Commentary from Daniel Redwood, D.C.
A powerful study illustrating the value of chiropractic care for chronic low back pain patients was performed at the University of Saskatchewan hospital orthopedics department by Kirkaldy-Willis, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, and David Cassidy, a chiropractor who later became the department’s research director. The approximately 300 subjects in this study were “totally disabled” by low back pain, with pain present for an average of 7 years. All had gone through extensive, unsuccessful medical treatment before participating as research subjects.
After 2 to 3 weeks of daily chiropractic adjustments, more than 80% of the patients without stenosis (spinal canal narrowing) had good to excellent results, reporting substantially decreased pain and increased mobility. After chiropractic treatment, more than 70% were improved to the point of having no work restrictions. Follow-up a year later demonstrated that the changes were long-lasting. Even those with a narrowed spinal canal, generally considered the most challenging cases, showed a notable response. More than half of these patients improved, and about one in five were pain-free and on the job 7 months after treatment.