Over 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, and low back pain is the number-one cause of disability worldwide. The United States alone spends over $50 million a year for back-pain-related issues. In fact, low back pain is the second leading cause of doctor’s visits, behind only upper respiratory problems.
Due to the frequency of low back pain, there have been hundreds of research studies that prove the benefits of chiropractic. For example, one study examined 101 patients with acute low back pain and divided them into three groups. Group 1 receive chiropractic adjustments, Group 2 received pharmaceuticals, and Group 3 was a control group that received no treatment. Almost all of the participants in the control group dropped out of the study because they could not deal with the pain. Both Groups 1 and 2 showed improvement, though Group 1 (the chiropractic group) showed greater and longer lasting improvement.
A new research study actually reveals that back surgery fails in 74% of cases. Researchers reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation, or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses. After two years, just 26% of those who had surgery had actually returned to work, compared to 67% of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling finding, researchers determined that there was a 41% increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery.
Our top 5 tips to combat back pain are:
- Get Adjusted- We know that chiropractic adjustments have been shown to have longer lasting benefits compared to pharmaceuticals. Plus, there are no side effects, because nothing is put in or taken out of your body!
- Proper Posture- Our society is for the most part sedentary and we sit a lot. We have desk jobs where we are constantly slouched forward. Our kids, and us, are constantly on their cell phones looking down. All of these lead to bad posture, which will lead to some sort of back pain.
- Exercise- Proper muscle strength, especially around our core, is vital to helping combat back pain. The core is what supports our back and keeps everything together. Imagine it being like a big belt around our body keeping everything tight and in its place. If our core is weak, our body and the bones in our back can slip out of proper alignment, causing pain.
- Check Your Mattress- Old mattresses or ones that aren’t right for your body can definitely lead to back pain. Every person is different and needs different firmness levels, so this one is up to the individual to find out what they like.
- Massage- Sometimes our muscles are just tight, causing pain and spasms, and need a little work done. Massage is great to supplement with chiropractic care. Tight muscles can cause adjustments not hold, making your pain come back sooner!
Any type of back pain is a warning sign of internal body issues that need to be corrected. Subluxation-based chiropractors focus on getting to the root of the problem so your body can recover, heal, and work the way it was designed to.