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Evidence Based Practice – Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C)

Evidence-based practice summary

Evidence based practice is the gold-standard of all healthcare. If your chiropractor or physiotherapist is utilising evidence-based practice they are ensuring you get the very best treatment possible.

What is evidence-based practice?

The term evidence-based practice (EBP) means that your chiropractor or physiotherapist has based their decision to apply a treatment on three extremely important factors

  • The best available evidence (research)
  • Their clinical expertise
  • Patient (your) preferences

Said really simply, when a chiropractor or physiotherapist uses evidence-based practice to make decisions, they apply a logical framework (funnel) that ensures what you are getting is the best possible treatment for your condition. It removes outdated chiropractic or physiotherapy practices from the clinical picture and prompts the practitioner to justify why they are delivering a treatment and if there clear benefit for doing so.

In the below article, we explore these different components of evidence-based practice for those who would like to read further on this subject. At Sydney Spine & Sports (S3C) our chiropractors are passionate about evidence-based practice and welcome any further questions on the subject.

Step one: The best available evidence

When we look at the evidence (research) we don’t just look at one study that supports or refutes something. We must look at the totality (all) of evidence – this means all the research that has been conducted on a particular topic and appraise the evidence as a whole. This is what good systematic reviews do, they look at all the high-quality research and combine it together to give a meaningful answer about a topic (clinical question). For example, the topic (question) might be – does spinal manipulation help acute low back pain in a certain population?

Step two: Clinical expertise

This is where the experience and training of the chiropractor are important. From the first step (looking at the research) we have an indication of what treatments may benefit a patient with a particular condition (back pain etc). Now it is up to chiropractor to apply it to the person sitting in front of them. This takes skill. Every person is unique and has their own social, personal and psychological factors that must be considered. No two injuries are the same and this is where the powerful notion of ‘treating a person with an injury rather than treating an injury on a person’ resonates.

Step three: Patient preferences

This is the most important part of evidence-based practice. The patient. The first two components of evidence-based practice naturally lead us to this point. Now all reasonable treatment options have been considered and the patient is educated on which options are likely to help them the most. The pro’s and cons are given to the patient, what their prognosis is and what all treatment options are, not just the ones that the chiropractor or physiotherapist is offering. This is the patient-centred part, where the patient comes first and they get to pick what they want. Hence, patients goals and preferences control the treatments.

Why do our practitioners at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) take it seriously

Evidence based practice is vitally important as it ensures that each person gets the treatment that is best for them and most likely to work. It removes opinion, biases and reduces the risk of harm. At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) we use an evidence-based, patient-centred approach with all treatments. Come in and have a discussion with one of our chiropractors on how we can best help you with your spine, sports, muscle and joint injury or problem. We look forward to seeing you in the clinic.