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Longview, WA 98632 US

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Science and Research

Since the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, the chiropractic profession has rapidly grown to be the third-largest field of health care behind medicine and dentistry.

Investigations and inquiries have been conducted worldwide by government agencies, universities, health-care facilities, and private- and public-sector research organizations. The following paragraphs summarize some of the landmark research studies that have resulted in widespread recognition of chiropractic as a sound health-care choice.

Chiropractic Research

Evidence for the Effectiveness of Chiropractic Numerous studies throughout the world have shown that chiropractic treatment, including manipulative therapy and spinal adjustment, is both safe and effective. Many other studies have shown that chiropractic care can contain costs and get workers back on the job in less time than other treatments.

In 1993, the Ontario Ministry of Health published the Manga Report, which was a review of literature on the most effective and cost-effective treatments for of low-back pain. After reviewing all available international evidence, the researchers concluded that chiropractic is "greatly superior to medical treatment in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost-effectiveness, and patient satisfaction."

In 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines for the management of lower-back pain.

The guidelines, which were intended to assist primary-care physicians, were developed by a panel of 23 professionals, including medical doctors, chiropractic doctors, nurses, experts in spinal research, and physical therapists. The panel concluded, among other things, that chiropractic treatment (specifically, spinal manipulation) is recommended for acute low-back problems in adults and should be pursued (in most cases) before pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.

The following are excerpts from a few studies:

For Acute Low-Back Problems:
"For patients with acute low-back symptoms without radiculopathy, the scientific evidence suggests spinal manipulation is effective in reducing pain and perhaps speeding recovery within the first month of symptoms." - Clinical Practice Guidelines, AHCPR (1994)

For Long-Term Low-Back Problems:
"There is strong evidence that manipulation is more effective than a placebo treatment for chronic low-back pain or than usual care by the general practitioner, bed rest, analgesics and massage." - Spine, Van Tulder and Bouter et at (1997)

"...improvement in all patients at three years was about 29% more in those treated by chiropractors than in those treated by the hospitals. The beneficial effect of chiropractic on pain was particularly clear." - British Medical Journal, Meade et at (1995)

"Manipulative therapy and physiotherapy are better than general practitioner and placebo treatment. Furthermore, manipulative therapy is slighty better than physiotherapy after 12 months." - British Medical Journal, Koes et al. (1992)

For Pain:
"...patients suffering from back and/or neck complaints experience chiropractic care as an effective means of resolving or ameliorating pain and functional impairments, thus reinforcing previous results showing the benefits of chiropractic treatment for back and neck pain. "Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Verhoef et at (1997)

"...for the management of low-back pain, chiropractic care is the most effective treatment, and it should be fully integrated into the government's health care system." - The Manga Report (1993)

For Headaches:
"Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes, in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache. "Duke Evidence Report, McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001)

"The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment. . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values." - Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Boline et al. (1995)

For the Elderly:
"{Elderly] chiropractic users were less likely to have been hospitalized, less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more likely to be mobile in the community. In addition, they were less likely to use prescription drugs." - Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, Coulter et at (1996)

For Containing Costs and Getting Workers Back on the Job:
''The overwhelming body of evidence" shows that chiropractic management of low-back pain is more cost-effective than medical management, and that "many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate." - The Manga Report (1993)

First contact chiropractic care for common low back conditions costs substantially less than traditional medical treatment and "deserves careful consideration" by managed care executives concerned with controlling health care spending. - Medical Care, Stano and Smith (1996)

Present-Future: Ongoing Research
Health-care practitioners in all fields rely heavily upon data made available as a result of clinical research. As the chiropractic profession continues to grow, so does our need to conduct research. The acceptance of and the increase in the utilization of chiropractic care depends largely upon research addressing questions of effectiveness, safety, practicality, and cost-effectiveness.

Who does the research?
There are entire organizations devoted to chiropractic research (e.g., the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, the Consortial Center of Chiropractic Research), as well as journals (e.g., the Chiropractic Research Journal, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research).

In addition, there are research departments associated with each of the 23 chiropractic colleges around the world. Recently Western States Chiropractic College received grant funding for "Evidence-Based Care: Faculty and Curriculum Development".

Research has also been conducted around the world by governmental organizations (e.g., the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Ontario Ministry of Health), academic institutions (e.g., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Welsh National School of Medicine), medical journals (e.g., the British Medical Journal, the Journal of Family Practice), and private research organizations (e.g., RAND, the Gallup Organization).

What do they study?
Topics of research vary widely and include anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, neurophysiology, instrumentation, public health, geriatrics, and human performance. The fundamental goals of the researchers are to promote and further chiropractic education and health care.

In conclusion
The purpose of chiropractic research has been (and still is) to provide information needed to document and improve chiropractic health care worldwide. Our profession has seen advances due to the impact of scientific research once thought to be impossible.

For example, federal grants for chiropractic research are now a reality. The Department of Defense formed a committee to introduce chiropractic services into the United States military. Several managed-care organizations now recognize us as qualified primary-care providers. And there is an ever-growing public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care.

Feel free to do your own research- at work, at school, and at your health club. Ask around. You will hear countless success stories on how chiropractic has helped people recover from an accident, an injury, a tense period in their life, etc., or how chiropractic has helped them develop new, healthier lifestyle habits.

Collect more data by making an appointment with us today. You will be pleased with the results.

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