The association between timing and duration of chiropractic care in work-related low back pain and work-disability outcomes

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Oct;49(10):1124-34. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31814b2e74.


Objective: To examine the timing and duration of chiropractic care in occupational low back pain (OLBP) and their association with work-disability duration and recurrent disability using workers' compensation (WC) claims data.

Methods: Patients from four states who received chiropractic care for uncomplicated OLBP were identified through WC claims. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used, controlling for utilization of chiropractic care and other factors.

Results: Chiropractic care was initiated within 30 days after the onset of OLBP by 89% of claimants. Of those claimants, 48% ended chiropractic care within the first 30 days. After controlling for multiple factors, we found that shorter chiropractic care duration was still significantly associated with a lower likelihood of work-disability recurrence (OR = 0.39) and 8.6% shorter work-disability duration.

Conclusion: Our findings did not support a benefit of longer chiropractic care in preventing work-disability recurrence or reducing work-disability duration in OLBP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chiropractic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disabled Persons* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Sick Leave / trends
  • United States