According to the New York Times, 65 million Americans suffer with chronic, not acute, lower back pain.
There was a study performed a couple of years ago (published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)) that studied manual-thrust manipulation (MTM) versus mechanical-assisted manipulation (MAM) and manipulation versus usual medical care (UMC). The conclusion was that 56% of patients who consulted a doctor experienced a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks. However, 94% of patients who consulted a chiropractor experienced a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks.
The study focused on lower back pain because it’s a very common condition treated by primary care physicians. However, chiropractic treats more than back pain.
Chiropractic means “to be done by hand” and thus is a manual therapy that treats misalignment of the joints and associated disorders of the nerves, ligaments and organs. It is used daily to relieve pain in shoulders, elbows, feet, necks, ankles, jaws and wrists. With just touch and very slight pressure, chiropractors can analyze and diagnose the source of many conditions.
This is why over 30 million people see a chiropractor each year. In fact, there are over 1 million chiropractic adjustments performed every business day. Moreover, every team in the NFL uses chiropractic to relieve neck and back problems.
Chiropractic has become popular because of its effectiveness and non-invasive approach and this is evidenced by the fact that 40% of Americans with lower back pain will initially consult a chiropractor rather than a medical doctor.
According to The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, chiropractic treatment for back pain (versus medical doctor treatment) is estimated to save Medicare $84m annually.