Head-to-Head: Chiropractic Adjustments or NSAIDs for Acute Lower Back Pain?

chiropractor in Wilmington NCLower back pain (LBP) is so widespread that it was listed in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease report as being the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Over half of all working Americans have lower back pain symptoms each year, resulting in lost work time and enormous expense – Americans spend over $50 billion each year to treat their back pain.

So it’s not surprising that a great deal of research is being conducted to determine the most effective methods for treating acute LBP. Much of this research has sought to compare the effectiveness of spinal manipulation (the sort of adjustments performed by Doctors of Chiropractic) with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While these studies have generally not produced definitive findings one way or the other, they have served to highlight potential safety concerns related to NSAIDs. For example, investigators in one study found that diclofenac (an NSAID commonly used to treat LBP) increased the risk of gastrointestinal complications by 54% and posed other risks to the kidneys.

Given the added concern about NSAID side effects, researchers and clinicians have had a renewed interest in learning whether drug-free manual therapies—chiropractic care, in particular—can really be just as effective, but safer. According to a recent study published in the April 2013 edition of the journal Spine, the answer is YES!  In fact, the research team that conducted the study found that chiropractic adjustments were both safer and FAR MORE EFFECTIVE.

In this study, investigators divided a total of 101 patients suffering from acute lower back pain into three groups. One group received chiropractic spinal manipulation plus a placebo (sham) version of the NSAID diclofenac (meaning that the only treatment actually being offered was chiropractic care). A second group received sham spinal manipulation and real diclofenac (meaning that the NSAID was the only treatment being employed). And a third group received the same sham spinal manipulation plus placebo diclofenac (meaning that no treatment was actually being offered – this was the “control group”). All treatments were “blinded,” meaning that the patients did not know whether they were receiving real or sham spinal manipulation or real or placebo diclofenac. Outcomes were measured based on a combination of patient self-reporting, physical examination, missed work time, and the amount of rescue medication (paracetamol tablets) participants required over a 12-week period.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, about half of the participants in the “control” group receiving no treatment dropped out of the study because of intolerable pain. Comparing the remaining no-intervention subjects and the two remaining intervention groups, researchers found that the group receiving chiropractic high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) manipulation fared significantly better than the group being treated with diclofenac and the control group.

Researchers reported a clear difference between the two intervention groups: “The groups receiving spinal manipulation showed a faster and more distinct reduction in the RMS [root mean square, a standardized test of flexibility and mobility]. Subjects also noted a faster and quantitatively more distinct reduction in their subjective estimation of pain after manipulation.” They also found that the group treated only with the NSAID diclofenac required more rescue medication (paracetamol) than the spinal manipulation group, taking 3 times as many tablets and for twice the number of days. No negative effects were reported from the spinal manipulation group, but several negative effects were reported from the diclofenac group.

So, overall, this study indicates a clear “win” for chiropractic in the treatment of acute lower back pain. Not only does HVLA spinal manipulation avoid the potential safety concerns of NSAID medications such as diclofenac, it has been found to be far more effective. Remember this the next time you experience lower back pain, and consider seeing your chiropractor first. This one simple decision may help you recover more quickly and more completely while also helping you avoid the negative side effects of NSAIDs.

Contact Southeastern Healthcare for Back or Neck Pain Relief!

Seeing a chiropractor for neck or back pain is a good idea, since he or she can help identify injuries and start treatment promptly. If you have neck or back pain Wilmington NC, contact Southeastern Healthcare today! Schedule an appointment for a free consultation to see how we can help solve your pain.

Chiropractic Care Reduces Golf Injuries and Improves Player Performance

 

With warmer weather on the way, more and more golfers will be heading out to the greens to play the game they love so dearly. But, golf is a game that can take a toll on the player. Every year, our chiropractor in Wilmington treats hundreds of golfers with strained joints, lower back pain, sore muscles, and other problems.

The thing is – many of these injuries could have been avoided had they visited the chiropractor before the injury was sustained. According to a recent study performed by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), chiropractic expertise can not only help you avoid golf injuries; it can actually improve your game.

Increase Your Drive by 10% With Chiropractic Care

In the Titleist Performance Institute study, it was discovered that using a combination of pre-play stretching along with chiropractic care enabled golfers to increase their drive distance by nearly 10%. But, this is not exactly news to some of the world’s top golfers. Both Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington have been practicing these techniques for years.

Chiropractic care is directly related to improving one’s golf game because chiropractors can actually help golfers identify and correct physical limitations that may be adversely affecting their swings. In TPI’s study, two groups of golfers were compared: one group that practiced only stretching exercises, and the other practicing stretching exercises along with chiropractic spinal adjustments. Both groups performed three full swing maneuvers before and after each treatment, and the driving distances they achieved were recorded. After four weeks, the group that did only stretching exercises showed no improvement in swing performance. But, it was discovered that the group that stretched and received chiropractic care was able to achieve greater driving distances after each treatment.

About the Titleist Performance Institute

The Titleist Performance Institute is sponsored by one of the golfing world’s most prominent and respected manufacturers of golf equipment and apparel. Since it was founded in 2003, the Institute has focused on studying how the human body functions in relation to golf. As such, it has determined that chiropractors have a unique perspective and treatment expertise that can help golfers maximize performance and avoid injury. This is due to the fact that chiropractors, more than most other healthcare practitioners, have a thorough understanding of human biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system. Currently, there are over 9,000 TPI-certified chiropractors in 57 countries.

If You’re a Golfer, Let Southeastern Chiropractor Wilmington Help You Improve Your Game

At Southeastern Chiropractic, we can help you improve your golf game with targeted treatments designed to help make you stronger and more flexible. Our expert chiropractic care will also help you recover faster while reducing pain and stiffness. If you want to take your golf game to the next level, call us today at 910-202-4341. We are here for you. Discover for yourself the difference that safe and effective chiropractic care can make. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.