"Adjusting the Joints,"
Alan meets a number of practitioners and their patients who
extol the virtues of chiropractic. Its adherents claim chiropractic
-- which involves "adjusting" the bones of the spine -- can
do everything from cure deafness to clear up nasal congestion.
While there's no scientific evidence that spinal adjustment
can cure disease, research does suggest that chiropractors
can be as effective at easing back pain as conventional doctors.
How can that be?
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aching back is an all-too-common complaint. Back pain will
affect most Americans over the course of their lives. In any
given year, nearly half of us will suffer from it. It's the
most common reason that people 45 years and younger visit
health care providers, and it costs the U.S. health care system
$25 billion each year.
Back pain will affect most Americans
over the course of their lives.
once you've had back pain, you're all too likely to have it
again. Just under half of us will relapse within one year,
and many more will relapse in our lifetimes. Luckily, most
of us feel better within a few weeks, and almost all of us
feel better within three months. The remaining few who don't
get better - who may require surgery, long-term therapies
or extended time off from work - account for 75% of the cost.
low back pain is due to muscular strain, often intensified
by frequent sitting and poor posture.
responsible for all this pain? Injuries and disc problems
are notorious causes of back pain; however, the cause of the
pain is unknown in roughly four out of five cases. Pulled
muscles, arthritis and even depression might be the root of
much of the discomfort.
back pain occurs out of the usual activities of daily living,"
says Dr. Timothy Carey, M.D. Director of the Cecil B. Sheps
Center for Health Services Research and a professor at the
University of North Carolina's School of Medicine.
this widespread discomfort, people seek a wide variety of
cures, from surgery and medication to chiropractic and physical
therapy. Do any of them work?
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