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In 1993, the Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned health economists at the University of Ottawa to conduct an analysis of scientific literature on low back pain. The results of this study, the Manga Report, stated that “chiropractic management of low back pain is more effective, more cost effective and produces higher levels of patient satisfaction than other forms of management.” The report further went on to recommend that chiropractic services in Ontario be fully funded by the “Ontario Health Insurance Plan and be fully integrated into the health care system. Additionally, there was found to be no clinical or scientific study that demonstrates or implies that chiropractic manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low back pain.
A similar study conducted by the United States federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research also endorses chiropractic manipulation as safe and effective treatment of acute low back pain in adults. Chiropractors receive rigorous training in diagnosing and treating the various causes of low back pain. Most commonly low back pain originates from a mechanical dysfunction of the spine that may have neurological, muscular and skeletal consequences. Such consequences may include pain, tingling, numbness or possibly weakness in the groin buttocks, legs or feet.
Common examples of mechanical dysfunction are strains, sprains, muscle spasms, disc herniations and increased or decreased joint motions of the spine. Pain may also be produced from other injuries or disease of the blood vessels, fractures, dislocations, infections and tumors. The chiropractor is trained to recognize all of these possibilities as well as be able to render the appropriate treatment and/or referrals to another health care provider if necessary.
Doctors of chiropractic conduct thorough physical examinations employing orthopedic, neurological and biomechanical principles to determine the cause and possible treatment of low back pain. As an adjunct to this examination, a referral for an X-ray or further consultation with an appropriate specialist at a neighboring medical facility may occasionally be required.
Chiropractors use safe and gentle chiropractic manipulation as their primary method of treatment. Other treatment therapies often used in conjunction with manipulation include the use of heat and cold, electrical modalities and manual muscle therapy, and exercise rehabilitation. The goal of treatment is to reduce the pain experienced by the patient while keeping the patient as active as possible in their activities of work and daily living. The long term goal is to strengthen and stabilize the spine in order to prevent any reoccurrence of injury and optimizing the health and well being of the patient.
Dr. Robert Muir B.Sc., D.C.
Healthview Therapy Centre
5118 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg MB