BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A recent study suggests a possibly effective and drug-free solution for back pain. Spinal manipulation might ease lower back pain and the patients would no longer have to resort to powerful drugs, which usually get them addicted. The study looked at how the pain improved after such therapy.
For this research, published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), scientists collected data from 26 previous studies which involved more than 1,700 participants. What they discovered was the fact than spinal manipulation might indeed be effective in alleviating lower back pain.
Spinal manipulation, the same effects as mild painkillers
Spinal manipulation is a way to reduce back pain from a low to a moderate extent. This practice can be performed by physicians or chiropractors and it basically consists of pressure applied on the spine. Since this area of the back is often affected, this kind of therapy is safe and effective if it is performed by a professional.
Usually, patients who received spinal manipulation feel a decrease in their pain level by 1 point. This represents almost the same effect that certain pain medication, such as ibuprofen, has. Sometimes, this practice might lead to complications if the nerves get tangled. However, this happens quite rarely and it is not clear if the manipulation is the direct causer.
What does spinal manipulation mean?
During this practice, physicians change the place of certain joints in the spine so that they might take the pain away. It either repositions the material between the vertebrae or relaxes the muscles, but both actions relieve pain in the patient.
Other treatments for lower back pain are massage, oral or injected drugs, acupuncture, surgery, or corsets. However, Dr. Richard Deyo, professor at the Health and Science University from Oregon, claims that the most effective one is spinal manipulation. This form of therapy is more advisable than automatically resorting to painkillers when experiencing back pain.
Painkillers have adverse effects. If taken regularly, they might lead to gastric problems or a higher blood pressure. Moreover, if they belong to the stronger type called opioids, the patient might become addicted.
Thus, the study showed that spinal manipulation can relieve lower back pain up to a moderate extent. After six weeks of treatment, patients show great improvements in their condition and no longer need to take medication.
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