ROANOKE, Va. – Lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability claims worldwide and one of the most common reasons that people miss work. Eight out of 10 American adults will experience back pain at some point in their life, so finding a way to get rid of that pain is something almost every one of us could benefit from.
A newly released study from the National University of Health Sciences shows that Foot Levelers custom orthotics, especially when combined with chiropractic care, can significantly reduce back pain.
Those who started using Foot Levelers orthotics were able to reduce their back pain by 35.5 percent. Patients who added the orthotics and chiropractic care saw 40 percent less back pain.
It's a combined treatment method that Melanie Slaughter has put to the test.
"Because my feet feel better, my knees feel better, my hips feel better, my back feels better," she says. "I'm able to do things more and with less pain."
The study also focused on patients being able to move around and be more active. Researchers found with the orthotics, function was up in patients by more than 18 percent. With the addition of chiropractic care, that functionality was up more than 32 percent.
"That's picking up your child, getting in and out of the car, playing a game of golf or going for a walk. All of that improved by 32 percent," explains Kent Greenawalt, the CEO of Foot Levelers.
The results are big news, as President Donald Trump declares the opioid crisis a national emergency, encouraging doctors to cut down on the amount of opioids prescribed.
Prescription medications can become extremely addictive, especially when taken over a long period of time like for prolonged back pain.
For other patients, like Slaughter, the prescription medications did little to actually help the shooting back pains and muscle spasms she was visiting her doctors about. She was prescribed a series of medications, muscle relaxants and their opioids all in an effort to address her pain.
Slaughter says instead of making her feel better, the medication made her feel like she was living in a fog.
"I just could not function normally, or what I felt like was normal," she says. "I felt like I couldn't drive, on some of the medications all I wanted to do was sleep. It wasn't helping the problem, it just kept getting worse."
That's when Slaughter began chiropractic care. She says she started seeing results in her flexibility and movement almost right away. She says adding the Foot Levelers to her daily routine, in her work shoes and the shoes she wears to exercise, she's seen an even bigger improvement.