Who Said We Rock?

A study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that is a long time in coming. The goal was to “systematically review studies of the effectiveness and harms of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for acute (less than six weeks) low back pain.”

Twenty-six clinical trials were used to measure the improvements in pain and function and assess any harm. Fifteen clinical trials of 1,711patients found spinal manipulative therapy is associated with pain relief. Another 12 clinical trials of 1,381 patients found an association with improvement in function with spinal manipulative therapy. No clinical trials reported any serious adverse effect.

Spinal Manipulative Therapy Compared to Over-the-Counter Medication

Compare this with recent studies on drugs commonly used for back pain. Acetaminophen is ineffective in the treatment of low back pain and provides minimal short-term benefit for people with osteoarthritis. Compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide an important effect on spinal pain and only one out of six receive any benefit.

Richard A. Deyo, MD MPH has spent decades studying spinal care. He makes several points:

• Fifty-nine percent of consumers surveyed by Consumer Reports were highly satisfied with Chiropractic care compared to 55% for physical therapists and 34% for primary MDs.
• Serious complications for low back manipulative therapy are very rare, while NSAIDs users commonly have kidney and intestinal tract adverse effects.
• Costs were no higher for Chiropractic patients.

It is quite unusual for the AMA to validate manipulative therapy, but I’m really glad that they finally did!

How is Dr. Charlene Thorburn different from other Chiropractors? Before she studied to become a Chiropractor (DC), she was a Registered Nurse (RN). This rare experience gives her a well-rounded medical outlook and a unique ability to diagnose, treat, and get great results for her patients.

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