Think chiropractic doesn’t work? Well, neither does spinal surgery.

There is no doubt that chiropractors have a bad rep in Singapore. A quick Google will bring you to forums talking about hard-selling experiences or how it is not evidence-based. While compelling as they may sound, those are just opinions..

Surgeons are not, by default, more evidence-based than chiropractors

disc herniation, spinal degeneration
When patients undergo MRI, they are led to believe that their spine is damaged and therefore they are in pain. However, research is showing that there is poor correlation between MRI findings and pain! This means you can have a full and completely recovery in spite of the disc degeneration or disc herniations you have in your MRI.

A couple of years ago, an orthopaedic surgeon in Singapore wrote a raving piece about how chiropractic doesn’t work. In his little post, there were lots of fallacies with almost no citations to back his claims.

That on its own is pretty telling.

No, we are not saying that all surgeons are terrible.

What we are saying is that being a surgeon doesn’t by default make you evidence-based. Similarly, being a chiropractor doesn’t by default make you a quack.

Let’s stick to the (latest) hard science

Just last month, a new study looking at lumbar fusion surgeries found that the procedure doesn’t help low back pain patients.

The study reported that patients who went through the highly invasive surgery reported little improvements in pain scores or functional capacity.

It’s pretty intense because we are led to believe that surgery is the ultimate cure for back pain, and that if you “fix” your spine, your back pain will miraculously disappear.

Well, the latest science tells us this is not true.

Reframing pain: how to achieve a truly outstanding recovery?

foot stepping on lego, pain science
We all know that it hurts a lot when you step on a lego. However, there’s no injury whatsoever! This is a classic example of how pain doesn’t equals damage.

Rude as it may sound, we need to stop thinking pain equals damage. There has been lots of advancement in pain science, and we now know that most chronic pain does not come with tissue damage.

If we are able to accept that, then it starts to make more sense to why surgery doesn’t always help with persistent pain cases.

Even in sports-related pain, this is true. There is a huge push from sports scientist for athletes to separate pain from injury.

The truth of the matter is that you can have pain without injury, and injury without pain.

What helps with pain?

back pain exercise, back pain guidelines

Well, exercise and lifestyle change. This is what all the latest research is pointing to!

At the end of the day, we all know that exercise is good for us, and that exercise can help with a lot of conditions.

We all know that stronger bodies mean less pain. Yet when it comes to our own recovery, we are less likely to explore exercise as a viable treatment option.

At the end of the day, all clinical guidelines point to exercise and education as your long-term pain solution.

Sure, you may feel better an adjustment or even massage. But how do you feel a few days or weeks after? Does your pain come back?

This is why we choose to only focus on exercise and coaching at Square One Active Recovery. It’s works and it’s a true long-term pain solution!


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.