Chiropractic Care and Risk for Acute Lumbar Disc Herniation
Written by Editor   
Monday, December 18, 2017 08:41 AM

Chiropractic care is popular for low back pain.  Low back pain is a common early symptom of Lumbar Disc Herniation (LDH) and commonly precedes LDH diagnosis.  Strong positive associations were found between acute LDH and both chiropractic and PCP visits. The risk for acute LDH with early surgery associated with chiropractic visits was no higher than the risk associated with PCP visits.   

The analysis suggests that patients with prodromal back pain from a developing disc herniation likely seek healthcare from both chiropractors and PCPs before full clinical expression of acute LDH. 

The objective of this study was to investigate the association between chiropractic care and acute LDH with early surgical intervention, and contrast this with the association between primary care physician (PCP) care and acute LDH with early surgery.  

This study found no evidence of excess risk for acute LDH with early surgery associated with chiropractic compared with primary medical care. Using a self-controlled case series design and population-based healthcare databases in Ontario, Canada, the authors investigated all adults with acute LDH requiring emergency department (ED) visit and early surgical intervention from April 1994 to December 2004. The relative incidence of acute LDH with early surgery in exposed periods after chiropractic visits relative to unexposed periods was estimated within individuals, and compared with the relative incidence of acute LDH with early surgery following PCP visits.

 Both chiropractic and primary medical care were associated with an increased risk for acute lumbar disc herniation (LDH) requiring emergency department (ED) visit and early surgery.