29 Lewis Bay Rd., Hyannis, MA 02601

Statistics

Among the hundreds of conditions that the “flesh is heir to,” there a lot of people who suffer from bad backs.

How many? The fact is that 85% of the population will experience disabling low back pain at least once in their lives! That’s almost all of us. The problem is so bad that at any one time, according to one researcher, 6.8% of the U.S. adult population is suffering from an episode of back pain lasting more than two weeks. That’s a lot of bad backs.

Low Back Pain

Among the hundreds of conditions that the “flesh is heir to,” there a lot of people who suffer from bad backs.

How many? The fact is that 85% of the population will experience disabling low back pain at least once in their lives! That’s almost all of us. The problem is so bad that at any one time, according to one researcher, 6.8% of the U.S. adult population is suffering from an episode of back pain lasting more than two weeks. That’s a lot of bad backs.

Cost

The estimated cost of lower back problems in the U.S. is over $50 billion a year.

The ‘OLD’ Standard Approach

Historically, the standard approach to back pain (which varies depending on the severity of the condition) has typically been: bed rest, a prescription of muscle relaxers, pain killers, and hope that the backache will go away.

Now, thanks to all the research, it is quite well known and accepted that early mobilization (active and passive) as well as physical therapeutic modalities -including spinal manipulative therapy – is the treatment of choice for acute lowback pain.

If the problem wouldn’t go away, improve or if it actually worsened, special tests like myelogram, MRI or CAT scan, in addition to X-rays, would be ordered.

Surgery

Surgery is now rarely resorted to. An operation called a laminectomy in which adjacent vertebrae are surgically fused used to be relatively common.

According to some studies, more than half of all spinal surgery for lower back problems may have been avoided.

Many people who have had back surgery report a recurrence of their symptoms within a year or two of the operation and may return to the operating table. In some cases the surgery makes no difference whatever. And in some cases it does give long-term relief.

The Chiropractic Approach

Chiropractors have proved to be an effective treatment to millions with back problems, often saving them from pain, disability, drugs and surgery.

Anyone suffering from a back problem should see a chiropractor to make sure first and foremost that there is no spinal nerve stress and, to have it relieved if it is found. This may make the difference between health and disability, comfort and pain.

Studies on Chiropractic Effectiveness

10-year British Medical Research Study
In 1980 the British government, through the British Medical Research Council, initiated a 10-year study on low back pain. Completed in 1990, the study was reported in the June 1990 British Medical Journal.

Chiropractic was compared with the medical (hospital outpatient) care of patients with acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) mechanical low back pain-the most costly cause of work loss due to injury in the Western world.

“Of those with jobs 21% of the patients given chiropractic treatment (sic) had time off work because of back pain compared with 35% of hospital patients…..Between one and two years the frequency and duration of absence from work were less in those treated by chiropractic.”

Of the chiropractic group, medical group, and control group, only the chiropractic group showed significant reduction in pain level. In fact, chiropractic was significantly more effective for patients with chronic and severe pain. This improvement was maintained at a two-year follow-up.

In fact, as a result of the study, the British medical profession is advocating inclusion of chiropractic services in the British National Health system.

Florida Worker’s Compensation Study
Claims from 100,00 closed workers’ compensation cases decided in the state of Florida during the fiscal year 1985-86 showed that under standard medical care the patient was disabled for 59 days as compared with 39 days under chiropractic.

A person with back-related injury was less likely to become disabled and, if disabled, was incapacitated for a shorter period of time if they saw a D.C. instead of an M.D.

Because of the shortened disability time the average cost of a chiropractor’s services was less than half lower that of a medical doctors fro the same conditions.

Utah Study
The findings of a 1988 study of 5,268 back injury claims from 1986 were consistent with those of the Florida study. The cost of chiropractic care was less than half that of medical care for similar conditions.

The study showed lumbar disc displacement cost $14,157.94 (surgical) and $6,810.36 (non-surgical) under medical care and $1,762.18 under chiropractic care.

Conclusion

Thus, studies have shown chiropractic to be more beneficial and cost-effective than standard American medicine for lower back complaints. It would therefore appear that the prudent thing for those with back injuries and lower back sprain/strains would be to consult with a doctor of chiropractic before resorting to medical treatments which cost more, are less effective, and are more traumatic to the body.

It should also be pointed out that one should also avoid a chiropractor who may overtreat his or her patients. Since the advent of managed care, there is a stricter adherence of all chiropractors to a real standard-of-care, which has given rise to treatment plans with fewer visits.