A new study published in the prestigious international medical journal Spine indicates that spinal injection therapy used to treat subacute and chronic low back pain has questionable effectiveness and lacks research evidence. Researchers reviewed 18 previously conducted trials on spinal injections to the epidural area, joints of the spine as well as injections into the spinal muscles. Injections consisted of a variety of drugs including corticosteroids and local anesthetics. Authors of the study stated, “Overall, the results indicated that there is no strong evidence for or against the use of any type of injection therapy.” Furthermore they concluded, “There is insufficient evidence to support the use of injection therapy in subacute and chronic low back pain.”
A recent study found patients with identified spinal facet arthritis on a computed tomography (CT) scan – arthritis within the joints between the vertebrae of the spine – had no association to low back pain (LBP). In other words, those with visible arthritis of spine were no more likely to be suffering from back pain as compared with those who did not have visible arthritis of the spine. Arthritis is typically a product of wear and tear to a joint within the body. This wear and tear usually is a result of trauma, be it acute trauma such as a fall injury or chronic trauma such as long-term poor postural habits. What this ultimately means is that it’s very possible and very common to have trauma to your body and in this case, to your spine, without the symptom of pain. Similar to dental checkups to check for cavities that may be lurking despite the lack of tooth pain, periodic chiropractic checkups are important to identify spinal and soft tissue problems that may be present, but that may not yet be associated with pain. If you haven’t been to a licensed chiropractor for a recent checkup, pick up the phone and give us a call today.
Source: Spine. 33(23):2560-2565, November 1, 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008
A recent study finds chiropractic care highly effective for patients suffering from lower back (lumbar) and neck (cervical) radiculopathy – pain, numbness and/or tingling extending down the arm(s) or leg(s) due to nerve irritation related to the spine. In this study consisting of 162 patients, each received chiropractic manipulation, neuromobilization and exercise stabilization. Of the 162 patients, 10 unresolved cases were referred for epidural steroid injections, 10 were referred for further medical medication management and 3 cases were referred to undergo surgery. However, a total of 86 percent had resolution of their primary radicular complaints following their chiropractic care and thus were not required to received injections, medication management or surgery. According to the authors of the study, “The conservative management strategy we reviewed in our sample produced favorable outcomes for most of the patients with radiculopathy. The strategy appears to be safe.” If you or another is suffering from pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities, contact your local chiropractor for a thorough evaluation. As this study demonstrates, chiropractic care is effective in many cases of cervical and lumbar radiculopathy and can be an appropriate, safe, non-invasive therapy for many.