Back pain is one of the most common health problems people experience and most are confused what type of doctor to visit to best treat their problem. Most back pain sufferers reach for anti-inflammatory medication or visit their medical doctor for a more potent cocktail of pain killers, steroid drugs or muscle relaxers. The truth is, drugs do not get to the root of the problem. If you suffer from back pain, visiting a chiropractor is the best choice and there are plenty of studies to support your good decision.
Over the last several decades, research has shown active treatments, such a spinal adjustments and rehabilitative exercise are far superior to passive treatments, such as medication, acupuncture, other therapies, or no treatment at all.
Most recently, a study published in the prestigious orthopedic journal, Spine, compared spinal adjustments/manipulation to medication and placebo for low back pain. In this study, patients with acute low back pain (less than 48 hours duration) received either spinal adjustments, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called diclofenac, or placebo. The study found patients receiving spinal adjustments experienced a faster and greater reduction in pain as well as a greater reduction in disability (moving, walking, caring for oneself, etc.) compared to medication or placebo. Researchers also found patients experienced a better quality of life after receiving spinal adjustments.
One more interesting finding from this study was the use of rescue medication. All patients had the option of using a rescue medication if they experienced severe back pain during the study. The patients in the NSAID group took almost 3 times as many rescue medication tablets and the number of days requiring the tablets was almost twice as high compared to patients receiving adjustments.