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Chiropractic Cuts Back Pain for 85% of Pregnant Women»

Many pregnant women do not seek medical attention for their back pain because they believe it’s just a “normal” part of pregnancy. It’s important to know that dealing with grueling pain that prevents you from accomplishing day-to-day tasks is anything but normal, even when you’re pregnant.

One common barrier to women seeking care for their back pain is a reluctance to take too many medications while pregnant. Fortunately, there are many drug-free, non-invasive options for relieving pelvic and back pain during pregnancy and beyond. A recent study confirms that chiropractic care can offer pregnant women safe and effective relief of pelvic and back pain.

The prospective cohort study included 115 pregnant patients with lower back or pelvic pain who were treated with chiropractic care. After one week, 52% said they had already noticed improvements; that percentage jumped to 70% after 1 month; and eventually to 85% after three months. Patients showed significant reductions in pain and disability, as measured by NRS and Oswestry scores, respectively.

One year after the start of the study, 88% of patients reported improved back and pelvic pain post-delivery. This improvement is significant, given that having back pain during pregnancy typically sets women up for future episodes of back pain. These findings suggest that taking care of your spinal health while pregnant can have lasting benefits for your health.

These results add to previous findings from a randomized, controlled trial published last year in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Patients enrolled in the study had significant back pain at 24-28 weeks’ gestation, and were randomly assigned to receive either chiropractic care or standard medical care. At 33 weeks’ gestation, those in the chiropractic group had significant reductions in pain and disability, while the standard medical care patients did not.

Surveys show that most pregnant women are satisfied with the care they receive from chiropractors.Chiropractors use gentle, low-force spinal adjustments when working with pregnant women or other sensitive patients, like the elderly or children. These spinal adjustments are often combined with massage, stretching, and exercise rehabilitation for effective, natural relief. Chiropractic has also been shown to be effective for women with migraine during pregnancy.

References

Peterson CK, et al. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 2014;22(1):15.

George JW, et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology 2013;208(4):295.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.10.869.

Back Pain Leading Cause of Global Disability»

Nearly everyone suffers from back pain at some point in their lives, but for almost 1 in 10 people, back pain is a chronic, daily concern. The widespread prevalence of lower back pain makes it the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to a new analysis from the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

The study included data from 47 countries and 117 different studies, which surveyed the effects of 291 conditions in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. Researchers discovered that lower back pain is the number one source of lost years due to disability, calculated by years living with the debilitating condition. Overall, low-back pain (LBP) is the sixth condition in terms of overall global burden.

Between 1990 to 2010, the number of people with lower back pain increased by 58.2 million, affecting 9.4% of the world population. The condition is most prevalent in Western Europe, and the least prevalent in the Caribbean and Latin America, according to Time.com.

“With an ageing population, there is an urgent need for further research to better understand LBP across different settings, ” the study authors concluded.

Most cases of lower back pain can be resolved through non-invasive, drug-free methods, including exercise and chiropractic care. Back pain has a number of potential causes, from a pinched nerve to a muscle strain, or simply sitting at a desk too long. Chiropractors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating back pain, so they can determine the best drug-free treatment methods for you. Research shows that chiropractic can effectively ease chronic back pain, and prevent it from recurring in the future.

References

Hoy, D. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of Rheumatic Disease doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428.

Sifferlin, Alexandra. This is the no.1 cause of disability worldwide. Time. March 25, 2014. http://time.com/36242/lower-back-pain-is-no-1-cause-of-disability-worldwide.

Why Migraines Strike Right When You’re Trying to Unwind»

An estimated 38 million Americans suffer from migraines on a regular basis, but scientists are still uncertain about exactly what causes migraines to occur. A new study that examined migraine headache triggers encountered a surprising potential new cause: relaxation. While stress has been tied to headaches, the study published in the journal Neurology shows that a period of relaxation directly after a stressful event is a bigger trigger for migraine attacks than stress itself.

Participants in the study were five times more likely to experience a headache attack within the first six hours after a decline in stress. Researchers blamed the hormone cortisol, which increases in response to stress and masks pain levels. When the stressful event passes, cortisol levels drop, leaving patients more susceptible to a migraine attack.

The study included 17 adults with migraines and 110 eligible migraine attacks tracked in three-month electronic pain diaries. Participants recorded headache episodes, stress levels, and common triggers like sleep, certain foods, drink, alcohol consumption, moods, and menstruation.

Researchers recommended that patients take efforts to monitor their stress levels throughout a highly stressful period, rather than letting it build up. “This study highlights the importance of stress management and healthy lifestyle habits for people who live with migraine,” observed co-author of the study, Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., of the Montefiore Headache Center. Earlier research has also indicated that treatments aimed stress reduction can assist children with migraine headache.

Patients with migraine can benefit from regular checkups with a chiropractor. Studies show that chiropractic care can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Chiropractic adjustments have been tied to reductions in the stress hormone cortisol, allowing you to take care of stress as it comes, rather than letting it escalate. Chiropractic adjustments can also ease chronic trigger points that could be contributing to headache.

References

Migraine attacks increase following stress let-down. MedicalXpress. March 26, 2014. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-03-migraine-stress-let-down.html.

Lipton RB, et al. Reduction in perceived stress as a migraine trigger. Neurology 2014; doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000332.

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