A recent study by Spine journal supports the use of chiropractic for low back pain and also featured as advice in JAMA. In the study, all of the participants, suffering from lower back pain, received standard medical care (SMC) but half of them in addition had chiropractic treatment. Out of the participants who received both SMC and chiropractic treatment, 74% stated that they felt no pain at all or felt a lot better.

According to the article, surgery is not usually needed and should only be considered if more conservative therapies fail. The information in JAMA reinforces the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) position that conservative care options should serve as a first line of defense against pain.

“We are encouraged to see JAMA suggest patients try chiropractic and other more conservative types of treatment for their back pain. In many cases pain can be alleviated without the use of unnecessary drugs or surgery, so it makes sense to exhaust conservative options first,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC


As a general rule, surgery for lumbar disc herniation is advisable only if conservative back treatment fails and the lower back pain and/or leg pain becomes unbearable, if the patient is experiencing loss of control of the bladder or bowels or if muscle weakness is detected.