What Are The Top Research Studies of the Past 10 Years?
1. Decreased Costs and Utilization of
Medical Services with Chiropractic.
Spectacular decreases in the utilization of medical services and their attendant costs were observed when Doctors of Chiropractic were used as first contact providers. In an Independent Practice Association (IPA) which permitted patients to select a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care physician, clinical and cost utilization based on 70,274 member-months over a seven-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2 percent in hospital admissions, 59 percent hospital days, 62 percent outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85 percent pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine. These were across the board savings, not merely back and neck cases.
Sarnat RL, Winterstein J, Cambron JA: Clinical utilization and cost outcomes from an integrative medicine independent physician association: an additional 3-year update. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 May;30 (4):263-9.
2. Blood Pressure Regulation and
Upper Cervical Chiropractic
The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the human nervous system. This landmark study was a randomized, controlled trial of hypertensive patients. Those in the intervention group received a form of upper cervical chiropractic care (NUCCA). The authors wrote, “We conclude that restoration of Atlas alignment (C1 vertebra) is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.” This study received extensive positive exposure in the media.
Bakris G, Dickholtz M Sr, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C, Bell B: Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. J Hum Hypertens. 2007 May;21(5):347-52.
3. Benefits of a Wellness Program
Implemented by Chiropractors.
A retrospective study of a standardized, 18 week wellness protocol was shown to improve weight, heart rate, blood pressure, strength, body-mass index, and forced vital capacity. The wellness protocol (Creating Wellness) focused on diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and one-on-one coaching. The author also reported, “All of the participating clinics practice a form of chiropractic that involves management of vertebral subluxation. This application of chiropractic is not solely directed at pain syndromes. It is based on the contention that misalignments and/or abnormal motion of vertebral motion units may compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health and well-being.”
McCoy M: Evaluation of a standardized wellness protocol to improve anthropometric and physiologic function and to reduce health risk factors: a retrospective analysis of outcome. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):39-44.
4. Surgery Less Likely if a Doctor of
Chiropractic is Seen First
A study looking at 1885 workers, 174 of which had lumbar spine surgery in the last three years, sought to identify early predictors of having lumbar spine surgery. The authors reported “Approximately 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the multivariate model was 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.95), indicating excellent ability to discriminate between workers who would versus would not have surgery.”
5. Chiropractic Care Associated with
Satisfaction, Functional and Self-
Rated Health of Medicare Patients.
This study used a model to determine “the effect of chiropractic relative to medical care on decline in 5 functional measures and 2 measures of self-rated health among 12,170 person-year observations.” The authors concluded from the study that “chiropractic is significantly protective against 1-year decline in activities of daily living, lifting, stooping, walking, self-rated health, and worsening health after 1 year. Persons using chiropractic are more satisfied with their follow-up care and with the information provided to them.”
Weigel PA, Hockenberry JM, Wolinsky FD: Chiropractic use in the Medicare population: prevalence, patterns, and associations with 1-year changes in health and satisfaction with care. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014 Oct;37 (8):542-51. .
6. Asymptomatic Persons Benefit
from Chiropractic Care
A review of literature was conducted using the terms “asymptomatic” “normal” “pain-free” “healthy” or “free from physical injury.” The author concluded, “The data reviewed lend support to the contention that chiropractic adjustments for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxation, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms. A significant amount of preliminary evidence supports that people without symptoms can benefit from chiropractic care. Improved function can be objectively measured in asymptomatic individuals following chiropractic care in a number of body systems often by relatively non-invasive means. It is plausible that chiropractic care may be of benefit to every function of the body and have the potential for long-term, overall health benefit to those receiving chiropractic care.”
Hannon SM: Objective physiologic changes and associated health benefits of chiropractic adjustments in asymptomatic subjects: A review of the literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 26, 2004, Pages 1-9.