Which Of These Chronic Low Back Pain
Treatments Is More Effective?
For patients with chronic low back pain, treatment guidelines recommend a non-surgical approach as the FIRST-LINE treatment. Ideally, the goal would be to avoid an initial surgery unless it’s absolutely indicated.
That means, unless there is loss of bowel or bladder control or retention (which represents a medical emergency) or if there is progressive neurological motor and sensory loss, one can safely avoid surgery and conservatively manage the condition.
Interestingly enough, a systematic review of the results from three randomized controlled studies carried out in Norway and the United Kingdom found that the outcomes or results between the surgical fusion vs. non-surgical treatment of patients with chronic low back pain showed NO DIFFERENCE at an 11-year follow-up!
Studies have shown chiropractic to be highly beneficial for acute and chronic low back pain cases. In one study, researchers reviewed data on 72,326 chronic low back pain patients in the Medicare system who received one of four possible treatment combinations between 2006 and 2012:
Group 1: Chiropractic only
Group 2: Chiropractic followed by conventional medical care
Group 3: Conventional medical care followed by chiropractic care
Group 4: Conventional medical care alone
The research team found that chiropractic care alone (group 1) resulted in the lowest costs, and these patients had lower rates of back surgery and shorter episodes of care.
The group receiving conventional medical care alone (group 4) had the highest costs, with the second and third groups being similar—both costing less and being more effective than conventional medical care alone.
The conclusion of the study reads, “These findings support initial chiropractic manipulative therapy use in the treatment of, and possibly broader chiropractic management of, older multiply-comorbid chronic low back pain patients.”
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