Chronic Lower Back Pain Is a Disease Not an Illness

St George Chiropractor

The difference between a disease and an illness can be illustrated like this:  If you catch a cold and get stuffed up lungs which makes it hard to breathe, that is an illness (a singular event).  If you have asthma and can’t breathe, that is a disease.  Asthma stays with you for a while.  Sure there are periods of relief where the flare-ups are less often, but still, the triggers remain.  One could have an asthma attack when the right environmental triggers present themselves.

Lower back pain is like a disease.  Many of my patients suffer back pain, find relief, only to have another episode a few months later.  It is not fair to say that chiropractic did not help them.  Chiropractic care has proven itself to be safe and effective many times over in the medical literature.  The problem is, many people who suffer from lower back pain have a precipitating factor which is predisposing them to relapse.  The most common chronic back diseases I see in my St George UT chiropractor office are:


Richard Deyo, MD, MPH, and James Weinstein, DO, dispute claims that low back pain resolves within 2 months in an article entitled “Low Back Pain” in the February 1, 2001, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. They point out that recurrences are common and that low back pain is a “chronic problem with intermittent exacerbations, analogous to asthma, rather than an acute disease that can be cured.”   They point out that often, the low back condition resolves then a new episode arises.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting updates illustrating the different chronic disease.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and

Dr. Andrew White
Chronic Pain Chiropractor, St George UT

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