On the back (pun intended) of a news item I saw recently that pointed out that only 23% of us get enough exercise I thought I would look up some research on home exercise v chiropractic adjustments and their comparative effects on back related leg pain.
In the Annals of Internal Medicine Vol161(6) it was pointed out that back related leg pain can cause significant disability and lower quality of life but sadly most people suffering this condition "receive prescription medication and injections although there is little to no evidence to support their use."
There we have it!! Conclusions published in another reputable research journal stating the use of medications and injections for these problems are not supported by the evidence.
Little wonder then the American College of Physicians and the British medical association do not recommend medication for the treatment of back pain. Too often it doesn't work and there are nasty detrimental side effects. The evidence for their use is not there.
The study went on to say that "at 12 weeks 37% of people receiving exercise and spinal manipulation had at least 75% reduction in leg pain compared with 19% in the exercise group"
That is a huge finding. It means that twice the amount of people improved by 75% if spinal adjustments were included/added to exercise. Another way of putting this is that you are twice as likely to make such big improvements. And they are big improvements! It means you are twice as likely to go from an 8/10 pain scale to 2/10 if you have back related leg pain.
That means a huge improvement in your quality of life is twice as likely if regular chiropractic adjustments are included in your care.
The journal went on to state that these findings were both clinically and statistically significant. For something to be regarded as statistically and clinically significant many thresholds and criteria need be passed. It’s not easy. Chiropractic works and improves your quality of life.
Clinically I often have people who are disappointed because a health care professional only gave them exercises and "did nothing". Conversely occasionally I talk to people who wonder why I can’t just give them exercises. Indeed recently I had two such conversations. One was with a retired policeman and ex body builder. His wife is a personal trainer. Despite all their accumulated exercise knowledge his retirement was not as he hoped. He envisaged surfing, riding his bike going to the gym, gardening, golf and much more. To look at him you wouldn't notice but reluctantly he admitted that indeed his quality of life was diminished, he was doing none of these, avoided them all for fear of injury and discomfort. His life had shrunk month by month year by year. More and more of activities he valued were no longer possible. His "go it alone exercise" had not and would not work. Things would only get worse as he did less.
If you met the man you would know it was a big moment of realisation when he realised he needed help. Even the best of us need help. I am happy to report that through chiropractic care he is now doing much better, back doing the things he loves and exercising fully now. What he thought was history now possible. His life has opened up. Life goes better when your body and spine work better.
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