Chiropractic Gets High Points in Study on Pain Relief

UK researchers find chiropractic care is more effective than traditional pain-clinic management in reducing disability and pain


Researchers at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital outpatient clinic (pain clinic) in the United Kingdom performed a study to determine if chiropractic care could be beneficial for patients suffering from chronic (> 12 weeks) low back pain.


Patients referred to a regional pain clinic were assessed and randomly assigned to either chiropractic or pain clinic management for 8 weeks.  The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) and Numerical Rating Scale, both standards in the medical industry, were used to assess perceived pain and disability.

After assignment to their mode of care, normal treatment protocols for each group were utilized.  Subjects were evaluated prior to the study, and at 2-week intervals during their treatment.


At the conclusion of the treatment period, subjects were provided another in the RMDQ and those who received chiropractic care had a mean improvement that was 5.5 points GREATER than those treated with pain clinic management.

Additionally, the pain intensity rating was improved for the chiropractic group more than the pain-clinic group.  Researchers concluded that a chiropractic care approach to pain management could be effective for reducing both disability and perceived pain for patients with chronic low back pain. 


In the current climate, as the healthcare industry seeks to combat an overwhelming opioid crisis, chiropractic is a drug-free pain management option for many patients.  For those who are suffering from chronic pain, chiropractic can decrease the pain, thereby reducing, or even eliminating, the need for pain medications such as opioids.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain, you have options!  Schedule an appointment with your chiropractor to discuss your health situation and how you may benefit from chiropractic.  If you do not have a regular chiropractor, you can find a TCA member doctor here.


Wilkey, Gregory M, Byfield D, McCarthy PW – “A comparison between chiropractic management and pain clinic management for chronic low-back pain in a national health service outpatient clinic” – Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008