Back Pain: Chiropractic Care First, Medicine Second, Surgery Last

It looks like there’s a new mantra for some health experts when it comes to treating back pain: chiropractic care first, medicine second and surgery last.

According to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States. However, many people suffering from the pain already know first-hand that traditional treatments—costly and painful surgery, steroid injections and potentially addictive prescription medicines—can result in serious complications and negative side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

However, other treatment possibilities are gaining ground. Chiropractic care is increasingly viewed by physicians and researchers as a potentially safer alternative.

“Chiropractic care is fast becoming the first option in providing a drug-free, non-invasive approach to effectively manage back pain,” says Dr. Gerard Clum, a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. “Its conservative approach, which includes manual and/or instrument spinal care, postural advice, exercise and stretching counsel—along with general lifestyle suggestions—holds the potential to help individuals avoid the negative outcomes of the routine approach to back pain problems while enhancing their search for a pain-free way of life.”

In fact, a recent study on Washington State workers who had experienced job-related back injuries was conducted by institutions like Dart- mouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine. For the participants whose first provider was a chiropractor, the study documented that, in cases of equal severity, the likelihood of needing surgery was 25 times less than when a surgeon was the first consultant.

To learn more about using chiropractic care as a first response to treat back pain, visit

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