Treating chronic low back pain can be difficult, to say the least. A recent article by the American Family Physician explored various nonpharmacologic treatment options for chronic low back pain. Among the options, spinal manipulation therapy is mentioned, “Spinal manipulation provides modest short- and long-term relief of back pain, improves psychological well-being, and increases functioning.”
American Family Physician
Volume 79 Number 12 • June 15, 2009
Chronic Low Back Pain: Evaluation and Management
ALLEN R. LAST, MD, MPH, and KAREN HULBERT, MD
What are the options for treating or managing chronic back pain?
1. Acupuncture – short term relief, improve function
2. Exercise therapy focused on the core – small improvement in pain and function
3. Behavior and progressive relaxation therapy – as effective as exercise for short term pain relief
4. Biofeedback therapy – mixed results
5. Multidisciplinary rehab program with psychological, social, or vocational intervention – alleviate subjecive disability, reduce pain, return person to work five weeks earler, reduce sick time by 7 days, benefit persists up to five years
6. Acupuncture massage and pressure point massage – mildly helpful in reducing pain, benefits up to one year
7. Massage – most effective when combined with exercise, stretching, and education
8. Spinal Manipulation – modest short and long tern relief of back pain, improves psychological well-being, and increases function
9. Viniyoga – six weeks of yoga decreased need for meds
10. Other forms of yoga – mixed results
11. Back schools – conflicting evidence
12. Low-level laser therapy – conflicting evidence
13. lumbar supports – conflicting evidence
14. Prolotherapy – conflicting evidence
15. Short wave diathermy – conflicting evidence
16. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stiulation – conflicting evidence
17. Ultrasound – conflicting evidence
After reading through article, i’m reminded of the difficulties and limitations of researching back pain and evaluation strategies. Ever since words have been written, we still do not know the best strategies in treating chronic back pain. There are to many variables to isolate and test, and we may never know the best treatments, especially since patients respond differently to the same treatments. So, we have seen chiropractic patients respond wonderfully who had chronic low back pain.
This is the big question, and I believe our health care system needs to change its modus operandi. That is more focus on preventive care. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle should be rewarded. What if your health insurance paid for a gym membership, a personal trainer, a dietician, or a life coach.
I’m happy, that as a Denver chiropractor and overall health advocate, that I have been trained in a variety of treatment techniques for people of suffer with back pain.
To Your Health,
Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC
Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211