A new study concludes that patients receiving a combination of chiropractic manipulative therapy and standard medical care experienced a statistically and clinically significant reduction in their back pain and improved physical functioning when compared to patients receiving standard medical care alone.
The study, published in the most recent issue of Spine, took place from February 2008 to June 2009 at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) located on the Fort Bliss army base in El Paso, Texas. Participants were 91 active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.
Chiropractor and principal investigator Christine Goertz notes, “While a number of studies have shown spinal manipulation to be effective in treating low back pain in research settings, the appropriate role of chiropractic care in treating low back pain within the health care delivery system, including the military, has not been clearly established. We know very little about the impact of chiropractic manipulative therapy on diverse populations in real-world settings. This study is the first step in filling that gap in our knowledge.”
Dr. Wayne B. Jonas, Samueli Institute president and chief executive officer explains, “It is critical that we explore drug-less approaches to reduce pain. Chiropractic manipulation is an important option to consider for musculoskeletal disorders, which is the most prevalent pain complaint in the military.”
One of the key findings was that 73 percent of participants in the standard medical care plus chiropractic manipulative therapy group rated their improvement as pain completely gone, much better or moderately better, compared to 17 percent in the standard medical care group.
Col. Richard Petri, chief of the Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center (IPMC) at WBAMC calls the study “a significant step for recognizing the value of chiropractic care in the military. Continued research in this area will ultimately result in better healthcare delivery systems as well as the improved health of our beneficiaries.”
Dr. Goertz adds: “While these findings are exciting, they need to be confirmed with additional research that replicates this study on a larger scale.”
To that end, Palmer College, the RAND Corporation, and Samueli Institute have received a $7.4 million, four-year grant from the Department of Defense to conduct another clinical trial with a sample size of 750 active-duty military personnel.”
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, headquartered on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus in Davenport, Iowa, is the largest institutional chiropractic research effort in the world and was founded by the discoverer of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, in 1897.
For further information about Phoenix chiropractors, head over to Bluestone Chiropractic, where offices are located throughout the Valley of the Sun.
Image license: iStockphoto (view source)