Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care

As aging baby boomers yearn to maintain an active lifestyle, there is increased interest in non-surgical, drug-free, natural remedies for pain. At the top of their list is Chiropractic Care. According to Consumer Reports around 80% of the U.S. population is bothered by back pain at some point. It’s astounding the limitations back pain alone inflicts on sufferers’ quality of life.

Numerous treatment options are available for pain. This article focuses specifically on the healing benefits of chiropractic care, a valuable treatment worth consideration.

Back Pain and Chiropractic Care

Consumer Reports Survey of >14,000 Subscribers

Back Pain and Chiropractic Care

Back Pain and benefits of Chiropractic Care

Lower-back pain disrupts many aspects of life. In our [Consumer Reports] survey, 46 percent said that it interfered with their sleep, 31 percent reported that it thwarted their efforts to maintain a healthy weight, and 24 percent said that it hampered their sex life. More than half said the pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer and 88 percent said it recurred throughout the year.

Who helped the most?

The percentage of people highly (completely or very) satisfied with their back-pain treatments and advice varied by practitioner visited.

Here are some highlights from the survey findings:

Hands-on treatments were rated by lower-back-pain sufferers as very helpful.

Survey respondents favored chiropractic care treatments (58 percent), massage (48 percent), and physical therapy (46 percent) (available to subscribers) another testament to the healing power of touch.

Spinal injections (available to subscribers) were rated just below chiropractic care treatments by those who took our survey. Fifty-one percent of the respondents found them to be very helpful, although the techniques their doctors used varied.

Prescription medications (available to subscribers), which one-third of our respondents said they took, were rated as beneficial by 45 percent of them. Almost 70 percent said they took an over-the-counter medication, but only 22 percent said the drugs were very helpful.

Fifty-eight percent told us they wished they had done more exercising to strengthen their backs.

Although lower-back pain is the fifth most common reason people go to a doctor, 35 percent of the people in our survey said they had never consulted a professional.

In Comparison to Other Treatment Alternatives

“Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.”

Source: Keeney et al (2012), Spine Study posted by American Chiropractic Association

Overview of Chiropractic Care

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic is an approach to health care that relies on the body’s inherent and natural recuperative powers — a healing science that places emphasis on maintaining the structural integrity of the body — a method of healing treatment that is conservative and that does not use drugs or surgery.


Chiropractor and Other Practitioners

Chiropractic Care Health and Wellness Practitioners

Chiropractic is the second largest of the three primary health care provider segments in the United States. In order of size, based on the number of practitioners and public use, they are the medical, chiropractic and osteopathic branches of the healing arts. The chiropractic care approach to human health is based on the premise that the relationship between structure and function in the human body is a significant health factor and that relationships between the spinal column and the nervous system contribute to the disease process.

A doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) is a physician who considers man an integrated being but gives special attention to spinal mechanics, musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular and nutritional relationships.

A chiropractic physician is considered a primary health care provider, and as such a portal of entry to our health care delivery system. The practice of chiropractic is the utilization of the relationship between the musculoskeletal structures of the body, the spinal column and the nervous system, in the restoration and maintenance of health. Patient care is conducted with due regard to first aid, hygienic, nutritional and rehabilitative procedure and the specific vertebral adjustment and the manipulation of articulations and adjacent tissues of the body.

The chiropractic physician offers a natural, drug-free, and non-surgical approach to health care and readily refers to the allopathic (M.D.) physician when drugs or surgery are indicated.

Through their education, D.C.’s are qualified to treat a large variety of health problems. They do this non-invasively, i.e. without the use of drugs or surgery. As chiropractic care has developed, many practitioners have chosen to specialize in treating certain types of disorders of the human body. Chiropractic physicians, by virtue of their education, are qualified to evaluate permanent impairment and disability, as well as render a professional opinion regarding permanency of that impairment or disability.

Ten Points Covered by Chiropractic Care

The Doctor of Chiropractic

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Care Physician

-conducts a systematic physical, neurologic and orthopedic examination, using methods, techniques and instruments standard with all health professionals. Includes a postural and spinal analysis unique to chiropractic diagnosis.

-performs or prescribes patient tests, measurements and evaluations of health status, impairment and disabilities in establishing or revising treatment and preventive programs.

-arrives at a differential diagnosis using diagnostic roentgenology (Xray, MRI, etc.) and standard and special laboratory procedures and tests.

-corrects, reduces, mobilizes or immobilizes particular abnormalities, particularly of the spine and pelvis, to normalize structural and functional relationships and relieve attendant neurologic, muscular and vascular disturbances. These methods do not include the use of prescription drugs or surgery, thus avoiding the dangers therein.

-when deemed necessary, prescribes dietary regimens and nutritional supplements to prevent the onset or assuage the existence of some types of dysfunction of the nervous system and other tissues.

-when deemed necessary, prescribes dietary regimens and nutritional supplements to prevent the onset or assuage the existence of some types of dysfunction of the nervous system and other tissues.

-frequently uses physiotherapeutic methods and procedures as adjunctive therapy to enhance reception to and the effects of the chiropractic adjustments.

-evaluates the effects of therapy at various intensities and duration during case management and revises therapy to achieve maximum results.

-often uses first aid, taping and strapping in treating injuries of the extremities, and supportive collars, braces or corsets may also be used during recuperation to assist healing and strengthening.

-provides counseling in such areas as dietary habits, physical and mental attitudes affecting health, personal sanitation, occupational safety, posture, rest, work, rehabilitative exercises, health habits and many other activities of daily living that would enhance the effects of chiropractic health care.

-may plan, develop or participate in research programs and/or in the development of technical articles for publication.

Source: Florida Chiropractic Association

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating mechanical neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with DCs and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain; compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, Bronfort et al. (2012)

ABOUT Beverly Carroll
Avatar of Beverly Carroll

I am the Director, Marketing and Member Services
Vitality Directory, Inc.

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