November 14


Chiropractic calls for health care guidelines update on low back pain

By campuschiropractic

November 14, 2014


There have recently been calls for the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to follow their American counterparts in integrating the latest findings regarding back pain into their guidelines for back pain by recommending chiropractic care as a first line treatment for back pain.

Dr Andrew Timbs, President of the Chiropractic Association of South Australia (CAASA) said “it’s now time that the AMA stood up and recommended the best evidence for managing this debilitating condition. Chiropractic Care must be included in the early management of back pain as part of an evidence-based approach for the benefit of the public.”

His statement follows on the heels of recent studies that provide strong evidence of not only the effectiveness of chiropractic care, but the surprising ineffectiveness of paracetamol for lower back pain. The later of the recent studies was from our very own University of Sydney and found that taking paracetamol for lower back pain was no more effective than taking a placebo, regardless of whether it was taken as needed or on a regular schedule.[1]. Furthermore, the other recent study that published in the Medical Journal ‘Spine’ found that patients who received chiropractic care in addition to standard medical care had a 73% resolution of pain as opposed to just 17% for those who received standard medical care alone. [2].

Current medical guidelines recommend the prescription of paracetamol as the first line treatment for acute low back pain, which Timbs describes as “no better than a placebo sugar pill.” As we now know this to be ineffective, such is guideline are now outdated and contrary to best evidence.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has responded to these new findings by publicly recommending chiropractic as a first line treatment for lower back pain, [3] which is a leading cause of disability worldwide. With increasing recommendations for Chiropractic Care throughout Europe and North America, Dr Timbs calls on the AMA to similarly revise its guidelines for the benefit of the public health. He states that such integration will be likely to result in better patient health outcomes and reduce the cost of to the Government as well as private and public industry.

If you have had or are currently experiencing low back pain and haven't been told to consult a chiropractor by your General Practitioner (GP), physiotherapist, massage therapist or other health professional, then you can act on these findings by booking a consultation with a chiropractor locally to you. Our Sydney chiropractic clinic offers a free online check up of your case to assess before you come in whether it appears you have a condition worth a closer assessment by our team.

Chiropractic References of Research

  1. The Lancet: Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain; a double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Dr Christopher M Williams PHD, Prof Christopher G Maher PHD, Prof Jane Latimer, Prof Andrew J McLachlan PDH, Mark J Hancock PHD, Prof Richard O Day MD, Chung-Wei Christine Lin PHD; 24th July 2014
  1.  SPINE; Adding Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy to Standard Medical Care for  Patients With Acute Low Back Pain Volume 38, Number 8, pp 627–634 ©2013, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Spine 627 Results of a Pragmatic Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study; Christine M Goertz, DC, PhD, Cynthia R.Long, PhD, Maria A. Hondras, DC, MPH , Richard Petri, MD, Roxana Delgado, MS, Dana J. Lawrence DC, MMedEd, MA, Edward F. Owens, Jr, MS, DC, and William C. Meeker, DC, MPH
  1. The Journal of the American Medical Association; Backpain 1738 JAMA, April 24 2013, Vol 309 No. 16: Denise M. Goodman, MD, MS, Writer Alison E. Burke, MA, Illustrator Edward H. Livingston, MD, Editor; The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA.


About the author

Campus Chiropractic & Wellness is as natural health clinic on the campus of the University of Sydney. The main services are chiropractic & remedial massage. Its current location was established in 2011 after Dr Jeremy Hammond, chiropractor, had already provided chiropractic on campus for 11 years.

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