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A study was conducted in 2000 comparing the results of Chiropractic care treatment and Family medicine on chronic lower back pain (Joanne Nyiendo, PhD,a Mitchell Haas, DC,b and Peter Goodwin, MDc). 138 patients joined the study all of which experienced chronic and recurring lower back pain. The patients were divided into 2 groups, 93 patients had chiropractic treatment and 45 were treated by family doctors. The study was continuously conducted on all patients for a period of one month, the study aims to predict and find out which treatment was best for chronic lower back pain. 40 chiropractic clinics joined the study together with 6 family clinics and the results of the study were measured by pain severity, sensory and affective pain quality and functional disability, all of which were measured on the 7th , 10th day of patients being in the treatment and lastly on the last day of one month. Patients who undergone chiropractic treatment were given spinal manipulation and physical treatment modalities while patients who went through medical treatments were mostly given NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). Most Chiropractic patients in this study met with their assigned chiropractors 4 times a week. While the patients who are under medical practice met with their respective doctors at least once a week.The results of the study shows that chiropractic patients showed greater improvement compared to those that have been treated by family doctors for their chronic lower back pain. Here are the chiropractic treatment statistics.

  • 31% change in pain severity
  • 29% in functional disability
  • 36% in sensory pain quality
  • 57% in affective pain quality

It can also be pointed out that medical patients showed lower improvement that can be associated with non clinical factors. Here are the statistics of patients who went through medical treatments.

  • 6% Showed minimal improvement in pain severity
  • 1% Showed improvement on functional disability
  • 29% Showed deterioration in the sensory
  • 26% Affective dimensions of pain quality.

It is also worthy to note that patients satisfaction over chiropractic treatment versus Family medicine also showed great difference, with Chiropractic with better scores on patients satisfaction for their lower back pain treatment versus family medicine.


** Source – JMPT: Patient Characteristics, Practice Activities, and One-Month Outcomes for Chronic, Recurrent Low-Back Pain Treated by Chiropractors and Family Medicine Physicians: A Practice-Based Feasibility Study



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