Vancouver Spine Care Centre Explains the Value of Chiropractic Research

Research makes the healthcare world go ‘round! Research solidifies the role of healthcare’s relief of pain. In chiropractic healthcare, much research revolves around providing evidence of chiropractic’s benefit for painful musculoskeletal conditions like back pain, neck pain, arm pain and sciatic leg pain. Vancouver Spine Care Centre offers just such research-documented, effective care to our Vancouver chiropractic patients.

CHALLENGE: DO HIGH QUALITY RESEARCH

A group of back pain researchers challenged fellow researchers to come up with long-term plans to lower the burden of low back pain on patients and healthcare systems. They clarified that developing effective strategies continues to be a huge task for back pain clinicians, doctors, and researchers. Frustratingly, back pain disability levels have not increased despite a larger number of published research reports about back pain care. No consensus on the optimal way to manage low back pain has been agreed upon. Non-drug and non-invasive options like exercise, manual therapy, massage, and such are general recommendations. Other reviewing researchers indicated a few problems with back pain research: design and analysis within the treatment clinical trials. (1) Designing research studies is difficult. Designing a “sham” protocol for spinal manipulation that seems like spinal manipulation is especially challenging. (Just touching a spine can help some, but that is a topic for a different discussion!) Observational studies are the next best thing. How so? Researchers observe how patients respond when they undergo treatment and describe changes and effects. Fortunately, Cox® Technic research has a blend of biomechanical and clinical observational studies resulting in case reports, case series, plus retrospective and prospective clinical studies. Vancouver Spine Care Centre feels this mix of research support helps outline the expectations our Vancouver chiropractic patients may expect.

MINIMAL CLINICAL IMPORTANCE

Occasionally, chiropractic physicians and low back pain patients alike are frustrated with the outcomes of treatment for back pain. They shouldn’t be! In medicine, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is reported 30% or 20% and even 10% improvement. That’s reported to be an “effective” outcome. Cox® Technic has proposed 50% improvement in 30 days as the goal…and still does. Many times, chiropractic patients realize that 50% relief in less than 30 days and that the 50% relief is closer to 70% or 80% or 90%! Sometimes, a patient’s response may be slower in reaching relief or only reaches 30% or 40%. Some patients desire more while others, particularly patients who have previously undergone back surgery or sought non-relieving care from many other providers, are excited. A study of 1232 low back pain subjects found a MCID pain intensity of 2 (meaning a 2 point move on a scale of 0 no pain to 10 worst imaginable pain). That is not a big move but is realistic. (2) It is a statistic to consider. Compared with medical and surgical outcomes for back pain treatment that are as low as 10% or 30% expected improvement MCID, our Vancouver 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-financed research departments. Global chiropractic researchers are seeking a solution.  Australia, Canada, and Denmark chiropractic researchers have created a leadership academy (CARL – Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership) for early-career chiropractic researchers to promote more chiropractic research. US-based researchers are looking to the RAND Corporation’s Center for Collaborative CIH Research to combine research talent and resources to advance chiropractic’s quality and quantity of research.  (3,4) Robust research carries on at chiropractic universities to document the benefits of chiropractic for musculoskeletal-related pain like back pain, neck pain, arm pain and leg pain.

CONTACT Vancouver Spine Care Centre

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 explains research studies he’s managed.

Make your next Vancouver chiropractic appointment now. Bring your questions about the research behind our chiropractic care with you! Vancouver Spine Care Centre is always ready to share research! 

 
Vancouver Spine Care Centre 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."