If you suffer from acute lower back pain, manual chiropractic adjustments and medication are two of your treatment options.
Taking pain medication is easier than scheduling visits to a local chiropractor, but going the simpler route may not be in your best interests. According to a study published in the journal Spine, manual chiropractic adjustments, otherwise known as spinal manipulation therapy, can be a more effective treatment for acute pain in the lower back than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Comparing Treatment Options
Researchers divided patients with acute lower back pain into three groups:
- Spinal manipulation: The members of this group received standardized chiropractic adjustments along with a placebo pain medication.
- Medication: These patients received three daily doses of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in addition to sham spinal manipulation.
- Placebo: This group received placebo medication and sham spinal manipulation.
To compare the treatment results, researchers asked patients to rate their level of disability and their ability to function both at the beginning of the study and after 12 weeks. The amount of time each patient had to take off work and how often rescue medication was necessary both before and after the study were also considered.
Results of the Research Study
First of all, chiropractic adjustments and pain medication were both found to be more effective than the placebo medication and sham spinal manipulation. In fact, the placebo portion of the study ended early due to the patients’ intense pain.
The researchers also determined that patients in the group receiving standardized chiropractic treatment enjoyed a superior quality of life than those taking pain medication. As the basis for this finding, the study points to the patients’ lower scores for self-reported disability and their lower levels of back pain.
Should You Consider Chiropractic Treatment?
Looking at the results of this particular research study, spinal manipulation may be a more effective treatment than medication for patients with acute pain in the lower back.
However, no single treatment is right for everyone. Few studies have compared chiropractic adjustments with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and achieving pain relief may require a multi-disciplined approach. For example, some patients benefit from spinal manipulation along with massage therapy, while others achieve relief through instrument-assisted adjustments, muscle relaxants and heat therapy.
To find out if manual chiropractic adjustments can help resolve your acute lower back pain, consult with an experienced local chiropractor – like the team at Foundation Chiropractic.
At Foundation Chiropractic, we employ a range of therapies and scientifically-based spinal manipulation techniques to alleviate pain and restore function. Our chiropractors have the expertise to evaluate your symptoms and create an effective treatment plan.
Foundation Chiropractic serves patients throughout the greater Salt Lake City area. Contact our Orem, Utah, office today and schedule a consultation to determine whether manual chiropractic adjustments can relieve your acute lower back pain.