6 Secrets to a Pain Free Low Back… Finds Chiropractic

is Second to None

What does the scientific evidence tell us about the effectiveness of chiropractic, especially when compared to standard medical treatments?

You can start get to the cause of your low back pain when you start to review the many comparison studies that have been conducted and are discussed in this report. Chiropractic care has been closely scrutinised by a variety of scientists, doctors, chiropractors themselves, government agencies and other researchers. Chiropractic has been compared to standard medical treatment, physiotherapy, bed rest, spinal surgery, pain killers, massage, deep heat applications and many other interventions.

Without fail, when compared to other treatments, chiropractic care can be scientifically verified as being second to none.

According to a study conducted by Ontario’s Ministry of Health, “…for the management of low-back pain, chiropractic care is the most effective treatment, and it should be fully integrated into the government’s health care system.” The same study also found, “…injured workers … diagnosed with low­back pain returned to work much sooner when treated by chiropractors than by physicians.”

According to the British Medical Research Council Study, spinal manipulation performed by chiropractors was found more effective than alternative treatments for low ­back pain.

According to medical researcher TW Meade, M.D. “…chiropractic is a very effective treatment, more effective than conventional hospital outpatient treatment for low­back pain, particularly in patients who had back pain in the past and who got severe problems”.

1. The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low­Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) ­ University of Ottawa, Canada.

2. Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. Meade, TW et al British Medical

Journal ­ 1990;300:1431­1437. Chiropractic Treatment vs. Standard Medical Care

Patient Evaluations Mean number of days incapacitated after first visit:

Chiropractic: 11 days

Medical: 40 days

Restricted for greater than one week

Chiropractic: 17%

Medical: 48%

Perception of doctor’s confidence in diagnosing and treating low­back pain

Chiropractic: 60%

Medical: 23%

Satisfied With Their Treatment

Chiropractic: 86%

Medical: 22%

1. Patient Evaluations of Care from Family Physicians and Chiropractors. ACA Journal of Chiropractic ­ 1989.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Outpatient Hospital Treatment by P.T.’s and M.D.’s

In this study, British medical researchers found chiropractic treatment significantly more effective

than hospital outpatient treatment, especially in patients with chronic and severe back pain.

Significantly fewer patients needed to return for further treatments at the end of the first and second year in those who received chiropractic care (17% compared with 24%). In addition, “two and three years after patients with back pain were treated by chiropractors, they experienced far less pain than those who were treated by medical doctors.”

1. The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low­Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) ­ University of Ottawa, Canada.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Physiotherapy

Spinal manipulation provided greater improvement of symptoms in those suffering from persistent back and neck complaints compared with physical therapy. The patients receiving spinal manipulation also had greater improvements of physical functioning in fewer visits.

1. Randomized Clinical Trial of Manipulative Therapy and Physiotherapy for Persistent Back and Neck Complaints: Results of One Year Follow Up. Koes,

B.W. et al. British Medical Journal ­ 1992;304:601­605.

The Av­Med Study

In this study, 80 patients who previously received medical treatment were subsequently referred to the Silverman Chiropractic Center. Of the 80 patients, 21 percent had just been diagnosed with spinal disc problems, 12 percent had been diagnosed as requiring surgery and 5 percent had received emergency room treatment. Following chiropractic treatment, none of the patients were required to have surgery, 86 percent of the patients needed no further care, and the estimated health care savings in the group of 80 was estimated to be $250,000.

1. The Av­Med Study ­ 1993.

Chiropractic Care vs. Surgery

Chiropractic care is exceptionally safe, much safer than surgical interventions with far better

functional outcomes than spinal surgeries and is even effective in reducing the rates of spinal

surgeries. This demonstrates that many spinal surgeries are in fact unnecessary.

1. http://tnchiro.org/Research.php?topic=7&story=76

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Mobilization

Those receiving spinal manipulation achieved a 50% reduction in their pain levels more rapidly than

those receiving mobilization (therapy commonly used by Physical Therapists).

According to the New Zealand government commission on chiropractic, “The responsibility for

spinal manual therapy training, because of its specialized nature, should lie with the chiropractic

profession and part­time or vacation courses in spinal manual therapy for other health professionals

should not be encouraged.”

1. A Benefit of Spinal Manipulation as Adjunctive Therapy for Acute Low­back pain: A Stratified Controlled Trial. Hadler NM et al. Spine ­ 1987;12:703­


2. New Zealand Report. Hasselberg PD. Government Printer, Wellington ­ 1979.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Massage

In a group of patients, those receiving chiropractic care obtained pain relief in a shorter period of

time compared with massage. Also, significantly more subjects were able to return to work 6 months

after treatment in the chiropractic treatment group compared with the massage therapy group (60%

vs. 36%).

