The New Zealand Commission of Inquiry:
In a 377 page report to the House of Representatives, a 2 year inquiry of chiropractic was presented, which some consider the most comprehensive and detailed independent examination of chiropractic ever completed in the world. "By the end of the inquiry we found ourselves irresistibly and with complete unanimity drawn to the conclusion that modern chiropractic is a soundly-based and valuable branch of health care in a specialised area." The findings were as follows;
- Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in the detection and correction, by spinal manipulation, of biomechanical disorders of the spine. They perform diagnosis and therapy at a sophisticated and refined level.
- Only Doctors of Chiropractic are equipped by their education and properly trained to perform spinal manipulative therapy safely and effectively.
- The education of today's chiropractor enables him to administer an extensive examination in order to determine if a patient might be better served by medical care or by both medical and chiropractic care.
- Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving musculoskeletal conditions like low back pain or headaches.
- In certain instances of visceral and/or organic symptoms chiropractic care has provided relief, but this is unpredictable, and concurrent medical care should be sought for treatment.
- In the interest of the public and patients, Doctors of Medicine and Chiropractic must work together in full cooperation.
Swedish Government's Commission on Alternative Medicine:
Findings from this study were consistent with the New Zealand Inquiry.
- Doctors of Chiropractic should become included within the National Insurance system.
- Education level of D.C.'s is equivalent to that of Swedish medical training. They have competency in differential diagnosis and should be regulated on a primary care basis.
- Improved cooperation should be encouraged between all health care providers for the interest of the public and patient care.
The Rand Study:
Rand, a non-profit research organization confirmed the appropriateness of chiropractic treatment for some low back pain patients. This study is part of a larger multi-year project designed by the Consortium for Chiropractic Research to help establish standards of care for the chiropractic profession.
The Meade Study:
The British Medical Journal reported a study of 781 patients between 18 and 65 with chronic or severe back pain who were treated with chiropractic care or at a hospital outpatient clinic. The comparison determined that chiropractic treatment was more effective for patients with chronic or severe back pain than hospital outpatient management. Two years later a follow up was conducted and the positive effective of chiropractic care were even more evident. - T.W. Meade, "Low back pain of mechanical origin; randomized comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment", British Medical Journal; Volume 300, June 2, 1990.
Additional Studies on Low Back Pain:
Paul G. Shekelle, MD, "Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain", Annals of Internal Medicine October 1992, 117:590-598. Summary: Spinal manipulation was appropriate and beneficial for patients with acute low back pain.
W. H. Kirkaldy-Willis, MD & J.D. Cassidy, DC, "Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Low-Back Pain", Can Fam Physician, 1985; 31:535-540. Summary: In depth investigation of clinical and scientific research on manipulative therapy, which has shown there is a scientific basis for treating back pain with manipulation performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Phillip S. Ebrall, "Mechanical Low Back Pain: A Comparison of Medical and Chiropractic Management Within the Victorian WorkCare Scheme", Chiropractic Journal of Australia; Volume 22, Number 2, June 1992. Summary: A retrospective study of work-related, low back pain claimants treated by either a chiropractic or medical doctor. Significantly lower number of claimants requiring compensation days, fewer compensation days taken by claimants, less became chronic conditions and lower average payment were found with chiropractic care.
James M. Cox, D.C., DACBR, "Distraction Chiropractic Adjusting: Clinical Application and Outcomes of 1000 Cases", Top Clin Chiro, 1996; 3(3); 45-59. Summary: Study designed to collect outcome information from a pool of 1000 patients with low back and/or leg pain; patients were from two different studies. Less than 4% required surgery, less than 9% became chronic, the average number of days of treatment was 29 and average number of treatments was 12. Study provides evidence for the use of chiropractic management and flexion-distraction manipulation in the treatment of various back pain problems.
What your neck can do:
Your neck is designed to move forward and back, to tilt from side to side, and to rotate equally from side to side. Your spinal cord exits the brain and begins in the neck (cervical spine), therefore neurological problems such as numbness and tingling can be caused by neck problems. Also the nerves in your arms start in the cervical spine and form the brachial plexus. Many arm, shoulder and hand complaints can be caused from an impingement of the nerve roots in the neck or the brachial plexus in your shoulder. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat the problem you might be facing. Also if your complaints persist we will order specialized tests (such as a nerve conduction velocity study) to further discover what your problem is and what type of treatment would best work for you.
