Anthony Rosner responds to Newsweek
April 22, 2004
article "The Great Back Pain Debate"
P.O. Box 2120
Radio City Station
New York, New York 10101
To the Editor:
For such a widespread condition that costs the U.S. $100B annually, I was deeply disappointed by a glaring misrepresentation which appeared in your April 26 issue on "The Great Back Pain Debate." That distortion had to do with the suggestion that "there's not a lot of data on how effective it is in the long term" when it comes to the chiropractic care of back pain patients. As the Director of Research of the largest and oldest foundation which has contributed substantially to the evidence which supports the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for back pain patients, I take strong exception to Dan Cherkin's statement. In truth, a summary of no less than 73 clinical trials involving spinal manipulation recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine attests to the effectiveness of this treatment in managing back pain with none of the trials having produced negative results. Furthermore, official guidelines from the governments of at least 8 countries in North America, western Europe and Australia propose that spinal manipulation is one of the two most-documented and effective management strategies for back pain [the other being the use of analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents]. With this type of documented effectiveness, fewest side effects, and avoidance of expensive alternatives when possible, the treatments which chiropractors apply demand far more thoughtful review in a healthcare environment that is increasingly dependent upon the documentation of rigorous scientific evidence, regrettably overlooked in your article.
ANTHONY ROSNER, PH.D., LL.D [HON.]
Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research
1330 Beacon Street, Suite 315
Brookline, MA 02446-3202