Being from NY I can personally testify that they have an opioid problem. Apparently, NY has finally bothered to read the research that demonstrates, repeatedly, that chiropractic care has a profound effect for people with back pain. Back pain is the number one reason for an opioid prescription. One study revealed that people that use a chiropractor were 64% less likely to require an opioid prescription. New York state has a pilot program that authorizes the state budget to include chiropractic treatment. They now recognize the value of a non-pharmacological treatment for back pain.
If you are interested in understanding why adjusting (cracking your back) can have such a profound effect on chronic pain, it would take you years of advanced neurology courses. But I’ll try and break it down into something simple that you can walk away with.
Pain is transmitted to the brain on only one type of nerve. O.K. two, but mostly one. A C fiber and an A delta. They are very small nerves. Because their diameter is small the pain signal travels very slowly even though you can feel a pin immediately. That nerve signal can travel along a C nerve at about 5 mph. The nerves that chiropractors work on are the largest most powerful nerves in the body. They conduct information at 250 miles per hour.
When a chiropractor activates those largest most powerful nerves in your spinal joints called 1A and 1B nerves, they change your brains chemistry and literally take the pain signals parking spot from embedding itself into your pain center known as the thalamus. If a pain signal on a slow C nerve cannot get to the thalamus you have no recognition of pain. You know this all too well if you’ve ever been to a dentist. They inject the area with novocaine and you don’t feel that horrible pain that is most definitely being generated by that drill on a raw nerve in your tooth. Sadly, it wears off because your nerves repolarize and start working again.
You might have heard that pain is all in your head. Of course it is, if the nerve signal does not reach the thalamic portion of your head you are feeling good, even as the surgeon could be sawing off your leg. The difference between an anesthetic shot and a chiropractic adjustment is, the adjustment is permanently changing brain connections, which will have a greater probability of you functioning better without pain.
For most people their pain came on from years of doing things wrong. These accumulative traumas summated one day into you feeling extreme pain. As of now there is no treatment that is going to instantly re-educate all of your neuromuscular pathways. Typically, the average patient is going to need a number of treatments to rehabilitate their situation. Out of the tens of thousands of patients that I have treated over the past 40 years, a handful as in 5 required surgery. When you do require surgery, what they can do today is miraculous, but fortunately most back aches do not require it. They respond best to chiropractic care.