This paper reports on time loss incurred by chiropractic (DC) and medical (MD) claimants with disabling low back work-related injuries in Oregon. Clinical categorization was accomplished using medical records and was based on reported symptomatology, objective clinical findings and functional impairment. The median time loss days for cases with comparable clinical presentation (severity) was 9.0 for DC cases and 11.5 for MD cases. Chiropractic claimants had a higher frequency of return to work with 1 wk or less of time loss. No difference was seen in time loss days for MD or DC claimants with no documented history of low back pain. However, for claimants with a history of chronic low back problems, the median time loss days for MD cases was 34.5 days, compared to 9 days for DC cases. It is suggested that chiropractors are better able to manage injured workers with a history of chronic low back problems and to return them more quickly to productive employment.
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