Archive for April, 2012

Needle No More

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The number one reason that the greatest percentage of people first venture to a Chiropractor’s office is because of pain in their back.  At BCC we KNOW the positive results that one can see with the correct combination of Chiropractic Adjustments/stretches/exercises we can help our patients to increase not only their primary presenting complaint, but also to increase their quality of movement and vitality in all arenas.  That being said, there are sometimes presentations where we need interventional therapy such as MRI (or other advanced imaging prodedures), Epidural Steroid Injections (commonly just referred to as an “epidural” or “ESI”), more aggressive Physical Therapy or even a neurosurgical consult.  This is something no conservative doctor loves to see, but we will always do what is right for the patient.  In THIS ARTICLE in the New York Times they discuss a recent study focusing on the validity of epidurals as a treatment for low back pain.  The results showed NO DIFFERENCE in pain with and epidural, or with NO treatment whatsoever.  We want to note, all groups did feel improvement in symptoms, but epidurals did not help the back pain any more than DOING NOTHING.

Your BCC Doctors do not think that we are against Epidural Steroid Injections, and in fact we send patients to get them very regularly.  The difference is that the patients that we send for the ESI are in SIGNIFICANT LEG PAIN with possible neurological complications, and almost 100% of the time with a recent MRI showing a significant Herniated Nucleus Pulposis (disc herniation).  In these cases the injection can help to decrease the focal inflammatory response that the injured disc can cause.  With the leg pain under control the adjusment/specific exercise program of treatment will continue to help create a more stable back pain environment.

It is movement that causes back injuries, either too much or too little, and gaining control and stability of that movement is the long term goal.  This is why drugs have so far proven mostly ineffective at “fixing” back pain- the problem isn’t a lack of drugs, it is instead a lack of proper movement control.

If you’re currently or have a history or back or leg pain, please come in and talk to one of our BCC Doc’s so we can help you to be the best you that you can be!