Chronic Back Pain, Disability, Chiropractic and Prevention
A report on the scientific literature
For the disability scores only the group that was given spinal manipulations during the follow-up period maintained their postintensive treatment scores
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Low back pain sufferers know all too well that constant vigilance is required when dealing with spinal pain. There are frequent flare-ups occurring for seemingly benign reasons. Chiropractic has been shown to be effective in treating lower back pain, but what about keeping it under control for the long term. A recent study by Descarreaux, Blouin, Drolet, Papadimitriou, & Teasdale (2004) studied the effects of preventive spinal manipulation for chronic low back pain.
The authors state, “Thirty patients with chronic nonspecific low-back pain were separated into 2 groups. The first group received 12 treatments in an intensive 1-month period but received no treatment in a subsequent 9-month period...The second group received 12 treatments in an intensive 1-month period and also received maintenance spinal manipulation every 3 weeks for a 9-month follow-up period” (Descarreaux et al., 2004, p. 509). Pain and disability levels were measured and reported for both groups.
The authors report, “For both groups, the pain and disability levels decreased after the intensive phase of treatments. Both groups maintained their pain scores at levels similar to the postintensive treatments throughout the follow-up period. For the disability scores, however, only the group that was given spinal manipulations during the follow-up period maintained their postintensive treatment scores. The disability scores of the other group went back to their pretreatment levels” (Descarreaux et al., 2004, p. 509). Finally it was concluded, “Intensive spinal manipulation (adjustments) is effective for the treatment of chronic low back pain. This experiment suggests that maintenance spinal manipulations after intensive manipulative care may be beneficial to patients to maintain subjective postintensive treatment disability levels” (Descarreaux et al., 2004, p. 509).
This study is a great start. Now there will be larger populations of chronic back pain suffers and preventive chiropractic care. Many thousands of people have gotten relief from chiropractic care; you may be one of them. If you are suffering and have not seen a doctor of chiropractic, please take to time to search the database on this site for a doctor close to you.
1. Descarreaux, M., Blouin, J.-S., Drolet, M., Papadimitriou, S., & Teasdale, N. (2004). Efficacy of preventive spinal manipulation for chronic low-back pain and related disabilities: A preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 27(8), 509-514.