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Marijuana Better Than Chiropractic For Back Pain?

For the interactive version of this infographic and some statistical geekery, click here.

When your back hurts, is your first thought, “Where’s the marijuana?”

I’m guessing not.

But Back Pain is the #2 condition at CureTogether, with 1188 people reporting their experiences, and this is their collective wisdom. If you look at the infographic above, the most popular and effective treatments reported are on the top right – hot packs, physical therapy, stretching, exercise, massage.

The top left quadrant shows below-average usage, but above-average effectiveness, so presumably if more people tried these, they would be helped (marijuana, Oxycodone, yoga, and Pilates).

Those in the lower-right quadrant have above-average usage but below-average effectiveness, so presumably if fewer people tried these, they would be free to find more effective treatments elsewhere (chiropractic adjustments, ice packs, Ibuprofen).

Where did this data come from? CureTogether members have been anonymously sharing symptoms and treatments for almost 2 years now. We anonymized, analyzed, and visualized the data into infographic form to make it more accessible. To thank everyone for their contributions, we’re releasing this result back to the community for free.

This is the fifth in a series of infographics we’ll be publishing over the coming weeks. Stay tuned and please give your feedback or thoughts on this result in the comments below – or write to me at

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in Back Pain. Thank you!

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5 Responses to “Marijuana Better Than Chiropractic For Back Pain?”

  1. Chiropractic is always better than Marijuana, it’s a very wrong thing to believe that Marijuana is better.

  2. Jon Laughton Says:

    I don’t agree with the chiro above.Obvious bias. I get regular treatments and they only last a day or so at best and then the pain is back. I have quit smoking Marijuana for 3 weeks now- for other reasons- and never had this much constant pain before. They say the majority of symptoms are psychosomatic so if marijuana takes your mind off your pain it is being effective.

  3. Chiropractic saves patients money by reducing their need for pain medication. Many drugs merely mask pain without addressing its underlying cause. Chiropractic goes to the root of the problem, helping patients live pain-free without the use of medication.

  4. I would never suggest using marijuana for back pain. That is a temporary solution whereas seeing a professional and trained chiropractor is going to do a lot more good for you in the short term and in the long run.

  5. I’m having a hard time reconciling the assertion that MJ is better than a DC at relieving back pain. I haven’t read the study yet, but I will in a few minutes. I’d have some serious concerns about the methodology involved.

    I stipulate to MJ having some capacity to help with neurogenic pain. But it would seem unfair to compare neurogenic back pain with mechanical back pain which is what the DC is treating. It’s simply an unfair comparison.

    That would be like saying “My aesthetician was better at whitening my teeth than my dentist was.” For goodness sake, it’s not the dentist’s primary job to whiten teeth. His job is to promote oral health. The DC treats mechanical back pain while the MJ is there to cover the neurogenic pain.

    I understand the headline was there to grab attention. “if it bleeds, it leads” as they say in media.

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