A study published in the February 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) shows some amazing results for patients with sudden painful lower back pain with chiropractic care. The study was conducted at the Department of Orthopedics, Central Hospital of Sogn and Fjordane, Førde, Norway. The study was initiated by the hospital and with full support of the staff.
In this study 44 consecutive patients who experienced sudden and painful low back pain caused by lumbar flexion and rotation were studied. None of the patients had a history of violent trauma related to their problem. Examinations by orthopedic surgeons were performed on the patients and revealed no underlying pathologies in any of the patients in the study. Additionally orthopedic x-rays, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were all normal from a medical standpoint.
Then an examination was performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic which indicated that the patients had what the study termed “lumbopelvic fixation” (subluxation). Based upon the chiropractic examination 33 patients began chiropractic care in the chiropractor’s clinic, whereas 11 who could not be transported were initially cared for by the chiropractor in the hospital.
In this study mean follow-up for the patients was 2 years. The results showed that all but 2 of those in the study were able to return to work. Additionally, the period of sick leave among the patients was reduced by two thirds as compared with time lost with conventional medical treatment. According to the study, the normal loss of time from work for these types of patients under medical care only was 72 days. The patients in this study with the addition of chiropractic care were able to return to work in 21.1 days on average.
In their conclusion the authors noted the uniqueness of the study, and the benefits for healthcare systems in general. They stated, “To our knowledge, this is the first report on the work of a chiropractor participating within an orthopedic department of a Norwegian hospital as initiated by the hospital and with full support of the staff. The results support the initiative of the Norwegian government to increase reference to chiropractors in treating patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions. Based on our experience, we believe that the inclusion of chiropractors within hospital orthopedic departments is feasible and provides a patient care resource that may benefit not only the patients but also the department as a whole.”