The Medical Research Council conducted extensive research in chiropractic, comparing it with hospital outpatient management for the treatment of low back pain. In their report in the British Medical Journal of June 2nd 1990, the medical scientists stated that “… chiropractic almost certainly confers worthwhile, long term benefit in comparison with hospital outpatient management”. The follow-up to this study was published in the British Medical Journal on August 5th 1995. The conclusions were that at “three years the results confirm the findings of an earlier report that when chiropractic or hospital therapists treat patients with low back pain as they would in day to day practice, those treated with chiropractic derive more benefit and long term satisfaction than those treated by hospitals”.
In 1994, the Government’s Clinical Standards Advisory Group Report on Back Pain recommended that chiropractic and other forms of manipulation should be prescribed by doctors and be more accessible on the NHS. This suggests a shift of resources to permit increased accessibility to the manipulative therapies.
The NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines 2009 recommend manual therapy for patients with persistent non-specific back pain as provided by chiropractors, osteopaths and trained physiotherapists.
Because of the specialised nature of chiropractic training, chiropractors are far more qualified than General Practitioners in treating musculo-skeletal conditions. A GP receives a very broad training in order to treat common everyday conditions and refer conditions requiring specialist treatment elsewhere. The specialist nature of chiropractic training prepares chiropractors to deliver their care to the highest standards.