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Research & Efficacy of Chiropractic

Below is just a sampling of the research on the effectiveness and mechanics of chiropractic.

If you need/want more, visit: http://www.palmer.edu/research/

Cranial Trauma & Upper Cervical Joints (C1,2) – Many discomforts subsequent to head trauma remain latent for a considerable length of time and were unexplainable until now. They are due to subluxations of atlas and axis. They consist of muscular reflectoric, radicular and sympathetic N.S. symptoms. Chiropractic treatment aimed at realigning cervical vertebrae is the recommended course of action and can relieve all symptoms completely. – G. Gutmann MD, (1955) Cranial Trauma and Head Joints (German Medical Weekly), 80, 1503

Facial Pain – Unusual facial pains were linked to functional disorders of the cervical-occipital juncture due to musculotendon, vascular and sympathetic nerve irritations in the upper cervical spine. – P. Wessely MD, and H.Tilscher MD, (1984) Unusual Facial Pains Linked to Functional Disorders of the Cervical-Occipital Junction. (Studies on Pain) 6. (Pain and the Motor Systems) p. 80 Eds, Berger, M. Gerstanbrand, F. and Lewitt, K Stuttgart and New York: Gustov Fischer

“Records of numerous cases including myocardial ischemia showed lesions of the spinal column are perfectly capable of simulating accentuating, or making a major contribution to (organic) disorders. There can, in fact, be no doubt that the state of the spinal column does have a bearing on the functional status of the internal organs.” – W. Kunert MD, (1965) Functional Disorders of Internal Organs Due to Vertebral Lesions. CIBA Symposium 13 (3): 85-96

Eye Jerking Nystagmus – Nystagmus (involuntary jerking movement of the eye) is caused by a condition in the cervical spine involving it’s bones, joints, and muscles, affecting the neural information from the proprioceptors (nerve receptors) in the cervical spine. – Collard, M. Couraux, C. and Thiebault, MD (1967) Neurological Review 117, 677. “Nystagmus Caused by Conditions of the Cervical Spine.”

Depression – “It is not surprising that chiropractic manipulation lifts depression. It is possible that chiropractic maneuvers will become an important tool in psychiatric treatment.” – RF Gorman DO, (Franz vonKurkel) “Chiropractic for Rejuvenation of the Mind.” Academy of Chiropractic Medicine (8 Budgen Street, Darwin Australia 1983).

Headache, Ear Buzzing, Extreme Fatigue, Sleep Disorders – “In 1970, Vitek showed that these symptoms were linked to the upper cervical spine and not vascular disease. Manual therapy (spinal adjustments) proved successful in 77% of cases.” – “Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine” E.G. Metz @ Bezirkskrankenhaus Postdam, (Formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Headache – “It appears that chiropractors have been right all along. A team of doctors at Syracuse University have established with scientific, anatomical proof, that damaged structures in the neck (subluxations) are the cause of many chronic headaches.” – December 28, 1995. Life Toronto Star: Life section, Peter Rothbart MD.

Headaches From Whiplash – “Headaches can occur as a delayed symptom after whiplash trauma in the cervical spine. These symptoms may persist for years, cause headaches, and lead to depression.” – M. Berger MD, F. Gerstanbrand MD, 1981. (Studies on Pain) (Headaches) p. 264. Eds Berger, M. Gerstanbrand F. and K. Lewitt MD, DSc. Stuggart and New York. Gustov Fischer. “Headaches As A Delayed Symptom After Whiplash Trauma in the Cervical Spine, Neuro-orthopedic Aspects.”

Vision Blindness – “Spinal manipulation was determined for visual disorders by four opthamologists independent of the other. Patients were examined before and after manipulative treatment. In all cases, the vision improved (in either visual field and/or visual acuity).” – R.F. Gorman DO. “An Observers View of the Treatment of Visual Perception Deficit By Spinal Manipulation.” A Survey of 16 Patients. Sydney, Australia. 1991.

