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

Evidence-based practice summary

Evidence based practice is also known as evidence based medicine. 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 It removes outdated chiropractic or physiotherapy practices from the clinical picture and prompts the practitioner to justify why they are delivering a treatment and if there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 will break down some common myths associated with the 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.

The best available evidence

This is probably the most misinformed aspect of evidence based practice. Using research does not mean using one study to confirm or deny something or base a treatment decision. The totality (all) of research must be observed and drawn from. That means, ALL RESEARCH, thats right, the huge pile of randomised control studies (RCT’s), descriptive studies, case studies, population and cohort studies. Often, the media and individuals hijack this area of evidence based medicine and will quote one study, or ask for confirmation (prove something) of a given area with one study (usually an RCT).

Clinical expertise

This component of evidence based medicine is where a chiropractor or physiotherapist will make sense of all the research (in the above paragraph). Chiropractors and physiotherapists use systematic reviews where possible to condense and given meaning to research. The goal of the chiropractor or physiotherapist is to gain the most accurate understanding of the body of evidence and apply it to the clinical setting. Where a lot of people go wrong with this step is that they assume it means finding evidence to support a viewpoint or idea. Once an accurate understanding of the research (in its entirety) is attained it is up to the chiropractor or physiotherapist to apply it to the person sitting in front of them. 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.

Patient preferences

This is the most important part of evidence based medicine. The patient. The first two components of evidence based medicine naturally transition to this point. Now all reasonable treatment option have been considered and the patient is educated on which options are likely to help them the most. The pro’s and con’s 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. The is the patient centred part, where the patient comes first and their goals and preferences control the treatments.

Why do our practitioners at Sydney Spine & Sports 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 and 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.