What does the research say?

Chiropractic Research

Numerous studies have shown that chiropractic treatment is both safe and effective. The following are excerpts from a few of the recent studies. By examining the research supporting chiropractic care, you will find that chiropractic offers tremendous potential in meeting today’s health care challenges.

If you would like a more exhaustive list of research please follow the following link: http://chiro.org/research

Patient satisfaction

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

Patients in Medicare Demonstration Project Give Their Chiropractors High Marks

According to long-awaited results from a congressionally mandated pilot project testing the feasibility of expanding chiropractic services in the Medicare program, patients have a high rate of satisfaction with the care they receive from doctors of chiropractic.

When asked to rate their satisfaction on a 10-point scale: 87 percent of patients in the study gave their doctor of chiropractic a level of 8 or higher and 56 percent of those patients rated their chiropractor with a perfect 10.
– Medicare Demonstration Project Report (2010)

Comparing the Satisfaction of Low Back Pain Patients Randomized to Receive Medical or Chiropractic Care: Results From the UCLA Low-back Pain Study

Approximately one third as many back pain patients seek chiropractic care compared to those who seek medical care. In earlier randomized clinical trials, investigators found spinal manipulation to have similar or better rates of patient satisfaction when compared to medical approaches such as physical therapy, McKenzie method and standard medical therapy. This study examined the differences in satisfaction between patients assigned to either medical care or chiropractic care in a managed care organization. In this randomized trial, the chiropractic patients were more satisfied with their back care after 4 weeks of treatment. The researchers concluded that providers in managed care organizations may be able to increase the satisfaction of their low back pain patients by communicating advice and information to patients about their condition and treatment.
– Am J Public Health 2002 (Oct); 92 (10):1628–1633

Patient Satisfaction With Chiropractic Physicians In An Independent Physicians’ Association

In this study, 150 chiropractic patients were surveyed.Chiropractic care received excellent remarks by percentage, in the following categories: Time to Get an Appointment – 84.9 percent; Convenience of Office – 57.7 percent; Access to Office by Phone – 77.3 percent; Length of Wait – 75.7 percent; Time Spent with Provider – 74.3 percent; Explanation of Treatment – 72.8 percent; Skill of Provider – 83.3 percent; Personal Manner of the Chiropractor – 92.4 percent. The overall visit category was given the excellent response by 83.3 percent of those surveyed.
– J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 (Nov); 24 (9):556–559

Cost effectiveness

“Chiropractic care appeared relatively cost-effective for the treatment of chronic low-back pain. Chiropractic and medical care performed comparably for acute patients. Practice-based clinical outcomes were consistent with systematic reviews of spinal manipulative efficacy: manipulation-based therapy is at least as good as and, in some cases, better than other therapeusis.”
– Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

In comparison with 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.”
– Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
“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. The 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.”
– Hoving et al (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine

For headaches

“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in 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)

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.”
– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
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.
– Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal

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