Internationally known chiropractic researcher Dr. Christopher Kent has selected the top research articles published during the past 10 years that have a direct bearing on chiropractic’s role in better health. Here are five of them:
- When patients see a chiropractor first, it reduces health care costs. When Doctors of Chiropractic were the first point of contact for patients, it resulted in decreased costs and use of medical services. 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 in hospital days, 62 percent in outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85 percent in pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine. These were across-the- board savings, not merely back and neck cases, Dr. Kent notes.
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.
- Upper cervical chiropractic adjustments regulate blood pressure, naturally. 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 is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.”
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. Epub 2007 Mar 2.
- The role of chiropractic in mental health. From the establishment of in-patient chiropractic sanitariums to publication of a text with contributions from two Nobel Laureates, doctors of chiropractic have a long history of providing care for persons with mental health issues. The PRISM (Psychological response in spinal manipulation) study was a systematic review of psychological outcomes in 12 randomized controlled trials. The authors reported a small improvement in psychological outcomes after spinal manipulation compared with verbal interventions and other physical treatments, with small- and medium-sized standardized mean differences (SMDs) in favor of manipulation compared to primary care and advice.
Williams NH1, Hendry M, Lewis R, Russell I, Westmoreland A, Wilkinson C: Psychological response in spinal manipulation (PRISM): a systematic review of psychological outcomes in randomised controlled trials. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Dec;15(4):271-83. Epub 2007 Mar 8.
- Surgery less likely if patients see a chiropractor first. A study looking at 1,885 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 that “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.”
- 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 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. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Sep 16.