Consumer Reports joins the discussion on back pain relief without drugs or surgery and offers some good advice.

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Consumer Reports joins the discussion on back pain relief without drugs or surgery and offers some good advice. Consumer Reports has just weighed in on how to get back pain relief without drugs or surgery. The Annals of Internal Medicine this past February was joined by the NY Times, Men's Health and others regarding back pain.  The data clearly suggests that those who suffer from back pain should take a drug and surgery free approach first. We believe that back pain is a movement issue, which can vary from person to person.   Risk factors are usually familial since those traits are inherited, as discussed in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain. The problem with most medical approaches to back pain is they treat the pain as the problem.  We are all unique, and are biomechanically unique as well, so one size all solutions to why you hurt often fail to work. Unfortunately, the approach being taught and practiced by most doctors is a piecemeal approach which is costly, harmful and wasteful. We do not need 5 specialists to diagnose why you hurt, but we do need one who looks at our problem holistically. Back pain can be caused by numerous sources, such as the hips, the legs, the feet, the upper body or all of the above.  This makes the diagnosis of the problem much more complex than most healthcare providers are capable of.   The piecemeal approach of try this or try that, while it sounds great is merely throwing darts at a dartboard. Chiropractors, who seem to be getting the most attention with this current back pain discussion use manipulation, exercises and soft tissue techniques to help people feel better.  Our office also uses foot orthotics to balance the hips on those who have an imbalance that can cause back pain. A good chiropractor is often a one stop shop for all things back pain, without drugs or surgery. Back pain is the symptom, especially in chronic cases, rather than the problem.  Proper diagnosis will help patients get the best care. It is important to look at everything and dig deep into a patients history to ensure we help rather than harm them. Acute episodes of pain are scary and be quite debilitating, however, some cases involving disc and other sensitive tissues can take time, so be patient.   The idea of back pain being self limiting is questionable, since the pain may resolve but the mechanism behind why you hurt can cause other symptoms such as knee, hip, foot or even shoulder problems later on.  Seeing a practitioner who takes a holistic approach to care is the most sensible way to approach a lower back pain episode. Chiropractors should be the first professional you visit. Most back problems are not life threatening but can be a huge inconvenience. As stated in the Consumer Reports article, solutions that use movement such as Tae Chi, manipulation and exercises offer the best outcomes.   Insurance companies should take notice and help patients find a good chiropractor first.  They must improve chiropractic coverage.  It is all about access that will bring the cost down for back pain treatment. Be proactive and choose a health care plan that has a large network of chiropractors. Chiropractors are primary care for most musculoskeletal injuries.  They should be seen first to avoid drugs, tests or surgeries. All roads for back pain lead to the chiropractor as the provider of choice. Read the Consumer Reports article here The Better Way to Get Back Pain Relief Growing research suggests that drugs and surgery may not be the answer for your bad back By Teresa Carr May 04, 2017 typical week for Thomas Sells includes acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and a couple of hours with a massage therapist and sometimes a chiropractor. You might think that the retired bank vice president and business manager in Southern California is simply enjoying a pampered spa lifestyle. But Sells gets most of those services through the Department of Veterans Affairs—all for his aching back. Those VA programs are more necessity than luxury, says Sells, who first injured his back carrying heavy packs as a combat soldier in the Vietnam War. “None of these therapies were available to me back then,” he explains. “Had I known then what I know now, I could have avoided decades of debilitating pain.” It used to be that those treatments were considered fringe, but no more. Growing research shows that a combination of hands-on therapies and other nondrug measures can be just as effective as more traditional forms of back care, including drugs and surgery. And they’re much safer. Read more