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New Low-Back Pain Guidelines Should Encourage Patients to Utilize Spinal Manipulation

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Newly released practice guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine stress a conservative approach to treating low-back pain and recommend spinal manipulation as one treatment with proven benefits. In light of these new guidelines, doctors and patients should strongly consider chiropractic care for the treatment of acute and chronic back pain, says the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

"As shown in the literature, chiropractic spinal manipulation is a very effective treatment for low-back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries," says ACA President Glenn Manceaux, DC. "Furthermore, doctors of chiropractic have broad diagnostic skills and are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, which can help patients prevent future injuries."

In the guidelines proposed by Chou et. al., researchers recommended that patients whose low-back pain -- a pervasive condition affecting millions of Americans each year -- does not improve with self-care "should consider the addition of nonpharmacological therapies with proven benefits" -- including chiropractic spinal manipulation.

"If your back pain is not resolving quickly, visit your doctor of chiropractic," Dr. Manceaux recommends. "Many chiropractic patients with relatively long-lasting or recurring back pain feel improvement shortly after starting chiropractic treatment. The relief and return to function they experience after a month of treatment is often greater than after seeing a family physician."

Doctors of chiropractic -- commonly referred to as chiropractors -- practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Spinal manipulation is the primary form of treatment performed by chiropractors. In fact, chiropractors perform 94 percent of all spinal manipulative therapy in the United States.

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, headaches and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints. In addition, a significant amount of evidence shows that the use of chiropractic care for certain conditions can be more effective and less costly than traditional medical care. Recent research includes:

- A study published in the October 2005 issue of the Journal of

Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that

chiropractic and medical care have comparable costs for treating

chronic low-back pain, with chiropractic care producing significantly

better outcomes.

- A March 2004 study in JMPT found that chiropractic care is more

effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in

patients' first year of symptoms.

- A study published in a 2003 edition of the medical journal Spine

found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of

chronic spinal pain than does a variety of medications.

The American Chiropractic Association is the nation's leading chiropractic organization representing more than 15,000 doctors of chiropractic and their patients. To find a chiropractor near you, view ACA's searchable member database at


Angela Kargus


SOURCE American Chiropractic Association
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