Management of chronic spine-related conditions: consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary panel

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Sep;33(7):484-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Aug 25.


Objective: Chronic spine-related conditions are very problematic in terms of treatment and indemnity costs, diagnostic complexity, and appropriate case management. Currently no chiropractic-directed guideline exists related to chiropractic management of the chronic spine pain patient. The purpose of this project was to develop a broad-based multidisciplinary consensus of medical and chiropractic clinical experts representing mainstream medical and chiropractic practice to produce a document designed to provide standardized parameters of care and documentation.

Methods: Background materials were provided to the panelists prior to the consensus process and served as the basis for the 29 seed statements. Delphi rounds were conducted electronically, and the Nominal Group Panel was conducted via conference call. The RAND/UCLA methodology was used to reach consensus, which was considered present if both the median rating was 7 or higher and at least 80% of panelists rated the statement 7 or higher. Consensus was reached through a combination of Delphi rounds and Nominal Group Panel. Of 29 panelists, 5 were non-doctors of chiropractic.

Results: Specific recommendations regarding treatment, frequency and duration, as well as outcome assessment and contraindications for manipulation, were agreed upon by the panel.

Conclusions: A multidisciplinary panel of experienced practitioners was able to reach a high level (80%) of consensus regarding specific aspects of the chiropractic approach to care for complex patients with chronic spine-related conditions, based on both the scientific evidence and their clinical experience.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chiropractic / standards*
  • Clinical Protocols / standards*
  • Consensus
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / standards*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Spinal Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • United States