Chiropractic Research Shows Positive Benefits
Many people—perhaps even you—wonder if chiropractic care is safe and effective as a back pain or neck pain treatments. And that's understandable: you'd like pain relief, but as with any treatment, you want to make sure that the treatment is going to be helpful, not harmful. By doing your research on any treatment option, you're being an engaged, motivated patient—and that's a wonderful thing to be when you're trying to find a solution to your back pain.
To help you with your research on chiropractic care, we've pulled some quotes from research done on chiropractic. These should be a good starting place for you in your research into the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care.
Before getting into the research excerpts, we want to recognize that this information came from the American Chiropractic Association. They're also a useful resource as you consider chiropractic care.
Popularity of Chiropractic
Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine: 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.
For Acute and Chronic Pain
Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics: Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.
Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal: In a randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
In Comparison to Other Treatment Alternatives
Hoving et al (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine: In our randomized, controlled trial, we compared the effectiveness of manual therapy, physical therapy, and continued care by a general practitioner in patients with nonspecific neck pain. The success rate at seven weeks was twice as high for the manual therapy group (68.3 percent) as for the continued care group (general practitioner). Manual therapy scored better than physical therapy on all outcome measures. Patients receiving manual therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or continued care, and manual therapy and physical therapy each resulted in statistically significant less analgesic use than continued care.
Hertzman-Miller et al (2002), American Journal of Public Health: Chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients. Results from observational studies suggested that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies conclude that patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than they were with physical therapy after six weeks.
Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics: Chiropractic care appeared relatively cost-effective for the treatment of chronic low-back pain. Chiropractic and medical care performed comparably for acute patients. Practice-based clinical outcomes were consistent with systematic reviews of spinal manipulative efficacy: manipulation-based therapy is at least as good as and, in some cases, better than other therapeusis.
Conclusion: Chiropractic Research
Doing your own research on your back pain or neck pain treatment options is smart. Research the treatment option, and research the practitioner to make sure that you're doing the right thing for your body and your pain.