Unknown Facts About Chronic Low Back Pain Treatment Revealed by the Experts

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An estimated 38 to 50 billion dollars are spent yearly on the surgical treatment of chronic low back pain. While commonly accepted as the price to pay for this serious problem, is surgery effective or are there any other alternatives for chronic lower back pain? Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf discusses recent research findings for the treatment of chronic lower back pain.

Why would we spend billions of dollars yearly on a procedure that shows no better results than cognitive training and exercise, while actually having a higher dissatisfaction rate and increased disability?

When the muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, and pain killers fail, many victims of chronic low back pain turn to surgery. Spinal surgery has been accepted as the final solution, but is this very expensive procedure effective? Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP, reports on recent research published in the December 2012 issue of the European Spine Journal which looked into this very question.

Researchers led by Dr. Anne Froholdt of the Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway did a 9 year follow-up of patients with chronic low back pain. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group had spinal fusion at L4/L5 and/or L5/S1 with screws and bone transplantation. The second group received cognitive training to teach the patients how to participate in daily activities such as vacuum cleaning, ironing, gardening, etc. without worrying about causing further harm, along with endurance and coordination exercises. Primary results were measured with the Oswestry Disability Index, while secondary results considered pain, fear-avoidance beliefs, spinal muscle strength, use of medication, and ability to return to work.

After nine years, one-third of the patients in the non-surgery group opted to have surgery done. Of those in the first group that already had surgery, one-third were operated on again. No notable differences in primary or secondary outcomes were found between the two groups. Both groups reported significantly less back and leg pain, less fear-avoidance beliefs, less emotional distress, and improved general function. No difference was seen in overall satisfaction with their treatment in either group. Sixty-eight percent of those having surgery were out of work, while only forty-two percent in the non-surgery group were not working. Use of medication was forty-four percent among the lumbar fusion group, but only seventeen percent in those without surgery. Seventeen percent were dissatisfied with their results after surgery, while only three percent in the non-surgery group were dissatisfied with their results.

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP asks, “Why would we spend billions of dollars yearly on a procedure that shows no better results than cognitive training and exercise, while actually having a higher dissatisfaction rate and increased disability?”

Realizing the soaring costs and high failure rate of back surgery, the health plan for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has analyzed the recent research in the management of chronic low back pain. As of January 1, 2012, UPMC implemented a comprehensive clinical initiative focused on the treatment of chronic low back pain. While surgical emergencies would still be addressed immediately, all other lower back surgeries would require prior authorization to determine if surgery was medically necessary. Quoting their policy:
“To be considered for surgery, patients with chronic low back pain must have:

  •     Tried and failed a 3-month course of conservative management, which includes physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, and medication.
  •     Completed UPMC Health Plan’s Low Back Pain Health Coaching Program.”

“This policy was developed using evidence-based literature and professional society guidelines, as well as the input of external medical professionals with expertise in the area”

Chiropractic care has been successfully caring for lower back pain when other methods have failed because it focuses on realigning the spine while increasing movement through normal joint function. This in turn reduces tensions on the muscles and ligaments while reducing the nerve irritation and inflammation that leads to pain.

Through Chiropractic care, many extremely satisfied patients have successfully conquered their chronic back pain. They have regained their quality of life by returning to their favorite sports, enjoying their hobbies, and other aspects of their lives that they had previously given up because of their back pain.

Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural treatment of chronic spinal pain. Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at http://www.all-about-wellness.com.

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP
Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf@itol.com, his website at http://www.all-about-wellness.com, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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