Back Pain

United Joint & Spine Center treats back pain by using different approaches that have been scientifically proven to be effective. The back is made up of three areas the lower back, mid back and neck. This section discusses the lower back and mid back areas of the spine. Many patients initially visit a chiropractor looking for relief from lower back pain. In fact, about 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time.

Facts about Back Pain

Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities. 2
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. 3
Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year—that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the country. 4
Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.5
Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly.5
Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.6
Chiropractic has a 93% satisfaction rate for lower back pain.
Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.6
Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.7
Most people with low back pain recover, however reoccurrence is common and for small percentage of people the condition will become chronic and disabling.7
Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.7
Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year 8 —add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.9
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Did You Know

What Causes Lower Back Pain and Mid back Pain?

The back is a complex structure that includes joints, ligaments, and muscles. Common injuries that occur in back are sprained ligaments, strained muscles, herniated/bulging disks, and irritated joints, all of which can lead to lower back pain and/or mid back pain. 

Causes of lower back pain and /or mid back pain range from sports injuries (golf, tennis and pickleball), auto accidents or falls. In fact, simple movements such as bending or twisting or even sitting for long periods of time can cause back pain. Additional caused of back pain include arthritis, poor posture, emotional and environmental stressors

Back Pain and the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has led many respected health groups to reconsider the value of a conservative approach to low back pain (the most common condition for which opioids are prescribed). Most notably, the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical-specialty society in the world, updated its low back pain treatment guideline in 2017 to support a conservative approach to care.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies, the ACP guideline includes spinal manipulation also known as a chiropractic adjustment as a noninvasive, nondrug treatment option for lower back pain. According to ACP, prescription opioids should be a last resort for those suffering from low back pain, as the risk of addiction and overdose may outweigh the benefits.

There Is Good News

Research Supports Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation

With today’s growing emphasis on quality care, clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving increased attention. The epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has also led to wider acknowledgment of the benefits of nondrug approaches to pain. Spinal manipulation is a safe and effective nondrug spine pain treatment. It reduces pain (decreasing the need for medication in some cases), rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.10
A growing body of research supports spinal manipulation:
  • After an extensive study of all available care for low back problems, the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality) recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.11
  • A well-respected review of the evidence in the Annals of Internal Medicine pointed to chiropractic care as one of the major nondrug therapies considered effective for acute and chronic low back pain.12
  • According to an article in the medical journal Spine, there is strong evidence that spinal manipulation for back pain is just as effective as a combination of medical care and exercise, and there is moderate evidence that it is just as effective as prescription NSAIDS combined with exercise.13
  • An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.14;
  • More recently, the results of a clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open showed that chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone. The study, which featured 750 active-duty members of the military, is one of the largest comparative effectiveness trials between usual medical care and chiropractic care ever conducted.15

View all references here.

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