The positive benefits of chiropractic procedures
Musculoskeletal problems have an adverse effect on peoples’ lives and account for 30% of all GP patient referrals. Back and neck pain lead to 11 million sick days a year in England and result in an annual cost to the Health economy of £230m. Research proves that huge financial savings and a better quality of life could be achieved with timely intervention and the positive benefits of chiropractic procedures
1. A British orthopaedic surgeon published the findings of his work in a Canadian hospital with chiropractors (Chiropractors are part of the NHS in Saskatchewan, Canada) on 283 consecutive people suffering chronic disabling low back pain. The average person had pain for over 6-yrs, many of them were disabled (unable to work) with pain and several had previous unsuccessful spinal surgery, all had previous physiotherapy. Of those with mechanical pain, 81% improved and the results were maintained at one year follow-up. For a full copy of the stud, please follow this link:
For a detailed overview of disc related low back and leg pain please follow this link
To see a current review of two ongoing trials looking at the role of manipulation in LBP and leg pain secondary to disc herniation please click here:
2. What happens when current low back guidelines are followed and chiropractors are involved?
Quite simply, there are large cost savings to be had by using the appropriate providers at the appropriate time. The link below is an overview of the highly successful program run by the North East Essex PCT of >2800 patients that has led to a sharp reduction in onward referrals to the spinal surgery department resulting in greater patient satisfaction, improved outcomes and lower costs.
For an overview of the recommendations by the department of health to expand this type of program nationwide please follow the link below
3. This study reports the significant improvement in outcomes of chiropractic management of low back pain compared with GP/physio care. Another RCT, just published in SPINE from Canada where chiropractors are part of their NHS in many areas.
4. Although we have numerous well designed international guidelines on the management of LBP, we still have serious problems in what practitioners and health services actually do. Here in an excerpt from a recent review: “According to a 2008 report in JAMA over a 13-yr period between 1994-2007:
• MRIs have increased 307%
• spinal fusion surgery has increased 204%
• spinal injections have increased 629%
• opiate use has increased 423%
And guess what? Outcomes have not improved, and arguably worsened. It is also not difficult to estimate where much of the healthcare costs come from based on those percentages”.
There is however very good news from another trial published in 2011 which can be accessed through the link below:
Much like the recent trial in Canada, and here by the NE Essex PCT these American researchers at Jordan Hospital, Plymouth MA; School of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, USA looked at what happens if you implement current low back guidelines. Just as the previous studies have noted you have much better outcomes with considerably lower costs by adding chiropractors. It’s all about the right people doing the right thing at the right time. For a summary of this recent study please follow this link below:
5. This UK Medical Research Council trial published in the BMJ noted in their large scale RCT of chiropractic treatment vs. hospital outpatient services, those treated by chiropractors had 70% more benefit for their chronic low back pain at 1-yrs follow-up and 29% at 3-yrs follow-up. For the full text of this study please click here:
6.The UK BEAM trial, this study formed the basis of the new NHS NICE guidelines for the management of persistent low back pain.
The researchers noted that at the end of the long term follow-up, those receiving both spinal manipulation and exercises (both core skills of chiropractors) had much better outcomes that those receiving just manipulation or exercise alone, on a pure cost basis spinal manipulation alone provided the most cost-effective solution.
For a full copy of the study go here:
The EU also has formal guidelines for low back pain, for a full copy go here:
7. Low back pain, It’s This past study looked at the evidence to date, there are over 30 RCT’s supporting spinal manipulation in the treatment of low back pain, that’s why every major guideline supports the chiropractic approach in LBP management and why so much of our work comes from consultants and GP’s.
8. At Southend United we based our spinal clinic on this recent Australian study with a few modifications, to date it has been an enormous success and we have seen a sharp reduction in the number of missed practices and matches. Like the rest of the population low back pain is the largest non-contact problem in professional footballers, a recent study indicated that the rates of low back pain are 20% higher than in the general population.
Published in 2010 Australian researches divided players from four professional Australian Rules football teams into two groups: those with physiotherapists and sports doctors, and the other group with the addition of chiropractic services. The results were impressive. At the end of the season the two teams with the addition of chiropractic services reported a significant reduction in non-contact low back pain, hamstring and knee injuries with a staggering reduction in the number of missed matches compared to the control group without chiropractic services (1-week playing time lost vs 24-weeks playing time lost). For a full summary of this impressive randomised controlled trial please click here:
9. Its not just low back pain. Here are two interesting observational studies by a group of leading UK orthopaedic surgeons, after these trials they concluded that in their opinion Chiropractic is the only proven treatment for chronic whiplash pain as published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine.
For these two studies go please click on the links below:
The largest scale neck pain study done to date took 10-years to complete and is known as the “”Neck Pain Task Force””. It concluded recently that the preferred approaches to manage mechanical neck pain involve exercise and manual treatments. For a detailed overview go here.