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Chiropractic Research

At Compass Family Chiropractic, we’ve had the privilege of seeing chiropractic be a life-changing influence for so many. And it’s not just what we’ve witnessed; the research backs chiropractic care in numerous ways, too. Read below to find out more about how chiropractic can benefit your life!

Wellness Programs

happy workersEmployers save $1.65 on health care expenses for every dollar spent on an employee wellness program that includes chiropractic. This study was published by The Journal of Occupations and Environmental Medicine.

Highmark Inc., a health insurer, conducted a study that showed $1.3 million was saved over a four-year period thanks to their wellness program.

A chiropractor serving as a PCP (primary care provider) can save you money and increase patient satisfaction, according to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Their patients experienced 62% fewer surgeries, 60% fewer hospitalizations and required 85% fewer pharmaceuticals than patients using an HMO and traditional medical care. The patient satisfaction survey reported three years of data, rating 96%, 94% and 91% each year.

Chiropractors and other alternative providers reported a decreased average cost per patient than when a conventional provider is consulted ($342 for chiropractic care vs. $506). This study was published in Spine, a research journal.

Workers’ compensation cases are more cost-effective when handled by a chiropractor than a medical practitioner. According to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the average treatment cost, compensation payments and hospitalization costs were lower for those treated by a Doctor of Chiropractic. In addition, the chiropractic patients had a smaller number of lost workdays.

American Specialty Health Plans Inc. found that those under managed care who had chiropractic coverage had 12% lower health care costs than those who did not have coverage. Their cost in treating low back pain was lower by 28%, hospitalizations and back surgeries were reduced by 41% and 37% respectively, and medical imaging was reduced by 37%. The results were published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, atrophy and brain shrinkage are associated with chronic back pain. Those with chronic back pain had 5-11% less gray matter than the control subjects, the equivalent of 10-20 years of aging.

Low back pain patients undergoing chiropractic care had a higher rate of pain relief and satisfaction than those who opted for medical care. This study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

The journal Spine studied people with years of chronic spinal pain and found that of those who were treated with chiropractic care, 27.3% had no symptoms within nine weeks with no adverse events and a 47% increase in general health improvement. A year later, the participants were re-evaluated with results published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics. The follow-up showed that taking the drugs Vioxx and Celebrex or receiving acupuncture resulted in no long-term therapeutic benefits; only chiropractic adjustments gave this significant improvement.

The Journal of Chiropractic published a study in which 26 patients with headaches received neck adjustments. All except for two had significant improvement in the duration, severity and frequency of their headaches. 

Duke University’s Evidence-Based Practice Center assessed randomized control trials for the treatment of cervicogenic and tension-type headaches with chiropractic adjustments. The result was a 49% decrease in the severity of headaches with no change in the rest period groups. Those who received chiropractic demonstrated superior results versus those treated with massage therapy and the headache drug amitriptyline.

Immune System

happy familyThe World Chiropractic Alliance cites more than 100 references to chiropractic care and its positive influence on immune function. The research shows that regular chiropractic care can result in fewer colds, flu, allergies, asthma, eczema and more. 

In the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, a single chiropractic adjustment was shown to reduce inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, asthma and cancer, as well as chronic pain.

A study published in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy demonstrated that one chiropractic adjustment improves the secretion of IL-2, which is associated with boosted immune function, fighting microbial infection and cancer.

Japanese researchers published a study in the Internet Journal of Orthopedic Surgery showing that chiropractic adjustments improved skin condition, itching and relieved allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema.

According to a study published in the Chiropractic Research Journal, chiropractic care increased the count of CD4, which is essential in measuring the immunodeficiency in people who are HIV-positive.

Chiropractic adjustments increase lymphocyte counts and serum immunoglobulin levels according to a literature review in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics published research showing that participants receiving chiropractic adjustments had an increased level of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and monocytes. These substances are responsible for immune activity and antibody production.

Wellness, Prevention and Asymptomatic Care

woman in fieldPeople with no symptoms of pain or illness can still receive health benefits from chiropractic according to an article in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. There were improvements in blood pressure, range of motion, immunological response, muscle strength, papillary cycle time, beta-endorphin levels, spirometry and heart rate variability. A significant change was reported in studies that assessed balance, agility, power, kinesthetic perception, athletic performance and speed reaction.

