Individualized Chiropractic and Integrative Care for Low Back Pain

Does integrative care result in better outcomes for low back pain?

Low back pain remains one of the most costly and prevalent healthcare problems in the United States. Research has shown that there are several non-surgical treatment options for patients to choose from. Integrative care, where multiple professions come together to provide treatment to patients, has become popular; little is known though if it results in better patient outcomes.

Our group designed an innovative study in which integrative care was provided to low back pain patients by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers. Team members included chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, medical doctors, psychologists, and exercise therapists. Their care was compared to treatment provided by chiropractors. Our primary goal was to determine if integrative care resulted in greater improvements in back pain, than chiropractic care alone. Other outcomes included biomechanical measures of strength and spinal motion, patients and providers’ perceptions of treatment measured through qualitative interviews. We also aimed to identify if which approach was more cost-effective.

A total of 200 patients were enrolled in the study, at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies in Minneapolis.

Project Status: Recruitment complete

Study Name: Individualized Chiropractic and Integrative care for Low Back Pain

Principal Investigator: Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) identifier: NCT00567333

Related Publications:

Westrom K, Maiers M, Evans R, Bronfort G. Individualized chiropractic and integrative care for low back pain: the design of a randomized clinical trial using a mixed-methods approachTrials. 2010 Mar 8;11(1):24.

Maiers MM, Westrom KK, Legendre CG, Bronfort G. Integrative care for the management of low back pain: use of a clinical care pathwayBMC Health Serv Res. 2010. Oct 29; 10(1):298.