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Chiropractic Care For Back Pain VS Oral Steroids And Muscle Relaxers

Currently there are three major treatments for dealing with chronic back pain and sciatica. These include oral steroid treatment, prescription of muscle relaxants, and chiropractic care. Recent research focused on the evidence based outcomes for each category of treatment has provided results showing that chiropractic treatment is the most effective.

Oral steroids are given by physicians under the assumption that back pain is caused by inflammation of the nerves at the base of the spine. Studies show that the use of oral steroids does have a positive effect on movement of the lower back when compared to a placebo over a period of 24 weeks. Pain, however, didn’t change. Initially, there was no difference between groups taking oral steroids and a placebo for the first six weeks of the study. After six weeks the functioning of the lower back, meaning its ability to move and flex, became better but pain remained. Beyond 24 weeks, however, improvement became less consistent. 

Muscle relaxants were also compared to chiropractic therapy in the management of lower back pain from sciatica. After two weeks of treatment a group being treated with chiropractic care showed better outcomes in pain relief than a group taking muscle relaxers. The fact that chiropractic treatment was more effective in pain relief than medication, and didn’t carry any dangerous addiction side effects along with it makes chiropractic care a safer and better method of treatment.

Chiropractic treatment of back pain works by manipulation of the spine. The chiropractor literally take their hands and gently applies force to the spine in order to correct misalignments in the vertebrae. These adjustments help to unstick ligaments that may have become adhered together. By clearing up areas that may have been constricted due to vertebral displacement, spinal adjustments also help blood to flow without obstruction into and around the spine which brings much needed nutrients to possibly undernourished spinal discs that act as shock absorbers for the back.

Research shows that there is a solid foundation of evidence for chiropractic care being the most effective method of treatment for back pain, yet it is not often recommended to patients by medical doctors. This is due to a misperception coming from chiropractic care’s early days when it was viewed with distrust by medical science which didn’t understand how it worked. A study has shown that patients with back pain showed 80 percent improvement under chiropractic care in just two weeks, with increases following at one month, ultimately resulting in 95 percent improvement in three months.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Keoni Cabral

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