All over the world research has been conducted on the effectiveness of chiropractic.
(The following is a selection of landmark studies on the topic)
In 1992, an Australian study compared Mechanical Low-Back Pain: A Comparison of Medical and Chiropractic Management within the Victorian WorkCare Scheme. Comparisons of costs and outcomes were made between the two samples. Results showed:
- A significantly lower number of claimants requiring compensation days when chiropractic management was chosen.
- Fewer compensation days taken by claimants who received chiropractic management.
- A greater number of patients progressed to chronic status when medical management was chosen.
- A greater average payment per claim with medical management.
Ref: Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1992 (Jun); 22 (2)
In 1979, the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Chiropractic in New Zealand, after an 18-month study in five nations, including the U.S.A, concluded, “The Commission has found it established beyond any reasonable degree of doubt that chiropractors have a more thorough training in spinal mechanics and spinal manual therapy than any other health professional.” It found that chiropractic was a scientifically based, valid, safe and very effective treatment that should be in the mainstream of health care and should be used in hospitals.
Ref: Chiropractic in New Zealand – Report of the Commission of Inquiry, 1979.
In 1989, an encouraging new study from Denmark showed that chiropractic was helpful to infants with colic, even when more traditional treatments had failed. The data included 316 babies treated by 73 chiropractors in 50 different clinics. Improvement was reported in more than 90% of these children.
Ref: Infantile Colic: A New Study from Denmark, (1989) The Chiropractic Report; Vol4,1 ed Chapman-Smith, 1.
In 1993, the Ontario government, Canada, commissioned a study on chiropractic that analysed all available clinical studies, statistics and other pertinent data and found that there was an “overwhelming body of evidence” that chiropractic was superior, more therapeutically effective, cost efficient, safer, more scientifically based and had a much higher level of patient satisfaction than medical care. It cautioned the Ontario government against many of the “untested, questionable or harmful medical treatments” and urged the government to prefer chiropractic care over medical care for some ailments. It also recommended that chiropractors be “gate keepers” in hospitals when admitting back ailments.
Ref: Manga Report to the Ontario Ministry of Health, August, 1993.
The recent 1991 Utah Workers’ Compensation Study followed 3062 cases. The record shows that chiropractic care outperformed medicine by 10:1 margin in compensation costs
Ref: Kelly Jarivs, DC. Red Philips, DC, Elliot Morris, JD MBA Workers Compensation Fund of Utah, 1991.
In 1972, the California Workers’ Compensation Study comparing chiropractic to medical care for back ailments on 1000 patients showed that chiropractic was twice as effective and the patients lost half as many days as of work.
Ref: Richard Wolf, MD, California Workers Compensation Records, 1972.
In 1982, AV MED, the largest HMO in the south-eastern U.S.A, tried an experiment with 100 of its medically unresponsive patients by sending them to a local doctor of chiropractic. Within 3 weeks, 86% of them had their ailments corrected. 12 of these cases were medically diagnosed as needing disc surgery. All 12 of these cases were corrected and none needed surgery. Just these 12 cases saved the HMO $250,000 in surgical/hospital bills. Later re-evaluation of these cases showed that the results were permanent.
Ref: Herbert Davis, MD, AVMED Health Maintenance Organization, Miami, FL. 1982.
1985, Kirkaldy-Willis, M.D., world renowned medical orthopaedist, joined David Cassidy, D.C., PhD. to do an evaluation of the clinical results of chiropractic care on 171 chronic, medically unresponsive, low back pain sufferers for a period of 7 years. Within 3 weeks, Dr Cassidy eliminated 87% of the ailments through chiropractic adjustments. It is significant to note that a re-evaluation of these patients one year later showed that they remained pain free!
Ref: David Cassidy, DC, Kirkaldy Willis, MD, University of Saskatchewan, 1985.
An important study was conducted by Dr. Ton Rupert and his team at Parker College, U.S.A. The study surveyed 311 chiropractic patients aged 65 years and older who had received chiropractic care for five years or longer:
- Despite similar health status, chiropractic patients receiving ‘maintenance care’ for five years or longer, when compared with US citizens of the same age, spent only 31% of the national average for health care services.
- The chiropractic patients also experienced 50% fewer medical provider visits than their comparable peers.
In 2000, in a study performed through the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine, U.S.A., subjective changes were reported by chiropractic patients over a one-year period and showed:
- 76% of the 2,818 patients self-reported statistically significant improvement in the physical, emotional, stress, and life enjoyment categories of health and wellness, as well as in overall quality of life.
- Patients who had been under care the longest reported the greatest improvement.
Epstein, D. (2000), Published in The Chiropractic Journal.
A two-year study conducted by the Italian government followed 17,000 patients. The dramatic results showed that patients under chiropractic care had their hospitalisation for back ailments reduced by 87.6% and work loss by 75.5%.
Prof. F. Splendori, Chiropractic Therapeutic Effectiveness-Social Importance. Incidence on Absence from Work and Hospitalization. Italy.