The General Chiropractic Council has commissioned a document called the UK Evidence Report. Written by a number of the top chiropractic scientists in the world this report attempts to gather together a definitive round-up of the evidence for manual therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and some non-musculoskeletal conditions.
The document has been generally well received within the chiropractic community who recognise that this is an exercise that is well overdue and provides a real solid footing for those who look to evidence to inform their everyday practice. I have yet to see much in the way of response from more mainstream medical backgrounds; it will be interesting to see what they have to say.
One thing is clear though; manual therapy, ie manipulation and various soft tissue techniques, is one of most evidenced based approaches for the treatment for non-specific mechanical low back pain. Quick delivery could save cost, absenteeism, side effects from long term drug therapy, hospital consultation and imaging resources and lastly but not least patient discomfort.
The Musculoskeletal Services Framework and the NICE guidelines both demand manual therapies as a treatment for back pain and yet it is questionable that the average patient who sees their GP is given that choice.
Click for the UK Evidence Report, NICE Guidelines and the Musculoskeletal Services Framework
Keith Walker is a chiropractor and manual therapist . He provides evidenced based care for his patients in Plymouth, Devon.
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