Most people are aware that nonspecific anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin can, at times, be effective for general overall aches and pains. But what if pain is long-lasting? Is it good for a person to take Advil for long periods of time?

What if the pain lasts for 5 to 10 years? Sure, Advil has very little side effects when taken only for a week. But, what are the effects cumulatively after taking it for long periods of time? Is there a better answer?

As an evidence-based chiropractor, such as myself, I believe there are more effective answers. The research suggests that I am right. Take for example, if you were to go the traditional medical route for a musculoskeletal condition, what sort of treatment would you receive?

More than likely you would get muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, or pain pills. If the complaint were deemed serious enough, you may have the can kicked down to the physical therapist. But if the medical community is being honest with itself, they should admit that their training for general practitioners for musculoskeletal conditions could be better. They have no good solid answers for musculoskeletal complaints. Let’s be honest and fair too; they have a lot of big fish to fry such as internal medicine in general, gallbladder issues, different kinds of cancers, pneumonia, and a whole slew of medical conditions that can be much more pressing than a person’s sore back.

That is in no way taking away from the person with back pain. So please don’t misunderstand. I am simply trying to put things into proper perspective.

I like to highlight, in my articles, the fact that there are several randomized controlled trials having to do with the effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation and mobilization. This is a brief synopsis of one of those research papers. This one in particular highlights the effectiveness of chiropractic when treating chronic spinal pain.

I have broken this article up into four categories that make it extremely easy to follow along, to read, and to comprehend. I find that this format is much more effective when the reader relays the information to a friend or family member. I have also included the research citation and link information so that the reader is better able to visit the research paper and educate themselves further if they so choose.

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to test and compare effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation in chronic spinal pain complaints. They used several different protocols including needle acupuncture, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and/or chiropractic manipulation.

How The Did It

  • 77 patients randomly assigned to receive one of the treatment protocols
  • 30 days of treatments
  • Symptoms and changes were assessed through Outcome Assessment questionnaires (Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index, Neck Disability Index, and VAS scales).

What They Found

  • After 30 days, spinal manipulation was the only intervention to achieve statistically significant improvement. Wow! Of course, we knew that would be the case but it’s always good to have it confirmed.
  • Chiropractic care = 30.7% reduction in Oswestry scores, 25% reduction in neck disability scores.
  • VAS scores were 50% less for low back pain, 46% less for upper back pain, and 33% less for neck pain.

Wrap UpChiropractic is the treatment of choice in chronic spinal pain (low back, upper back, neck pain). Especially in regards to acupuncture and anti-inflammatory medication.

The research was highlighted in an article by Dynamic Chiropractic, Vol. 33, Number 5.

Citation:Giles LG, Muller R. Chronic spinal pain syndromes: a clinical pilot trial comparing acupuncture, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and spinal manipulation.Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, July/August 1999:22(6), pp376-81.