Our Favorite Chiropractic Research!

This post is going to be a little lengthy but I hope that you will read each of the summaries below.  Right now chiropractic is at about a 7% utilization among the US population.  To give you some comparison of what kind of uphill battle we’ve got, in 2010 enough opioid pain relievers were sold to medicate every American adult with a typical dose of 5mg of hydrocodone every 4 hours for 1 month.  What you’ll see below is some of the peer reviewed evidence that proves that chiropractic should be a first line treatment option for some musculoskeletal pain conditions!


Effectiveness of Treatment:


– Spine Journal 2014: Chiropractic treatment led to greater short term reductions in self reported pain and disability than usual medical care.  These changes were both statistically significant and clinically meaningful.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25423308)

– British Medical Journal 1990: Chiropractic was more effective than hospital outpatient management for patients with chronic or severe lower back pain.  Including chiropractic into National Hospital Services should be considered.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2143092)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2010: 60% of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention.(http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(10)00211-3/abstract)

– Annals of Internal Medicine 2012: For patients with acute and subacute neck pain, spinal manipulative therapy was more effective than medication in both the short and long term.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22213489)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2014:  For patients with acute and chronic lumbar disc herniation confirmed via MRI, significant improvement for all outcomes was reported at all time points, with 90.5% of patients reporting improvement at 3 months.(http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(14)00034-7/abstract)


Safety of Treatment:


– Spine Journal 2015: Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66-99, risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit as compared to those who saw a primary care physician.  No mechanism by which spinal manipulation induces injury into normal healthy tissues has been identified.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326543/)

– Cureus 2016: There is no convincing evidence to support a causal link between chiropractic manipulation and cervical artery dissection. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4794386/)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2008: In a review of pediatric patients, this study showed that out of 5242 treatments there were no serious complications resulting from treatment and only seven reported an adverse effect such as crying, concluding that chiropractic is a safe form of therapy for this group.(http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(08)00175-9/abstract)


Cost of Treatment:


 – Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2010: Paid costs for episodes of care initiated with a chiropractor were 40% less than episodes initiated with a MD. (http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(10)00216-2/fulltext)

– Journal of Occupational Medicine 1991: Looking at identical cases from the workers compensation fund of Utah, total costs of care and compensation for lumbar disc occupational injuries were on average $8175 for medical care versus $1065 for chiropractic care.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1834819)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2014: Manual therapy techniques were more cost effective than usual general practicioner care alone or with exercise, or brief pain management for improving low back pain and disability.  Chiropractic care was found to be less costly and more effective than alternative treatment compared with either physiotherapy or general practicioner care in improving neck pain. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24986566)

– Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2011: Chiropractic care during a disability episode led to a 19% decrease in average weekly cost of medical expenses compared to PT and a 43% decrease in medical expenses compared to medical physician’s care. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407100)


Reduction In Opioid Use:


 – Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2011: Chiropractic care during a disability episode led to a 5.9% decrease in opioid usage compared to PT and a 30.3% decrease in opioid usage compared to medical physician’s care. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407100)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2007: Clinical cost and utilization over a 7 year period demonstrated decreases of 85% in pharmaceutical costs for chiropractic users when compared with conventional medicine for the same health maintenance in the same geography and same time frame. (http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(07)00076-0/fulltext)

– Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 2016: A higher per capita supply of doctors of chiropractic and Medicare spending on chiropractic manipulative therapy was associated with a reduced number of younger Medicare beneficiaries obtaining an opioid prescription. (http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(16)00063-4/fulltext)


If you’ve made it this far then thank you!  I know there’s a lot of information there but I hope you found it eye opening.  A lot of this stuff flies under the radar because there isn’t a gigantic lobby for chiropractic like there is for the pharmaceutical industry.  Mechanical spine pain doesn’t demand the same type of attention as a cancer, diabetes, autism, etc. diagnosis.  And that’s because people don’t die from mechanical spine pain.  They only die from it when they overdose on the opioids that they were prescribed to treat it.

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