Back Problems - Low Back Problems

Chiropractic is "more cost-effective than medical care," with the results being "long term."*

Back pain is a modern epidemic. 
80%  of Americans will experience disabling low back pain at least once during their lives!

At this moment six million Americans are in bed with back pain, at a yearly cost of up to $ 50 billion (lost work, compensation payments and medical bills).**

* Deyo, R.A. Description epidemiology of lower-back pain and its related medical care in the United States. Spine, 1987, 12 (3), pp. 264-268.
** Bachrach, R. Low back pain. Let's Live, June 1991, p. 80.

The Chiropractic Approach at Albrecht Chiropractic Center
In addition to common Chiropractic adjusting techniques, we use several additional methods in treating your low back condition. We use a similar (although not identical) technique to Cox lumbar distraction (additional information at their website, There are many studies involving thousands of patients using the Cox method and similar methods! One such study is described here at the WORK INJURIES page. Our primary concern is properly diagnosing your condition by consultation, history, examination. We utilize standard acceptable orthopedic, neurologic, and physical exam procedures similar to a regular medical physician, BUT in addition to standard tests, we use Chiropractic measures that give us more detail of specific joint position, motion and assessment. Common patient responses to our examination procedures are, "Wow ... I've never had such a thorough exam." We also utilize x-rays in our office, and refer patients out for MRI, C-T scans, bone scans, bloodwork, etc. as indicated by each case. There's more information about our x-ray use on Laura's pages, in ABOUT OUR STAFF.

We expect to see results, and in most low back pain cases, we follow the U.S. Government Study of 1994 with recommendations of 50% relief in 4 weeks of care, or you are referred out for second opinion, change in diagnostic testing, or change in treatment technique. We only treat patients we sincerely feel we can help!

What Researchers Found
The Manga Report was commissioned by the government of Ontario in Canada. Leading economists found that chiropractic care for patients with low back pain is superior to medical care in terms of safety, scientific evidence of effectiveness, cost and patient satisfaction. "The higher satisfaction levels expressed by patients of chiropractors ... offer an overwhelming case in favor of much greater use of chiropractic services in the management of low back pain ... a very good case can be made for making chiropractors the gatekeepers for management of low-back pain in the workers' compensation system ..."*

* Manga, P. et al. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic management of low-back pain. University of Ottawa, Canada: Pran Manga and Associates, 1993.

The Facts Speak for Themselves
Doctors of Chiropractic relieve chronic and severe pain, both immediate and long term, in one half the time it takes medical physicians. There are now in excess of 60+ scientific studies which demonstrate the value of manipulation. ... manipulation is an effective and reasonablely priced form of treatment for dysfunctional problems in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines."* For patients with acute low back symptoms without radiculopathy, the scientific evidence suggests spinal manipulation is effective in reducing pain and perhaps speeding recovery within the first month of symptoms.**

* Meade, T. W., Dyer, S. et al. Low back pain of mechanical origin: Randomized comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment. British Medical Journal, June 1990, 300, pp. 431-437.
** Kirkaldy-Willis, W.H. American Back Society Newsletter, Spring 1989, 5(20).

The "OLD WIVES" Tales concerning Low Back Pain
Bed rest
is not effective for relieving low back pain (LBP)! In a recent report from France, it was found that bed rest served no purpose in low back pain care. This recommendation persists in the medical community in spite of current research studies to the contrary. The evidence suggests that prolonged rest may actually delay a return to work and the resumption of normal activities. In addition, they found:
—bed rest is contraindicated in subacute and chronic LBP cases.
—In acute cases, bed rest should not be prescribed or enforced.
Are you in bed with LBP often? Perhaps you should reconsider your treatment options and get an opinion from a back pain specialist — Chiropractic IS that specialist!

*Abenhaim L, Rossignol M, Valat JP, et al. The role of activity in the therapeutic management of back pain: Report of the International Paris Task Force on Back pain. Spine, Feb. 15, 2000 (supplement): Vol. 25 , No 4S, ppl 1-25.

"You're just OVERWEIGHT"
Losing weight is a good suggestion relative to your overall health perspective; however, it may not be the answer to your low back pain! Too many doctors blame weight as the cause of LBP. In a recent study and in our personal experience in practice this simply is untrue! The study of 152 patients in a hospital spinal pain unit showed that with the exception of extremely obese cases, there was no significant difference in the incidence of back pain between patients overweight or normal weight. So, don't ignore loosing a few pounds based on this study, but perhaps this opens the door to get a "true" diagnostic opinion for your pain. In our practice experience, weight is rarely the problem. It just exacerbates the underlying vertebral subluxartion problem. ... fix the subluxartion and regardless of weight often symptoms are relieved ... naturally!**

**Baker PG, Giles LGF. Is excess weight related to chronic spinal pain? Chiropractic Journal of Australia, June 1999; vol. 29, No 2, pp 51-54.

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