Palmer Chiropractic Center Explains the Value of Chiropractic Research

Research makes the healthcare world go ‘round! Research established the role of healthcare’s relief of pain. In chiropractic healthcare, much research entails documenting chiropractic’s benefit for painful musculoskeletal conditions like back pain, neck pain, arm pain and sciatic leg pain. Palmer Chiropractic Center delivers just such effective, research-documented care to our Lynchburg chiropractic patients.

CHALLENGE: DO HIGH QUALITY RESEARCH

One set of back pain researchers challenged fellow researchers to create long-term plans to reduce the problem of low back pain on sufferers and healthcare systems. They described that developing effective strategies continues to be a huge job for back pain clinicians, doctors, and researchers. Vexingly, back pain disability levels have not improved despite an increased quantity of published research reports regarding back pain care. No consensus on the optimal way to handle low back pain has been agreed upon. Non-drug and non-invasive approaches like exercise, manual therapy, massage, and such are general recommendations. Another set of reviewing researchers indicated a few issues with back pain research: design and analysis within the treatment clinical trials. (1) Designing research studies is difficult. Coming up with a “sham” protocol for spinal manipulation that seems like spinal manipulation is especially challenging. (Just touching a spine can be relieving some, but that’s a topic for a different discussion!) Observational studies are the next in line. How so? Researchers observe how patients respond when they go through treatment and describe changes and effects. Fortuitously, Cox® Technic research has a blend of biomechanical and clinical observational studies resulting in case reports, case series, plus retrospective and prospective clinical studies. Palmer Chiropractic Center feels this mix of research support helps explain to our Lynchburg chiropractic patients what clinical outcome relief they may expect.

MINIMAL CLINICAL IMPORTANCE

Sometimes, chiropractic physicians and low back pain patients alike are frustrated with the outcomes of treatment for back pain. They should not be! In medicine, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is defined as 30% or 20% and even 10% improvement. That’s reported to be an “effective” outcome. Cox® Technic has offered 50% improvement in 30 days as the goal…and still does. Often, chiropractic patients find that 50% relief in less than a month and that the 50% relief is more like 70% or 80% or 90%! Sometimes, a patient’s response may be slower in getting relief or only reaches 30% or 40%. Some patients want more while others, especially patients who have already undergone back surgery or sought non-relieving care from many other providers, are thrilled. A study of 1232 low back pain subjects found a MCID pain intensity of 2 (meaning a 2 point change on a scale of 0 no pain to 10 worst imaginable pain). That is not a huge move but is reasonable. (2) It’s a statistic to consider. Weighed against medical and surgical outcomes for back pain treatment that are as low as 10% or 30% expected improvement MCID, our Lynchburg chiropractic clinical outcome targets are high and often achieved.

THE CHALLENGE OF CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH – AND HOW CHIROPRACTIC ANSWERS

Chiropractic, like other complementary and integrative healthcare professions, experiences a little more difficulty in keeping research flowing as many programs are not incorporated into large university settings with well-established and well-funded research departments. Global chiropractic researchers are looking for a solution.  Australia, Canada, and Denmark chiropractic researchers have formed a leadership academy (CARL – Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership) for early-career chiropractic researchers to stimulate more chiropractic research. US-based researchers are looking to the RAND Corporation’s Center for Collaborative CIH Research to assemble research talent and assets to advance chiropractic’s quality and quantity of research.  (3,4) Strong research continues at chiropractic universities to record the benefits of chiropractic for musculoskeletal-related pain like back pain, neck pain, arm pain and leg pain.

CONTACT Palmer Chiropractic Center

Listen to this PODCAST with Ram Gudavalli, PhD, principal investigator of many Cox® Technic research studies, on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he illustrates research studies he’s managed.

Schedule your next Lynchburg chiropractic appointment soon. Bring your questions about the research behind our chiropractic care with you! Palmer Chiropractic Center loves to share research! 

 
Palmer Chiropractic Center communicates the importance and value of chiropractic research in healthcare decision-making and relevance. 
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."