My Back Pain is Better — Do I Still Have to Come for My Chiropractic Treatments?

An indi­vid­ual episode of low back pain is usu­al­ly a pret­ty benign thing. If you have an iso­lat­ed attack of back pain – even if the pain is severe – you can be high­ly con­fi­dent you’ll get over it. With chi­ro­prac­tic hands-on treat­ment, you’re like­ly to get rid of pain more quick­ly. And with­out the risks inher­ent in tak­ing pain pills.

Once you’re feel­ing bet­ter, is that the end of the sto­ry?

I hate to indulge in neg­a­tive think­ing here, but, unfor­tu­nate­ly, an indi­vid­ual attack of low back pain is often only one episode in a long-run­ning dra­ma.   Low back prob­lems are typ­i­cal­ly degen­er­a­tive long-term con­di­tions that come and go in dif­fer­ing forms through­out the life cycle. Near­ly every­one is affect­ed to one degree or anoth­er.

That means that once you’ve had an episode of low back pain, you’re at risk for fur­ther low back prob­lems down the road.

The real strength of chi­ro­prac­tic care goes beyond just get­ting you out of pain as quick­ly and safe­ly as pos­si­ble. The key is to re-estab­lish opti­mal move­ment func­tion of the joints, mus­cles and brain to keep your low back work­ing well over the long run.

A research arti­cle pub­lished in the jour­nal Spine in August, 2011 addressed this exact issue.

Six­ty patients with back pain were divid­ed into three groups.

  • Group #1 received “sham” spinal manip­u­la­tion for the first month.
  • Group #2 received “real” spinal manip­u­la­tion, but just for the first month.
  • Group #3 received a pro­gram of spinal manip­u­la­tion for the first month, and then reg­u­lar treat­ments every two weeks there­after for a total of 9 months.

Both groups #2 and #3 had bet­ter results than the sham treat­ment group over the first month. Bu the main dif­fer­ence occurred in months 2 through 9. Only Group #3 — the group that con­tin­ued to receive treat­ment — main­tained low back well­ness over the study peri­od.


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About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website,, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.

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