METHODS: The target group consisted of 44 consecutive patients who experienced sudden and painful low back pain caused by lumbar flexion and rotation without axial loading. Clinical and neurologic examinations by orthopedic surgeons revealed no pathology; in addition, skeletal radiography, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were all normal. Diagnosis before hospitalization was acute sciatica in all cases. Examination by the doctor of chiropractic indicated that the patients had lumbopelvic fixation. According to preestablished inclusion and exclusion criteria, 33 patients were treated in the chiropractor's clinic, whereas 11 who could not be transported were initially treated by the chiropractor in the hospital. The mean follow-up was 2 years.
RESULTS: All but two patients returned to work. The period of sick leave among the patients was reduced by two thirds as compared with that associated with conventional medical treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first report on the work of a chiropractor participating within an orthopedic department of a Norwegian hospital as initiated by the hospital and with full support of the staff. The results support the initiative of the Norwegian government to increase reference to chiropractors in treating patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions. Based on our experience, we believe that the inclusion of chiropractors within hospital orthopedic departments is feasible and provides a patient care resource that may benefit not only the patients but also the department as a whole.
First author: Jan Roar Orlin, MD, PhD
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