British Department of Health Releases Favorable Document for Chiropractic

The British Department of Health, in conjunction with the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the National Health Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care, has published a document called “Complementary Medicine”. This document is intended for physicians and health care groups and describes the benefits of what they term, “Complementary Medicine.”

Included in the “Complementary Medicine” document are, chiropractic, acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy, aromatherapy, and hypnosis. Currently in the United Kingdom it is estimated that 11 percent of the population uses at least one of the above health care disciplines. This falls far below estimates in the U.S. where over 40% of the public use these, with between 12 and 17% specifically utilizing chiropractic care.

Specific to chiropractic, this document only deals with chiropractic for acute lower back pain. The section on chiropractic was produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Even though you would think a group such as this might not be favorable to chiropractic, the recommendations were surprisingly positive. Disregarding the improper use of the term “manipulation” instead of “adjustment”, the findings were, as follows,

  • “Manipulation provides better short-term improvement in pain and activity levels and higher patient satisfaction than the treatments to which it has been compared.
  • “Manipulation is probably slightly more effective than mobilization or physical therapy for some patients with subacute or chronic neck pain.
  • “There is some evidence of the effectiveness of manipulative treatment in other conditions including: low back pain associated with dysmenorrhea and headaches.”

The document has a section on making referrals with and working with providers of Complementary Medicine. In it they suggest the safety of working with them by saying, “To date, no claims or cases have been sustained against doctors who have delegated care to complementary practitioners.”