Does Chiropractic Care Benefit Low Back Pain? Interview with:
“Back Pain” by betterhealthosteopathy is licensed under PDM 3.0Christine Goertz DC, PhD

Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy
Palmer College of Chiropractic What is the background for this study?

Response: Low back pain in the leading cause of physical disability worldwide, with up to 80% of US adults seeking care for this debilitating condition at some point in their lives. Low-back pain is also one of the most common causes of disability in U.S. military personnel.

Although a number of studies have previously evaluated chiropractic care for low back pain, the vast majority had small sample sizes and did not study chiropractic as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to care in real world settings, including the military. What are the main findings?

Response: This study found that patients suffering from low-back pain who received chiropractic care in addition to usual medical care had better short-term improvements in low-back pain intensity and pain-related disability when compared to those who received usual medical care alone.

Patients who visited a doctor of chiropractic also reported higher levels of patient satisfaction and perceived benefit from care. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This patient-centered, multi-site, pragmatic clinical trial study provides the strongest evidence to-date that chiropractic care is safe, effective and can be integrated into multidisciplinary healthcare settings.

These findings are important as the United States health-care system looks for ways to implement existing national guidelines from groups such as the American College of Physicians and the Joint Commission that recommend non-drug treatments, such as spinal manipulative therapy, as the first line of treatment for low-back pain. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research should focus on dosing of chiropractic care (ie: how many visits result in the best outcome), how to identify patients who are most likely to respond to chiropractic care in advance, what spinal manipulative techniques are most effective, and how to best integrate chiropractic care into multi-disciplinary practice settings.

No relevant disclosures 


Goertz CM, Long CR, Vining RD, Pohlman KA, Walter J, Coulter I. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back PainA Comparative Effectiveness Clinical TrialJAMA Network Open. 2018;1(1):e180105. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0105

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Last Updated on May 21, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD