A study was conducted in April of last year comparing the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for lower back pain to medical treatment. This study was conducted by a medical journal, not a chiropractic journal, so it would be difficult to make an argument for bias.
The journal is to be commended for presenting the research despite its findings being unflattering to medical treatment of lower back pain.
The study found that suffers of lower back pain were 60% more likely to become disabled if they sought care from an MD (medical doctor) rather than a DC (chiropractor).
Though it sounds like advertising from a chiropractic clinic near you, it’s a study from the Center for Disability Research at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (conducted by Dr. Cifuentes), the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Center for Health Economics & Science Policy at United BioSource Corporation, London, United Kingdom. For a PDF of the study, click here.
The authors of the study concluded:
“In work-related nonspecific LBP, the use of health maintenance care provided by physical therapist or physician services was associated with a higher disability recurrence than with chiropractic services…”
That’s helpful information for those who suffer from lower back pain and for insurance companies who pay for their treatment. Perhaps this study will encourage medical doctors and chiropractors to work together and recognize the strengths of certain types of care over others for specific conditions.
This should also encourage all of us to do our best to get to the actual root of a physical problem rather than only seeking to mask over it with drugs. Just because you’re numb and don’t feel pain doesn’t mean the problem is gone.