What Does The National Institutes Of Health Have To Say About Spinal Manipulation?

Over the years, I have had many conversations with patients regarding findings on an X-ray or an MRI, and how they often do no completely explain the pain that they are feeling. Unfortunately, healthcare providers tend to get caught up in treating the pictures and tend to forget that we need to treat people! One of the common findings that we often see is Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). 

DDD is a very common diagnosis, and one that is often considered a disease of aging. That means that we will ALL experience some level of DDD if we are lucky enough to live long enough! DDD is one diagnosis that chiropractors encounter on a daily basis with our patients. As we grow older, the discs between the vertebrae in our lumbar spine, often begin to desiccate, which causes a change in the function at the level that is impacted. That change in function can cause an increase in the patient's pain levels. For many patients, this is not a surgical problem, but some may opt for a surgical intervention.

I recently came across some research that followed 96 patients to assess their outcomes, and compare the impacts of surgical vs. non-surgical treatments over a 5 year time frame. The conclusion of the article stated:

"Comparison of long-term outcomes for patients with back pain and concordant discography did not demonstrate a significant difference in outcomes measures of pain, health status, satisfaction, or disability based on whether the patient elected for fusion or non-operative treatment."

To read the abstract from the article please click on this image:

So the moral of the story is - Always begin treatment conservatively. Only after all other treatment options are exhausted do we consider surgery.
Movement is my Medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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