Rasmussen Wellness

Do A Little

Research

Chiropractic Research

Doctors of chiropractic have long been dedicated to delivering the safest and most effective healing methods for their patients. To achieve this, the chiropractic profession has been dedicated to scientific evaluation of diagnostic and treatment methods and techniques.

Chiropractic health care has an impressive array of past and ongoing studies that support and prove the effectiveness of chiropractic care in a variety of different health ailments. Many of these studies, including federal government studies in various countries, have been performed by both chiropractors and other health care professionals.

The chiropractic profession has actually accumulated a greater number of scientific trials than the medical profession for many of the more common treatments rendered by medical doctors. According to David M. Edy, M.D., Ph.D., professor of health policy and management with Duke University, North Carolina, only 15 percent of all medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence.

Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., MPH, of the RAND Corporation made the following statement on ABC's 20/20: “There are considerably more randomized controlled trials which show benefit of this (chiropractic) than there are for many, many other things which physicians and neurosurgeons do all the time.”

Over the years, economic competitors and those with differing philosophies have imbued the marketplace with chiropractic falsehoods. While the majority of these myths have no basis in fact, they do cause confusion to those unfamiliar with chiropractic care. Below, we answer some of these myths as well as a few frequently asked questions. If you would like to know or have any further questions, please contact us!

Chiropractic FAQs

Accurately identifying the cause of pain or discomfort almost always requires a thorough consultation and examination. Chiropractic doctors are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries and abnormalities common to the spine, extremities and rest of body.

Just as every individual is unique and different, so too are the health conditions they suffer and the treatments they require. For example, individuals should not assume their pain stems from the same problem as their neighbor, nor that what helped their neighbor will help them. Rest assured that if you are suffering from back or neck problems, extremity problems or other health related ailments, chiropractic can provide you with the effective professional relief you demand.

If your condition is out of the chiropractic scope or would be more appropriately managed by another health care specialist, we will gladly and promptly make the necessary referral.

Chiropractic has helped millions of people worldwide suffering from all types of problems.  Chiropractors have established themselves as the back and neck injury specialists through the use of chiropractic spinal adjustments and other highly specialized chiropractic techniques. By utilizing the intimate relationship of the spinal and the nervous system and optimizing spinal column structure and biomechanics, irritation and stress are removed, and health can once again be achieved.

Many medical experts are now coming to understand the true effectiveness of chiropractic care and are recommending major changes in the way our health care system manages many common spinal problems.

Research studies provide scientific evidence that chiropractic care is not only effective in the treatment of back and neck ailments but can also provide effective relief with children suffering from ear infections, women suffering from dysmenorrhea (painful menses), and a number of other seemingly “non-spinal” conditions. While we cannot guarantee relief from such conditions or claim to “treat” these conditions, chiropractic has successfully helped millions of individuals with all types of health conditions by positively affecting the nervous system.

According to a recent Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned study on low-back pain: “A very good case can be made for making chiropractors the gatekeepers for management of low-back pain…”

While treatment lengths vary somewhat from person to person and from condition to condition, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow.

First, newer injuries, if treated appropriately and immediately, can be effectively managed in as little as three to four visits, assuming that major tissue injury has not occurred. Recurring conditions and conditions that have been present for more than three months are generally more stubborn and difficult to manage. Resolution may require 12 or more visits.

The only way to determine how long your treatment will take is to schedule a consultation and/or examination.

For those who believe in just waiting for the problem to “go away”, understand that the longer your condition has been around, the more treatments it will eventually require to resolve.

Costs generally depend on the number of sessions required to effectively treat your condition. A number of studies have shown that chiropractic care is extremely cost effective when compared to other “medical” forms of care for similar conditions. In general terms, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 to a few hundred dollars per session, with the average fee around $65. It all depends on the chiropractor and the type of treatment you require.

According to the 1993 Manga Report, “There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors. Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”

Before we answer this question, ask yourself how many times you have visited a dentist? Like most people, you’ve probably gone dozens of times. Why? Quite simply, to prevent your teeth from literally rotting out of your head.

Once we have eliminated your pain and rehabilitated the injured tissue, we do recommend that you maintain a schedule of periodic spinal checkups. This will help minimize spinal and nerve stresses, reduce recurrences of old injuries, prevent new injuries from developing, and minimize degenerative processes, all of which enhances overall health and wellness.

Like your dentist and many medical experts are now recognizing, prevention is the key to reducing recurrences of existing health conditions and minimizing new injuries in the future.

Chiropractic treatments are extremely safe for everyone from infants to 100-year-olds. Research consistently shows that care from chiropractors is among the safest care available and is literally light years ahead of traditional medical care in terms of “safeness”. This is because we only use natural and noninvasive methods of care.

The treatments themselves are generally not painful. In fact, most patients look forward to their treatments as many experience instantaneous relief immediately afterwards. Individuals who present with moderate to severe pain may experience some minor discomfort for obvious reasons, however, care is always gentle, safe and noninvasive.

Chiropractic Myths

Quite the contrary. Many patients feel instant relief immediately after their treatments. In fact, most look forward to their chiropractic treatments. Some discomfort may be experienced by patients suffering from severe bouts of back or neck pain, for obvious reasons, however, this is not the case for most patients.

Spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by chiropractors. In fact, according to a 1993 Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned study, “There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low-back pain patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low-back pain.”

