It is estimated that in the United States, the annual costs associated with the treatment of low back pain (LBP) total approximately $100 billion. High recurrence rates and chronic disability are believed to play a large role in the overall cost of back pain, and studies have shown that only a fraction of LBP patients remain pain free and recover completely, even one year after the problem first occurred.
In a recent study, 30 patients with chronic, nonspecific low back pain lasting at least six months were separated into two groups. The first group received 12 treatments over a one-month period, but no treatments for the subsequent nine months; the second group received 12 treatments over a one-month period, along with “maintenance spinal manipulation” every three weeks for the following nine months.
Results: Patients in both groups experienced significant decreases in low back pain scores after the first series of treatments. The greatest difference, however, was seen in disability scores over the duration of the study. Analysis of the data showed that in patients who received maintenance spinal manipulation, “the disability scores were significantly lower after the 10-month period than before the initial phase of treatment.” In the other group, however, “the mean disability scores went back to their pretreatment level.”
Based on these results, it is clear that regular chiropractic care not only helps reduce LBP and disability associated with LBP, but that continued chiropractic treatment following the acute treatment phase assists in keeping pain from recurring. If you suffer from LBP or any other dysfunction, your doctor of chiropractic can design an effective treatment plan.
Descarreaux M, Blouin JS, Drolet M, et al. Efficacy of preventive spinal manipulation for chronic low-back pain and related disabilities: a preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics; October 2004;27(8):509-514.
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