Chiropractic treatment of low back pain: a prospective survey
Journal/Book: European Journal of Chiropractic. 1986; 34: 182-211.
Abstract: The clinical course of low back pain (LBP) during chiropractic treatment has not previously been reported an the basis of a prospective survey. The prospective survey is based an patient questionnaires filled in before treatment was started, as well as 1, 3, 6 and 12 months later. Clinical examination was performed at entry and also I month later. Two hundred and ninety-eight patients with acute or chronic LBP from 10 different chiropractic clinics were selected sequentially for this study.At the time of first contact between these patients and the clinics, the current episode of LBP had lasted less than I week in 30% of the patients and for more than 4 weeks in 51 °/a. Sixty-five per cent had radiating pain into the lower extremity, and 38% were unable to work. Fifty-three per cent of the patients had consulted ä medical doctor or had received other types of treatment due to the current episode. Nineteen per cent were referred by a medical doctor to the chiropractor.After each period of registration, approximately 75% of the patients reported beng free of symptoms or feeling much better.The present study was designed to be compared to a similar investigation carried out in a general medical practice. A clear indication of a more favourable outcome was found in those patients receiving chiropractic treatment when compared to those receiving medical treatment, especially concerning factors as ability to work, bedrest and use of medication. Only a randomized controlled clinical trial is suited for a direct comparison of the effect and cost of chiropractic and medical treatment of LBP16.