Lower Back Pain Studies
I thought I would share some interesting news from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This organization is a division of the National Institute of Health and they said some really interesting things that I have been saying for years. If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. It has been said that nearly everyone in the US at some point in their life will have back pain that will interfere with work, our normal daily activities or recreation. Studies have shown that Americans spend at least $50 Billion (yes that is Billion with a B) each year to try and help with low back pain problems. Did you know that low back pain is the most common cause of job related disability and is the leading contributor to missed days at work? When looking at neurological ailments in the United States, back pain is the second most common finding. The only one to be more debilitating is headaches.
For years we have known that low back pain can be caused by different factors. As people age, their bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone will decrease. Then this leads to loss of fluid and flexibility in our discs and the vertebra become vulnerable because the cushioning is gone.
Most people first hurt their backs when they do something dumb like lifting things that are too heavy for them. Bending out and overstretching and lifting causing a sprain or strain type injury. If a spine becomes overly strained, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, back pain is the result.
Wilkey ET AL. reported in 2008 that the portion of the population that suffers from chronic low back pain (meaning for 3 or more months) is somewhere between 8% and 33%. They continued to report about 13% have pain that never goes away. Their studies continued and via a randomized trial comparing chiropractic care to medical care in a pain clinic. The treatments used by the pain clinic on the medical side of things consisted of standard drug therapies, facet joint injections, soft tissue injections as well as utilizing TENS units to aid with the pain. The chiropractic group used various chiropractic manipulation techniques, many similar to other manual therapy professions. The results were nothing but astounding. After 8 weeks of treatment, the raw score of improvement was 1.99 for medicine and 9.03 for chiropractic. This research indicates that chiropractic care is 457% more effective than medicine for Chronic Low Back Pain. To say that medicine doesn’t have a place in healthcare would be inaccurate and irresponsible, but based upon the evidence based outcome studies, research would conclude that the path is chiropractic first and then drugs as a second resort.