How Chiropractic Can Assist Back Pain

Back pain is something that affects 80% of adults at some point in their lives. It is also the number one reason for time being taken off of work in Australia. These statistics make back pain a very serious problem. 25% of cases of acute low back pain will progress to being chronic.

When our spine and our joints are moving properly, the brain will receive sensory signals via the spinal cord about this position and movement. This is called mechanoreception and proprioception.

When the spine is damaged or injured in some way, causing it to be positioned incorrectly or to move abnormally, other signals are sent to the brain as a warning that something is wrong. These injuries can be sudden traumas like lifting injuries or smaller repetitive stresses like poor posture. The brain may respond by contracting muscles in the affected area, which can also become inflamed. These changes may give rise to back pain.

Chiropractors are highly trained to analyse the spine in the context of overall body function, and find the areas that are not functioning properly.

Once we’ve found what the problem is, we can put steps in place to improve the functional movement of spinal structures, and allow the body to restore a state of normal signals to the brain again once the warning signals are no longer required.

Recent studies have found chiropractic care to be a very successful approach to dealing with back pain. A Canadian commission found chiropractic care to be very effective as well as cost effective, while a 2009 consumer report surveyed 14000 people and found that 88% of them found chiropractic very helpful for their back pain. A 2009 italian study also showed chiropractic to provide better long term and short term outcomes than back school exercise programs.

So if you suffer from back pain, the team at Walkerville chiropractic would love to help you work through it.

The World Federation of Chiropractic has cited the following as a list of the most recent, high quality scientific studies relating to chiropractic care for both acute and chronic low back pain.


GertBronfort, DC, PhD; Maria A. Hondras, DC, MPH; Craig A. Schulz, DC, MS; Roni L. Evans, DC, PhD; Cynthia R. Long, PhD; and Richard Grimm, MD, PhD. Spinal Manipulation and Home Exercise With Advice for Subacute and Chronic Back-Related Leg Pain: A Trial With Adaptive Allocation. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(6):381-391.

Haas, Mitchell et al.Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal , Volume 14 , Issue 7 , 1106 – 1116

Benjamin Hidalgo , Christine Detrembleur , Toby Hall , Philippe Mahaudens , Henri Nielens. The efficacy of manual therapy and exercise for different stages of non-specific low back pain: an update of systematic reviews. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. Vol. 22, Iss. 2, 2014

John C. Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA, Dennis E. Minotti, DO, Robert J. Gatchel, PhD, Cathleen M. Kearns, BA and Karan P. Singh, PhD.Osteopathic Manual Treatment and Ultrasound Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial Ann Fam Med March/April 2013 vol. 11 no. 2 122-129
Pierre Balthazard, Pierre de Goumoens, Gilles Rivier, Philippe Demeulenaere, PierluigiBallabeni and Olivier Dériaz. Manual therapy followed by specific active exercises versus a placebo followed by specific active exercises on the improvement of functional disability in patients with chronic non specific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012 13:162

Rubinstein SM1, van Middelkoop M, Assendelft WJ, de Boer MR, van Tulder MW. Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain: an update of a Cochrane review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Jun;36(13):E825-46.

Bronfort G1, Maiers MJ, Evans RL, Schulz CA, Bracha Y, Svendsen KH, Grimm RH Jr, Owens EF Jr, Garvey TA, Transfeldt EE. Supervised exercise, spinal manipulation, and home exercise for chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. Spine J. 2011 Jul;11(7):585-98

Petersen T1, Larsen K, Nordsteen J, Olsen S, Fournier G, Jacobsen S. The McKenzie method compared with manipulation when used adjunctive to information and advice in low back pain patients presenting with centralization or peripheralization: a randomized controlled trial. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Nov 15;36(24):1999-2010.

Andrea D Furlan, MD, PhD, FatemehYazdi, BScPT, MSc, Alexander Tsertsvadze, MD, MSc, Anita Gross, BScPT, MSc, Maurits Van Tulder, PhD, Lina Santaguida, BScPT, PhD, Dan Cherkin, PhD, Joel Gagnier, ND, PhD, Carlo Ammendolia, DC, PhD, Mohammed T Ansari, MBBS, MMedSc, MPhil, Thomas Ostermann, PhD, Trish Dryden, RMT, MEd, Steve Doucette, MSc, Becky Skidmore, MLS, Raymond Daniel, BA, Sophia Tsouros, BHKin, Laura Weeks, PhD, and James Galipeau, PhD. Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain II. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2010 Oct.Report No.: 10(11)-E007

GertBronfort, Mitch Haas, Roni Evans, Brent Leininger, and Jay Triano. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. ChiroprOsteopat. 2010; 18: 3.

Rubinstein, Sidney M. PhD; Terwee, Caroline B. PhD; Assendelft, Willem J. J. MD, PhD; de Boer, Michiel R. PhD; van Tulder, Maurits W. PhD. Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Acute Low Back Pain: An Update of the Cochrane Review. Spine: 01 February 2013 – Volume 38 – Issue 3 – p E158–E177

Goertz CM1, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Apr 15;38(8):627-34.

Hill JC1, Whitehurst DG, Lewis M, Bryan S, Dunn KM, Foster NE, Konstantinou K, Main CJ, Mason E, Somerville S, Sowden G, Vohora K, Hay EM. Comparison of stratified primary care management for low back pain with current best practice (STarT Back): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2011 Oct 29;378(9802):1560-71.

Hayden JA, van Tulder MW, Malmivaara AV, Koes BW. Meta-analysis: exercise therapy for nonspecific low back pain. Ann Intern Med. 2005 May 3;142(9):765-75.

Choi BK1, Verbeek JH, Tam WW, Jiang JY. Exercises for prevention of recurrences of low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD006555.

Downie Aron, Williams Christopher M, Henschke Nicholas, Hancock Mark J, Ostelo Raymond W J G, de Vet Henrica C W et al. Red flags to screen for malignancy and fracture in patients with low back pain: systematic review BMJ 2013; 347 :f7095

Williams, Christopher M et al. Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet , Volume 384 , Issue 9954 , 1586 – 1596

DeyoRichard A, JarvikJeffrey G, ChouRoger. Low back pain in primary careBMJ 2014; 349 :g4266
Lemeunier N1, Leboeuf-Yde C, Gagey O. The natural course of low back pain: a systematic critical literature review. Chiropr Man Therap. 2012 Oct 17;20(1):33.

Luciola da C. Menezes Costa, PhD, Christopher G. Maher, PhD, Mark J. Hancock, PhD, James H. McAuley, PhD, Robert D. Herbert, PhD, and Leonardo O.P. Costa, PhD. The prognosis of acute and persistent low-back pain: a meta-analysis. CMAJ. 2012 Aug 7; 184(11): E613–E624.

Get in Touch