out how chiropractic can benefit you and your family:
To work your best, play your best and live your best.
the Boundaries of Chiropractic Care
January 15, 2001 -- Chiropractors don't just treat back pain.
In fact, while all chiropractors care for patients with musculoskeletal
problems -- those of the bones, joints and muscles -- many also
help patients with nonmusculoskeletal conditions, such as depression,
insomnia and fibromyalgia.
But while many scientific studies support chiropractic's effectiveness
for musculoskeletal conditions, there is currently only anecdotal
evidence and a few scientific studies supporting chiropractic's
effectiveness for nonmusculoskeletal conditions.
Soon, however, the evidence may be more substantial. A major chiropractic
research institution, Palmer College of Chiropractic's Practice-Based
Research (PBR) Program, is beginning a study that could lead to
more solid conclusions by spurring the interest of other researchers
and scientific disciplines.
of something big
Much research suggests a larger role for chiropractic care. A
University of Southern Denmark study published in a 1999 issue
of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
for example, reported that babies with colic cried less after
getting spinal adjustments.
And in 1998, a study in the same journal reported that 23% of
1,504 Swedish patients who sought chiropractic treatment for musculoskeletal
conditions also experienced respiratory, circulatory and digestive
benefits following chiropractic adjustments.
But despite research findings and chiropractors' experience, many
patients -- and the medical establishment -- still see chiropractic
as merely a treatment for bone, joint and muscle problems. A study
published in 1998 in the American Journal of Public Health found
that from 1985 to 1991 less than 1% of chiropractic patients sought
care for nonmusculoskeletal conditions.
Palmer researchers hope their study will change patients' perceptions
of chiropractic, as well as increase understanding of chiropractic's
effectiveness for nonmusculoskeletal conditions. "We want
to contribute to the documentation and to the further development
of wellness issues in the chiropractic profession," says
the study's lead author, Dr. Cheryl Hawk, in a press release.
To achieve their goal, Hawk and her colleagues are recruiting
chiropractors to collect data from patients who suffer from specific
nonmusculoskeletal conditions, including epilepsy, Tourette's
syndrome, cerebral palsy, depression and fibromyalgia.
The researchers shouldn't have too much trouble finding chiropractors
to help. According to an article published in the Journal of the
Canadian Chiropractic Association, only 14% of Canadian chiropractors
believe that chiropractic should be limited to musculoskeletal
Apparently, proving chiropractors believe in their treatment doesn't
require further study.