The research is compelling that chiropractic is a safe and effective way to treat lower back pain. The results achieved by this form of care explain why it is advocated by governmental agencies in the United States and United Kingdom.
Chiropractic research for pain in the lower back
There is substantial scientific evidence that spinal manipulative treatment, commonly provided by chiropractors, is effective for low back pain (LBP).
Here is how the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines & Practice Parameters describes the body of knowledge on spinal adjustments:
- The published research strongly suggests that manipulative treatment of the spine allows it to operate more effectively and alleviates low back pain. That’s true in the both the acute and subacute stages (ie, when the symptoms first appear, and between the acute and chronic phases).
- The scientific findings also strongly indicate that this therapy is effective at chronic pain relief and functional improvement.
- There is a moderate amount of data suggesting that you can speed up recovery time and minimize frequency of flare-ups by combining spinal adjustments with workouts.
- A small but compelling body of research suggests that spinal manipulation is also effective for the radiating pain of sciatica, aka lumbar radiculopathy.
The Agency for Health Care Research & Quality (AHCRQ), formerly the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research, is the division of the US HHS Department specifically directed to improve quality and affordability of healthcare. The agency advises patients that they should get spinal adjustments whether they are taking over-the-counter pain medication or not. Plus, they should seek treatment “[i]n the first four weeks of symptoms,” says the AHCRQ, which adds that this form of care works best “[i]n conjunction with mild exercise such as walking or swimming, followed by conditioning exercises after about two weeks.”
Additionally, the AHCRQ found that it’s important to return to your typical day-to-day tasks as soon as you can. Lying in bed for five days or more can be especially damaging (keeping in mind that movement enhances circulation, maintains strength, and can even fight pain through endorphins).
Importance of immediate treatment
When we look across the ocean at the United Kingdom, we see that spinal manipulation from a chiropractor has again been embraced. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group recommends that the best way to approach LBP is with a mix of chiropractic, exercise, physical therapy, and analgesics.
Plus, notes, the CSAG, waiting is the enemy if you want to avoid chronic symptoms. “The main responsibility for preventing chronic low back pain and disability lies with the family doctor, occupational health service, physiotherapist, osteopathic physician, or chiropractor who is caring for the patient at this early stage,” says the agency. “Early active rehabilitation is highly effective in preventing long term pain and disability.”
Are you suffering from lower back pain? At Health Star Clinic, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and custom treatments that go beyond the band-aid approach of prescription medication and a follow-up visit. Book your free consultation.