Good Evening, Patients. Last week, (see previous email) we discussed how safe chiropractic care is in patients who suffer from lumbar disc herniations. Today I would like to further discuss how effective chiropractic care is in treating patients with herniated and/or bulging discs WITH symptoms of sciatica. […]
Let’s face it, because you are receiving this email, you most likely experienced back or neck pain that has take you away from doing what you enjoy at some point in your life. For instance, this Spring you may want to lay down mulch in your yard, but you can’t. You may want to pick up your grandchild, but you can’t. Your child may want to play ball, but you can’t. So, what are you to do? At the time you are going through a back injury, it can seem extremely daunting, all consuming physically, and emotionally. The good news is that you have options. But what are they and is there a hierarchy of what to try first. Well, common sense would tell us to try least invasive first. Common treatment choices for disc herniation and sciatic symptoms include chiropractic care, epidural steroid injections and microdiscectomy (surgical).
A JMPT research article in 2013 highlighted that over 90% of patients with a disc herniation and leg symptoms improved better or much better with chiropractic care. Within 2 weeks of care, 55% of people had significant reduction in pain. I will certainly take those odds. Also, as was stated in last weeks email, the harms are virtually nil for chiropractic care. Another study pitted chiropractic care against epidural steroid injections, and found that the chiropractic group received as much as or 10% greater improvement than the group that received the injections. We also know that the steroid injection provides usually AT MOST 2 weeks of relief. (NEJM, BMJ, Annals of Int. Med.). Let’s see, chiropractic adjustment or needle into my spinal cord? I will certainly start with the adjustment.
Finally, let’s tackle Chiropractic Manipulation vs. Surgical Microdiscectomy. Research found 60% of chiropractic patients improved as much as they would have improved with surgical intervention, and they avoid the risks and cost of anesthesia, scalpels and hospital stays.
In conclusion, I have medical referral partners that I communicate with on a daily basis through case notes and lunch meetings. I am all for a collaborative approach to healthcare. I cannot presume that both myself, as a practitioner and chiropractic as a therapy can get every single person better. But, the research is compelling that we should at least begin with the least invasive technique first, then seek out more aggressive treaments thereafter. Back pain can be debilitating and “rob” us of our livelihood. Chiropractic care is part of the solution.
So, once we reduce your pain and improve your function, how do we solidify that improvement and prevent future occurrences? Well, please keep an eye out for a video demonstrating lumbar spinal conditioning exercises. Until then, here’s to eliminating pain, restoring livelihood and instilling confidence.
Dr. Marc Fondino