Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the second most debilitating condition according to a study done evaluating the “global disease burden”. In particular, low back pain (LBP) is the most common MSK condition, with neck pain and osteoarthritis coming in close behind. In terms of low back pain, it is estimated that 100% of the population will suffer from it at some point in their lives. At any one time, up to 37% of us are experiencing low back pain, right now.
Current approaches to people suffering musculoskeletal symptoms means that 85-90% do not get a proper diagnosis. Locally, statistics show that there is a high rate of referral for surgical consultation that often leads to excessive imaging and no beneficial outcome for you, the client. The system is over burdened and unnecessarily taxed due to a lack of an appropriate clinical framework. Current research tells us that many existing treatments have only small effects at best, but that there is potential for better management by implementing preventive measures such as weight loss and exercise for low back pain.
Luckily chiropractors are well positioned to be the “Primary Spinal Care Specialists” as they have the training in both functional and pathological musculoskeletal conditions. A functional issue means that there is minimal change in many tissues (ligaments, muscles, joints) that then cause significant symptoms. A pathological condition is like osteoarthritis where there is permanent destruction of tissue – with or without symptoms. A Primary Spinal Care Specialist must look at the presenting symptoms in relationship to your global movement patterns, like how you walk and how you use your body at work, with your hobbies and in your day-to-day activities. A proper assessment of the strength of your muscles related to your presenting complaint and related to your abnormal movement pattern is essential to a proper diagnosis. In longstanding conditions, lifestyle factors like your sleep, your diet, your stress levels, have a significant impact on your ability to heal.
Chiropractic manipulation works very well for acute conditions. Of the 23% of the population who suffer chronic MSK conditions, 11% of those will be debilitated. With these more complicated situations, a broader, more comprehensive approach is necessary to achieve positive outcomes. Lifestyle counselling, rehabilitation through prescribed exercise, nutritional supplementation – all these are important factors to consider when treating complicated, chronic conditions. These are where the Primary Spinal Care Specialist excels!
For more information on how Integrated Health Centre can help you, please refer to our website here.