As the country continues to reel from a fungal meningitis outbreak — linked to a tainted steroid used to treat back pain — that has sickened 386 people in 19 states and killed 28, the medical industry is debating again about how back pain is treated.
The outbreak revived old arguments about whether back pain sufferers have become too dependent on drugs and surgeries as quick cures — and whether these treatments even work in the long run.
Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States behind headaches, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. More than a quarter of adults experienced lower back pain in the last three months, according to a recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The chiropractic industry is using the outbreak to advocate for more conservative, less invasive approaches to treating back pain, including yoga, acupuncture and, of course, chiropractic care.
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress in California issued a position paper after the outbreak criticizing what it calls an overuse of drugs to treat back pain. The group said the use of drugs creates addicts and masks pain rather than treating underlying conditions.
I have to take a moment… (DEEP BREATH)
I am NOT a fan of chiropractic. Why? Because it’s unscientific and I’m being kind, there, by not going into more stuff they pull. But to suggest that the meningitis outbreak is correlated to using too many meds is low. The cause of this outbreak was something COMPLETELY different. For chiropractors to take advantage of that reveals their business model – get patients in and keep them coming back.
Here is another story on “spine wellness” (WOW! That term is irritating and ridiculous) as two chiropractors give out free adjustments to the community for marketing purposes in Washington state this weekend.