Back Pain
From a recent Consumer Reports survey (May 2009):

The survey, which included 14,000 Consumer Reports subscribers, found that “hands-on” therapies, led by chiropractic care, were the top-rated treatments for people suffering from back pain. In fact, chiropractors were given the highest “satisfaction with care” ratings, well above those given to medical doctors who administered various forms of care to back pain sufferers

The survey, reported in the publication’s May 2009 issue, found that more than half of the respondents had “pain (that) severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer, and 88 percent said it recurred throughout the year.” The report stated that while many go to a primary care physician first for diagnosis and treatment, the majority were disappointed with the results.

On the other hand, 59 percent reported that they were “highly satisfied” with the care they received from chiropractors. The next highest rated practitioners were physical therapists (55 percent) and acupuncturists (53 percent), followed by “specialized” physicians (44 percent) and primary care physicians (34 percent).

Respondents were also asked to rate the types of treatments they received. Again, chiropractic/spinal manipulation got top honors, with 58 percent rating it as “helping a lot.” Spinal injections were next highest, rated at 51 percent, followed by massage (48 percent) and physical therapy (46 percent). Other highly rated treatments included prescription medications (45 percent), yoga (44 percent), movement therapy and acupuncture (both 41 percent).

According to a Dynamic Chiropractic article on that report, “chiropractic ranked first out of 11 treatments, including massage, acupuncture, and exercise, in its ability to treat back pain. More readers said that chiropractic ‘helped me feel much better’ than any of the other therapies.” Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs ranked eighth and 10th, respectively.

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If you experience back pain, consult your doctor of chiropractic. More than 30 million Americans sought chiropractic care last year alone. Past studies have indicated that consumers are very happy with the chiropractic care they receive.

With a thorough knowledge of the structure and functioning of the human body, doctors of chiropractic make diagnoses and take steps to correct problems using spinal adjustments, dietary and lifestyle advice, and other natural tools. Spinal manipulation—the primary form of treatment performed by doctors of chiropractic—is a recommended option for back pain treatment, rated as such by many state and workers’ compensation guidelines.

Research has shown that manipulative therapy and spinal manipulation are not only safe and effective, but can cut costs and get workers back on the job faster than other treatments. A recent medical study has also pointed out that manual manipulation offers better short-term relief of chronic back pain than medication.