While treatment options are many, solutions are but few!
31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time! Read that again. 10 percent of the population in the United States experiences low back pain every day! Unfortunately, that number is also on the rise!
Low back pain is already the single leading cause of disability worldwide, and also one of the most common causes of missed work! Shockingly, low back pain is the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor, just behind upper respiratory infection.
In the past few decades there have been significant improvements in technology and treatments aimed at eliminating low back pain. So why does the low back pain epidemic continue to rise? What is the solution moving forward?
A few years back, the New England Journal of Medicine posted an article on a comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and an educational booklet for the treatment of low back pain. The results fueled a lively debate among providers in regards to effective treatment for low back pain. Their conclusion found no difference in outcomes between low back pain patients being treated with chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy with McKenzie exercise, or the educational booklet! Future studies have also found similar conclusions!
These results can be demoralizing to those seeking help from low back pain!
So what are we doing wrong? It is highly likely we are not being specific enough with our diagnoses and treatment options! In all these studies, low back pain was being treated as a single entity with only one cause. In the aforementioned study, chiropractors diagnosed sprain or strain in half of the patients and facet syndrome in another 30 percent. Physical therapists diagnosed a disc derangement 92 percent of the time. Furthermore, these diagnoses are inconsistent with the expected percentages of each pathology.
What an incredible error! While this seems simple, a treatment applied must match the accurate diagnosis for the patient!
Adhesion, disc injuries, stenosis, nerve entrapment, strains/sprains, tears – all of these things cause pain. All of these items can be found in the low back. However, each of these items require different treatment options. All of these problems can be found at a chiropractic, physical therapy, or medical office.
While all of these problems can be found in the any of these clinics, most treatment is predetermined. Chiropractors are going to adjust, PT’s are going to stretch and strengthen, and MD’s are going to prescribe pills or provide cortisone. Treatment is applied, in most cases, without regard for the diagnosis.
If I were to ask you which is better – a knife, fork, or spoon – you may want to know what food you are eating. By analogy, if I were to ask you which treatment is better for low back pain -chiropractic, physical therapy, or an educational booklet – would you answer the question before knowing what is actually wrong with the patient?
In order for the low back pain epidemic to go away, we have to have providers be more specific with their care!
At Thrive Spine and Sport, we pride ourselves on finding the right solution for you! As the most advanced Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state of Iowa, we offer advanced diagnosis and treatment solutions. Most patients have seen multiple providers before finding their real cause and solution for their pain. Not everyone is right for our care, but patients leave our office knowing what is wrong and what needs to be done moving forward!
If you have been struggling with low back pain, we invite you to schedule a consult to meet with one of our highly trained doctors over your condition. Call 319-423-0925 or click below!