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Spinal Manipulation vs. Diclofenac for Acute Low Back Pain

Chiropractic First

Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute non-specific low back pain: A double-blinded randomised controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. Spine 2013; 38(7): 540-8.

This study comparing chiropractic care vs diclofenac is a fantastic piece of research but also comes at a time when another group of researchers has discovered diclofenac can increase long-term users' heart-attack risk by more than a third. One year's high-dose treatment with over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, leads to three avoidable heart attacks and one fatal heart attack for every 1,000 users, researchers said. The study published in the lancet showed the drugs posed even greater risks for smokers and those who are overweight.

  • The prevalence of lower back pain (LBP) are between 31% and 47%.
  • Low back pain tends to affects women more frequently than men.
  • The cost of back pain is increasing reported to be about $6096 per year in 2005.
  • Indirect costs of LBP are also high due to lost productivity (a harder amount to measure accurately).

Getting the right treatment for back pain is important, although most people with low back pain return to work within 1 month, more than 60% of people with acute LBP who do not receive treatment develop chronic LBP or have recurrences. Therefore, proper (and early) treatment appears to be necessary in order to avoid the transition to chronic pain.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether the treatment of acute LBP by spinal manipulation is equal to or better than NSAID medication, and whether active intervention is more useful than rescue medication only.

The results from this study showed there were significant differences between the treatment groups at follow-up, with the spinal manipulation group showing faster and greater reduction in pain. Chiropractor Gavin Young says “Chiropractic First, Pills Second, Surgery Last”. With the risks associated with taking high dose and long term diclofenac, Chiropractic care provides a great alternative with proven results. If you need an appointment with a Chiropractor in Grimsby then call 01472 488082.

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