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Studies Show New Ways to Treat Back Pain

Your chiropractic physicians at The Medical Group of South Florida hear it every day: “Oh, my aching back!” Often sufferers have tried every avenue medical science has to offer, from pain drugs to cortisone injections to traction. Some come to us on the verge of surgery. Some have even gone that route without relief.

Fortunately, the medical community has begun to take a new view of the best ways to treat chronic back pain bolstered by more and more studies that seem to show the conservative, holistic approach will often yield the best results.

One of the most recent was performed at Boston Medical Center and involved 320 adults over 12 weeks with moderate to severe chronic lower back pain. The participants, averaging age 46, were divided into three groups: one group received standard physical therapy; one was given a self-help book and other informational literature, along with periodic phone check-ins; the third group was assigned to participate in weekly yoga classes along with home practice. The study continued for an additional nine months and, at the end, the physical therapy group and the yoga group showed more ability to function than the third group. They were also more likely to have stopped their pain medication.

Dr. Robert Saper, one of the study authors, told CBS news that yoga likely works by strengthening core and lower back muscles and helping with mind-body relaxation.

Another study earlier this year prompted the American College of Physicians (ACP) to issue new guidelines urging that non-drug treatments should be the first line of attack when treating chronic back pain. Their recommendations for such treatments included heat wraps, massage, acupuncture, and spinal adjustment, or manipulation, as performed by chiropractors at MGSFL, where the goal is to correct structural alignment that may be at the root of back pain.

For pain that continues longer than three months, the ACP still resisted a drug-treatment approach. For longer-term pain, they recommended yoga, tai chi, or other stretching and strengthening exercises, acupuncture, and meditation or other relaxation techniques to relieve stress. Other treatment approaches your chiropractor may recommend include dietary changes or supplements, nutritional supplements, or electrical stimulation.

In our current environment, when so much attention is focused on the opioid epidemic, anything that promises relief of pain without resorting to drugs is something that should be explored as a first resort.

Nearly 18 million adults and two million children receive chiropractic treatment for pain therapy every year. The advantage of receiving chiropractic care at MGSFL is that we practice in the same facility as your other physicians, and can coordinate your care across a wide range of disciplines.

If you’re suffering from back pain, let us know. We can devise a holistic approach to the problem that can open up a whole new life for you.