RRS Education Chiropractic BLOG - Musculoskeletal Research Reviews

International guidelines recommend against the use of diagnostic imaging for the management of low back pain (LBP) in the absence of clinical suspicion of underlying pathology, such as cancer, infection or fracture.  Evidence is mixed regarding the impact of imaging on clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, and imaging has been associated with increased healthcare utilization and downstream costs. 
Studies assessing the impact of diagnostic imaging on patient management and outcomes have typically been performed in medical settings, and given the potential differences in management approaches, it is unknown if these results can be extrapolated to chiropractic practices. Some have argued that imaging may demonstrate contraindications to spinal manipulation that would be otherwise unsuspected following a thorough clinical assessment; however, the usefulness of routine imaging to screen for such contraindications has not been demonstrated. 
Previous qualitative studies have demonstrated that some chiropractors hold beliefs that imaging can help to guide optimum delivery of care and demonstrate contraindications. Further, some argue that imaging guidelines are not applicable to chiropractic practice. Since no studies have been performed to assess the effectiveness of imaging on clinical outcomes within chiropractic in clinical practice, the aim of the current study was to determine if diagnostic imaging had any effect on clinical outcomes in patients with LBP presenting for chiropractic care.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Effects of Diagnostic Imaging on Clinical Outcomes in Chiropractic Low Back Pain Patients”
This paper was published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Diagnostic Imaging, Low Back Pain and the 2022 Archive.
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