As chiropractors continue to cater to an ever-aging American society, as well as injuries and chronic pain in patients, doctors of chiropractic in the latest Chiropractic Economics Salary & Expense Survey reported another uptick in offices with exercise programs among their modalities, rising from 56% to 59% of all clinics.
Studies are now showing that exercise for issues such as chronic back pain, where rest was usually the prescription, is now recommended for chronic pain sufferers.
A meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn., and involved the re-analysis of 75 different studies, each of which included exercise as a treatment intervention for pain. The results were published by PLoS One in January of 2019 and were likely not what many health care professionals expected in terms of exacerbation of chronic back pain and exercise.
After reviewing all data collected in these 75 different studies, researchers noted that there was “a significant positive correlation” between the participants’ engagement in physical activity and exacerbation of chronic back pain. Additionally, though this meta-analysis focused solely on pain that existed in the neck area, researchers suggest that increasing physical activity “is most likely to have a positive effect” for patients currently experiencing other types of chronic pain conditions.
In an interview with NPR, Benedict Kolber, one of the study’s researchers, explained that exercise is beneficial in these types of instances because it engages the body’s endogenous opioid system. This is the system responsible for the production and utilization of our own natural opioids, an action which ultimately helps ease chronic pain.
DCs working directly with patients not only to provide chiropractic services, but also as they participate in exercise therapy offers benefits that appear to be much more effective than just giving them an exercise regimen to complete at home, in between treatment sessions. The first step is helping patients understand that, even though it may be uncomfortable, especially at first, combining exercise therapy and chiropractic may help them get better results with chronic pain.
The 2020 Chiropractic Economics Salary & Expense Survey is the go-to source for annual salary data and trending information in the chiropractic industry.
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