Preliminary results of a new scientific study show that chiropractic care significantly improves both standard physical assessments for health and self-assessment of quality of life. The study was conducted at the Sherman College Health Center in Spartanburg South Carolina, and was published in the August 6, 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research.
In this study 10 volunteers were tested for a series of standard physical assessments prior to starting chiropractic care. These assessments include neck and lower back range of motion, spinal balance and postural analysis, as well as sensory testing, reflexes and muscle strength. The same tests were performed after 5.5 months of chiropractic care.
In addition to the physical assessments all participants were also asked to complete a "Health Related Quality of Life Survey" (HRQL). This standardized test asks participants to self rate areas of their life including their Physical State as well as their Mental and Emotional State. Additionally, participants using the HRQL survey also rate their Stress Evaluation, Life Enjoyment and their Overall Quality of Life. The questionnaires are then scored and analyzed and an overall "wellness" assessment is made. These tests were also conducted a second time after 5.5 months of chiropractic care.
The ten volunteers included one public utility worker, and one mayor of a local community, The remaining eight volunteers were full and/or part-time firefighters for various municipalities in South Carolina, with one also serving as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician.
The results showed, that as a group, there was improvement in both the physical assessment and the self evaluation wellness assessment. The researchers reported that physical testing of the volunteers showed a "statistically significant reduction" in the specific tests performed. The physical test scores improved from a pre-test high of 16.0 down to an average of 9.5. The researchers also reported that there was a significant improvement in the subjects self-reported mental and emotional state, stress management, life enjoyment, and overall quality of life.
In their discussion, the researchers noted, "The present study has provided data which suggests that over as brief a time as an average of 5.5 months, consistent chiropractic care provides a predictable improvement of both physical findings and significantly enhanced self-perceptions of physical status, mental/emotional status and overall combined wellness, all important benefits for public safety personnel, as attested to through current literature." The researchers concluded that, "Even relatively short term chiropractic care has demonstrable benefits for volunteers serving in acknowledged areas of stressful public service."