Study Shows Chiropractic More Effective Than Injections

In a new study, it was demonstrated that Chiropractic adjustment which does not involve any risk gives the same therapeutic effect with epidural injection on people suffering from back pain. It was also discovered in the study that chiropractic adjustment was available at more affordable price than medical treatment. The study proved that this treatment option could cause significant reduction in the pain experience by people with lumbar disc herniation.

In the conventional medicine, lumbar epidural injections are prescribed for patients with lumbar disc herniation in order to relieve them of their back pain and sciatica. The injection is also administered to patients with spinal stenosis and failed back surgery. When a high dose of the injection or steroid is administered by a physician around the lumbar spine of the damaged nerve, the patient will get temporarily relief of pain and inflammation.

No studies with placebo control have been conducted on the use of epidural injections in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation. This and the issue of steroids versus anesthetic effects have generated some debate. Steroids cause some side effect such as the weakening of spinal bones and muscles around the affected nerve and the rupture of the natural hormone balance of the body. Besides, it has not been determined whether or not epidural injections give better outcomes than other lumbar disc herniation conservative treatment options.


The effectiveness of chiropractic in relieving low back pain has been established through a number of studies. However, only a few studies have compared it with other lumbar disc herniation treatment options. A group of researchers from Switzerland have carried out a study on this and published their findings in the Journal of Manual and Physiological Therapeutics. In this research, in which 102 patients with lumbar disc herniation were treated, the effects of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) were compared with the effect of epidural nerve root injection (NRI).

At the completion of one month treatment, significant improvements were experienced by the patients in both groups. However, there were slight differences which were statistically insignificant in the reports from each group. 76.5 percent of the people treated with SMT felt much better while 62.7 percent of the patients treated with NRI felt much better. 60% and 53 % of the patients treated with SMT and NRI respectively experienced significant reduction in pain.

Three of the patients treated with NRI chose to undergo surgical procedures, but none of the patients that were given SMT opted for operation.

The cost analysis of these two treatment options for one month was carried out. Though both treatment options have similar effect, SMT was found to be more affordable than NRI. While chiropractic cost $558, NRI cost $729. However, other additional costs were not taken into account in this analysis. Only the minimum cost of the treatments was considered.

The researchers concluded that no significant differences in effect existed between these two treatment options. However, there is still a need for more studies in order to affirm the conclusion of this research.

The research also showed that patients that received chiropractic care could experience substantial pain relief without experiencing any side effects of drugs or steroids.

This entry was written on March 13th, 2014 by admin and filed under Uncategorized.

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