Evidence for Successful Chiropractic Treatment

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Research published by the Medical Research Council in the 1990s showed that chiropractic treatment for managing low back pain was 30% more effective than hospital management, mainly for patients with chronic or severe back pain. The researchers also concluded that patients with low back pain treated by chiropractors derive more long term benefit and satisfaction than those treated by hospitals.

A report by the government’s Clinical Standards Advisory Group on Back Pain in 1994 emphasised the need for early intervention (within the first six weeks) to prevent chronic pain and disability. It included in its recommendations

  • Manipulation provided by appropriately trained practitioners (including chiropractors) should be available to NHS patients with back pain.
  • A shift of resources in primary care to support the provision of active rehabilitation and patient education.
  • Psychological and social aspects should be included in the assessment and management of back pain

It is quite clear that chiropractic care meets all of those recommendations.

In 1996 the Royal College of General Practitioners recognised that there is strong evidence that manipulation is an effective treatment for people who have acute or sub-acute lower back pain. The College also stated that there was a high level of patient satisfaction with the outcomes of treatment provided by chiropractors and osteopaths.

UK BEAM Trial 2004 concluded that an evidence based package of care that includes spinal manipulation followed by exercise is effective in terms of cost and efficacy when compared with ‘best care’ in general practice.

European Guidelines 2004 on the management of acute low back pain recommend an evidence-based package of care that includes spinal manipulation.

The Musculoskeletal Services Framework published by the Department of Health in 2006 includes chiropractors among the skilled health professionals who will provide Multidisciplinary Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services.

For further information visit the General Chiropractic Council www.gcc-uk.org or the British Chiropractic Council www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk

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