News & Perspectives

Chiropractic Therapy Effective for Low Back Pain
What the Study Showed
In this 1999 survey published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, an international panel of leading experts on low back pain rated both chiropractic therapy and osteopathy as "effective" treatments for acute, uncomplicated cases of low back pain.

How It Was Done
To identify experts in the field of low back pain, researchers at the University of Exeter turned to MEDLINE, an on-line medical research tool. They did a series of searches for European and American physicians who had published a minimum of four articles on low back pain in leading journals and who had clinical experience with complementary (alternative) therapies.

Once selected, the 20 experts rated the clinical effectiveness of chiropractic therapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal medicine for both acute and chronic low back pain.

Why It's Important
The findings of this survey will come as welcome news to the many sufferers of low back pain who turn in frustration to complementary forms of therapy after conventional approaches fail to relieve their pain.

Nearly all of the experts--17 of the 20--rated chiropractic therapy as effective for acute uncomplicated low back pain. Many also considered osteopathy effective for those with acute and uncomplicated cases. In addition, 15 of the experts deemed acupuncture appropriate for uncomplicated low back pain that is chronic but not acute.

Homeopathy and herbal remedies, however, were judged to be generally ineffective for low back pain.

Date Published: 02/14/2000
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