Study Shows Chiropractic Improves Non-Musculoskeletal Conditions

A new international analysis looks into the visceral or non-musculoskeletal benefits of chiropractic care.

The experiment surveyed 5,607 chiropractic patients cared for by 385 doctors of chiropractic in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

The patients were asked if they had experienced improvement in allergies, asthma, breathing, circulation, digestion, hearing, heart function, ringing in the ears, sinus problems, urination and other non-musculoskeletal concerns.

According to the report "positive reactions were reported by 2% to 10% of all patients and by 3% to 27% of those who reported to have such problems."

"Most common were improved breathing (27%), digestion (26%), and circulation (21%)."

Patients were slightly more likely to report non-musculoskeletal improvement if they had been told they might have such reactions, if they received adjustments to the upper cervical spine, if they received adjustments to the lower thoracic spine or if they were female.

The study's authors conclude that "a minority of patients with self-reported non-musculoskeletal symptoms report definite improvement after chiropractic care, and very few report definite worsening. Future studies should use stringent criteria to investigate a possible treatment effect and concentrate on specific diagnostic subgroups such as digestive problems and tinnitus."

JMPT - June 2005;28:294-302.