There have been multiple studies that show how much better chiropractic is at treating back pain when compared to medicine, physical therapy, massage, and other conventional treatments.
The most recent study was in Dec 2010 in SPINE. Here is a link that summarizes the article:
The take home message basically says that going to a chiropractor for back pain has a much better outcome long term outcome than going to a family physician or physical therapy for acute lower back pain.
Another study worth noting is summarized here . In December 2004, the British Medical Research Council published 2 papers in the British Medical Journal demonstrating both the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic compared with medical management. These two papers found:
- Manipulation, with or without exercise, improved symptoms more than medical care did after both 3 and 12 months
- The authors concluded: “We believe that this is the first study of physical therapy for low back pain to show convincingly that both manipulation alone and manipulation followed by exercise provide cost effective additions to care in general practice.”
The most recent in a long line of articles showing the clear superiority of chiropractic management was published in May of 2007 . Clinical and cost utilization based on 70,274 member-months over a 7-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2% in-hospital admissions, 59.0% less hospital days, 62.0% less outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 83% less pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine IPA performance.