Milwaukee Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist and Back Pain Doctor writes:
Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States and a common reason for missing work. People with chronic low back pain use an enormous amount of health care. More than 80 percent of Americans will experience an episode of low back pain at some time in their lives.
And it is not getting any better.
A new study from the University of North Carolina shows that the prevalence of chronic impairing low back pain in the state increased from 3.9 percent in 1992 to 10.2 percent in 2006. The principal author called these findings "alarming." Another author said the huge increase is a sign that current treatments aren't working.
Total costs of chronic back pain are estimated at greater than $100 billion annually. That's a hundred billion wasted on treatments that aren't working.
Saving some of that money would go a long way towards fixing the economy.
Could it be that the reason why low back pain treatments aren't working is because they are directed at the wrong part of the problem?
The truth is low back pain is not a disease. It is not a thing. It can not be solved by covering it up with drugs or by cutting it out.
Low back pain is a process. And chronic low back pain is a long-standing process. Years and years of gradually worsening or recurrent episodes of poor function, leading to weakening, leading to overload and tissue damage.
The solution to a worsening process is to modify or re-direct the process so the body funtions more normally.
The time to take care of it is as early in the process as you can. At age twenty sometimes it just takes a little exercise and a few spinal adjustments to make you nearly 100%. By age forty, if you have a herniated disc, it may take a bit more work. If the spine has degenerated by the time you start, it may take more intensive work with more sophisticated procedures like the DRX-9000 non-surgical disc decompression program to slow, stop and reverse the process.
President Obama's economic recovery stimulus package includes $1.1 billion for comparative-effectiveness research into what medical procedures are helpful.
One problem to research is certainly chronic low back pain. And the best approach is to study both the process and the ways to modify or re-direct the process, not just more drugs and surgery.
If chronic low back pain could be eliminated for just one year, there's $100,000,000,000 in savings right there.
And that's change you can believe in.