Research Findings

Numerous studies have shown that chiropractic manipulation is both safe and effective. The following are findings from recent studies, showing chiropractic is not only an effective treatment procedure, but also that it offers significant health care savings:


For Acute and Chronic Pain

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”
– Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Nyiendo et al. (2000),


In a Randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
-- British Medical Journal, Korthals-de Bos et al. (2003)


In Comparison to Other Treatment Alternatives

“Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.”
– Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Haas et al. (2005)


“In our randomized, controlled trial, we compared the effectiveness of manual therapy, physical therapy, and continued care by a general practitioner in patients with nonspecific neck pain. Success rate at seven weeks was twice as high for the manual therapy group (68.3 percent) as for the continued care group (general practitioner). Manual therapy scored better than physical therapy on all outcome measures. Patients receiving manual therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or continued care, and manual therapy and physical therapy each resulted in statistically significant less analgesic use than continued care.”
– Annals of Internal Medicine, Hoving et al. (2002)


For Headaches

“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”
-- Duke Evidence Report, McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001)


“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.”
-- Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Boline et al. (1995)


During Pregnancy

A recent retrospective case series points to the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care during pregnancy...followed 17 pregnant women with low-back pain who underwent chiropractic treatment, including spinal manipulation. In 16 of the 17 cases, the women experienced significant improvement in their pain within an average of about 5 days (approximately 2 visits). None of the women experienced any adverse events.
-- Midwifery and Women’s Health, Lisi AJ. (2006)


For the Elderly

"[Elderly] chiropractic users were less likely to have been hospitalized, less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more likely to be mobile in the community. In addition, they were less likely to use prescription drugs."
– Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, Coulter et al. (1996)


Chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients. Results from observational studies suggested that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies conclude that patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than they were with physical therapy after six weeks.

-- American Journal of Public Health, Hertzman-Miller et al. (2002)


From ACA 10/19/06


Click here for a summary of the most recent chiropractic research.