A research study was conducted to compare outcomes in perception of pain and disability for a group of patients suffering with chronic low-back pain (CLBP) when managed in a hospital by either a regional pain clinic or a chiropractor. The trial was performed at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital outpatient clinic (pain clinic) in the United Kingdom. The patients with CLBP had been referred to a regional pain clinic (outpatient hospital clinic) and were assessed and randomized to either chiropractic or pain-clinic management for a period of 8 weeks. The study allowed for normal treatment protocols to be used. Treatment was administered in an NHS hospital setting. Randomization placed 12 patients in the pain clinic
and 18 in the chiropractic group, of which 11 and 16, respectively, completed the trial. At 8 weeks, the average improvement was 5.5 points greater for the chiropractic group (a decrease in disability by 5.9) than for the pain-clinic group (0.36). Reduction in mean pain intensity at week 8 was 1.8 points greater for the chiropractic group than for the pain-clinic group. This study suggests that chiropractic management administered in an NHS setting may be effective for reducing levels of disability and perceived pain during the period of treatment for a subpopulation of patients with CLBP.
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