Low back pain: drugs or chiropractic care?
Low back pain is a common problem in the modern society. Many people have a sedentary lifestyle; sitting at their desk all day, not moving much, no time to exercise. Little aches or pains are being ignored, and when the problem becomes big enough to see a health care professional, most people choose to visit a medical doctor to often be prescribed with painkillers.
However, is this really the best way to manage low back pain when there are other safe, drug-free treatment options at hand, like chiropractic care?
As you probably know, drugs have side-effects. On top of that, they might relieve the
symptoms, but in fact they often mask the underlying problem.
Chiropractors, unlike most medical doctors, are specialised in the musculoskeletal system and spine-related problems. They will identify the cause of a problem and treat this, rather than treating the symptoms.
A big part of the chiropractic course consists of diagnosis of both musculoskeletal and other health-related problems. If a problem is musculoskeletal, a chiropractor can treat it. If the problem is caused by something else, a chiropractor is also trained to identify this and you will be referred to another health care professional for further diagnosis.
A recent study has shown that chiropractic care (primarily spinal manipulative therapy) combined with usual medical care (self-management advice, pharmacologic pain management, physical therapy, or pain clinic referral) is more effective with regards to pain intensity and disability than usual medical care alone for the treatment of low back pain. This means that because of chiropractic treatment, less medication had to be taken, for a shorter period of time (Goertz et al. 2018).
*Please take note that this text is meant to shine light onto another perspective of the approach of low back pain management. I am not stating that consulting a medical doctor or taking medications is wrong.*
Goertz CM, Long CR, Vining RD, Pohlman KA, Walter J, Coulter I. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back Pain: A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(1):e180105. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0105