Hands-on chiropractic care is significantly more effective in the weeks immediately after incurring a back injury than usual medical care, according to a new US study.
Lower Back Pain is one of Australia's most common medical problems and traditional approaches such as taking pain relief tablets and having a good lie down simply don't work as well as Chiropractic health care, the research has found.
"Government statistics show about 80% of Victorians are likely to experience back pain at some stage in their lives and for around 10% it will become a disability, so it's really critical that people understand the best mainstream health care option for back pain is to visit a Chiropractors' Association of Australia-registered chiropractor," the Victorian President of the Chiropractors Association of Australia, Dr Anthony Coxon said.
"Anyone who has hurt their back in the garden, or on the sporting field or just getting out of bed one morning, will know just how important it is to get better as quickly as possible.
"This research shows that hands on chiropractic adjustments are more effective than other forms of care in that first month after you have injured your back."
The research, published in the journal Spine, found that manual chiropractic health care, involving hands on or 'thrust' manipulation, was significantly more effective than chiropractic care applied using a mechanical 'activator' device or conventional medical treatment after four weeks of care. The progress of patients was evaluated again at after three months and again after six months, and at both these points, the patient outcomes were similar to each other.
"This is the third paper published over the last two years demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic health care for acute back pain when compared with anti-inflammatory drugs and with conventional medical treatments," Dr Coxon said.
"Chiropractic care improves recovery time by reducing pain and disability for acute low back pain compared to usual medical care and common anti-inflammatories.
"We are learning more about reducing the incidence and effects of spinal pain all the time and that research consistently shows the value of chiropractic health care.
"For example, there used to be a view that if you took some tablets and tried to ignore it, back pain would normally go away by itself after 6 to 8 weeks, but research published in 2013 found that 40-70% of people still have pain 12 months after they initially hurt their back.
"No-one in our community would want their fellow Victorians to suffer serious back pain simply because they didn't know chiropractic health care can be the most effective treatment. It's important to build awareness that chiropractic health care is a valuable mainstream health care choice that they can use."