“An elderly man presented with traumatic vision loss. An optometric and opthalmological examination revealed, treatments were not indicated and the vision loss was permanent. The patient was referred to a chiropractor. After a series of adjustments to correct subluxation in the atlas and axis (C1, C2) vertebrae, vision returned. – Visual Recovery Following Chiropractic Intervention. Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Vol1/1990/number 3/ page 73, 74.

Upper Neck Joint and Posture – “EMG evidence shows it is clear that manipulation of the upper cervical joints affects overall body posture” – “Influencing Postural Reflexes by Way of Joints” G. Gutmann MD and Vele, F. (1971) Neurological Clinic of Karlsuniversitat in Prague Zeitschrift fur Physiotherapy 5, 71.

“There is a link between vertebral blockage of atlas and axis in newly born infants to Kubis’ reaction, due most likely to birth trauma.” – Infantile Head Joint Blockage. Seifert, I. 1975 Functional Pathology of the Motor System Rehabilitation Supple. 10-11, p.53 Eds, Lewitt, K. and Gutmann, G. Braitslava, Obzor.

Wong JJ, Shearer HM, Mjor S, Jacobs C, Côté P, Randhawa K, Yu H, Southerst D, Varatharajan S, Sutton D, van der Velde G, Carroll LJ, Ameis A, Ammendolia C, Brison R, Nordin M, Stupar M, Taylor-Vaisey A. Are manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture effective for the management of patients with whiplash-associated disorders or neck pain and associated disorders? an update of the bone and joint decade task force on neck pain and its associated disorders by the optima collaboration. Spine J. 2015 Dec 17. pii: S1529-9430(15)01234-6. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2015.08.024. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707074

Dizziness – “Vertigo (dizziness) can come from dysfunction of the spinal column. He reports the success of manual therapy (spinal adjustments) in treating vertigo.” – Manual Medicine 16:95. F. Becker, MD. 1978 “A Discussion of Dizziness Symptoms with a Focus on Manual Therapy Viewpoint.”

Dizziness and Equilibrium Disorders – “Manual Therapy (spinal adjustments) is often capable of relieving the dizziness and equilibrium disorders associated with Meniere’s Syndrome.” – “Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine” E.G. Metz @ Bezirkskrankenhaus Postdam, (Formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Vasomotor Headaches – Patients with peripheral circulatory hypotension and a tendency for asthenia and postural disorders are grouped under the category of vasomotor headaches. Based on our experience I would say that over half of these patients can be helped instantly and lastingly with the means of manual therapy (spinal adjustments). – “Manual Therapy In Internal Medicine” E.G. Metz @ Bezirkskrankenhaus Postdam, (Formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Meniere’s Disease & Cervical Syndromes – “In cervical syndromes typical pain in the neck and shoulder area are present, and combined with occipital headache and paresthesias (numbness, tingling). (Abnormal) radiological changes mainly occur at C4-7. In 80% recruitment is present, tinnitus occurs in 30-60% of the patients.” – H. Decher MD, (1976) Archives of Oto-Rhine Laryngology 212, 369 “Meniere’s Disease and Cervical Syndrome.”

Fainting – Syncopal (fainting) syndromes were linked to the cervical spine following injuries or irritation to the cervical spine. – Unterharnscheidt, F. (1956) Neurophysician, 27, 481.

Heart, Allergies, Asthma and Related Conditions – In “The Spine As The Causitive Factor of Disease” German medical clinician Gutzeit indicates the following consequences of changes in the spine: Hypertension, paroxysmal tachycardia, conduction disturbances , myocardial damage, heartburn, esophagus erosion, allergic reactions, eczema, dermatitis neuropathica, herpes, bronchial asthma, cyclic allergy symptoms. – Freimut Biedermann MD, Fundamentals of Chiropractic From the Standpoint of a Medical Doctor. Copyright for the English Language 1959. Carl F. Haug Verlag, Germany.

