Degenerative Disc Disease in the Back; Mesa Chiropractic Shines YET Again

The preconceptions surrounding chiropractic care are legendary. For those who have seen a Mesa chiropractor, the advantages are usually clear.

For those who have never been to a chiropractor in Mesa, however, there are a long list of fears and incorrect ideas.  Unfortunately, many physicians outside of chiropractic share the same fears and misconceptions.  If these erroneous thoughts were non-existent, I personally think the musculoskeletal health of this country (and globally) would be in a much better state.

One of these misconceptions deals with chiropractic care being useful only for acute, non-specific low back pain.  Neck pain, disc injuries, arthritis of the spine, knee pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel—none of these are on the list of generally acceptable conditions that chiropractic can treat.  However, these conditions and more are seen quite commonly in our office.

There is research on the effectiveness of Mesa chiropractic care for some of these conditions but it is usually limited to manipulation only, yet many musculoskeletal conditions have a pretty significant soft tissue component to can’t be addressed with joint manipulation.

So anytime I see a study that shows a positive effect with manipulation alone, I can feel confident that, which the addition of competent soft tissue work, the outcomes in real life (outside of a research study) are going to be pretty darn good.

All of this leads me to this particular study.  In it, researchers looked at 40 men who had been diagnosed with degenerative lumbar disease at L5-S1.  These men were divided into an adjustment group, who only received a single adjustment (L5-S1 “pull move”) or into a control group with no treatment.  They were then evaluated for various outcomes, including:

  • Participants’ height using a stadiometer (that height bar thingee on your doctor’s scale)
  • Perceived low back pain (measured using a a10 point VAS scale)
  • Neural mechanosensitivity (how much tension was in the nerves using a passive straight-leg raise
  • The amount of spinal mobility in flexion (measured using the finger-to-floor distance test)

If you understand chiropractic care, you will not be surprised to find that all of these measurements were improved in the chiropractic treatment group over the placebo group.

It would be easy for detractors to say that this was a single treatment that really doesn’t mean anything long-term.  The easy response to this would be to ask what medical treatment for degenerative disc disease is anything other them temporary?  And how many of these have a very small list of only minor side effects?

The answer is, of course, none of them.  Even if chiropractic care provided no long-term benefit in this situation, if you suffer from chronic low back pain, even a single days’ relief is valuable.  And none of this looks into whether or not a course of chiropractic care can have more long-lasting effects, but I can tell you from personal experience that the results can be very strong.

So if this fits you and you have not been to a chiropractor in Mesa, what are you waiting for?


James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.