A Canadian study found chiropractic care resulted in significantly greater back mobility compared

with massage at 2 weeks (30% vs 15%).

1. The Efficacy of Manual Treatment in Low­back Pain: A Clinical Trial. Arkuszewski Z. Manual Medicine ­ 1986;2;68­71.

2. A Randomized Trial of Manipulation for Low­back Pain in a Medical Setting. Godfrey CM et al. Spine ­ 1984;9:301­304.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Exercise Combined With Deep Heat Applications

Those receiving spinal manipulation experienced pain relief in a shorter period of time (3.5 vs. 5.8


1. Acute Low­back Pain: Comparison of Two Conservative Treatment Approaches. Farrell JP and Twomey LT. Med J Aust ­ 1982;1:160­164.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Bed Rest

50% of the individuals in the spinal manipulation group were pain free in 1 week compared with only

27% of those receiving bed rest only. Long term 12 month results showed that 87% of those who

received chiropractic care remained pain free as opposed to only 9 % of those who received bed rest.

1. Low­back pain Treated by Manipulation. Coyer AB and Curwin I. British Medical Journal ­ 1955;1:705­707.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Codeine

Spinal manipulation provided significant improvement in the subjects overall pain score compared

with the commonly prescribed pain medication, codeine. It is also important to note that those people

whose pain score did improve using codeine had no correction of the cause of the pain but merely

masked symptoms. Chiropractic care corrects subluxations which are often the underlying cause.

1. Lumbar Spinal Manipulation on Trial: Part 1 ­ Clinical Assessment. Evans DP et al. Rheumatology and Rehabilitation ­ 1978;17:46­53.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Deep Heat Applications

Patients receiving spinal manipulation experienced a significantly shorter time to pain relief than

those receiving deep heat applications.

Distinct benefit for spinal manipulation vs diathermy (deep heat application used by P.T.’s) in return

to light work at one month.

Another study found spinal manipulation provided better pain relief for those with less than 1 week

of pain and in patients with their first attack of back pain.

1. Relative Therapeutic Efficacy of Vertebral Manipulation and Conventional Treatment in Back Pain Management. Nwuga VC. American Journal of

Physical Medicine ­ 1982;61:273­278.

2. Manipulation in the Treatment of Low­back Pain ­ A Randomized Clinical Trial. Rasmussen GG. Manuelle Medizin ­ 1979;1:8­10.

3. Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial of Rotational Manipulation of the Trunk. Glover JL et al. British Journal of Industrial Medicine ­ 1974;31:59­


So what can we make of all this?

Considering the above evidence, it is difficult to rationally suggest that chiropractic care is baseless,

and inferior to other treatments. While an ever­increasing number of medical doctors are taking

personal responsibility to educate themselves and their own patients about chiropractic and forming

positive relationships with chiropractors, there are still a vocal few who remained dogmatically

opposed to chiropractic and other drugless health care interventions. It will take some time for this

attitude to truly fade away, however the impact that chiropractic has made in recent decades will only

continue to grow in the years to come. Indeed, this is the recommendation of several different

government inquiries into chiropractic, as cited below:

The Medicare Benefits Committee in Australia recommended funding for chiropractic in

hospitals and other public institutions, and stated:

“We are aware of the very considerable organizational and professional obstacles… orthodox

practitioners and, indeed, some chiropractors may initially find the experience an uneasy one, but we

consider the differences that currently exist to be unreasonable and efforts should be made to bridge

the gap.”

“… the continuing schism between the two professions does little to help improve the health of the

many Australians who might benefit from a joint chiropractic/medical approach to their problems.”

1. Second Report Medicare Benefits Review Committee. Thompson CJ. Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra, Australia, Chapter 10

(Chiropractic) ­ June 1986.

According to the Swedish government report on chiropractic, “measures to improve cooperation

between chiropractors, registered medical practitioners and physiotherapists ‘are vital’ in the public


1. Ref 11 Supra.

According to the Ontario government, “…the government should take all reasonable steps to actively

encourage cooperation between providers, particularly the chiropractic, medical and physiotherapy


1. The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low­Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) ­ University of Ottawa, Canada.

According to the New Zealand government, “In the public interest and in the interests of patients,

there must be no impediment to full professional cooperation between chiropractors and medical


1. New Zealand Report. Hasselberg PD. Government Printer, Wellington ­ 1979.


Do You Know Anyone Who Would Like…

● 60% less hospital admissions

● 59% less days in hospital

● 62% less outpatient surgeries

● 85% less in pharmaceutical costs

A 7­year study showed that patients whose primary physician was a Chiropractor experienced the

above results.