Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

A conference taking place in Adelaide this week will focus on the pros and cons of different approaches to back care, an issue that affects more than 3 million Australians each year.

Medical researchers from Europe, North America and Australasia will attend the 1st Adelaide Spinal Research Symposium, to be held at the National Wine Centre on December 6.

Spinal surgeons will rub shoulders with chiropractors at the conference, which brings together global experts to discuss the latest trends in multidisciplinary care of the spine.

Says speaker Dr Chris Colloca: “The focus will be on assessing the best approaches to patient care. Only one in 400 patients with spine problems require surgery. Research will be presented regarding clinical decision making and prevention as well as fostering interprofessional relationships and case management.”

The pros and cons of conservative and surgical care including disc replacement surgery, diagnostic imaging and intervention for low back pain will also be reviewed. The symposium will be followed by a week of intensive research into spine care, conducted at the Adelaide Centre for Spinal Research.

A spine scientist, Dr Colloca is a chiropractor and member of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine* (ISSLS), an organisation composed mainly of orthopedic spine surgeons. The former president of the ISSLS, Dr Robert Fraser, an orthopaedic surgeon from Royal Adelaide Hospital, will also address the symposium.

The US-based Dr Colloca, who at the invitation of his Adelaide hosts has given talks at RAH about chiropractic research, said that the award-winning Adelaide Centre for Spine Research on North Terrace is globally recognised as a centre for excellence.

“The centre is closely affiliated with the ISSLS, which serves as an international forum for the exchange of information of both an investigative and clinical nature which relates to low back pain and disability.

“I have found that doctors are encouraged that chiropractors are demonstrating a scientific approach. Like any scientist, they don’t want to be just told something works, they want evidence. However, a lack of evidence is not a lack of effectiveness. There is a large body of evidence in support of the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.”

Dr Zoe Love, President of the Chiropractors Association of South Australia, agreed with Dr Colloca’s view that scientific research provides the proof of the efficacy of manipulations.

“As chiropractors, we closely follow developments in spinal research. We are pleased that this significant conference is taking place in Adelaide, bringing together the thought leaders in spinal care from around the world.”

Dr Colloca has visited Adelaide to conduct research at the ACSR every year for the past five years.

“One of our approaches is to use a disc degeneration model to research the impact of different interventions,” he explained. “We use this model to measure how the spine moves when the discs are normal and when there are abnormalities, how the muscles work and how the joints communicate with muscles through the nerves.”

Other research on the agenda includes:

• When will a patient benefit from conservative, biomechanical care rather than surgery?
• How can chiropractors and medical clinicians do a better job of referring between disciplines, according to what is best for the patient?
• Can a series of medical guidelines be developed to assist these referrals in cases of back pain, headaches and neck pain?

*The purpose of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, a non-profit organization founded in 1974, is to bring together those individuals throughout the world, who, by their contributions and activities both in the area of research and clinical study, have, or are indicating interest in the lumbar spine in health and in disease.

For interviews or more information, please contact Leila Henderson 0414 69 70 71; [email protected]

Contact Profile

the Chiropractors Association of Australia (South Australia)

Members of the Chiropractors Association of Australia SA (CAASA) are registered, primary contact health professionals who undertake a minimum of five years of university training across three government universities in Australia.

Chiropractors usually work in their own private practice or in clinics with other healthcare professionals. They may also act as allied health consultants in areas including occupational health and safety, sport, rehabilitation, health insurance assessment and medico-legal advising.

Their tenet is that "Wellness is an active, lifelong process of assuming personal responsibility that empowers one to become aware of choices, make decisions and take action towards a more balanced, dynamically sustainable and fulfilling existence."

Leila Henderson
P: 08 8121 5264
M: 0414 69 70 71

Dr Zoe Love, President, CAASA

P: 0409944414


With 3 million Australian backpain sufferers, a conference of spinal surgeons and chiropractors makes welcome news.



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