A recent article in Lippincott’s Bone and Joint Newsletter caught this Comox Valley Chiropractor‘s eye concerning the effectiveness of chiropractic care when compared to “usual care” given by family doctors. The main author of the study is Dr. Paul Bishop, DC, PhD, MD, a professor of orthopedics at the University of British Columbia.

The study was presented at the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine in Hong Kong. The results indicated that following the existing clinical practice guidelines (which include chiropractic spinal manipulation) produces better outcomes than family doctor-directed care for acute low back pain patients.

The guideline based care involved avoiding passive treatment, acetaminophen to control pain, reassurance and four weeks of spinal manipulation performed by chiropractic doctors at a frequency of two times per week. All patients returned to work within eight weeks.

Using pain and disability questionnaires, the chiropractic treatment group was found to have a significantly greater improvement than those who received “usual care” from their family physicians.

It was also stated that,

“Typically, the family physician-based care involved excessive use of passive therapies such as massage and passive physical therapy, excessive bed rest, and excessive use of narcotic analgesics, Bishop added.”

The evidence continues to mount that chiropractic care is an effective form of treatment for low back pain, and should be used as a first line of treatment for uncomplicated cases.