The findings were impressive - the researchers found that the group that had received chiropractic care (CMT) in addition to standard medical care (SMC) improved more than those who had just received standard medical care on its own. Those patients in the combined group reported that their pain was reduced more and they had greater improvement in physical functioning than those who had received just standard medical care (SMC).
Looking at the results in more detail we can see exactly how the participants were treated. Those under 'standard medical care' (SMC) received anything from a number of possible interventions including prescription of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, self-management advice, use of ice/heat packs, and sometimes referral for physiotherapy or the pain clinic. Those in the combined treatment group received any, or all of these, but also received chiropractic treatment - primarily chiropractic manipulation or adjustments. Using various different pain rating questionnaires, the participants were assessed on day 1 and then again after 2 and 4 weeks. Global improvements indicating that pain was completely gone, much better, or moderately better were reported by 73% of participants in the chiropractic manipulative therapy group (CMT) plus standard medical care (SMC) group, but by only 17% in the SMC group. Not only that, but the overall satisfaction with care was greater for those in the medical care plus chiropractic care group.
This is obviously great news for chiropractic - it supports what we've been saying all along - what we do really works and makes you feel better. More so than popping pills. However, these results do need to be taken in context - it was, admittedly, only a relatively small study and was of fit, active military personnel - but it is a good study that supports the benefits, and efficacy, of chiropractic treatment.