Research makes the healthcare world go ‘round! Research established the role of healthcare’s pain relieving ability. For chiropractic healthcare, much research revolves around documenting chiropractic’s benefit for painful musculoskeletal conditions like neck pain, back pain, arm pain and sciatic leg pain. Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic delivers just such effective, research-documented care to our Augusta chiropractic patients.
CHALLENGE: DO HIGH QUALITY RESEARCH
A set of back pain researchers challenged fellow researchers to create long-term plans to reduce the problem of low back pain on patients and healthcare systems. They explained that developing effective strategies continues to be a huge job 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 typical recommendations. Another group of 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 especially challenging. (Just touching a spine can be relieving some, but that is a topic for another discussion!) Observational studies are the next in line. How so? Researchers observe what happens to patients when they go through treatment and note changes and effects. Fortunately, Cox® Technic research has a mix of biomechanical and clinical observational studies resulting in case reports, case series, as well as retrospective and prospective clinical studies. Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic feels this mix of research support helps explain to our Augusta chiropractic patients what clinical outcome relief they may anticipate.
MINIMAL CLINICAL IMPORTANCE
Occasionally, chiropractic physicians and low back pain patients alike are disappointed with the outcomes of treatment for back pain. They should not 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. Often, chiropractic patients find that 50% relief in less 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 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’s not a big move but is realistic. (2) It is a statistic to share. Compared with medical and surgical outcomes for back pain treatment that are as low as 10% or 30% expected improvement MCID, our Augusta chiropractic clinical outcome targets are high and frequently achievable.
THE CHALLENGE OF CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH – AND HOW CHIROPRACTIC ANSWERS
Chiropractic, like other complementary and integrative healthcare professions, experiences a little more difficulty in maintaining a flow of research as many programs are not in large university situations with well-established and well-funded research departments. Global chiropractic researchers are seeking a solution. Australia, Canada, and Denmark chiropractic researchers have formed a leadership academy (CARL – Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership) for early-career chiropractic researchers to stimulate more chiropractic research. US-based researchers are turning to the RAND Corporation’s Center for Collaborative CIH Research to assemble research talent and assets to advance chiropractic’s quality and quantity of research. (3,4) Solid 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 Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic
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 Augusta chiropractic appointment now. Bring your questions about the research behind our chiropractic care with you! Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic is always ready to share research!