A study published in the October 4, 2010 issue of The Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society, showed that chiropractic care for acute mechanical lower back pain was a more effective means of care than what the study termed as "family physician-directed usual care".
This study was carried out in a hospital-based, tertiary-care Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Spine Program at Canada's National Spine Institute, in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada. All the Doctors of Chiropractic involved in this study have full hospital privileges at the facilities. In this study, 92 patients were separated into two groups. One group received care which included chiropractic care, while the second group received care from family physicians that did not include chiropractic care. The group that included chiropractic got 4 weeks of care and was returned to work in 8 weeks.
The results were measured at 8, 16 and 24 weeks using a standardized test known as the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ). According to the researchers, when comparing the RDQ scores for the two groups, the scores were significantly greater in the group that included chiropractic as compared to the group that only got family physician care.
In the authors conclusions, they noted that this study was the, "first reported randomized controlled trial comparing full clinical practice guidelines based treatment, including spinal manipulative therapy administered by chiropractors, to family physician–directed usual care in the treatment of patients with acute mechanical lower back pain."
In response to the study, Dr. John Maltby, Chairman of the Board of the International Chiropractors Association commented, "This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that chiropractic care should be the first consideration for people suffering from this common condition." Dr. Maltby continued, "When you also consider the outstanding safety record for chiropractic care, and the library of additional studies showing chiropractic's effectiveness for patients with a wide variety of health problems, there should be no doubt that chiropractic should be the care of choice for not only acute lower back problems, but also for people looking to maximize spine and nervous system health."