Lead investigator of the study, Pran Manga, Ph.D., however, did warn that spinal adjustments performed by health care professionals other than qualified chiropractors were potentially harmful and less effective:

“Indeed, several existing medical therapies of low-back pain are generally contraindicated on the basis of the existing clinical trials. There is also some evidence in the literature to suggest that spinal manipulations are less safe and less effective when performed by non-chiropractic professionals.”

On December 8, 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released clinical practice guidelines for the management of acute low back pain. Their guidelines were developed after extensive study of the diagnostic and treatment methods used for acute low back pain. Their findings included:

  • The risk of serious complications from lumbar spinal manipulation is rare; and
  • Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most cases before considering surgical intervention.

Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, and antidepressant medications are not recommended for acute low back problems.

The training and education required by chiropractors is extremely thorough and demanding, similar to that of medical doctors with the exception of pharmacology and surgery.

Prior to entering chiropractic college, an aspiring chiropractor requires two to four years of pre-med undergraduate studies (depending on the college attended and the state one wishes to practice in). Once completed, the student must next complete four to five academic years of studies at a chiropractic college. This includes extensive training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, differential diagnosis, chiropractic adjustive techniques, biomechanics, and other health-related studies.

Prior to graduation each student must successfully complete several hundred clinical hours of “real” patient management under professional supervision. Most chiropractic colleges also require students to partake in clinical externship programs, which place them in actual chiropractic offices, further enhancing their clinical practice skills.

Near or soon after graduation, new chiropractic doctors must successfully complete rigorous National and State Board examinations prior to obtaining a license to practice chiropractic. Once licensed, most states require that chiropractors receive annual continuing education to ensure that a high level of competency is maintained.

Chiropractors have always sought to provide the safest and most effective healing methods for their patients. In order to achieve this, the chiropractic profession has been dedicated to conducting scientific studies to improve their diagnostic methods and treatment techniques.

In the last 20 years chiropractic health care has established an impressive array of scientific research that demonstrates the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. There are many further studies currently underway, and several have been performed by medical doctors and government researchers in both the U.S. and a number of other countries. In fact, the chiropractic profession has accumulated a greater number of scientific trials on chiropractic than the medical profession has accumulated for many of the treatments rendered by medical doctors.

According to David M. Edy, M.D., Ph.D., professor of health policy and management with Duke University, North Carolina, only 15 percent of all medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence. Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., M.P.H., of the RAND Corporation made the following statement on ABC’s 20/20: “There are considerably more randomized controlled trials which show benefit of this (chiropractic care) than there are for many, many other things which physicians and neurosurgeons do all the time.”

Chiropractic care has been consistently shown to be cost effective in a number of government and workers’ compensation board studies.

According to The Manga Report, a 1993 Canadian government commissioned study, “There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors… Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”

And according to an economic analysis conducted in Richmond, Virginia, “By every test of cost and effectiveness, the general weight of evidence shows chiropractic to provide important therapeutic benefits, at economical costs. Additionally, these benefits are achieved with apparently minimal, even negligible, impacts on the costs of health insurance.”

When the State of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Board conducted research in 1988 on treatment costs associated with injured workers who received care from either chiropractic doctors or medical doctors, they found chiropractic treatment costs were 58.8 percent of the treatments costs rendered by medical doctors ($558 vs. $1,100 per case).

Most doctors of chiropractic promote a preventative type of lifestyle which has been construed by adversaries to mean that chiropractic care requires a lifetime of commitment. Actually, recommending that patients return for periodic spinal care is no different than what dentists recommend to their patients in order to prevent cavities and gum disease.

Just as it would be ludicrous to believe that visiting a dentist once per lifetime would ensure permanently healthy teeth and gums, it’s equally as silly to think that visiting a chiropractor a few times will ensure a lifelong healthy spine. Our spinal tissues undergo daily bombardment of stresses originating from bad postural habits, suboptimal work environments, psychological stress, and hectic lifestyles just to name a few.

For these reasons, after the resolution of acute problems patients are given the option to receive periodic spinal checkups, which act to minimize the likelihood of future recurrences or development of new problems.

The preventative approach in health care has been gaining much recognition as of late and there has been a large push in the medical community and health insurance industry to incorporate preventative programs into mainstream medicine. It’s really that simple. Periodic care to prevent future problems, or safe, natural, convenient care now to avoid nasty and complex problems later.

Chiropractors provide effective treatment for all types of soft tissue disorders, not just back and neck ailments. This includes conditions of the joints of the extremities like the ankle, knee and shoulder.

What you may not be aware of is chiropractic’s success in treating a number of non-soft tissue conditions like dysmenorrhea (painful menses), ulcers, migraine headaches, and ear infections in children. While we cannot claim to cure these conditions, we believe that many of these problems can be mimicked, aggravated and sometimes caused by disruptions in the nervous system as a result of spinal abnormalities. By correcting these vertebral subluxations, chiropractic has helped thousands of individuals overcome these conditions and regain control of their lives.

A number of studies have also supported these findings. In one such study, spinal manipulative therapy was compared with standard medicine in the treatment of duodenal ulcers. Researchers Pikalov, MD, and Kharin, MD, found those subjects receiving spinal manipulations took an average of 16 days to heal vs. 26 days to heal in the standard medical treatment group.

Scroll to Top