Arthritis and Low Back Pain:
Chiropractic Care vs. Heat Treatment
A report on the scientific literature
Chiropractic care rendered significantly greater relief of pain
and significantly more mobility
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
"31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time" (The American Chiropractic Association, 2010, https://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68)
Interesting facts about back pain:1
What Causes Back Pain?
The back is made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Ligaments can be sprained, muscles can be strained, disks can rupture, and joints can be irritated. All of these can result in back pain. It doesn't always take a major event like a sports inury or an accident to cause back pain. Even the simplest of movements, like picking a small object up from the floor, can have painful results. There are also numerous conditions that can cause or complicate back pain, such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress. Disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss, can also result in back pain.1
The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease and is a disease of the joints. It affects more than 20 million American adults. The cause of osteoarthritis is a breakdown of cartilage, the connective tissue that provides a cushion between the bones of the joints. Healthy cartilage is what permits bones to move over one another and acts as a shock absorber during physical movement. Those afflicted with this disease experience a breakdown of cartilage that wears away. As a result, the bones under the cartilage rub together, resulting in pain, swelling, and loss of joint motion.2
What Causes Osteoarthritis?2
There is often no known cause of osteoarthritis. Risk factors include:
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis2
Osteoarthritis often begins at a slow rate. Early on, joints may be sore after physical work or exercise. The pain of early osteoarthritis dissipates and then returns over time, particularly as a result of overuse of the affected joint . Other symptoms may include:
In 2006, "...an experimental design was used to compare the effects of chiropractic care (and moist heat) to the effects of moist heat alone for treating lower back pain that is secondary to [arthritis] of the lumbar spine" (Beyerman, Palmerino, Zohn, Kane, & Foster, 2006, p. 107). This was the first study of its kind. There were 3 parameters measured, pain, mobility and activities of daily living. The results conclusively revealed in every metric analyzed that chiropractic care rendered significantly better results, rendering greater relief of pain and significantly more mobility had been restored.
Low back pain and osteoarthritis is a very common condition treated daily in chiropractor’s offices nationwide. This study confirms scientifically the clinical results treating chiropractors have been experiencing for over 100 years. The degree to which pain interferes with aspects of daily living was statistically measured, specifically with walking, sitting and social life and those test subjects under chiropractic care had superior results that simply utilized moist heat.3
These studies along with many others conclude that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions for patients with low back pain and arthritis. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state.
1. The American Chriopractic Association. (2010). Back pain facts and & statistics. Retrieved from https://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68
2. Dawson, E. G., & Shaffrey, C. I. (2009, December). Osteoarthritis: Degenerative spinal joint disease. Spineuniverse. Retrieved from http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/spondylosis/osteoarthritis-degenerative-spinal-joint-disease