Heart Rhythm Disorders – “According to studies by Rychlikova, Schwartz and Metz, a comparison of EKG’s taken before and after manual therapy shows telesystolic changes and normalization, as well as cured heart rhythm disorders.” – Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine. E.G. Metz at Bezirksrankerhaus Postdaus, (formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Cardiac and Gastrointestinal Disease – “The selected findings, muscle tension over the tip of the transverse process and reduction of costovertebral (cardiac) motion in the left upper thoracic region, were accurate in indicating the presence of cardiac or gastrointestinal disease in 76% of cases.” – Beal; Myron C, FAAO, July 1983, Journal of AOA, Vol  82 (11), 822/23.

Heart Pain – “Degenerative disease affecting bone and cartilage of the cervical spine and coronary infarction. Various extensions and mobilization techniques for the cervical spine seems to bear proof of the alleged correction, when they result in prompt elimination of cardiac pain.” – Bruckmann, W. (1956) German Medical Weekly, 81, 1740. “Osteochondrosis of the Cervical Spine and Coronary Infarction.”

Heart Rhythm Disorders – “According to studies by Rychlikova, Schwartz, and Metz a comparison of EKG’s taken before and after manual therapy shows telesystolic changes as well as cured heart rhythm disorders.” – “Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine” E.G. Metz @ Bezirkskrankenhaus Postdam, (Formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Myocardial Ischemia – “Records of numerous cases including myocardial ischemia showed lesions of the spinal column are perfectly capable of simulating, accentuating, or making a major contribution to (organic) disorders. There can in fact, be no doubt that the state of the spinal column does have a bearing on the functional status of the internal organs.” – W. Kunert, 1965 Functional Disorders of Internal Organs Due to Vertebral Lesions, CIBA Symposium 13 (3): 85-96

Ischemic Heart Disease – “The following pattern of disturbances of locomotor system (spinal subluxation) seems characteristic of ischemic heart disease. Blockage affecting the thoracic spine from T3-T5 most frequently between T4-T5, movement restriction most noticeable to the left, at the cervical thoracic junction, and third to fifth rib on the left side.” – Lewitt MD, DSc Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company, London and Boston. P.260

Liver and Gallbladder – “Tilscher found in patients with hepatitis, movement restriction in T8-T10 and right hip rotation.” – Lewitt MD, DSc Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. P.261

Respiratory Distress and Cardiac Asthma – “…respiratory distress may be the only or major manifestation of dorsal spine radiculitis (mid-back spinal nerve root pain), and sometimes simulate attacks of cardiac asthma.” – David Davis  MD. Boston, MA.

Paroxysmal Tachycardia – “Here the changes found in the spinal column are linked with tachycardia in such a way that when we normalized the function of the spinal column, heart rhythm also became normal and remained so as long as there is no relapse in the spinal column.” – Lewitt MD, DSc Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. P.260.

Ulcers  - “Studies demonstrated improved remissions of pathology in patients with duodenal ulcers. Manipulation to remove spinal dysfunction not only relieves pain, but has a healing effect significantly better than standard drug therapy. The most frequently affected segments were T9 through T12.” – A.A Pikalov, MD, Phd., Vyatcheslav, V.K. (1994) Use of Spinal Manipulative Therapy in the Treatment of Duodenal Ulcer: A Pilot Study, J Manipul Physiol Ther 17: (5): 310-313.

Ulcers – “Scoliosis of even slight degree involving segments corresponding to the stomach and duodenum i.e. T6-T9 seem to play a part in 90% of patients with peptic ulcers.” – Pathogenic Importance of the Thoracic Portion of the Vertebral Column. H. Kamieth ARCH.ORTHOP. U. Unfall-Chir 49: 585-606 (No.6) 1958. Munich, Germany from the Medical Literature Abstracts, JAMA, Nov. 15, 1958.

“In 79 adolescents suffering from duodenal and or gastric ulcers, Lewitt and Rychlikova (1975-1976) found a characteristic pattern of blockage of the thoracic segments between T4 and T7 with a clear maximum occurrence at T5 and T6.” – Lewit MD, DSc. Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. P.261.

