The Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine journal produced by the American College of Physicians. Their mission statement is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other healthcare professionals to be well informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide.
To that end they publish original articles, reviews, commentaries and clinical guidelines.
On 14 February 2017 the Annals of Internal Medicine released a clinical guideline titled "Non-invasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians." The purpose of this guideline was to present evidence and provide clinical recommendations to physicians on what are the most effective non-invasive forms of treatment of lower back pain. To create this guideline they performed a systematic review of numerous randomised controlled trials related to the field of non-invasive treatment of back pain.
At the conclusion of this process the College of Physicians produced various recommendations on what constitutes best care of patients experiencing back pain which is acute/subacute through to patients with more chronic lower back pain. Recommendation one recognised that the best course of action for an acute lower back injury is the selection of non-drug treatment with the use of superficial heat, massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants also demonstrate evidence of helping.
Ernst Kjellberg (1879-1968) was the originator and developer of the approach to spinal treatment which bears his name, and the primary technique our clinic has utilised consistently over the past seventy years. The Kjellberg technique was not developed from within the chiropractic fold as is so typically the case but it was rather absorbed into the chiropractic profession when registration of the profession occurred in the 1970s. This is why the technique is not just manipulation only as is more typical of most chiropractic clinics. I find it quite pleasing as well as just a little amusing that the approaches to treatment which Mr Kjellberg developed and taught over 100 years ago have so recently been endorsed within the first recommendation of the ACP Practice guidelines for lower back pain.
It has been said by people who knew Mr Kjellberg that he was a very intelligent man and widely read and current with the best science of his time as it was understood in the various professions including medicine, early chiropractic, early osteopathy and other approaches to health and well-being. The Kjellberg Technique has historically used heat followed by therapeutic massage before spinal manipulation as its primary method to improve spinal function and to decrease pain. That this approach to treatment has now been endorsed in a recommendation from the American College of physicians I believe just goes to show how far ahead of his time Ernst Kjellberg truly was.