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Chiropractic Research

Some conditions that Dr. Smith commonly treats:

Low back pain
Neck pain
Sciatica/leg pain
Disc injuries
Disc herniations
Spinal Stenosis
Arthritic pain
Whiplash injuries
Tingling in hands and feet
TMJ disorders
Hip pain
Shoulder pain
Pinched nerves
Carpal Tunnel
Tennis elbow
Knee pain
Foot pain

Disc herniations
Disc herniations are very common and are not a contraindication to chiropractic treatment. In fact, a majority of my patients have existing disc herniations. Studies show that many individuals (some as young 20 years old) have disc herniations and don't even know it. In short, disc herniations are fairly prevalent and are often asymptomatic. Regardless of whether or not your herniation is symptomatic or asymptomatic, you may still receive chiropractic care. Special attention will be given to your acute disc herniation and techniques used during treatment may be modified. Dr. Smith successfully treats numerous disc injuries every year and highly recommends trying conservative therapy first.

Whiplash injuries are injuries to the cervical spine or neck and are commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents. Quite often whiplash involves injury to the joints and soft tissue of the cervical spine which, if left untreated, could become chronic. These injuries tend to respond well to chiropractic treatment. It is important, if you have suffered a whiplash injury, to begin treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment intervention can be critical in shortening recovery time and helping to ensure a full recovery.

Sciatica is a very common condition. The vast majority of people with sciatica do not need surgery. If you have sciatica or think you have sciatica, then it is important to get examined and treated right away. Any nerve condition, like sciatica, has a greater chance of recovering when treated at or near the onset of symptoms. Most sciatica responds well to conservative care. Dr. Smith can help you determine if surgery is an appropriate treatment option.

Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal that houses the spinal nerves and arteries is physically reduced in size, or narrowed, often as the result of arthritic change. When this narrowing puts pressure on the spinal nerves or arteries, symptoms such as lower back and leg pain or weakness may result. In many instances these symptoms can be managed quite effectively with conservative care. The actual narrowing of the spinal canal, however, can only be widened through invasive surgery, if warranted. Conservative therapy should be considered as a treatment option when rapid or progressive neurological symptoms are not present.

Back Pain Facts & Statistics taken from the American Chiropractic Association website:

Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition.  In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. 1

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. 2
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic-meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis , infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain-and that's just for the more easily identified costs. 3
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives. 4

What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements-for example, picking up a pencil from the floor- can have painful results. In addition, arthritis , poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss .

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness , manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment . It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest. 5

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research-a federal government research organization-recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults. 6


1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.

2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.

3. This total represents only the more readily identifiable costs for medical care, workers compensation payments and time lost from work. It does not include costs associated with lost personal income due to acquired physical limitation resulting from a back problem and lost employer productivity due to employee medical absence. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville,

4. In Vallfors B, previously cited.

5. Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.

6. Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December, 1994.

© 2010 Copyright American Chiropractic Association.
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Dr. Jeffrey C. Smith
Chiropractic Physician
Sport and Spine Center
7293 Post Road
North Kingstown, RI 02852
ph 401 295-8606
fx 401 295-8607
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