Although research shows chiropractic is effective for back pain relief, its role in the traditional medical treatment of back pain is still unclear. In a recent article from the medical journal Spine, researchers sought to determine the effects of incorporating chiropractic adjustments into standard medical care for back pain.
They divided a group of military personnel with back pain into two treatment groups: half received standard medical care (SMC) and half received standard medical care plus chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT). The chiropractic patients experienced better results than patients receiving standard care alone. At both the two and four week follow-ups, CMT patients had better improvements in pain, disability, and overall function. The researchers concluded that integrating chiropractic into standard care for back pain could have “significant advantages” for patients.
While some may bristle at the basic premise of the article ( that chiropractic is effective as an adjunct rather than stand-alone treatment), it’s important to remember that integrating chiropractic into standard medical care could create a gateway for patients interested in natural therapies. Improving physicians’ understanding of chiropractic care could ultimately lead to better outcomes for patients recovering from pain.
Chiropractic adjustments may be what’s missing for many medical patients enduring persistent pain. Previous research suggests that chiropractic may be more effective than traditional medical treatments in preventing recurring back pain.
Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, et al. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: the results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2012; doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31827733e7.