Maintenance for Chronic Lower Back Pain
By Dr. Chris Gubbels
It’s a question that patients who experience chronic lower back pain ask when they no longer experience pain and have regained adequate motion range:
Do I need to go back for spinal adjustments if I feel OK?
It’s a legitimate question. After all, if the problem that led you to a chiropractic physician is gone, why would you continue going? At first blush, it may seem like a waste of money and time.
Yet research suggests that failing to pursue a maintenance program not only increases the likelihood that lower back pain will re-occur, but that it will re-occur sooner.
What Does Research Say?
A study published in the medical journal Spine suggests that spinal manipulation (SM) following intensive manipulation therapy helps chronic nonspecific low back pain long term.
Researchers studied sixty people experiencing lower back pain for at least six months. The sixty patients were divided into three categories:
- A group that received twelve placebo SMT treatments over one month
- A group that received one month of SMT without subsequent treatments for nine months
- A group that received one month of SMT along with maintenance therapy administered every two weeks for nine months.
The result? The second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores than the first group. The only group that showed more improvement in pain and disability scores was the third group, which received maintenance treatment for nine months.
The Long-Term Benefit of Manipulative Therapy
A maintained spinal manipulation plan prescribed by your chiropractic physician will help prevent a reoccurrence of low back pain. Coupled with a general fitness plan, patients who have experienced chronic low back pain can expect to live an active, pain-free life.
Dr. Chris Gubbels local chiropractor Fort Collins, Colorado. He has been published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science and is a member of the International Chiropractic Association and the Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment. He is advanced certified in Chiropractic Biophysics. He run a busy Fort Collins Chiropractic practice specializing in personal injury and scoliosis treatments.
- Senna, Mohammed K., MD; Machaly, Shereen A., MD. Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome? Spine: August 15, 2011;36(18):1427-1437