July 14, 2018
Dr. Luke Henry, Chiropractic Physician
A clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open compared active-duty military personnel receiving the usual medical care (medication, physical therapy, etc.) for lower back pain to another group with the usual medical care plus chiropractic. Not surprisingly, the addition of care by doctors of chiropractic brought significant reductions in pain and disability with high patient satisfaction.
This study is significant because the chiropractic profession, while considered mainstream today, historically faced opposition from the medical establishment. In 1987, following years of litigation, the AMA was found guilty of a conspiracy to contain and eliminate chiropractic in the Wilk antitrust trial. Today, medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic work together for the patient’s best interest. Veterans and active duty military personnel, however, still struggle to get access to chiropractic care as a covered service. Fortunately, this year congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to expand access to chiropractic for veterans. Back pain and neck pain are leading causes of disability and the U.S. is facing an opioid epidemic. Expanding access for veterans and active duty military will help by providing a non-drug, non-surgical approach to spine and musculoskeletal pain.
Goertz CM, Long CR, Vining RD, Pohlman KA, Walter J, Coulter I. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back Pain A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open. 2018;1(1):e180105. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0105