Abdominal Pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Heartburn – In a Scandanavian study, gastroenterologists found that 72% of the patients with abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and heartburn had subluxations of the spine in the area that supply nerves to the abdomen. They postulated a reflex over the nerves which pass through the spine to affect organs. – Jorgensen, L.S. and Fossgreen, J. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 1990, Dec.;25 (12): 1235-1241.

Asthma – “In addition to rigidity of the ribs, Koberle (1975) found blockage of mainly segments T7-T10 in asthmatics.” – Lewitt MD, DSc, Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. P.759

Hearing – “As a result of personal experience there is no doubt in my mind that somatic dysfunction in joints in the upper thoracic spine can affect function pf the inner ear, presumably by way of it’s sympathetic innervations.” – JF Bourdillon MD, Spinal Manipulation, Appleton and Lange 1987. P. 5.

Kidneys – “Metz found 206 cases of kidney disease movement restriction at T10 through L1.” – Lewitt MD, DSc manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System: (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston: p.261-262.

Kidney Disease - "A thorough analysis of reflex changes in the locomotor system (spine) in kidney disease has been made by Metz et al. (1980 and 1986). In 206 cases of chronic kidney disease (pyelonephitis, glomerulonephritis) they found the following pattern: movement restriction at the thoraco-lumbar junction (T10-L1)." - Lewitt MD, DSc Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston, p.261, 262.

Thoracic Sympathetic Hyperactivity – “Muscular skeletal trauma or stress produces segmental sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity. Chronic sympathetic hyperactivity is an often critical factor in such diverse clinical syndromes as neurogenic pulmonary edema, peptic ulcer, arterial sclerosis, cardiac lesions, and osteodystrophies. Effective manipulative therapy improves  input so that sympathetic hyperactivity is alleviated.” – Irvin Korr, Phd, The Spinal Cord as the Organizer of Disease Process: III Hyperactivity of Sympathetic Innervation as a Common Factor in Disease, JAOA 1979 Dec; 79(4): 232-7.

Difficult Deep Breathing – “With persistent blockage (of thoracic vertebrae) over time, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing) may develop – EG Metz, Synopsis Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine BExirkskrankehaus Potsdam (formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Pseudoradicular Pain – “Pseudoradicular pain resembles referred pain from the inner organs of the particular segment and can therefore simulate an organic disease.” – EG Metz, Synopsis Manual Therapy in Internal Medicine, Bezirkskrankehaus Potsdam (formerly East) Germany, 1976.

Menstruation Pain and Sterility - "Menstruation pain with otherwise normal gynecological findings especially when localized in the low back, is usually of vertebrogenic origin and often the first clinical manifestation of disturbance in the lumbo-sacral region. Over 75% of women had excellent response to manipulation, labor pains can be similar pointer. Female sterility of cryptogenic origin (i.e. with negative organic findings) may be attributable to pelvic dysfunction in particular of the coccyx, and adequate treatment (by manipulation) gives favorable results." - Lewitt MD DSc Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. p.263

Low Back Pain - Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, Skelly A, Hashimoto R, Weimer M, Fu R, Dana T, Kraegel P, Griffin J, Grusing S, Brodt E. Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 169. (Prepared by the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2012-00014-I.) AHRQ Publication No. 16-EHC004-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; February 2016. https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/553/2192/Back-pain-treatmentexecutive-160226.pdf

Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain. Spine. 2013;38(8):627-634. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23060056 

Haas M, Vavrek D, Peterson D, Polissar N, Neradilek MB. Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Spine J. 2014;14(7):1106-16. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1529943013013909# 

Hertzman-Miller R, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz E, Yu F, Adams A, Harber P, Kominski G. Comparing the Satisfaction of Low Back Pain Patients Randomized to Receive Medical or Chiropractic Care: Results From the UCLA Low-Back Pain Study. Am J Public Health. 2002;92(10):1628-1633. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447298/

"In a study done by researchers from the department of epidemiology of the University of Pittsburgh, of the 108 students with a history of low back pain, 88% tested positive for SI dysfunction. The author's note a high degree of association between SI dysfunction/subluxation and lower back pain, which suggest a relationship between SI dysfunction and low back pain. Given the common clinical experience of obtaining symptomatic relief by SI manipulation." - Olson, T.L. , Anderson, R.L., et al. (1992) The Epidemiology of Low Back Pain in an Adolescent Population, American Journal of Public Health, 82: 606-608.

