Back pain is one of the most common causes of chronic pain across the world. Experts believe around 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at some point. Due to the fact that it is so common, there are many different forms of back pain treatment available. One of the most common options for back pain treatment is chiropractic care. The question is, is it effective?
Chiropractic care is a back pain treatment that focuses on aligning the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors focus on relieving their patients’ pain by moving the misaligned bone, joint, or muscle off of the affected nerve. To use back pain as an example, a chiropractor will adjust the spine to take pressure off of the nerves. Chronic pain is caused by a constant signal being sent from a nerve to the brain, and a chiropractor’s goal is to stop that signal.
No Recovery Period
Unlike surgery, there is no recovery period with chiropractic adjustments. The most “recovering” done by patients is occasional mild soreness the day after receiving an adjustment. This soreness does not occur after every adjustment, but it can happen if a lot of movement was done.
The fact that there is no recovery period with chiropractic care makes it risk-free for patients. They don’t have to endure an invasive surgery and several month-long recovery periods. Patients have the option to stop chiropractic care if they are displeased with their treatment. Chiropractic care is also much less expensive than back surgery, especially when it is covered by medical insurance. This is why it is recommended to try chiropractic care first, before deciding to undergo surgery.
Is it Effective?
There are multiple studies that prove chiropractic care to be effective. In one study, 57% of patients report their back pain was “better” or “much better”, while one third of patients seen by a family physician reported their back pain was worse than before. Chiropractic care can be a great solution for many people suffering from back pain. It is also a great starting point before committing to surgery.
Other Back Pain Treatment Options
Now that we have discussed chiropractic care and its effectiveness, let’s discuss other back pain treatment options. Depending on the patient and the cause of their pain, different treatment methods will be required. Not every treatment plan will work for every person or injury. This is why patients must evaluate the different options before committing to one treatment plan.
If a patient is suffering from chronic pain because of an injury they have sustained, surgery is often recommended by doctors of medicine. Surgery usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to multiple months to heal depending on the patient and their injury. As you may know, surgery can be very invasive and painful to undergo. This is why many people try other options before committing to surgery.
The challenge with back surgery is that it isn’t as effective as you may think. In one study, only 29% of patients who underwent back surgery reported feeling “much better” after their surgery. On top of this, none of the patients reported having no pain after their back surgery. In another study, 64% of patients were still taking opioid painkillers after their surgery to alleviate their pain. Surgery should be looked at as a last-resort for back pain treatment. Unless the patient requires emergency surgery as told by a doctor of medicine, they may want to try other treatment options.
A common treatment option for back pain are opioid painkillers. These prescription drugs are highly effective for stopping pain. This is why they are often prescribed to patients who just underwent surgery or have a severe injury. There are doctors of medicine who prescribe opioids to their patients who deal with chronic back pain, but the treatment period should only be for a short period.
Opioids may not be the right back pain treatment for you. Painkillers are highly addictive, as two million Americans struggled with an addiction to opioids in 2015. It is not recommended to take opioid painkillers for chronic pain, as your body will likely become dependent on them. If you are suffering from pain on a short-term basis, opioids can be an option for treatment under supervision of a licensed doctor. On the other hand, if you have been dealing with back pain for a long period of time, opioids should not be seen as a long-term solution.
Physical therapy offers a low-risk and non-invasive back pain treatment. A licensed physical therapist helps their patients build their muscles around their injury location. Patients will need to have regular appointments with their physical therapist to do their exercises and maintain muscle growth.
Of the treatment options on this list, physical therapy is most similar to chiropractic care. They both are inexpensive and non-invasive treatment options that do not have long recovery periods. Physical therapy is mostly focused on restoring the mobility and function of the body. Physical therapists also help their patients learn how to prevent injuries in the future. Patients usually need to continue their exercises once they are done with their physical therapy appointments.
Back Pain Treatment in Pensacola
If you are dealing with chronic back pain and would like to see a chiropractor in the Pensacola, Florida area, please feel free to contact us. Our office would be more than happy to help you get the back pain treatment you need.