Chiropractic care maintains functional improvements according to a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. People with long-term back problems received chiropractic care and showed relief of pain. The group that received additional maintenance care, however, didn’t have a recurrence of functional impairment as the group that didn’t receive maintenance care experienced.

Pediatrics and Pregnancy

mom and baby in poolThe Journal of Chiropractic Research published a comparative study showing that children raised in the chiropractic health care model had less occurrence of ear infection, fewer antibiotic prescriptions and utilized fewer vaccinations when compared to children raised in the medical care model. The chiropractic children had milder cases of measles, mumps and rubella when they did occur.

Children with low back pain found significant improvement in a study published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. According to the study, 82% reported feeling “much improved.”

A British study showed that one in 10 children have disc degeneration with no symptoms as demonstrated by MRI. 

Children suffering from acute ear infections who had a red, bulging eardrum and a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit received chiropractic care. Afterward, the eardrum returned to 95% normal, and their temperature decreased to normal, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Colic symptoms were improved by chiropractic care, according to the parents of the babies. The study was conducted with 316 infants with 94% of cases showing positive results after two weeks of care and an average of three adjustments.

Children with asthma self-reported significant improvement in a study published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. After two months of care, symptoms were decreased for 90% of the children and 31% reduced their medication during care. 

The birth process causes neck strain on babies, according to a study published in Manual Medicine. The symptoms included fever, torticollis, appetite loss, swelling in the face, crying when the mother changed the child’s position, asymmetric skull development and neck sensitivity when touched. Most patients returned to normal after 1-3 adjustments.

Forensic Science International published a study showing that adjustments to the upper cervical region may reduce the risk of SIDS. In the study, 695 infants between one month and one year old who showed posture or motion disturbances in the upper neck were given an adjustment. The heart rate was changed in 47% of cases. The authors believe that SIDS may be caused by apnea in the heart rate, which in turn may be caused by irritation in the upper cervical spine.

Chiropractic care reduces labor time according to a study by Joan Fallon, D.C. Labor time was reduced by 36% in first-time mothers and by 42% in mothers with at least one other child.

Based on the study “Pregnancy and Chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature” by Cara Borggren, women who exercise and receive chiropractic care during pregnancy enjoy shorter, easier labors (decrease by an average of 2 hours); experience fewer medical interventions (24% fewer cesarean deliveries and 14% reduction in use of forceps); experience less fetal distress; and enjoy a faster recovery after birth.

To learn more about pediatrics, pregnancy and chiropractic care, visit:

Objective Testing

couple smilingAn Australian study showed that a chiropractic adjustment dramatically decreased cortisol, a stress response hormone. Cortisol can cause weakened immunity, fatigue, higher fat storages, increased blood pressure and other side effects. Chronic stress is an underlying factor in 90% of doctor visits and contributes to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, ulcers, depression, ulcerative colitis and Alzheimer’s progression.

Research was performed measuring serum thiol levels in people with active disease, people with less than one year as chiropractic patients and those who had been under care for 1-6 years. Serum thiols measure health and are primary antioxidants, providing a DNA repair activity estimate that correlates with aging and lifespan. The subjects under 1-6 years of care had the highest levels. Those with active disease had the lowest.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a study in which 21 hypertensive patients had a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic measurements of blood pressure after chiropractic adjustments. The control and placebo group did not. 

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that a chiropractic adjustment can affect your autonomic nervous system. A light reflex of the eye decreased after an adjustment, which is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and demonstrates a direct response. The autonomic nervous system is also responsible for the function and control of the body organs.

Further Support for Chiropractic and Health

older people huggingChiropractic care boosts quality of life in the elderly according to a study from the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research. Those under chiropractic care had fewer chronic conditions, better overall health, are more mobile in the community, are less likely to have prescription medications and spend fewer days in the hospital or nursing homes.

The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation published research in which clinically depressed adults showed positive results. Standardized testing applied before and after chiropractic care showed a significant improvement in the scores.

Are you ready to find out how chiropractic care can benefit you? Get in touch with us today to schedule your appointment!


Compass Family Chiropractic | (770) 452-0022