044- Dr. Sidney Rubinstein Discusses Chronic Low Back Pain, Spinal Manipulation and Systematic Reviews

Dr. Rubinstein and I discuss his latest paper that will appear soon in the British Medical Journal regarding his systematic review of spinal manipulative therapy and chronic low back pain. Sidney Rubinstein is an associate professor at the VU University, Amsterdam and adjunct research professor at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS). He is also a registered epidemiologist in the Netherlands. He has more than 60 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, including three systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library.

His research focuses on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions in musculoskeletal disorders. His broader goals are to lessen the burden of neck and low-back pain to society by providing high-quality scientific evidence. The projects that he currently supervises are strongly embedded in clinical practice, including the PTED trial, Warrior Trial, an IPD (individual patient data) meta-analysis on spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain and a large, international observational study in chiropractic care in the elderly (BACE-C cohort study).

One of his passions lies in systematic reviews and meta-analysis as these types of overviews represent a crucial link in the practice of evidence-based health care. He is actively involved in conducting and supervising these reviews, including a position on the Associate Editorial Board of the Cochrane Back and Neck Review Group.  His reviews are quite diverse. One of the more recent Cochrane reviews focused on complications of trocar types for laparoscopic surgery, while another has examined the effectiveness of exercise for acute low back pain. An update of the Cochrane review on the effect of spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back has been accepted by the BMJ and should be published soon.

Dr. Rubinstein currently supervises 5 PhD students as well as MSc students, and teaches methodology of systematic reviews and meta-analyses at various levels, including BSc, MSc and PhD students. One chiropractor has received his PhD under Sidney’s supervision, while others are completing theirs.

Here is a link to Dr. Rubinstein’s research at researchgate.net.

Here is a link to Dr. Rubinstein’s page at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The article we discuss in this episode is available now at https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l689

Benefits and harms of spinal manipulative therapy for the treatment of chronic low back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l689 (Published 13 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l689

2 replies
  1. Luc Ailliet
    Luc Ailliet says:

    Dr. Rubinstein was the co-promotor on my PhD project. I owe him a lot. He is truly a master in organising his time. He just doesn’t waste time, I believe; He used to tell me: “In research, first imagine how long a certain task will take you. Then multiply by three. That’s how long it wil really take”. He is a great researcher, and he doesn’t promote chiropractic, just for the sake of promoting chiropractic. He is just a top notch researcher, sticks to the facts and he won’t hold back. So it is great for our profession that he niw comes out and states that chiropractic care is just as good as all previous recommended therapies for chronic LBP, and that thus chiropractic care should now be a therapy of first choice in the treatment of people with chronic LBP, just like exercise and CBT. Thanks, chiropractic science for sharing!

    • Dean Smith, DC, PhD
      Dean Smith, DC, PhD says:

      Thanks Dr. Ailliet for sharing this. It was a pleasure spending some time with him. So true about taking much longer than you think it will for a research project!


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