked concerning the fundamental role it should play.
Some questions that have come up about this issue include; Should health professionals administer it as an initial-care treatment or routine treatment? Should doctors reserve it for patients who have failed to improve with other treatments? Or is it more effective for some people than it is for others?
Seeking answers to these questions transcends academic debates on the quality of chiropractic care for back pain treatments. According to recent research estimates, treatment of low back pain in the US costs $200 billion a year (including the costs for care and missed work). With the opioid crisis backdrop, the world currently needs a safe, effective, and non-opioid alternative treatment for low back pain.
The Recent Study on Chiropractic Care for Back Pain
Recently, a few studies have been dedicated to the issue of chiropractic treatment for pain. One such study includes a 2018 research by JAMA Network Open to assess its pros and cons for treating low back pain.
The research enlisted 750 active-duty military men who were suffering back pain. Half of this personnel were randomly selected to be treated with regular care, including physical therapy, medications, and self-care. The remaining half received about 12 chiropractic treatments in addition to regular maintenance. After receiving treatment for six weeks, the patients who were receiving chiropractic treatment:
- Reported a reduction in pain intensity
- Experienced improvement in function and less disability
- Needed less pain reliever medications
- Were more satisfied with their treatment.
There was no report of any severe side effects for the treatment. However, about 10% of the patients who received chiropractic care complained about some side effects, mostly stiffness in the muscle or joint. About 5% of patients who were receiving regular treatment also complained of similar effects.
The Chiropractors are dedicated to getting the optimal structural results for their patients. The new study on chiropractic care for treating back pain supports its effectiveness. However, it has pointed to the possibility of some side effects of this treatment method.