A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study,” (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2010, Vol. 33 Iss. 8, p: 576-584), researchers concluded that spinal manipulation was just as effective as microdiskectomy for patients struggling with sciatica secondary to lumbar disk herniation (LDH). The patient population studied included people experiencing chronic sciatica (symptoms greater than six months) that had failed traditional, medical management. Overall, 60 percent of patients who received spinal manipulation benefited to the same degree as those who underwent surgery.
“To our knowledge, this is the first, randomized trial that directly compared spinal manipulation, which in this study was delivered by a doctor of chiropractic, and back surgery, two popular treatment choices for this prevalent health condition,” says Dr. Gordon McMorland, who co-authored the paper with neurosurgeons Steve Casha, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Stephan J. du Plessis, MD, and R. John Hubert, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS. “Sciatica is a serious spinal condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in
one or both legs. Many times when symptoms become debilitating and without further help, surgery is prescribed to alleviate discomfort. But surgery is not without financial and physical drawbacks.”
According to the study, “Outpatient Lumbar Microdiskectomy:
If cost is assumed at $100 per chiropractic visit, there is a direct, total savings of $22,900 per manipulation patient. System-wide, this could save $2.75 billion dollars annually.
“After a year, no significant complications were seen in either treatment group, and the 60 percent patients who benefitted from spinal manipulation improved to the same degree as their surgical counterparts,”
“Our research supports spinal manipulation performed by a doctor of chiropractic is a valuable and safe treatment option for those experiencing symptomatic LDH, failing traditional medical management. These individuals should consider spinal manipulation as a primary treatment, followed by surgery if unsuccessful.”
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