NIH Lecture on Back Pain
Written by Craig Benton, DC   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 03:41 PM

Manipulating the Pain: Chiropractic and Other “Alternative” Treatments for Back Pain

In this video which is about an hour long and by one of the leading researchers in back pain speaking to the National Institutes of Health on complementary medicine.  It was recorded in April 2014.

Briefly here are some of the facts:

  • 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain (this is more people than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined)
  • This accounts for over $635 Billion/year in treatment and lost productivity.
  • Consumer report in 2013 report on treatment of lower back pain and percentage of patients who were complete or very satisfied with their care
    • Chiro                      59%
    • PT                          55%
    • Acupuncture           53%
    • MD specialist          44%
    • PCP                        34%
  • Lower back pain rates of complications from spinal manipulation are about 1 in 100 million.  He wishes his NSAID, muscle relaxants, or opiods were that safe. 
  • Opinion: chiropractic is low tech, labor intensive (requiring many visits), but much safer than usual medical care.

They also found that CAM users were healthier, better educated, and had better insurance than those that did not use CAM.

His conclusions on treatment of uncomplicated LBP

  • No worse than usual care and maybe better response
  • Much safer treatment
  • “Healing power of touch” may be useful
  • Growing acceptance by medical profession
  • Reasonable choice for lower back pain patients
  • More durable effects may require long term exercises and cognitive behavior therapy.