C'Mon Dr. Besser!
This morning as I was getting ready for the day I was watching ABC’s Good Morning America. They happened to be showing a segment about back pain so naturally I perked up. This story is a cautionary tale about a woman who, against the advice of one surgeon, underwent back surgery without trying more conservative approaches. The result is that the procedure left her debilitated and in constant pain.
I like this from the stand point that people need to be aware that surgical cases of low back pain are really the exception rather than the rule. This is true even in cases where the intensity of the pain is high.
I DON’T LIKE this from the stand point that Dr. Besser doesn’t want to emphasize the fact that manual therapies such as spinal manipulation and mobilization are the most researched and proven best approaches for conservative management of back pain. Watch as Dr. Besser almost gags as he mentions at the very end that “Oh yeah I guess you could try chiropractic, physical therapy….” I don’t know much about the man but it is pretty clear that he either has little knowledge and experience with chiropractic care or he is a subscriber to the old school dogma that chiropractic is bad. Most research supports that spinal manipulation is as effective as the drugs which he recommends people use for pain relief but without the side effects. Let’s see…. Benefits – Side Effects = Better Option!
Speaking of risks… Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose (it is estimated that half of the cases are accidental) is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the US. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs like ibuprofen) carry the following list of side effects: nausea, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal ulceration/bleeding, raised liver enzymes, diarrhea, constipation, epistaxis, headache, dizziness, priapism, rash, salt and fluid retention, and hypertension. (Rossi S, ed (2004). Australian Medicines Handbook (2004 ed.). Australian Medicines Handbook). Let’s not pretend that chiropractic doesn’t have (a very short list) side effects though including: Temporary headache, tiredness, local discomfort in the area treated, stroke (1/1-10,000,000 manipulations), and fracture (also very very rare). (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health). The rate of serious complications (stroke and fracture) for chiropractic patients are similar to those of medical patients.
So C’MON DR. BESSER! Give the people what they need! Let go of these antiquated ideas that manual medicine can’t compare to your pills or your scalpel. There is a reason that Chiropractic care is consistently rated as having the highest patient satisfaction rate for patients seek care for spine related problems.