Back & SpineBlog

Kudos to Consumer Reports

By August 9, 2017 January 28th, 2020 No Comments

By Dynamic Chiropractor Editorial Staff

A well-rounded discussion of back pain, the problems with traditional treatment and the benefits of conservative care including spinal manipulation – now wouldn’t that be great? Look no further than the June 2017 issue of Consumer Reports, a trusted publication with considerable reach, boasting 7 million combined print and digital readership.

“The Better Way to Get Back Pain Relief,” by Teresa Carr, positions the article’s encouraging message front and center with the teaser: “Growing research suggests that drugs and surgery may not be the answer for your bad back.” The author presents a well-rounded discussion of back pain including some of the common causes; the overuse of diagnostic imaging and conventional treatment; the risks associated with opioid use and surgery; the problem with bed rest; and the value of conservative care.

Here are a few of the encouraging soundbites from Ms. Carr’s article, the full text of which is available free online:

  • “Growing research shows that a combination of hands-on therapies and other nondrug measures can be just as effective as more traditional forms of back care, including drugs and surgery. And they’re much safer.”
  • “[A] new nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of 3,562 back-pain sufferers … found that more than 80 percent of those who had tried yoga or tai chi or had seen a massage therapist or chiropractor said it had helped them.”
  • “A vast majority – 82 percent – of our survey respondents who saw at least one healthcare professional for back pain said they got an X-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI. But most people who develop back pain don’t need those tests.”
  • When it comes to treating a painful back, “Staying active is key, experts agree. … Next, you may want to add a hands-on therapy such as acupuncture, massage, or spinal manipulation from a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or other healthcare practitioner, which can help alleviate pain as you work to get stronger.”
  • “Conventional treatment often fails because ‘it focuses on individual symptoms and broken parts,” says Donald Levy, M.D., medical director of the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Chestnut Hill, Mass. … [Instead], doctors ‘should be thinking about treating the whole patient.'”