The following is not a exhaustive list of all Chiropractic Research, however, it does represent a concise summary of the latest peer-reviewed literature that supports the use of spinal manipulation (the most notable chiropractic therapy) for common musculoskeletal conditions. While this discussion emphasizes spinal manipulation, it should be noted that at Body and Soul , patients are usually treated with multimodal therapy (e.g., mobilization, soft-tisue therapy, exercise therapy, laser and electrotherapy, lifestyle and ergonomic advice, nutritional recommendation, etc). Also included here is information on ways the contemporary chiropractic profession is improving on its evidence-base.
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Mechanical Low Back Pain
Few other health care interventions have been assessed as extensively as spinal manipulation for low back pain, both in terms of safety and effectiveness. The most recent Cochrane Collaboration analysis concluded that spine manipulation is as effective as other common therapies prescribed for chronic low-back pain, such as, exercise therapy, standard medical care or physiotherapy (See reference 1). A 2010 systematic review concluded that spine manipulation achieves equal or superior improvement in pain and function than all other commonly used treatments for acute low back pain (See reference 2). In fact, even the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society have recently recommended that spine manipulation be considered for people who do not improve on their own (See reference 3). Indeed, a recent, hospital-based study found that a combination of medication, progressive exercise, and spine manipulation offered patients significantly greater improvement than ‘usual-care’ (See reference 4). Moreover, a high-quality 2013 medical study found that spinal manipulation was significantly better than the NSAID medication Diclofenac and also clinically superior to placebo (See reference 5).
The public appears to agree with the scientific literature, as the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center survey (April 2009) revealed that chiropractic was the most satisfying treatment available for back pain.
Many studies have been published that examine manual therapies for the treatment of neck pain. The most recent high-quality study published found that for acute and subacute neck pain, spinal manipulation and exercise are more effective than medication in both the short and long term (See reference 6). Indeed, most studies that have examined spinal treatments for neck pain have reached similar conclusions, and in 2010 a high-quality systematic review concluded that spine manipulation or mobilization can provide immediate or short-term improvement in pain and function (See reference 7).
As it was for back pain treatment, the public appears to agree with the scientific literature regarding chiropractic neck pain treatment; the Consumer Reports Overview of Alternative Therapies (July 2011) revealed that chiropractic was considered more effective than all other neck-pain treatments.