A recent study on chiropractic care for low back pain

2018 study published in JAMA Network Open is among the latest to weigh in on the pros and cons of chiropractic care for treating low back pain. Researchers enrolled 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain. Half were randomly assigned to receive usual care (including medications, self-care, and physical therapy) while the other half received usual care plus up to 12 chiropractic treatments.

After six weeks of treatment, those assigned to receive chiropractic care:

  • reported less pain intensity
  • experienced less disability and more improvement in function
  • reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
  • needed less pain medicine.

While no serious side effects were reported, about 10% of those receiving chiropractic care described adverse effects (mostly stiffness in the joints or muscles). Five percent of those receiving usual care had similar complaints.