This article was published in the journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies on April 21, 2020 by Eklund et al and won the 2019 WFC-NCMIC Scott Haldeman Award. This study is a follow-up to a randomized clinical trial conducted previously published by these same authors (article). The original study found that patients receiving MC (ie: chiropractic treatment delivered to patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) on a regular basis with the intent of decreasing “flare-ups” or days in pain) experienced fewer days with bothersome pain when compared to those who scheduled chiropractic visits as needed. In this new study, investigators did a secondary analysis of the data from this trial to determine if providing MC to patients with LBP affected the recurrence of new episodes and/or pain-free periods between episodes. They found no differences on average between groups for either of these metrics. However, MC did result in better outcomes for the subset of patients categorized at baseline as dysfunctional according to the MPI-S questionnaire (WHYMPI/MPI).
This paper is important because it has implications for both chiropractic practice and payment policy by helping us understand the impact of chiropractic MC on LBP, including which patients might be most likely to benefit.
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