As much as 80% of the population will experience some kind of back pain in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association, and half of all working Americans report having back pain symptoms. While there are various ways to treat back pain, chiropractic care has almost always been looked at with a wary eye. Recently, numerous studies have surfaced to prove the effectiveness of chiropractic care as a useful treatment for different types of back pain. So, why does the bias remain?
According to an article in the New York Times, physicians are suspicious of chiropractic care because the methods chiropractors use have not been scientifically explained. Spinal manipulation, the most common type of chiropractic care, involves applying pressure to the spine in certain positions to allow the vertebrae to stretch and pop, relieving pain and pressure. In the past, studies conducted to evaluate the usefulness of spinal manipulation found the procedure to be no better than a sham, but new, more thorough research has found very different results.
A study related in The Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that, out of the 1,700 patients in the trial, nearly 1,400 reported improvements in function after spinal manipulation treatments. Other prominent medical authorities, like the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians agreed with assessments of chiropractic care as a reliable non-invasive treatment for back pain. The American College of Physicians also recommended back pain sufferers to seek heat, massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation as the first line of treatment before looking into invasive procedures.
Another bias that as prevented doctors from referring patients to chiropractic care is the risk of harm. Poorly trained or uneducated practitioners could potentially worsen back pain symptoms and cause damage, though in the studies mentioned above, no adverse symptoms were reported. To avoid any possibility of harmful practice, patients should only see certified chiropractors with the necessary education and credentials. Ask your chiropractor about his or her background before your spinal adjustment to ensure you are in good hands.
Compared to other treatment options, surgery or pain medicines, chiropractic care can cost less in the long run. Plus, surgeries can go wrong, and some pain medication can lead to dangerous addictions and be very costly.
If you are considering chiropractic care or physical therapy to treat your back pain, consider our Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician at Manhattan Sports Therapy. Some of the areas our facility specializes in are disc herniation, bulging discs, sciatica, and sports or exercise related injuries. Located in New York, we treat anyone with pain, from professional athletes and celebrities to everyday workout enthusiasts. We offer acupuncture, sports massage, physical rehab, chiropractic care, cold-laser light therapy, pain management, and pre or post-operation rehab.
Contact Manhattan Sports Therapy to request an appointment and begin your road to recovery.