What works for low back pain?

What works for low back pain?

What you’ve been told about low back pain for the last 50 years …. is wrong.

I agree, that headline sounds a bit harsh and sensational. Let me explain.

In March this year, perhaps one of the most respectable peer-reviwed journals in health care, The Lancet, released it’s comprehensive summary of Low Back Pain (LBP) and how it is managed around the world. Led by an Australian, Professor Rachelle Buchbinder of Monash University (Melbourne), it involved an international group of health and medical authors including several notable Chiropractic researchers and practitioners. It gathered interest in the popular media and created ripples throughout the world, mostly because what had been done in the past was at odds with what was actually ‘best practice’. For example, ABC radio headline: “Call to arms over medical mismanagement of chronic back pain” (AM Thurs 22nd March 2018)


I’ll keep this short. The panel of authors and researchers basically concluded that many of the more common practices for first-line intervention do not work, do not have enough eveidence to say they work, can be more harmful than good and cost the community money. They are talking about bed-rest, medication, spinal injections and surgeries. The result? Sustained chronic pain issues, unnecessary and costly procedures and an opioid addiction epidemic. The “call to action” from this Lancet LBP series is for primary health care providers to STOP recommending such interventions and consider what is in the best interests of the person suffering from LBP.

Instead, at the forefront of what IS recommended to be a better solution is reassurance, exercise, therapeutic advice and manual therapy, to name a few. The ‘conservative’ approach should always be tested FIRST. Heavy medication and surgery should be the very last option and only for a very small percentage of the population. Spinal manipulative therapy (as done by a Chiropractor) has some of the strongest evidence to show that it IS effective and cost-effective in the treatment of LBP and chiropractors are highly trained spine care professionals.

So if you, or someone you know, is experiencing low back pain, keep this recent advice in mind. Stay active, don’t panic, stay positive about recovery and consider seeing a Chiropractor to ensure you recover and thrive beyond back pain.

(If you see a GP, discuss with them the opportunity to consider collaborative health care with a Chiropractor).

See links below for more information and discussion:








Melinda Taylor