Patients with chronic or long-term pain have different needs than those with acute pain.

While no one disputes the effectiveness of chiropractic for short-term or acute back pain, some doctors still question the validity for long-term or chronic back pain. This is understandable because it wasn’t until 1997 that Spine, a leading medical journal, concluded:

“Strong evidence was found for the effectiveness of manipulation, back schools and exercise therapy for chronic low back pain, especially for short-term effects.” 1

A study at The Townsville General Hospital, Queensland, in 1999 compared acupuncture (6 treatments in a 3-4 week period), anti-inflammatory drugs (3-4 weeks) and spinal manipulation (6 treatments in 3-4 weeks) for managing chronic spinal pain syndromes (low back, mid back and neck pain). Of all the treatments, spinal manipulation was the only intervention to have consistent and significant improvement over all outcomes.2

At Shirley Rd Chiropractic we understand the risk factors, disability, and depression that are often associated with chronic pain. We can work with you and your other careers in such a way as to try and break this cycle of chronic pain.

Risk Factors for Chronic Low Back Pain

  • previous history of low back pain
  • total work loss due to low back pain in the last 12 months
  • radiating leg pain
  • signs of nerve root involvement (reduced straight leg raise)
  • reduced trunk muscle strength and endurance
  • poor physical fitness
  • self-rated poor health
  • heavy smoking
  • psychological distress and depressive symptoms
  • disproportionate illness behaviour
  • low job satisfaction
  • personal problems (e.g. alcohol, marital, financial, medicolegal proceedings).3

A very good 5 minute cartoon was created by Hunter Integrated Pain Service to help explain pain. It is very worthwhile to watch to gain a better understanding of pain. Click here to watch on YouTube.

Chronic Pain Chiropractic
There are many factors that determine the likelihood of whether or not someone will develop chronic pain.



  1. van Tulder, M.W., Koes, B.W., Bouter, L.X. (1997) Conservative treatment of acute and chronic non-specific low back pain. Spine 22: 2128-2156.
  2. Giles & Muller (1999) JMPT 22: 376-381.
  3. Waddell, G. et al. (1996) Clinical guidelines for the management of acute low back pain. Royal College of General Practitioners. 26.