Many people choose us at Campbell Chiropractic for our natural and drugless solutions to common aches and pains but why? Why is it so smart to decide to go to the chiropractor for neck pain and back pain?
First, we need to understand what pain really is.
Pain is your body requesting a change, and notifying you of a problem. Think of the warning lights on the dash of your car (service engine soon, low fuel, check engine, low battery, etc.). Symptoms of all kinds are bio-feedback systems to guide our conscious brain to make better choices to return our body-mind to a state of improved health. Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is when a disease progresses without any symptoms what so ever. This silent progression of disease (like cavities, cancer, heart disease, sand spinal decay) is why routine checkups with dentists, PCPs, and Chiropractors are vital to long term health and well-being.
Neck pain and back pain is particularly concerning for several reasons…
- Neck pain and Back pain is only the tip of the iceberg.
- Neck pain and Back pain are indicators of declining overall health and well-being.
- Taking drugs to numb neck/back pain leads to more significant issues.
- Exercise alone can often make neck and back problems worse. (coming 6-1)
Neck pain and back pain: the tip of the iceberg.
Many people seek to attack and eliminate pain like it’s the actual cause of ill health or sickness when in fact pain is only a SYMPTOM or EFFECT of an underlying CAUSE. When we numb ourselves to a certain symptom, we only become sicker and more diseased because we allow the underlying cause to progress and worsen.
Think of another symptom in your body. Say hunger, your stomach is growling and you feel faint from low blood sugar. Would you take a drug to reduce your hunger and fatigue symptoms so you can carry on… No, you wouldn’t, you would choose to eat a meal or have a snack. This choice is congruent with natural health and well-being. Your body expressed a symptom, hunger, your conscious brain then decided to make a healthy decision to address the true cause of that symptom. After you addressed the actual cause of your hunger your symptoms of hunger regressed. We should choose to address pain in the same way.
However, pain, unlike hunger, is often only the tip of the iceberg and a sign of deeper underlying health issues. Skipping a meal or two, could benefit some people (myself included) but ignoring or numbing pain is never a good idea for anyone, we should always seek the cause and address it.
Often spine pain is the result of a previously silent and worsening condition… Subluxation. Subluxation first occurs silently when bones of the spine become misaligned from stress to the body. The stress could be physical (sitting too long), chemical (lack of key nutrients), or mental (bad day at work). These stresses create misalignments in the spine. When the Subluxations are not quickly addressed, they lead to increased wear and tear and eventually spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
The silent progression of spinal decay, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease have been found in numerous studies. One study looked at over 3000 people without any spine pain of varying ages (from ’20s to ’80s) and found that 37% of twenty-year-olds already had disc degeneration1. The silent progression of spinal decay is why it is so smart to get checked by a chiropractor before experiencing pain, and if pain is already present you should go to the chiropractor right away.
Spine pain in particular is an indicator of an overall declining health condition.
This was demonstrated in two separate 2015 studies assessing over 1000 people2,3. The studies first determined the presence of neck pain or back pain, a 6 month follow up was used to determine if those with neck and back pain were recovering (no treatment was provided), stayed the same or worsened. The studies also assessed their overall quality of life. The European Spine Journal found not only did untreated neck or back pain worsen, it negatively impacted overall quality of life.
Natural and Drugless solutions like good chiropractic care should be your first line of defense for neck pain and back pain.
Pain is caused by something, and that something is not a deficiency in Tylenol, aspirin, or even turmeric. As the studies above indicate we should seek the true cause and correct it. From time to time, yes, we do need drug interventions to manage pain, but these interventions should not be performed in isolation or as the primary means of care. This is because they do not address the underlying cause of the problem. In fact, when we become dependent on drugs to get through our day this can lead to significant regression, dangerous side-effects, and the prescription of more powerful narcotic and opioid medications. When chiropractic is utilized the rates of prescription of opioid medication drop dramatically. A 2020 Pain Medicine study found that patients who choose Chiropractic Care were 64% less likely to be prescribed an opiate medication.4
Why simple stretching is not enough for the treatment of neck pain and back pain, and can even make things worse…
Much like driving a car that is not aligned properly will cause increased wear and tear to tires, struts, brake pads and other components. Beginning a new exercise program or stretching protocol for a subluxated or misaligned spine will cause increased wear and tear which can lead to the progression of spinal decay and arthritis.
Back to the car example with poor tire alignment, if your car started to pull to the right while your driving and your mechanic points out to you that your tire wear is uneven. Both of these indicate poor alignment. You wouldn’t then try to go race the car around a special track to magically realign the wheels, nor would you try to pull and stretch on the tire that is worn down. To correct the problem, you would take your car to the mechanic he/she would measure the car and then perform a specific vehicle alignment. This is exactly what a chiropractor does with your spine.
Chiropractic has been proven to be the most effective means of conservative care for spine pain in countless patients and in many studies. A 2015 Systematic Review that assessed the cost-effectiveness of Chiropractic care vs Medical care (Drugs and Physical Therapy) reviewed over 25 separate research studies conducted over a 22-year period and 36 280 patient encounters. The review of studies found that the savings of chiropractic patients were on average $1353 or 40% less than standard medical care. “Overall, cost comparison studies from private health plans and WC [work compensation] plans reported that health care costs were lower with chiropractic care.”5
If you suffering from neck pain and back pain, you’re making a great decision to get started with us! Check out our new patient special… Here
- Brinjikji W, Luetmer PH, Comstock B, et al. Systematic literature review of imaging features of spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015;36(4):811‐816. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A4173
- Nolet PS, Côté P, Kristman VL, Rezai M, Carroll LJ, Cassidy JD. Is neck pain associated with worse health-related quality of life 6 months later? A population-based cohort study. Spine J. 2015;15(4):675‐684. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.12.009
- Nolet PS, Kristman VL, Côté P, Carroll LJ, Cassidy JD. Is low back pain associated with worse health-related quality of life 6 months later?. Eur Spine J. 2015;24(3):458‐466. doi:10.1007/s00586-014-3649-4
- Corcoran KL, Bastian LA, Gunderson CG, Steffens C, Brackett A, Lisi AJ. Association Between Chiropractic Use and Opioid Receipt Among Patients with Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pain Med. 2020;21(2):e139‐e145. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz219
- Dagenais S, Brady O, Haldeman S, Manga P. A systematic review comparing the costs of chiropractic care to other interventions for spine pain in the United States. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015;15:474. Published 2015 Oct 19. doi:10.1186/s12913-015-1140-5