Chiropractic Manipulation More Effective:
A doctor of medicine and doctors of chiropractic from RAND and several institutions reviewed literature on the treatments for neck pain. They found manipulation to be more effective than mobilization or physical therapy in treating some subacute or chronic neck pain. - Hurwitz et al. 1996. "Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical Spine: A Systematic Review of the Literature." Spine21, no. 4: 281-288.
Manipulation Provides Faster Relief:
Doctors of Medicine and other professionals conducted two randomized clinical trials, which compared the outcomes of various treatment protocols for chronic back and neck conditions. Spinal manipulation was compared to physiotherapy, treatment by a general practitioner and a placebo. The authors found the spinal manipulation groups offered people the fastest and greatest improvement. - Koes et al. 1992. "Randomized Clinical Trial of Manipulative Therapy and Physiotherapy for Persistent Back and Neck Complaints: Results of One-Year Follow Up." British Medical Journal 304 (7 March): 601-605.
Chiropractic Care Effective for Relieving Pain:
Several studies have found spinal manipulation to improve neck mobility and decrease neck pain. Verhoef, Page and Waddell concluded, "patients suffering from back and/or neck complaints experience chiropractic care as an effective means of resolving or alleviating pain and functional impairments. - Verhoef, Maria J., Stacy A. Page, and Stephen C. Waddell. 1997. "The Chiropractic Outcome Study: Pain, Functional Ability and Satisfaction with Care." Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics20, no. 4: 235-240.
MRI study of Cervical and Lumbar Disc Injuries:
Patients with MRI documented and symptomatic cervical and lumbar disc were treated with traction, flexion distraction, spinal manipulation, physiotherapy and exercises. Clinically, 80% had good outcomes and 63% revealed a reduced or completely resorbed disc herniation. Almost 80% were able to return to their regular jobs after care. - Ben Eliyahu, D.J., "Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations", Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1996; Nov-Dec; 19(9): 597-606.
Chiropractic Care and Adolescent Scoliosis:
The spinal column is made up of 24 small bones called vertebrae. Seven are located in the neck or cervical area, twelve in the mid-back or thoracic area and five in the low back or lumbar area. They protect your spinal cord and allow you to move around in all directions. The spine when viewed from the back should appear fairly straight. However, the average person has a slight curve often due to right or left handedness.
When someone develops a slightly greater curve than "normal" it is called Scoliosis (from the Greek word for "crooked"). It is known that most people are able to live normal lives; however, cases when the curve is severe is when people can suffer from internal problems. It should also be noted that poor posture is not a cause of Scoliosis and women with Scoliosis do not have more problems carrying babies to full term than women who do not have this disease.
Scoliosis still remains a mystery to the health profession. Most cases of Scoliosis, up to 90%, have an unknown cause. In fact, the spinal components, the vertebrae, disc, tendons and muscles appear normal, although as the curve worsens abnormalities may develop in these areas.
Recently researchers studied the effects of chiropractic full-spine adjustive procedures, heel-lifts and postural counseling on children 9-15 with mild Scoliosis (a curve less than 20 degrees). After their three year study, findings indicated children with mild Scoliosis had shown a reduction in their spinal curvature when treated with chiropractic adjustments.
In the past, many treatment methods have been tried such as the Milwaukee brace, casts and surgical rods. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D., has criticized the usual medical approach to Scoliosis on many fronts: " If your child is diagnosed as a victim of Scoliosis, don't accept surgical procedures or even bracing without first exploring all of the less radical treatment alternatives."
Current research suggests that Scoliosis may be caused by a neurological defect in the area of the nervous system that controls posture, body balance and positioning. This reinforces the validity of the chiropractic approach: the nervous system must remain free of structural damage in order for the body to be healthy. "The role of chiropractic with Scoliosis is supported by a long history of empirical evidence," states Scott Banks, M.D., D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic).
Patients in my office with Scoliosis pain of the spine have responded extremely well to care. Along with adjustments and muscle work, we teach the patient stretches to help them when they're home. Minor changes in a curve can alleviate a patient's pain, however permanent structural benefits take longer depending on the severity and how long the person has had Scoliosis.
Clearly, the final word is not in on this condition. However, the evidence increasingly tells us that every Scoliosis sufferer should be under chiropractic care.