When Research Challenges Our Assumptions
SOURCE: ACA News ~ Sept 2012
By Daniel Redwood
When new research, research reviews or practice guidelines support our current beliefs and practices, enthusiasm comes easily. When the 2007 medical practice guidelines on low back pain (LBP) jointly prepared by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians recognized spinal manipulation as the only non-pharmacologic method providing “proven benefits” for acute LBP and as one of several methods (including exercise, rehabilitation, acupuncture and yoga) proven effective for chronic LBP, the American Chiropractic Association and doctors of chiropractic (DCs) everywhere welcomed this as a long-overdue recognition of the value of our primary treatment methods.
But when research challenges our assumptions, our responses are understandably mixed. Such findings, if confirmed in multiple studies, may create pressure to change our practice patterns or threaten reimbursement from insurance companies. Like members of other health professions, DCs do not find such developments pleasant. How we and members of other health professions respond to such research says a great deal about who we are, how fully we practice what we preach, and the depth of our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients. (more…)