Is low back pain common?
- Yes! Low back pain affects up to 80% of us sometime during our life and up to 30% of us at any given time.
- During any 6 month period, 72% of adults will report low back pain and 11% will report disabling low back pain.
- The cost of back pain is astronomical; with estimated costs over $100 Billion per year in the U.S. alone!
- Back pain is the second leading cause of medical physician visits and second most common reason for hospital visits (behind only childbirth).
What is causing my low back pain?
- More than 85% of low back pain is considered "non-specific", meaning there is no known serious underlying pathology.
- In other words, the pain you are feeling is coming from the function of your spine and supportive anatomy around your spine, such as muscles, joints and nerves.
- In the minority of cases low back pain can be caused by pathologies like cancer, compression fracture, herniated discs, spinal stenosis and infections.
How do chiropractors help with low back pain?
- Chiropractors help to restore proper alignment to your spine, relieving pressure on your nervous system.
- Correction of misalignments called "subluxations" in your spine result in positive outcomes for both acute and chronic low back pain.
- Once under control, your chiropractor can help you with preventative strategies by addressing your lifestyle and environment.
- Your chiropractor will also be able to help identify any rare pathologies that could be causing your back pain and make a referral where appropriate.
Lower Back Pain affects up to 80% of us during our lifetime.
Patient satisfaction with chiropractic
- Numerous studies have shown chiropractors to rate among the highest in patient satisfaction.
- This high satisfaction is related to overall effectiveness of care, patient communication and providing useful advice and information.
The costs of chiropractic
- Several studies have shown the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care vs. traditional medical management of low back pain. One large study demonstrated 60%% less hospital admissions, 59% less hospital days, 62% less outpatient surgeries and procedures and 85% less pharmaceutical costs when the patient's primary care physician was a chiropractor.
- With healthcare spending rising at an alarming rate, the need for savings has never been greater.
Chiropractic Approach Vs Medical Approach
|Removing interference, allowing self-healing and addressing root cause in lifestyle & environment||Removal of pain by masking symptoms or altering the natural state of the body|
|Very few side effects, minor in nature||Side effects very common, vary from minor to severe|
|Cost-effective & sustainable||Costly and unsustainable|
|Higher patient satisfaction||High patient satisfaction|
|Wellness & prevention model||Diagnosis & treatment model|
- In most cases, chiropractic care should be used as a first line of defense for back pain, since side effects are low and treatment methods are natural for your body.
- Traditional medical approaches using drugs and surgery have their place, however should only be used in a small percentage of cases considering the nature of most low back pain.
- Studies have shown that in most cases, long term patient outcomes are no better with invasive surgical procedures compared to conservative care with chiropractic, meaning that avoiding the high cost and associated risk of surgery is usually a good bet!
- It's important for you to realize that chiropractic is not a "cure" for low back pain.
- In reality, your body does all of the healing; chiropractors are there to help ensure proper alignment of your spine and freedom from your nervous system, which maximizes your body's ability to heal itself.
- As always, it's important to realize that true wellness comes from the combination of many lifestyle choices - your chiropractor will be able to help you form effective lifestyle habits to reduce future episodes of back pain.