Millions of Americans suffer with chronic back pain. The latest numbers are staggering, as is the billions of dollars spent annually to treat this condition. Back pain accounts for a high percentage of visits to the doctor’s office as well as trips to the emergency room and walk-in clinics. The most common approach to treating back pain involves medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) such as Ibuprofen and Aleve. Doctors also regularly prescribe muscle relaxers and narcotic strength pain medications. While the drug approach is the most common, it is not the most effective for addressing chronic musculoskeletal problems such as back pain. Current research shows that the most effective solution for chronic back pain involves a combination of chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation.
Chiropractic spinal manipulations have been proven to be safe and extremely effective for reducing and/or eliminating back pain. Manipulations, when carefully delivered to the spine, can free up stuck joints, correct poor posture and bring on instant relief from severe pain. It has also been proven to be one of the safest and gentlest treatments known to mankind.
However chiropractic adjustments alone are often not enough to provide long term or permanent corrections. The spine is a very complex structure and involves many different types of tissues including the central and peripheral nervous systems, twenty-four movable bones called vertebrae, the sacrum (or tailbone), muscles and tendons, cartilage, twenty-three discs, blood vessels, lymphatics, and other tissues. It seems logical that the more tissues that are evaluated for dysfunction – and ultimately corrected, the higher the degree of overall function which will occur.
Indeed, current research supports the use of rehabilitation protocols including flexibility training and exercises designed to improve stabilization and strength. Additionally balance and coordination training has proven to be useful to increase overall levels of function as well as prevent a relapse.