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Del Med J. 1996 Mar;68(3):175-8.

Spinal manipulation as a valid treatment for low back pain.

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Clinical Sciences, University of Bridgeport.


The practice of chiropractic has been regulated in the State of Delaware since 1937. Since that time, the battle lines in the state between medicine and chiropractic have been drawn. This war has existed on both the political and clinical fronts, and although it has always been believed by the chiropractic profession that once the "scientific evidence" of the benefit of chiropractic was proven, the war would end. This has not occurred to the extent believed. Even with its 1980 victory over the AMA, chiropractic has still been unable to achieve full acceptance as a clinical discipline among other professions. Many hospitals in this country have opened their doors to DCs. This by and large, has solely been for economic reasons and not as a recognition of the clinical benefit of manipulation. There is, however, a growing population of primary care physicians and researchers suggesting the benefit of manipulation for low back pain as well as suggesting that increased cooperation between MDs and DCs could be of extreme benefit to the patient population at large. This group continues to be in the minority. However, with increased knowledge of the benefits of spinal manipulation and the scientific evidence that now exists to support its efficacy, it is now believed that this interprofessional referral pattern will increase. In addition, many managed care programs now require primary care physicians to determine the necessity for referral to a chiropractor, thus causing a need for the primary physician to have some knowledge of spinal manipulation. This paper is presented to inform the physician community of Delaware of some of the evidence pointing to the efficacy of spinal manipulation as a treatment for low back pain.

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