While there are many causes of low back pain, most cases can typically be linked to either a general cause – such as muscle strain – or a specific and diagnosable condition, such as degenerative disc disease or lumbar herniated disc. In the US, low back pain is one of the most common conditions and one of the leading causes of physician visits. In fact, at least four out of five adults will experience such pain at some point in their lives.
Among people seeking pain relief alternatives, most opt for chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Chiropractic technique treats low back pain by correcting vertebral disc displacements, freeing spinal joint adhesion, inhibiting painful nerve impulses, and/or correcting spinal misalignment.
Consumer Reports: Relief For Your Aching Back
About 80 percent of the adults in the U.S. have been bothered by back pain at some point. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center recently surveyed more than 14,000 subscribers who experienced lower-back pain in the past year but never had back surgery. More than half said the pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer, and 88 percent said it recurred throughout the year.
Lower-back pain disrupts many aspects of life… Read More
New Low Back Pain Guidelines Encourage Conservative Approach
For low-back pain patients and their doctors, a new, evidence-based, clinical practice guideline, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, recommends less reliance on expensive diagnostic imaging and reports there is strong evidence supporting the benefits of several therapies, with and without medication.
In addressing treatment options, the guideline recommends that medications used should be appropriate for the severity of baseline pain and functional impairment, and clinicians should weigh carefully potential benefits and risks of any drug and explain them. “Several medications offer some benefits for low-back pain but they have risks,” said Chou. “For example, acetaminophen is safe but not that effective, NSAIDS provide more relief but have gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects, and opioids can treat severe pain but pose risks for sedation and dependence over time.”
There are numerous non-pharmacological treatments for low-back pain ranging from chiropractic care to massage therapy, and the guideline panel recommended they be considered for patients who do not improve with self-care options and prefer not to take pain medications. “Above all,” noted Chou, “the panel strongly recommends that low-back pain patients stay active and talk honestly with their physicians about self care and other interventions that… Read More