There was a time not that long ago when chiropractors were considered closer to snake oil salesmen than physicians by the mainstream medical community. A recent recommendation by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reflects the ever growing acknowledgement by doctors of the value of chiropractic care in overall wellness.
JAMA now strongly urges patients suffering from back pain to seek chiropractic care first before considering invasive, and much more costly, options. The conventional wisdom now is that surgery should only be considered if more conservative therapies, such as chiropractic treatments, fail. JAMA calls chiropractic care the rightful first line of defense because of its inherent safety and efficiency at relieving pain.
The JAMA’s recommendation follows a recent study presented in the medical journal Spine. In the study, patients suffering from lower back pain all received standard medical care (SMC) but then half of the participants also received additional treatments of chiropractic care. The researchers conducting the study found that in SMC plus chiropractic care patients, 73 percent reported that their pain was completely gone or significantly better after treatment. Just 17 percent of the group that only received standard medical care and no chiropractic treatments reported improvement.
Medically speaking, there are degrees of back pain. It can range from a dull, achy sensation to sharp, burning pain. It can also be accompanied by tingling sensation or numbness that can run down the patient’s leg. Such symptoms could be caused by a pinched nerve, which happens when the disc bulges out, creating extra pressure on the nerve positioned between the spinal bones.
Just as physicians specialize, chiropractors are neuro-musculoskeletal experts, which is why the JAMA recommends patients trust them to treat back pain and relieve nerve pressure. Treatment is only part of chiropractic care; prevention is also an important part of treatment to maintain overall health wellness. Your trained chiropractic practitioner can show patients how to properly maintain back health and prevent future spinal or muscular problems.
The JAMA’s recommendation that surgery should always be a last resort is based on medical experience. Invasive methods cost much more and come with much greater risks. There is also a much higher chance of failure.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is editorially independent from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the opinions expressed in the journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AMA.