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Is Chiropractic the answer for Chronic Back and Neck pain?

Posted by Dr. Eben Davis Doctor of Chiropracty

Nri02381 I have been treating chronic back and neck pain in the SF Financial District for over 17 years now. One thing for sure...every single case is different. Sure, there are similarities...but people respond differently to pain...and a lot depends on our personality types.

Some patients have to be practically crippled with pain to admit that anything is wrong. And other patients will act like it's the end of the world with only minor symptoms...and everything in between.

So...with such a wide variety of pain responses, how can doctors decide with any accuracy what the best course of treatment is for chronic back pain...or neck pain?'s not easy, and this is the primary reason why I choose to be a chiropractor. Chiropractors understand that symptoms are not the actual problem when it comes to back or neck pain. The symptoms are the result of the problem...evidence that something is not right. Back pain, neck pain, arm and hand pain, sciatica...these are all symptoms.

But the thing is...our entire medical system is designed to diagnose and treat symptoms...a losing battle. Chiropractors seek to restore rather than replace. If a chiropractic adjustment can put a bone back into it's normal position (a misaligned vertebrae is called a subluxation), and at the same time remove nerve pressure...the body will no longer send pain signals to the brain...problem solved.

Of course it's not always this easy...and often times pain signals can be sent to the brain for all kinds of other reasons...including emotional triggers.'s my opinion. No matter what else is going on, you don't need subluxations along with it.  And correcting subluxations is very safe and gentle...and drug free.

My 17 years experience as a San Francisco chiropractor...and my 40 years experience as a chiropractic patient has taught me that chiropractic is not the answer for everything...but I'll tell you's not where it is today because of smoke and mirrors. Chiropractic delivers...often times when hope is lost.

Answers (6)
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And for another perspective on Back Pain, read the book, "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. John Sarno. He was a doctor who performed back surgeries for years and realized that the surgeries were unnecessary.

He has been treating back pain without drugs or surgery for over 20 years and many people are healed of their back pain simply by reading his book!

Kerri Knox, RN -The Immune Queen

The evidence for chiropractice for acute low back pain is reasonable, but it's not supported for chronic low back pain.  See the Cochrane Collaboration ( for good reviews.

So far, there is no single 'fix' or cure for chronic back pain - this is because it's not a single entity.  It's complex, and requires a systematic and thorough approach to working through the contributory factors.  Sometimes medications are good, sometimes self-help is better - but whatever, aiming for a completely pain-free existance ignores the fact that most people have some sort of ache or pain, and live really happy and healthy lives despite it.

When we look at chronic pain - we simply always have to remember that the BRAIN is involved!

Although you can have relief from chronic pain through medications- what is the toll that it takes on your organs, and your mind. Long term use can cause havoc on so many levels- affecting not only your ability to work, but all your activities of daily living.

I think chiropractic care is a great treatment for chronic lower back pain. There are no side effects of medications or surgery. If it does not work, then try something else- don't forget there are so many different techniques that chiropractors can use.

Another up and coming treatment for chronic lower back pain is non surgical spinal decompression. This is specifically for patients who suffer from sciatica, disc herniation, disc bulge etc. Check it out here-

Within the proper context, the argument for Chiropractic is proven.  My own experience, after receiving years of treatments is a testament to the success of their treatment practices.  Another salient point is, no two Chiropractors are alike.  Each has unique methods and theories; some developed depending on which school they attended, or other influences, such as holistic, etc…  In any case, shop around until you find one that fits your needs.  It’s sort of like dating. 

One particular event gives me pause and is a situation that must make every Chiropractor cringe.  Several years ago a friend was having chronic lower back pain.  He went to a Chiropractic practitioner who attempted to adjust him.  It only made it worse.  Why?  He had cancer, which had metastasized in his bones.  It had started in his lungs, but rapidly spread throughout the body.  My point is:  Back pain most of the time is easily dealt with, though exercise, stretching and having spinal adjustments by a licensed Chiropractor.  But there are times when it is not the solution and other treatment is in order. 

Unless you have other mitigating reasons, such as recent surgery, etc…a visit to the Chiropractor who matches your needs is time well spent.

In the mid 80s I was in two car accidents within several months.  The first, I was rear ended at a toll plaza, and the next someone crossed a State Highway without looking first.  In each, I received serious whiplash injuries.  Chiropractic treatment over the course of several years brought me back to a better state of health than before the accidents.  I have had intermittent treatment over the years and am a firm believer in Chiropractic. 

If you’re on the fence, give them a try.    

Chiropractic is the only profession that corrects the cause of your back and neck pain by removing nerve impingements or pinched nerves in your back and neck. Called a Chiropractic adjustment, this specific, trained and unique movement of your back and neck put your spinal column back in place so that your body can heal itself
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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