With low back pain being a chief complaint so often it my profession, it can be easy is to take the success chiropractors have had when treating this problem. While I personally prefer to focus on larger nervous system dysfunction of the body, a proven benefit of these spinal adjustments is a reduction in spinal pain, low back or otherwise.
With that in mind, I am actually focusing this blog post on back pain specifically, and no better than some information compiled by Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C.
Here is a review from the editors of The Lancet regarding findings of effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments and the expertise in which a chiropractor manages low back pain from a randomized study done by the peer reviewed British Medical Journalm, June 2nd, 1990. The study itself compares chiropractic treatment effectiveness to hospital outpatient treatment. The study utilized 741 patients.
They note: The article “showed a strong and clear advantage for patients with chiropractic.”
The advantage for chiropractic over conventional hospital treatment was “not a trivial amount” and “reflects the difference between having mild pain, the ability to lift heavy weights without extra pain, and the ability to sit for more than one hour, compared with moderate pain, the ability to lift heavy weights only if they are
conveniently positioned, and being unable to sit for more than 30 minutes.”
“This highly significant difference occurred not only at 6 weeks, but also for 1, 2, and even (in 113 patients followed so far) 3 years after treatment.”
“Surprisingly, the difference was seen most strongly in patients with chronic symptoms.”
“The trial was not simply a trial of manipulation but of management” as 84% of the hospital-managed patients had manipulations.
“Chiropractic treatment should be taken seriously by conventional medicine, which means both doctors and physiotherapists.”
“Physiotherapists need to shake off years of prejudice and take on board the skills that the chiropractors have developed so successfully.”
Chiropractors and Low Back Pain
July 28, 1990, p. 220
I for one, do not need any convincing of the effectiveness of a chiropractic adjustment and care plan for back pain, it is nice to have some reasonable acknowledgment for the profession as a whole. The choice of words that are used like “Surprisingly”, “prejudice”, and “taken seriously”, truly effect me. Why? Since it is essentially an admission by one of the most famous journals in the world that chiropractic is effective and there is serious bias, regardless of proof and the effectiveness according to the results.
You just have to love backhanded compliments.
The addition of “take on board the skills that chiropractors have developed so successfully”, I assume is meant to be a compliment when in fact insults the years of training and understanding it takes to deliver a chiropractic adjustment safely, and effectively.
I continue to hold out hope for a long term study that measures the overall health and wellness of a group who is under chiropractic care, to those who follow a conventional health regimen. However, it is unlikely the people who appreciate that kind of proof will believe it anyways.
I have not heard of any other health care practitioners touting this study for a reason to see a chiropractor, so hopefully I can help arm other chiropractors, and patients with the knowledge of chiropractic’s “surprisingly” effective results on low back pain.