Chiropractic is a discipline that focuses on the relationship between spinal structure and body function mediated by the nervous system. It originated in 1895 with D.D. Palmer, a popular hands-on healer practicing in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer’s formulation of “chiropractic” combined the Greek cheir (hand) and praxis (practice).

Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of five studies – providing just a taste of the available research. These Spotlights were not selected because they are the most favorable or the most recent, but to provide you an introduction to the more extensive research you’ll uncover searching the four databases found in the “Research” section of this site.

  • Chiropractic Interventions Improve Pain/Disability for Lower Back Pain
    A Cochrane meta-review of 12 randomized trials involving 2,887 participants concluded that chiropractic interventions slightly improved pain and disability in the short-term and pain in the medium-term for acute and subacute lower back pain. However, there is currently no evidence that supports or refutes that these interventions provide a clinically meaningful difference for pain or disability when compared to other interventions – and more research is needed. 
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  • Chiropractic Treatments Worked Better than Painkillers for Neck Pain
    A randomized controlled trial (272 subjects) reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that treatments by a chiropractor (as well as exercises at home) worked better than painkillers in treating neck pain. After 12 weeks, 32% of those that had chiropractic spinal manipulation sessions reported their pain had improved 100%, vs. 30% for the home exercise group, and 13% of those on pain medication – and these proportions were broadly the same after a year. 
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  • Chiropractic Therapy Reduces Back Pain in Young Adults
    A randomized controlled, “pragmatic” trial (2013) found that chiropractic therapy in conjunction with standard medical care offered a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for people aged between 18-35 with acute lower back pain. 
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  • Chiropractic Visits Help Greatly Reduce Frequency of Work-related Back Surgeries
    A prospective, population-based study (2013) of 1,885 U.S. workers analyzed the predictors of lumbar spine surgery within 3 years of an occupational back injury, finding that first seeing a chiropractor was associated with low odds of surgery. 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, vs. only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.
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