On this past Valentine's Day, the Annals of Internal Medicine, a respected medical journal, published clinical guidelines for low back pain. The guidelines are based on previously-performed studies of varying evidence qualities. They noted specifically that most low back pain does not require pharmaceutical intervention and can be helped with noninvasive treatment such as chiropractic care and massage. This continues the medical movement away from over-medicating conditions which can find resolution without major drugs or surgery, and confirms what we chiropractors see regularly: patients with low back pain improving every day.
Here are the main recommendations from the paper:
Recommendation 1: Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat (moderate-quality evidence), massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). If pharmacologic treatment is desired, clinicians and patients should select nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants (moderate-quality evidence). (Grade: strong recommendation)
I would add that although low back pain tends to improve over time in most patients regardless of treatment, it is also one of the highest-recurring conditions of the body. In other words, if you have had low back pain in the past, you're almost certain to get it again. This means that proper treatment is indeed necessary to strengthen the muscles of the low back, to properly align the spine, to protect your posture, and so on, to properly treat the condition and prevent its return for as long as possible. It is not appropriate to sit back, wait for the pain to go away, and then figure that you're just fine. When pain disappears, it doesn't automatically mean that everything's fine. Ongoing exercise, postural modifications, and even massage and chiropractic care can be a major benefit.
Research, studies, and journal articles are very important to the practicing chiropractor because they can confirm the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments, challenge our current ideas, explain how the body works, and provide evidence for or against treatment options.
Research studies are not always accurate, however, and can be influenced by any number of issues: faulty study guidelines, researcher bias, statistical mistakes, etc. So it's always important to go back over time and verify research studies and observe trends.
Dr. Anthony Rosner, Ph.D., who is the Director of Research at International College of Applied Kinesiology (USA) has done the chiropractic profession an immense service by putting together a document that he titles: "A Comprehensive Review of Chiropractic Research."
If you have ever wondered if chiropractic works, why chiropractic works, if chiropractic is evidence-based medicine, if chiropractic is safe, if chiropractic can help in wellness or prevention, or even if chiropractic can help headaches or neck pain or many other conditions, then it is worth your time to look through Dr. Rosner's review. It's a lengthy document, but there is a very helpful table of contents to guide your study.
There are many ways to relieve pain by placing something on the skin: ice, hot packs, Bengay, Biofreeze, Sombra, etc. Ice and heat have been around for millennia, and research has now revealed many secrets about how they work. Relatively speaking, however, the lotions, sprays, and rubs are the new kids on the block... so do they work?
Let's go to the research!
A patient was recently advised by a health care provider to take Vitamin D supplements between meals in order to boost absorption of the Vitamin D. She was surprised at this advice, because she had always heard that vitamins should be taken with meals. She approached me with this question: "Should I take Vitamin D with a meal or without?"
Here's the short answer: On limited evidence, it appears that Vitamin D supplements are best absorbed if taken with the largest meal of the day.
Do you have a tendency to drink your calories? Soda, coffee, hot cocoa, fruit juice, milk, eggnog, beer, wine, other alcoholic beverages?
There are pros and cons to every food we put into our body, and our culture is increasingly becoming aware of the dangers of consuming highly sugared products on a regular basis. But our love affair with tasty, aromatic beverages shouldn't have to end.
If you're looking for a tasty flavored beverage that can be enjoyed hot or cold and has more health benefits than the average drink, consider: green tea.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.