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Breakthroughs and Barriers

Breakthroughs and Barriers

Gaining a seat at the health-care table
Spring/Summer 2015

practice insights

Top 10 Things You Can Say About Chiropractic

Insights asked Palmer’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., for her expert advice on what chiropractors can say about chiropractic, based on the evidence. Following are her top 10 “sound bites.”

Dr. Goertz talks with Dr. Scott Haldeman.
Dr. Goertz talking with Dr. Haldeman

  1. Chiropractic management for low back pain, neck pain and headache is as good as or better than other forms of conservative medical care.
  2. There is a very low risk of serious adverse events from chiropractic care.
  3. Patient satisfaction with chiropractic is very high.
  4. Chiropractic care costs no more, and perhaps less, than other conservative treatments for back and neck pain.
  5. There’s strong evidence to support that chiropractic (termed “spinal manipulative therapy” or SMT in scientific journals) is effective for chronic low back pain in adults. There’s moderate evidence supporting its effectiveness for acute low back pain in adults.
  6. A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society says, “For patients who do not improve with self-care options, clinicians should consider the addition of non-pharmacologic therapy with proven benefits—for acute low back pain, spinal manipulation.”
  7. In a 2012 randomized controlled trial, SMT was more effective than medication for acute and sub-acute neck pain for both short- and long-term outcomes.
  8. Studies indicate that SMT is effective for cervicogenic and migraine headaches.
  9. The rate of serious complications from SMT is 5-10 per 10 million adjustments.
  10. There were lower overall episode costs of care when low back pain treatment was initiated with a D.C. as compared to care initiated with an M.D.

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