"We have come to realize that every patient with low back pain also has significant mechanical dysfunction in the cervical and thoracic spine." - Joseph Shaw, MD. First Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back Pain, The Chiropractic Report: Smith, Editor, Jan 93, Vol. 7, #8

"Spinal manipulative therapy has been shown to be effective for the treatment of low back pain in adults. Imperically the results have been at least equally good with children. It is the experience of many chiropractors that children respond more readily and favorably than adults." - Caffey, J. (1972) On the Theory and Practice of Shaking Infants, American Journal of Diseased Child, 124: 161-169.

"There's been an escalation of clinical and basic science research on manipulative therapy, which has shown there is a scientific basis for the treatment of back pain by manipulation. The physician who makes use of this resource will provide relief for many patients." - The Canadian Family Physician 1985; 31: 535-540

"The treatment that chiropractors offered for low back pain was more effective that that provided by the medical clinics." - British Medical Journal, June 2, 1990, pgs 1431-1437.

"On the evidence, particularly the most scientific valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain."  "Many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate."  "Chiropractic manipulation is safer and more cost effective than medical management of low back pain." - Pran Manga, PhD, The Effectiveness and Cost - Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain, The Ontario Ministry of Health.

Vining R, Potocki E, Seidman M, Morgenthal AP. An evidence-based diagnostic classification system for low back pain. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2013;57(3):189-204. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743645/

Appendicitis, Gallbladder and Uretal Colic - "Typical cases were presented in which symptoms of appendicitis, gallbladder disease, uretal colic or other manifestations of visceral disease were apparently relieved by correction of spinal curvature or the associated myositis. It has also been shown by mere mechanical correction of posture that an articular defect (misalignment) of the spine may be eliminated and along with it the related visceral disturbance." - Neville Usher, MD, FACP, "The Visceral Spinal Syndrome a New Concept of Visceral Motor and Sensory Changes in Relation to Deranged Spinal Structures."

Gallbladder, Kidney, Bladder, and Sex Organs - In "The Spine As The Causitive Factor of Disease," German medical clinician Gutzeit describes how subluxation and malposition of vertebrae, and straightening of physiological curves can result in the following consequences: colic of the gallbladder, kidney colics, bladder cramps, filtration disturbances with (urinary) retention, disturbances of sex organs, and disturbances of other neuro-hormonal regulatory functions. - Freimut Biedermann MD, Fundamentals of Chiropractic From the Standpoint of a Medical Doctor. Copyright for the English Language 1959 Carl F. Haug Verlag, Germany.

Leg Pain - Bronfort G, Hondras MA, Schulz CA, et al. Spinal manipulation and home exercise with advice for subacute and chronic back-related leg pain: a trial with adaptive allocation. Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(6):381–91. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25222385

Efficacy - Chiropractic is 5x more effective than drugs and acupuncture for reducing pain and increasing SF26 (function). Maintenance care (chiropractic wellness) makes reoccurring visits, pain levels, and cost to the patients drop significantly. - Giles, Lynton. Spine, 2003.

Khorsan R, Coulter ID, Hawk C, Goertz Choate C. Measures in Chiropractic Research: Choosing Patient-Based Outcome Assessments. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008;31(5):355-375. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475408001115# 

Weigel PA, Hockenberry J, Bentler SE, Wolinsky FD. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014;37(3):143-54. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475414000323# 

Cost of Care - Martin BI, Gerkovich MM, Deyo RA, Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Lind BK, Goertz CM, Lafferty WE. The Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Health Care Expenditures for Back and Neck Problems. Med Care. 2012;50(12):1029-36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23132198