Medical Magazines: "Chiropractic Care Improves Usual Management for Low Back Pain"
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 11:09 AM

The Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) works to enhance chiropractic practice, public access and education.  A May 21, 2018, article published by notes that “adding chiropractic care to standard medical management of low back pain (LBP) in a military population reduced patient-reported pain and disability and improved satisfaction scores compared with standard treatment alone.”  This data is an important educational point for both the public and the health care practitioner.  The medical community continues to recognize and recommend chiropractic therapy for certain conditions.

The findings of this study, an article published online May 18 in JAMA Network Open and reported by Christine M. Goertz, DC, PhD, from Palmer College of Chiropractic, confirm results from the team’s pilot study and align with recent guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) for the noninvasive treatment of nonradicular subacute, acute, and chronic low back pain in primary care. 

The new ACP guidelines emphasize conservative treatment, including spinal manipulation, among other nondrug treatments, as first-line therapy for acute and chronic low-back pain.  The guidelines recommend:

"For treatment of chronic low back pain, clinicians should select therapies that have the fewest harms and lowest costs because there were no clear comparative advantages for most treatments compared with one another. Clinicians should avoid prescribing costly therapies; those with substantial potential harms, such as long-term opioids (which can be associated with addiction and accidental overdose); and pharmacologic therapies that were not shown to be effective…”

In their study, Goertz and colleagues enrolled 750 active-duty US service members with LBP from three military facilities in a pragmatic comparative effectiveness trial.  After screening, 250 patients from each of the study sites were allocated to receive usual medical care with chiropractic care (375 participants) or usual medical care alone (375 participants).

Patients in the chiropractic care group received standard treatment plus up to 12 chiropractic visits during the 6-week intervention period.  Spinal manipulative therapy was rendered in the low back and adjacent regions, and additional therapies such as rehabilitative exercise, interferential current therapy, ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, superficial heat, and other manual therapies, could also be included in chiropractic care.

The primary outcomes of both self-reported pain intensity and disability favored “usual medical and chiropractic care” compared with "usual medical care alone". 

The TCA is the leading professional chiropractic association in Texas working to enhance chiropractic practice, public access and education through committed service, attention to public health, integrity, respect and optimism.