Two views of research results on chiropractic for low back pain?

SpineUniverse is “a collaborative effort of medical professionals to serve the community of individuals suffering from back pain.” Their editorial board includes more than 70 members, almost all of whom are medical doctors and no chiropractors.

As you’ll see, their conclusions regarding low back pain are not surprising. Compare them to the conclusions from a recent review by faculty and PhD candidates from the Department of Health and Chiropractic, Macquarie University, Australia.

In SpineUniverse

  • Overall, the evidence was weak and less than convincing for the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain?
  • The effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulation for back pain is, at best, uncertain
  • Spinal manipulation is more effective than sham therapy but not more or less effective than other treatments

From Macquarie University, Australia

  • The literature on the chiropractic management includes mostly case studies and a smaller number of higher-level publications
  • Other treatments are usually combined with chiropractic, making it impossible to assess chiropractic’s contribution alone
  • Future chiropractic research should use higher-level research designs, such as randomized controlled trials

The two camps aren’t really that far apart.

10/19/06 21:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.