Schaffnit Chiropractic & Rehabilitation

Back Pain

Common ICD-10 codes: M54.5, M25.50, M54.16, M47.26, S39.012A, M79.18 ect.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spinal pain treatment option. It reduces pain, decreases the amount of medication needed over time, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment.

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Neurologic Mechanism, Why manipulation works

It is established neurologically (Wyke 1985, Kirkalady-Willis and Cassidy 1985) that when a chiropractor adjusts (specific directional spinal manipulation) the joints of the region of pain and/or spasm, that there is a depolarization of the mechanoreceptors that are located in the facet joint capsular ligaments, and that the cycle of pain and/or spasm can be neurologically aborted. This is why many patients feel better after they receive specific joint manipulation from a chiropractor following an episode of increased pain and/or spasm.1

Simply put: increasing mechanoreception and proprioception (touch and joint motion) inhibits/decreases nociception (PAIN).



The Journal of Family Practice published the following guidelines to consider when selecting a chiropractor:

  • Treats mainly musculoskeletal disorders
  • Does not radiograph every patient
  • Willing to be clinically observed
  • Positive feedback from patients
  • Communicates with the referring physician
  • Administers reasonable treatment programs

We will take great care when adjusting your patient. There are a variety of technical procedures for adjusting the spine, of which we choose the best technique that fits the case presentation. If any low back pain patients do not respond to the first few treatments, I will let you know. Six to eight adjustments in the first two weeks would not be unusual. This frequency would be rare for a patient in the second month of care.

Absolute contraindications:

  • severe or progressive neurologic deficit
  • infections or malignancies
  • acute bone demineralization
  • acute fracture/dislocation
  • acute arthropathies


Studies and references:

When self care options do not result in improvement, medical doctors should consider recommending non-drug treatments shown to be of benefit. For acute low back pain the only treatment with proven benefits in this category is spinal manipulation. – The Guidelines Issued by The American College of Physicians (ACP) and The American Pain Society (APS) for the management of Low Back Pain – Annals of Internal Medicine, October 2007

Manual Therapy (spinal manipulation/mobilization) followed by specific active exercises, significantly reduces functional disability and tends to induce a larger decrease in pain intensity, compared to a control group. These results confirm the clinical relevance of manual therapy as an appropriate treatment for chronic low back pain – BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, August 2012

Chiropractic care (Spinal Manipulative Therapy) is recommended as the first and primary treatment for Acute Low Back Pain – Spine Journal, December 2010

Moderately strong evidence supports the use of Spinal Manipulation in acute back pain – The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Aug 2006

Recommendations can be made with some confidence regarding the use of Spinal Manipulation as a viable option for the treatment of both Low Back Pain and Neck Pain – Spine Journal, May-June 2004

In acute nonspecific lower-back pain (0-4 weeks duration of pain) there is moderate to strong evidence that treatment with a limited number of sessions of Spinal Manipulative Therapy is effective for pain relief – Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Feb 2006

Spinal Manipulation is effective for the treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain – Spine Journal, August 2011

“Maintenance” Spinal Manipulation is effective at preventing pain and disability due to Chronic Low Back Pain – Spine Journal, August 2011

Intensive Spinal Manipulation is effective for the treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain – JMPT , Oct 2004

Spinal manipulation/mobilization is effective in adults for: acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain – Journal of Chiropractic & Osteopathy, Feb 2010

“Maintenance” Spinal Manipulation following the completion of a treatment plan helps to maintain the benefits of care – JMPT, Oct 2004

Specific structured exercise and Spinal Manipulation both offer significant pain relief and functional improvement for those with chronic low back pain within 8 weeks of care – Spine Journal, Oct 2011

Spinal Manipulation improves muscle function for the muscles of the low back – JMPT, Nov 2000

With the management of chronic low back pain, Spinal Manipulation may provide short-term pain relief with a primary care plan focused on patient education, self-care, and back exercises – Current Sports Medicine Reports, Jan-Feb 2010

Chiropractic Adjustments (Spinal Manipulations) help to relieve Back Pain and Sciatica due to Disc Herniation - Spine Journal, March-April 2006

Spinal Manipulation is an effective therapy for treating Chronic Low Back Pain – Annals of Internal Medicine, October 2007

Chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation) help to relieve low back pain during pregnancy - JMPT, July-August 2008

Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation is safe and helps to reduce intensity of low back pain during pregnancy - Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Jan-Feb 2006

At both 5 month and 12 month follow-up, manipulative treatment with stabilizing exercises was more effective in reducing pain intensity and disability than the physician consultation alone – Spine Journal, October 2003


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