You may be able to avoid surgery for back pain, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  The article was written to educate the public about back pain, and suggested that patients seek chiropractic and other conservative back-pain treatment before taking more invasive measures. The article notes that surgery is not usually needed for treating back pain and should only be considered when other conservative methods fail.

This recommendation reinforces what the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) teaches patients, as well. It is best to avoid surgery for back pain; instead, chiropractic should be the first line of defense against musculoskeletal pain.

Why Chiropractic?

The article has been published online on the JAMA patient page titled "Low Back Pain," and discusses the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and prevention of low-back pain. The doctors who wrote the article go on to explain that the back is comprised of bones, nerves, muscles, and soft tissues like ligaments and tendons. Back pain can be a result of problems with any of these structures. Because chiropractors are neuro-musculoskeletal experts, they are well equipped to manage and prevent low-back pain.

In an interview about the JAMA article, ACA President Keith Overland, DC, said that he and his colleagues at ACA were encouraged to see chiropractic suggested for back-pain treatment. He confirmed that in many cases, back pain can be alleviated without the use of drugs or surgery, "so it makes sense to exhaust conservative options first."

Another reason to avoid surgery for back pain is related to cost of care.  savings.  Chiropractic costs less than conventional health care so it makes sense for reducing health-care costs. Dr. Overland went on to say, "Research confirms that the services provided by chiropractic physicians are not only clinically effective but also cost-effective, so taking a more conservative approach at the onset of low back pain can also potentially save both patients and the health care system money down the line."

If you have low-back pain, follow the advice of these reputable medical communities. See a chiropractor first. If you live in the Raleigh, NC area, contact Patrick Chiropractic at 919-790-2288 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dale Patrick.


American Chiropractic Association. JAMA suggests chiropractic for low back pain. Businesswire May 8, 2013.

Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low back pain. JAMA Patient Page April 24, 2013; 309(16): 1738. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.3046.


Article provided by Ernst Chiropractic editorial staff


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