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Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 248-7960

Back Pain: Should I See a Chiropractor or an MD

The Difference in Effectiveness of Medical vs. Chiropractic In The Treatment of Acute and Chronic Back Pain

bigstock_Back_Pain_Concept_14697167 Have you ever contemplated who is the most effective suited to treat back pain? Since there are so many treatment solutions available today, it is very challenging to make this determination without a little advice.

To assist in, a study assessing this very question compared the effectiveness between medical and chiropractic treatments. Over a 4-year period, 2780 patients were assessed with questionnaires. Low Back Pain patients were treated using traditional approaches by both MDs (Medical Doctors) and DCs (Doctors of Chiropractic).

Chiropractic treatments included spinal manipulation, physical therapy, an exercise program, and self-care education. Medical therapies included prescription drugs, an exercise program, self-care advice and about 25 % of the patients received physical therapy.

The study concentrated on present pain degree and functional disability (activity interference) measured by questionnaires mailed to the patients. It was disclosed that chiropractic was favored over medical treatment in the following areas:.

  • Pain relief in the first 12 months (more evident in the chronic patients).
  • When low back pain radiated below the knee (more evident in the chronic patients).
  •  Long term LBP patients with no leg pain (during the first 3 months).

Very similar trends leaning toward chiropractic were seen for impairment but were of smaller significance. All patient groups saw significant progress in both pain and disability over the four year study period.

Acute patients saw the best degree of improvement with numerous having symptom alleviation after 12 weeks of care.

This study also found earlier intervention reduced chronic pain and, at year 3, those acute LBP sufferers who received early intervention declared fewer days of LBP than those who waited longer for treatment.

While both MDs and DCs treatment approaches helped, it’s quite clear from the information reported that chiropractic should be utilized.

These results sustain the value of early intervention by chiropractic physicians and make most sense for those of you debating the question of who to see for your low back pain.

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