Chiropractic Patients Improve with Non-Spinal Problems, International Study Shows

An international study was done involving hundreds of chiropractors and thousands of patients from around the world. The study was published in the June 2005 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. In the study, doctors and patients from Canada, United States, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Japan, Australia, and South Africa participated. Although the majority of these patients sought chiropractic care for a musculoskeletal, pain type problem, the study was focused in on other problems these patients may have been experiencing.

In this study it was noted that a percentage of patients reported that they were experiencing additional non-musculoskeletal health problems that were not their primary reason for seeking chiropractic care. After a period of care the patients were questioned as to any changes in their additional problems.

The results showed that many of the patients showed improvement in the problems that they did not seek care for. The variety of non-musculoskeletal problems that these patients were experiencing varied greatly, and the attention that these patients gave to these problems varied as many reported that their response for these problems was "not relevant", showing that they were focused on the problem that brought them to the chiropractor.

Depending on the type of problem that the patients were experiencing, the results showed that between 9% to 56% reported some degree of improvement with the health problems that these patients did not go to the chiropractor for. These were problems that the patients would probably not have expected any results with. Also interesting was the fact that the study showed only an extremely small number of the patients reported that their other problems continued to get worse during the chiropractic care.

The results did not vary significantly from one country to another. Several respondents noted that they were able to reduce their medications for their non-musculoskeletal problems after the chiropractic care. In the conclusion, the researchers noted that the findings were similar to those of a study done previously in Sweden. They suggested that additional research focusing on the types of problems that patients do not traditionally seek chiropractic care for, but see to show positive results would be helpful.