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Posted on 01-09-2013

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     I’m constantly talking to my patients in my Monroeville/Penn Hills Chiropractor office about the value of continued Chiropractic care that goes beyond just symptom relief. Face it, we use our spine 24/7, and we constantly beat it up. It’s of vital importance to keep it tuned up and in shape and moreso to prevent pain and future problems from happening.

     Do you get the oil changed in your car every x-thousand miles? Do you go to your Dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning? If you don’t do those, then what’s the worst that happens? Your car falls apart sooner and you need to buy one. You teeth rot quicker and you need root canals and false teeth. Also too, it’s not like your teeth hurt when you go to the Dentist for your cleaning, you just do it so they stay in tip top shape.

     So why don’t you do that for your spine, which you use more often than your teeth anyway? What happens if your spine deteriorates quicker? You can’t buy a new one. You can’t get too far just getting surgery after surgery.

     I try to have all of my Monroeville Chiropractor patients get adjusted on a regular schedule. It’s much better for you and now there’s proof.

     There is a new, single blinded placebo controlled study, conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at Mansoura University, that conclusively demonstrates that maintenance care provides significant benefits for those with chronic low back pain. The authors concluded that Chiropractic care (spinal manipulation) is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain and that to obtain long-term benefit for the patient, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulations after the initial intensive manipulative therapy (i.e. after the pain is gone) can provide that additional benefit.

     Details on the study are as follows:

SOURCE: Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 (Aug 15); 36 (18): 1427-37

BACKGROUND: Spinal manipulation (SMT) is a common treatment option for low back pain. Numerous clinical trials have attempted to evaluate its effectiveness for different subgroups of acute and chronic LBP previously, but the efficacy of maintenance SMT in chronic non-specific LBP has never been studied. In this study, 60 patients with chronic, nonspecific LBP lasting at least 6 months were randomized into 3 groups: One third of them received 12 treatments of sham SMT over a one-month period. One third of them received 12 treatments of SMT during a one-month period, with no follow-up care during the next nine months, and one third of them received 12 SMT visits during the first month, followed by “maintenance” SMT every two weeks, for the next nine months. To determine any difference among these 3 care groups, researchers measured pain and disability scores, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at baseline, and at 1-month, 4-months, 7-months, and at 10-months

RESULTS: Patients in manipulative groups (groups 2 & 3) experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores than the sham group at the end of the first 1-month period. At the 10-month follow-up, only the maintenance group maintained improvements in pain and disability, while the group that only received 1-months care had reverted to their pretreatment pain and disability levels.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first medically managed trial that clearly demonstrates that maintenance care provides significant benefits to those who suffer from chronic low back pain.

     So there you have it folks. Go to your Chiropractor and get adjusted on a regular basis, even if you don’t have pain. You’ll feel better and you’ll increase the longevity of your spine.

     - Dr. Brent Shealer – Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Penn Hills Chiropractor

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