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Addition of Chiropractic Care to Usual Medical Care Provides Greater Relief for Low-back Pain

DaVinci Laboratories

A new study led by investigators at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, in conjunction with the RAND Corporation and the Samueli Institute, 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.

Results of this groundbreaking research were released in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s online JAMA Network Open. The study, the largest randomized clinical trial in chiropractic research in the U.S. to-date, took place from September 2012 to February 2016 and involved 750 active-duty U.S. military personnel at three sites across the country.

Low-back pain is the leading cause of physical disability worldwide. The prevalence of low-back pain among U.S. adults is estimated at 20 percent, with 50 to 80 percent of people reporting a significant episode at some point in their life. Low-back pain is also one of the most common causes of disability in U.S. military personnel.

“This patient-centered, multi-site, pragmatic clinical trial provides the strongest evidence to-date that chiropractic care is safe, effective and can be integrated into multidisciplinary health-care settings,” said Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, lead author of the study. “These findings are critical 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.

For more information, visit www.palmer.edu/research/.