Low back pain affects an estimated 80 per cent of Americans at some point in their lives severely enough that they seek medical attention – either though a medical doctor or a chiropractor.
Who Conducted the Study?
The study was reported in a division of the British Medical Journal called BMJ Open.
How Was the Study Conducted?
101 million patient records from a U.S. health records network were screened. Of these an 11,000 patient records were selected because these patients had either a herniation of a low back disc or shooting pain/numbness down one leg (sciatica). These 11,000 were divided into two equally sized groups, based on whether the patients had received chiropractic or another type of care.
What did the Study Reveal?
The study looked at these 11,000 patients at both one- and two-years after they first sought care for their low back complaint. The authors found that those patients who had been seen by a chiropractor were significantly less likely to have gone on to have surgery.
What is the Take Home Message?
The authors of their study concluded, “We suggest our findings may be explained by pain relief afforded by chiropractic care. Previous studies have shown that patients suffering from these low back conditions have good prognosis with at least half the patients experiencing significant relief in the first 3-12 months. As most patients who have surgery will undergo it within 2-12 months of symptom onset, we suggest initial pain relief afforded by chiropractic care could allow patients to avoid surgery within this early critical period.”
Yours for Better Health,
Jon Mills, DC