A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that the services provided by chiropractic physicians are both safe and effective. Following are excerpts and summaries from some more recent studies. The evidence strongly supports the natural, whole-body and cost-effective approach of chiropractic care for a variety of conditions.
For Acute and Chronic Pain
“Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture.”
–Goodman et al. (2013), Journal of the American Medical Association
“[Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain.”
–Goertz et al. (2013), Spine
“Manual-thrust manipulation provides greater short-term reductions in self-reported disability and pain compared with usual medical care. 94% of the manual-thrust manipulation group achieved greater than 30% reduction in pain compared with 69% of usual medical care.”
– Schneider et al (2015), Spine
“Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.”
– Keeney et al (2012), Spine
In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating mechanical neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations.
After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with DCs and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain; compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication.
— Bronfort et al. (2012), Annals of Internal Medicine
Low back pain initiated with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) saves 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor (MD), according to a study that analyzed data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) beneficiaries in Tennessee over a two-year span. The study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays.
Researchers estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million for BCBS of Tennessee. They also concluded that insurance companies that restrict access to chiropractic care for low back pain treatment may inadvertently pay more for care than they would if they removed such restrictions.
– Liliedahl et al (2010), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
“Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions. CAM patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. There is steadily increasing patient use of chiropractic in the United States, which has tripled in the past two decades.”
– Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine
Over the past 10 years, the use of narcotic pain killers to treat chronic pain – in particular chronic low back pain – has risen steeply.
In the past, usage of narcotics was limited to acute situations of severe pain (i.e. trauma or post-surgical pain) because of the potential risk of addiction. Over the past decade, it has been felt that the risk of addiction was overstated, and that the pain relief for patients suffering from chronic pain was more important than the potential risks. Unfortunately now we are dealing with the consequences of addiction and death from narcotics used for chronic pain management in epidemic proportions. Between 1999 and 2013 death from narcotic overdose has become a huge concern. With the overdose rate for adults aged 55–64 increasing more than seven-fold during this same time period.
Chiropractic is safe, effective, cost effective and is non addicting! While it may not cure chronic pain it is probably one of the best ways to manage chronic pain!