Monday, September 16, 2013

Current Chiropractic Research

Spinal Manipulation for the treatment of back and neck complaints has been well documented. I think it has been researched to death but the government continues to shell out money for lower back pain research. By the way a recent study (Lancet 2013, JAMA 2013) have demonstrated that lower back pain is the number one disabling condition in the World today. What does this mean well it means more people miss days at work for back pain than any other single condition. So I guess we can not study lower back pain enough. The largest chiropractic study ever is currently underway. With funding from the House Armed Services Committee the Palmer College of Chiropractic, RAND Institute and the Samueli Institute are conducted a 3 phased study called ACTS (Assessment of Chiropractic Treatment). ACTS I is currently underway and it is comparing medical care vs. medical care plus chiropractic care for the treatment of enlisted military personnel. ACTS II is looking at chiropractic care and how it effects reflex and reaction time with military Special Forces. ACT III will look at strength, balance, and long term outcomes of lower back pain in enlisted military personnel and if they are eligible to be deployed. The results of this study will probably not be released for about 5 years though. Another recent study (Spine, April 2013) demonstrated that spinal manipulation group of patients showed a faster and quicker reduction on symptoms than those patients given a NSAID. Another recently released study demonstrated that the type of practioner that you first see determines you likelihood of having lower back surgery. This study showed that for the same diagnosis if you went to a chiropractor first you had a 1.5% chance of lower back surgery. If you went to an orthopedic surgeon first you chances of surgery were 42.7%. I also have been fortunate enough to be involved in a research project. The University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Services is the sponsor of this research entitled Foundations of Evidence Informed Practice (EIP). This research project is for chiropractors only and my part will start in Jan 2014. It is an attempt to have the average chiropractor practioner develop better evidence based practice in his or her daily chiropractic practice. I am excited to be part of this research project with over 1500 Doctors appling to be part of it and they only excepted 325.