“In patients with chronic spinal pain syndromes, spinal manipulation may be the only treatment modality of the assessed regimens that provides broad and significant long-term benefit.”
In 2003, the journal Spine published a study concerning the treatment of individuals with chronic neck and back pain.
The study was a high-quality randomized clinical trial comparing the nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs Celebrex or Vioxx, needle acupuncture, and chiropractic adjusting to dysfunctional joints.
The study was nine weeks in duration and involved taking of the drugs, or receiving a maximum of 2 visits of needle acupuncture per week or receiving a maximum 2 episodes chiropractic spinal adjusting.
The patient groups were quite chronic, suffering from between 4.5 to 8.3 years duration.
All participants were evaluated with standard measurement outcomes that included the Oswestry Back Pain Disability Index, the Neck Disability Index, the Short-Form-36 Health Survey questionnaire, and visual analog scales.
Impressively, even though the chiropractic treatment group was the most chronic (8.3 years), 27.3% recovered with 18 spinal adjustments over a period of 9 weeks, or less.
This means that better than every fourth patient became asymptomatic with 9 weeks or less of chiropractic manipulation, even though they had been chronic for more than 8 years.
The chiropractic adjusting was better than 5 times more effective than the drugs, and was associated with no adverse reactions.
Also impressive, chiropractic adjustments of dysfunctional spinal joints in individuals with chronic spinal complaints resulted in a 47% improvement in general health status.
A year after the completion of this study the participants were re-evaluated. The results were published in 2005 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics
In this follow-up study, results showed that neither the drugs Celebrex/Vioxx or needle acupuncture afforded a long-term therapeutic benefit to the chronic spine pain patients.
In contrast, chiropractic spinal adjusting did show a significant long term therapeutic benefit. The authors concluded:
article on Chronic Spine Pain:Chronic Low Back Pain-Medical Hypotheses Journal 2007
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