Research makes the healthcare world go ‘round! Research established the role of healthcare’s relief of pain. For chiropractic healthcare, much research entails documenting chiropractic’s benefit for painful musculoskeletal pain issues like neck pain, back pain, arm pain and sciatic leg pain. Young Chiropractic delivers just such effective, research-documented care to our Easley chiropractic patients.
CHALLENGE: DO HIGH QUALITY RESEARCH
A set of back pain researchers challenged fellow researchers to develop long-term plans to decrease the burden of low back pain on sufferers and healthcare systems. They described that developing effective strategies continues to be a huge task for back pain clinicians, doctors, and researchers. Vexingly, back pain disability levels have not improved despite an increased quantity of published research reports about back pain care. No consensus on the optimal way to manage low back pain has been achieved. Non-drug and non-invasive options like exercise, manual therapy, massage, and such are general recommendations. Other reviewing researchers indicated a few issues with back pain research: design and analysis within the treatment clinical trials. (1) Designing research studies is tough. Coming up with a “sham” protocol for spinal manipulation that seems like spinal manipulation is really challenging. (Just touching a spine can be relieving some, but that’s a topic for another discussion!) Observational studies are the next best thing. How so? Researchers observe what happens to patients when they experience treatment and report on changes and effects. Fortunately, Cox® Technic research has a blend of biomechanical and clinical observational studies resulting in case reports, case series, as well as retrospective and prospective clinical studies. Young Chiropractic feels this mix of research support helps define to our Easley chiropractic patients what clinical outcome relief they may anticipate.
MINIMAL CLINICAL IMPORTANCE
On occasion, chiropractic physicians and low back pain patients alike find themselves disappointed with the outcomes of treatment for back pain. They shouldn’t be! In medicine, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is defined as 30% or 20% and even 10% improvement. That’s reported as an “effective” outcome. Cox® Technic has offered 50% improvement in 30 days as the aim…and still does. Many times, chiropractic patients find that 50% relief in fewer than a month and that the 50% relief is closer to 70% or 80% or 90%! Sometimes, a patient’s response may be slower in attaining 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 quite satisfied. A study of 1232 low back pain subjects discovered a MCID pain intensity of 2 (meaning a 2 point change on a scale of 0 no pain to 10 worst imaginable pain). That is not a huge move but is reasonable. (2) It’s a statistic to consider. Weighed against medical and surgical outcomes for back pain treatment that are as low as 10% or 30% expected improvement MCID, our Easley chiropractic clinical outcome goals 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 situations with well-established and well-funded research departments. Global chiropractic researchers are seeking am amswer. Australia, Canada, and Denmark chiropractic researchers have created a leadership academy (CARL – Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership) for early-career chiropractic researchers to stimulate more chiropractic research. US-based researchers are looking to the RAND Corporation’s Center for Collaborative CIH Research to pool 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 Young Chiropractic
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 illustrates research studies he’s managed.
Make your next Easley chiropractic appointment soon. Bring your questions about the research supporting our chiropractic care with you! Young Chiropractic is always ready to share research!