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Why Physicians Should Rethink Bias about Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Chiropractic Care for Back PainThe basis of chiropractic treatment is a spinal adjustment to correct neurological impingement that can lead to many health issues, especially back pain. However, medical doctors are wary of recommending this alternative therapy to their patients. In an article published recently in the New York Times, a physician and professor of pediatrics questions this bias and cites evidence that supports chiropractic care as being an effective option for back pain management.

According to the physician, spinal manipulation should be considered for initial treatment of lower back pain as it is effective and possibly safer than medical therapies. He points out that like physical therapy, chiropractic adjustment is non-pharmacological in nature and focuses on relieving the symptoms of back pain, allowing the condition to heal over time.

While earlier reviews of literature did not favor spinal manipulation and compared it to “sham interventions”, he says that recent high-quality studies have reversed this view. In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), researchers reviewed studies since 2011 and those performed before that. Evidence from randomized controlled trials which included over 1400 to 1700 patients showed that spinal manipulation led to an improvement in pain and function.

A review of nonpharmacologic treatment options for low back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February 2017 reported that evidence continues to support the effectiveness of exercise, psychological therapies, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, spinal manipulation, massage, and acupuncture for chronic low back pain.

Based on these studies, the American College of Physicians recently released new clinical practice guidelines for the noninvasive treatment of subacute back pain, which includes spinal manipulation and other noninvasive pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments.

An important point to note, says the author of the New York Times article, is that the above-mentioned studies did not report that spinal adjustments had any serious adverse events. He also allays concerns that physicians may have about the cost of spinal manipulation, which most insurance companies do not cover. He points out that studies show that conventional treatment and invasive interventions are more expensive than complementary and alternative medicine. Also, surgery and misuse of opioids can cause irrevocable harm and also raise costs.

To sum up, in his article, the physician’s supports chiropractic treatment for low back pain as being:

  • Effective to treat symptoms
  • Safe with no serious adverse effects
  • More cost-effective than traditional treatment
  • Allows the body to heal naturally

Chiropractic adjustment is a key component of back pain treatment in an established pain management center in Brooklyn, NYC. The key to getting effective treatment is to choose a center that has certified and experienced chiropractors. In reliable centers, chiropractors work with a team of healthcare professionals such as neurologists, orthopedists, physical therapists and other rehab specialists to provide patients with optimal solutions for back pain and many other medical conditions.

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