How is America Dealing With the Low Back Pain Crisis
Low back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work days in the United States today. How we as a population learn to deal with this health crisis could make or break our delicate economy. Thankfully most Americans have found the best way to recovery and functionally return to a productive member of the work force.
Back pain is the leading cause of disability for Americans under age 45. Eight out of ten adults in the United States will experience a low back problem at some time in their lives. Most will have more than one episode of acute low back pain. One third will be disabled for more than two weeks because of back pain. With back problems so wide-spread, chances are, you too will experience back problems at some time.
Standard medical management of back pain includes a range of treatments depending on the severity of the problem. Painkillers and muscle relaxers are commonly prescribed. Bed rest, physical therapies such as traction, and hospitalization are sometimes used. When the condition doesn't improve or even worsens, surgery may be performed. However, scientific investigation has proven, these approaches are expensive and often fail to produce favorable results.
The fact is, a 1994 report from the federal government's Agency for Health Care Policy and Research concluded that chiropractic care is the safest, drug-free initial form of treatment for acute low back problems in adults. The study also recommended that for most patients, conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued before surgical intervention is considered.
Evidence---and the experiences of millions of chiropractic patients---suggests that spinal manipulation is, in many cases, the most effective approach to reducing pain and helping recovery, especially within the first month of symptoms.
Even with today's advanced diagnostic techniques, it is difficult to pinpoint the specific cause of low back pain in any one patient. Often, the symptoms are blamed on poor muscle tone in the back, muscle tension or spasm, sprains, ligament or muscle tears, or vertebral problems. Because our vertebrae protect the nerves which are channeled through the spinal column, even a small disturbance to the spine can profoundly affect delicate nerve tissue.
The scientifically accepted model for low back pain is now the functional model. This means that most experts agree that low back pain is usually caused by the bodies reaction to abnormal movements of the joint of the spine. The structural model that was previously used fell short in many cases. Cutting out or repairing a damaged component in the spine often did little to relieve the patients pain and often time made the problems worse due to scar tissue formation. Research show us that over 60% of the normal population has bulging damaged spinal discs, with no apparent symptoms.
The functional model is what chiropractors have been following since chiropractic was discovered over 100 years ago. As a madder of fact the main type of treatment that chiropractors use to treat low back pain is spinal manipulation which has bee used for centuries by cultures like the Chinese. So if you have low back pain you should give some serious thought to finding a quality chiropractor to treat you.