Chiropractic First, Drugs Second, Surgery Last
At Back N' Balance, we're constantly reminding our patients that the order of priority for treating back and neck problems should be chiropractic first, drugs second, and surgery only as a last resort. Chiropractic is one of the best ways to naturally and safely improve your musculoskeletal health, with a growing body of research showing that chiropractic is the best choice for patients suffering from both acute and chronic back pain and neck pain.
Regular chiropractic care is incredibly cost-effective! A 2007 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine compared yearly healthcare costs of patients who utilized a chiropractor as their primary care physician versus a medical doctor. After tracking 70,000 subjects over seven years, researchers concluded that among those patients who regularly saw a chiropractor, "hospital admission costs were decreased by 60.2%, cost of days spent in the hospital were decreased by 59.0%, outpatient surgeries and procedures were down by 62.0%, and the costs associated with pharmaceuticals decreased by 85% when compared to those utilizing only conventional medically driven care."
Minimize the Risk of Spinal Surgery
Another recent study from the journal Spine found that 42.7% of worker's compensation victims who consulted an orthopedic surgeon for their back pain eventually opted for spinal surgery while all but 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor were able to avoid surgery. Seeing a chiropractor FIRST for spine pain can minimize your risk of needing surgery!
Even the American Medical Association supports this chiropractic-first position. A 2013 article published in JAMA stated unequivocally that chiropractic and other conservative treatments should be tried before other invasive measures are considered. If that sounds like common sense, it is, but it's only recently that AMA has come out publicly in support of chiropractic as a better option than invasive procedures. Healthcare professionals across the board now recognize that chiropractic is a safe, cost effective, and efficient method of treatment for patients suffering from lower back and neck pain.
Chiropractic is Effective for a Wide Range of Disorders
Chiropractic has been shown to be one of the most effective routes for treating a wide range of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. It is especially effective for managing conditions prevalent in the senior community such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis of the spine. Conversely, long-term use of pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxers usually do not improve functioning for patients with chronic pain and come with significant side effects.
Chiropractic is a Vastly Better Option than NSAIDs
An additional study from a recent edition of the journal Spine suggests that patients suffering from back and neck pain are better off utilizing chiropractic care than taking NSAIDs. The study revealed that chiropractic adjustments were more effective, both in the short and long term, than non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve) for easing back pain and preventing recurrence. While both the active treatment groups improved, patients receiving spinal adjustments were significantly better off than patients taking medicine alone. The chiropractic subjects experienced greater improvements in physical function as well as reduced time off work and reduced need for medication, leading researchers to conclude that "spinal manipulation was significantly better than anti-inflammatory drugs."
Chiropractic First, Drugs Second, Surgery Last
These findings add to the rapidly growing amount of research showing that chiropractic is a better choice than drugs or surgery for back pain and other problems resulting from dysfunction in the spine. While drugs can temporarily mask symptoms, they do little to treat the root of the problem and may actually enable you to participate in activities the pain would normally prevent you from doing, potentially causing further injury. Chiropractic, on the other had relieves symptoms while addressing the underlying cause of pain and restoring function.
It is important to be proactive in the treatment of back and neck injuries. Those who delay seeking treatment are more likely to prolong the road to recovery. If you have a friend or family member who is suffering from back or neck pain, share this article with them. We look forward to helping reduce their pain, improve their function, and increase their quality of life!
Resources: Furlan, AD et al. (2012). A systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and safety of selected complementary and alternative medicine for neck and low-back pain. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012:953139. Keeney BJ, et al. (2012) Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of works in Washington state. Spine. Von Heymann, et al. (2013). Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. Spine. Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low back pain. JAMA Patient Page April 24, 2013; 309(16): 1738