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Chiropractic Research

Did You Know That Chiropractic Care Is Second To None?

There have been a number of large investigations conducted on chiropractic by the American, Canadian, New Zealand, Swedish and Australian governments over the last few decades. Their findings have supported the safety, effectiveness, and efficacy of Chiropractic.

On December 8, 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of acute low back pain. One major conclusion of this landmark study was:

  • Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most cases before considering surgical intervention

As the largest existing analysis of scientific literature on low back pain, the 1993 Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned study drew international attention when it recommended the management of low back pain be moved from medical doctors to chiropractic doctors. The Canadian Government report concluded with the following findings:

  • spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain.
  • chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low back pain
  • chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management
  • Workers' compensation studies report that injured workers with the same specific diagnosis of low back pain returned to work much sooner when treated by chiropractors than by medical physicians
  • There is good empirical evidence that patients are very satisfied with chiropractic management of low back pain and considerably less satisfied with medical physician management.

The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain.
Pran Manga and Associates. University of Ottawa, Canada - 1993.


This 377 page report, Chiropractic In New Zealand, was the most comprehensive and detailed independent examination of chiropractic ever undertaken at that time. The report withstood judicial hearings and extensive investigations by the Commission in New Zealand, the United States, Canada, England and Australia. Their report includes the following findings:

  • Spinal manual therapy in the hands of a registered chiropractor is safe
  • Spinal manual therapy can be effective in relieving musculoskeletal symptoms, such as back pain and other symptoms known to respond to such therapy, such as migraine.

New Zealand Report. Hasselberg PD. Government Printer, Wellington - 1979

British Medical Research Council Study

Revealed that spinal manipulation performed by chiropractors was more effective than alternative treatments for low-back pain.

The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain
(The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) - University of Ottawa, Canada.

British Medical Journal
According to medical researcher TW Meade, M.D. "...chiropractic is a very effective treatment, more effective than conventional hospital outpatient treatment for low-back pain, particularly in patients who had back pain in the past and who got severe problems".

Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. Meade, TW et al British Medical Journal - 1990;300:1431-1437.


This study, conducted by the prestigious RAND Corporation, marks the first time representatives of the U.S. medical community have gone on record stating that chiropractic is an appropriate treatment for certain low back pain conditions.

The Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Lower Back Pain. Shekelle PG, et al. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California - 1992.


In this 1993 study, 80 patients who previously received medical treatment were subsequently referred to the Silverman Chiropractic Center. Of the 80 patients, 21 percent had just been diagnosed with spinal disc problems, 12 percent had been diagnosed as requiring surgery and 5 percent had received emergency room treatment. Following chiropractic treatment, none of the patients were required to have surgery, 86 percent of the patients needed no further care, and the estimated health care savings in the group of 80 was estimated to be $250,000.


The use, complications, and efficacy of spinal manipulation for low back pain was reviewed in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the third most widely read medical journal. The article concluded that spinal manipulation clearly helps patients with uncomplicated, acute low back pain.

Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain. Shekelle P, et al. Annals of Internal Medicine - 1992;117:590-598.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Physiotherapy

Spinal manipulation provided greater improvement of symptoms in those suffering from persistent back and neck complaints compared with physical therapy. The patients receiving spinal manipulation also had greater improvements of physical functioning in fewer visits.

Randomized Clinical Trial of Manipulative Therapy and Physiotherapy for Persistent Back and Neck Complaints: Results of One Year Follow Up. Koes, B.W. et al. British Medical Journal - 1992;304:601-605.

Chiropractic Treatment vs. Outpatient Hospital Treatment by P.T.'s and M.D.'s

In this study, British medical researchers found chiropractic treatmentsignificantly more effective than hospital outpatient treatment, especially in patients with chronic and severe back pain. Significantly fewer patients needed to return for further treatments at the end of the first and second year in those who received chiropractic care (17% compared with 24%). In addition, "two and three years after patients with back pain were treated by chiropractors, they experienced far less pain than those who were treated by medical doctors."

The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain
(The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) - University of Ottawa, Canada.


In 1991 the Gallup Organization performed a nationwide demographic study to determine the attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of both users and nonusers of chiropractic services. Their findings? Overall, 90% felt that chiropractic health care was effective


According to this 1994 Harris Poll, patients were more satisfied with chiropractic care than care from medical doctors and other health care professionals.

Patient Evaluations of Care from Family Physicians and Chiropractors

Findings from this study indicate that patients under chiropractic care had 3 times the satisfaction rate as did patients under the care of family physicians. In addition, the patient's perception of the doctor's confidence in diagnosing and treating low back pain was almost 3 times higher in patients receiving chiropractic care compared with those receiving care from family physicians.

Patient Evaluations of Care from Family Physicians and Chiropractors.
Cherkin, D., MacCornack, F. Western Journal of Medicine - 1989;150:351-355.

Parrish Chiropractic Center, P.C.
5940 Hamilton Blvd Suite B
Allentown, PA18106
(610) 530-7700 phone