Chiropractic treatment of neck and back disorders: a review of selected studies

Conlon J
Record ID 31995000005
English, French
Authors' objectives:

To undertake a literature review aimed at determining the current state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness and costs of chiropractic; requested by provincial governments.

Authors' results and conclusions: a) Chiropractor applied manipulation was at least as effective in treating back pain as the alternative treatments used (in all but one study). It appears to be a safe treatment offering more immediate relief than other forms of conservative care. The number of patients are too small to be able to detect rare and/or serious side effects, however, b) Chiropractic does not appear to be more effective than other techniques in reducing the recurrence of back pain; c) There is evidence, though very limited, that chiropractic may be less costly than medical treatment in terms of days off work, provider costs and disability compensation.
Authors' recommendations: The evaluative research in this field is limited by a number of factors, including the lack of a research thrust, difficulty in blinding trial participants, inadequate outcome measures, in homogeneity of patient groups, small sample sizes and non-inform manipulative techniques. Two AHRQ-funded studies may provide more rigorous conclusions on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 1992
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
MeSH Terms
  • Back Pain
  • Chiropractic
  • Low Back Pain
Organisation Name: Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment
Contact Address: 600-865 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 5S8 Canada. Tel: +1 613 226 2553, Fax: +1 613 226 5392;
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Canadian Coordinating Office for Health Technology Assessment (CCOHTA)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.