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Research studies show:

In addition, a 2004 study by Legorreta, Metz, Nelson, Ray, Chernicoff, and DiNubile compared more than 1.7 million insured patients seeking treatment for back pain. The outcomes showed when chiropractic care was utilized in comparison to the standard medical approach, the cost of treatment was reduced by 28%, hospitalizations were reduced by 41%, back surgery was reduced by 32%, and the cost of medical imaging, including x-rays and MRIís, was reduced by 37%. Furthermore, 95% of the patients that received chiropractic care reported in the study that they were satisfied with their treatment. Utilizing chiropractic care as the first treatment option for back pain was estimated to have the potential to reduce US healthcare costs by more than $28 billion annually.

Boline, PD, Kassak, K, et al. "Journal of Manipulative and Physiological therapeutics." March/April 1995; Vol. 18, No. 3, pp.148-154.

This randomized controlled trial compared six weeks of spinal manipulative treatment of tension-type headache by chiropractors to six weeks of medical treatment with amitriptyline, a medication often prescribed for the treatment of severe tension headache pain. Researchers found that chiropractic patients experienced fewer side effects (82.1%) and while both were effective during the treatment phase of the study, only the chiropractic patients continued to report fewer headaches when treatment ended.

Portion reprinted by permission from the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, Copyright 2003.

Click here to read the PubMed Abstract from the National Library of Medicine

CHIROPRACTIC "ONLY PROVEN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT"

FOR CHRONIC WHIPLASH

Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G. A symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 1999;21(1):22-25.

Executive summary provided by Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C., DABCO

A new study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine not only points out the superiority of chiropractic care for chronic whiplash patients, but also examines which chronic whiplash patients respond best to chiropractic care. The authors begin the paper by explaining that:

"Conventional treatment of patients with whiplash symptoms is disappointing."

A retrospective study by Woodward et al.(Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic whiplash injuries. Injury 1996;27:643-645), demonstrated that chiropractic treatment benefited 26 of 28 patients suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome.

The question was not whether chiropractic was beneficial for acute whiplash patients, but to determine which patients with chronic whiplash will benefit from chiropractic treatment.

The authors interviewed 100 consecutive chiropractic referrals for chronic whiplash symptoms, seven of which were "lost to follow up". They were able to divide the remaining 93 patients into three symptom groups:

Group 1: Patients with "neck pain radiating in a 'coat hanger' distribution, associated with restricted range of neck movement but with no neurological deficit";

Group 2: Patients with "neurological symptoms, signs or both in association with neck pain and a restricted range of neck movement";

Group 3: Patients who described "severe neck pain but all of whom has a full range of motion and no neurological symptoms or signs distributed over specific myotomes or dermatomes." These patients also "described an unusual complex of symptoms," including "blackouts, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and chest pain, along with a nondermatomal distribution of pain."

The patients underwent an average of 19.3 adjustments over the course of 4.1 months (mean). The patients were then surveyed and their improvement reported as follows:

Group 1
24% - Asymptomatic
24% - Improved by Two Symptom Grades
24% - Improved by One Symptom Grade
28% - No Improvement

Group 2
38% - Asymptomatic
43% - Improved by Two Symptom Grades
13% - Improved by One Symptom Grade
6% - No Improvement

Group 3
0% - Asymptomatic
9% - Improved by Two Symptom Grades
18%- Improved by One Symptom Grade
64% - No Improvement
9% - Got Worse

In their discussion, the authors made these observations:

Woodward, et al., found improvement in chronic symptoms in 26 of 28 patients (93%) following chiropractic treatment. "Our results confirm the efficacy of chiropractic, with 69 of our 93 patients (74%) improving following treatment."

"Our study suggests that such a group of nonresponders does exist, represented by group 3. The defining characteristics of patients in this group were the full range of neck movement in association with neck pain, bizarre symptoms, female and ongoing litigation. The mean age of the group at 29.5 (16-43) was lower than that of the other two groups (mean 36.8, range 18-65)."

"The results from this study provide further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms. However, our identification of a group of patients who fail to respond to such treatment, highlights the need for a careful history and physical examination before commencing treatment."

Surgical V Non-Operative Treatment For Lumbar Disk Herniation

James N. Weinstein, DO, MSc; Tor D. Tosteson, ScD; Jon D. Lurie, MD, MS; Anna N. A. Tosteson, ScD; Brett Hanscom, MS; Jonathan S. Skinner, PhD; William A. Abdu, MD, MS; Alan S. Hilibrand, MD; Scott D. Boden, MD; Richard A. Deyo, MD, MPH, JAMA. 2006;296:2441-2450.

As many as a million Americans suffer from sciatica. The condition is characterized by an often agonizing pain in the buttocks or leg or weakness in a leg.

This pain is sometimes caused when a ruptured disk impinges on the root of the sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of the leg. And an estimated 300,000 Americans a year have surgery to relieve the symptoms.

Patients are often told that if they delay surgery they may risk permanent nerve damage, perhaps a weakened leg or even losing bowel or bladder control. But nothing like that occurred in this two-year study comparing surgery with waiting in nearly 2,000 patients.

The study, published in JAMA, conducted a large trial and found that surgery appeared to relieve pain more quickly but that most people with sciatica recovered eventually and that there was no harm in waiting. People with ruptured disks in their lower backs usually recover whether or not they have surgery, researchers are reporting today. The study, a large trial, found that surgery appeared to relieve pain more quickly but that most people recovered eventually and that there was no harm in waiting.

Patients who had surgery often reported immediate relief. But by three to six months, patients in both groups reported marked improvement.

After two years, about 70 percent of the patients in the two groups said they had a "major improvement" in their symptoms. No one who waited had serious consequences, and no one who had surgery had a disastrous result. With the new results, it is clear that the risk of waiting is, if not extraordinarily small, at least off the radar screen.

The researchers are also conducting a separate analysis on the cost effectiveness of surgery compared with waiting. Although that analysis has not been published, Dr. Anna N. A. Tosteson of Dartmouth, an author of the study, said that Medicare paid a total of $5,425 for the operation and that private insurers might pay three to four times that.