Many chiropractors believe regular treatment can relive existing back pain and prevent future problems. Except not everyone’s buying the prevention part, says Thomas Torzok, D.C., a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic center for sports health. “The only proven way to reduce recurrence rates is to strengthen your core and lumbar muscles.”

His advice: find a chiropractor with a physical therapist on staff, or one who is also certified in rehabilitation. This way you can reap relatively quick relief from spinal adjustment and then transition over to the P.T. to help buttress your back. Of course, if you’re smart you won’t wait until the next time your back acts up before starting that core work.

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