Back pain, will a chiropractor get it better?

If you go to see a chiropractor for back pain treatment in Brighton one of the important questions you want answered is “Will  a chiropractor help me get better?”  This is an important question for chiropractors too. If our treatment is not going to be effective we want to refer you quickly to another treatment.

This is a hot topic in the research at the moment. Back treatment studies are popping up all over the world trying to answer the question “who is likely to get better when they see a chiropractor for back pain?”

It is a hard question to answer because there are lots of different causes of back pain, people have different lifestyles, respond to care differently and some people don’t do their exercises!

So what are the results from these studies going back 25 years. Back sufferers who do worse tend to have more severe pain for a longer period. So far no surprises. People who have more than 30 days pain in the last year are more likely to carry on having pain. Being in work seems to help and curiously so does moderate alcohol consumption in more longstanding back pain.

Perhaps the most interesting findings are that your expectation of whether you will get better affects whether you will get better. If your clinician expects you to get better you are more likely to do well too. So being optimistic and being given a good prognosis help you get rid of back pain quickly.

Also if your back pain improves well in the first few treatment visits with a chiropractor then that means you are likely to have a better outcome. In fact if you have a recent bout of back pain between 60% and 80% of people are significantly better after 4 visits. These results are broadly similar for other conditions like neck pain, disc problems and whiplash.

28% of people will see a GP for back pain. And 10% of people now seek care from practitioners like chiropractors for back pain. In some areas chiropractic is available on the NHS but, sadly, not in Brighton.

Oh and one last thing. People did better if they felt that they got enough time with the chiropractor. So if you feel you would like more time at your next appointment just mention it when you book and we will happily give you a longer appointment at no extra fee.

If you haven’t been in before but would like to know if our physio’s or chiropractors in Brighton can help you then give us a call for free check. We’d love to see you.


Proceedings of College of Chiropractors Annual Conference, RCOG, London, Feb 1st 2012

Is the pop necessary for our chiropractic adjustment to be effective?

Chiropractic BrightonSome people love it, some people hate it but the pop or click associated with chiropractic spinal adjustments or manipulation is thought to be the beneficial bit of chiropractic care by many people. But is this right? If a joint doesn’t pop does this mean the treatment hasn’t worked and you won’t get better.

This very question was studied recently using 40 people as guinea pigs. There pain sensitivity was measured by using a hot probe on their leg or foot. Ouch! The individuals then received a spinal manipulation and then retested to see if they could bear a hotter probe. Interestingly, the people who popped and the people who didn’t pop both had the same improvement in pain sensitivity. In other words they could bear hotter probe after treatment whether or not they’re back popped with the manipulation.

So what does this mean for you if you have chiropractic treatment? Well, essentially it means if your back doesn’t pop when we adjust it, you will still get better just as quickly. This is good news for people who don’t like the click because, as much as chiropractors like it, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. For a chiropractic technique without the clicking that we carry out here in Brighton go here.

Of course the other thing to remember from this study is that if a researcher asks you if you want to take part in an experiment to do with pain – run a mile!


The relationship of the audible pop to hypoalgesia associated with high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust manipulation: a secondary analysis of an experimental study in pain-free participants.

Bialosky JE, Bishop MD, Robinson ME, George SZ; University of Florida Department of Physical Therapy.

Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2010; 33: 117-124.

Preventing falls in older people

Sundial Clinics BrightonA wonderful new study suggests that falls in older people can be prevented by a simple series of exercises. Exercises that work on balance, strength and gait could be helpful. The researchers highlight TaiChi as being a good example of this sort of exercise.

If you are concerned about falling yourself or concerned about a relative we would recommend a balance, flexibility and strength check up at Sundial prior to a new exercise regime. We can advise on what would be the most suitable exercise for you. Continue reading “Preventing falls in older people”