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According to a study conducted by Ontario's Ministry of Health "...for the management of low-back pain, chiropractic care is the treatment, and it should be fully integrated into the government's health care system." The same study also found, "...injured workers ... diagnosed with low-back 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 low-back pain, particularly in patients who had back pain in the past and who got severe problems".
The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) - University of Ottawa, Canada.
Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. Meade, TW et al British Medical Journal - 1990;300:1431-1437.
Chiropractic Treatment vs. Standard Medical Care
Mean number of days incapacitated after first visit
Restricted for greater than one week
Perception of doctor's confidence in diagnosing and treating low-back pain
Satisfied With Their Treatment
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."
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.
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;304:601-605.
Chiropractic Treatment vs. Physiotherapy
This June 2004 Program of Care for Acute Low Back Injuries One-Year Evaluation Report compared chiropractic care to physiotherapist care in the treatment of work related injuries. The findings showed chiropractic care to be more effective than physiotherapy in actual work days lost (9 with chiropractic, 20 with physiotherapy) and physical recovery to pre-injury status (88% with chiropractic care, 75% with physiotherapy) as well as other categories specific to employee and employer satisfaction.
Program of Care for Acute Low Back Injuries One-Year Evaluation Report June 2004. Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of the government of Ontario, Canada with Maitland Consulting.
Chiropractic Treatment vs. Physiotherapy, Corset, Analgesics
Statistical benefit for spinal manipulation at 3 weeks.
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).
A Benefit of Spinal Manipulation as Adjunctive Therapy for Acute Low-back pain: A Stratified Controlled Trial. Hadler NM et al. Spine - 1987;12:703-706.
In a group of patients, those receiving spinal manipulation 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 spinal manipulation resulted in significantly greater back mobility compared with massage at 2 weeks (30% vs 15%).
The Efficacy of Manual Treatment in Low-back Pain: A Clinical Trial. Arkuszewski Z. Manual Medicine - 1986;2;68-71.
A Randomized Trial of Manipulation for Low-back Pain in a Medical Setting. Godfrey CM et al. Spine - 1984;9:301-304.
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 treatments).
Acute Low-back Pain: Comparison of Two Conservative Treatment Approaches. Farrell JP and Twomey LT. Med J Aust - 1982;1:160-164.
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.
Low-back pain Treated by Manipulation. Coyer AB and Curwin I. British Medical Journal - 1955;1:705-707.
Chiropractic Treatment vs. Codeine
Spinal manipulation provided significant improvement in the subjects overall pain score compared with the commonly prescribed pain medication, codeine.
Lumbar Spinal Manipulation on Trial: Part 1 - Clinical Assessment. Evans DP et al. Rheumatology and Rehabilitation - 1978;17:46-53.
Chiropractic Treatment vs. Back School, Corset & Traction
Researchers found a statistically significant benefit with spinal manipulation at 4 weeks.
Multicentre Trial of Physiotherapy in the Management of Sciatic Symptoms. Coxhead CE et al. Lancet - 1981;1:1065-1068.
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.
Relative Therapeutic Efficacy of Vertebral Manipulation and Conventional Treatment in Back Pain Management. Nwuga VC. American Journal of Physical Medicine - 1982;61:273-278.
Manipulation in the Treatment of Low-back Pain - A Randomized Clinical Trial. Rasmussen GG. Manuelle Medizin - 1979;1:8-10.
Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial of Rotational Manipulation of the Trunk. Glover JL et al. British Journal of Industrial Medicine - 1974;31:59-64.