One of the main causes of preventable pain in the human body can be traced to improper alignment of the vertebrae and function of the joints in the spinal column. This lack of function in a spinal joint is called a chiropractic subluxation. It is the goal of chiropractic care to use manual manipulation of the vertebrae and other joints to restore normal joint mobility and function, which allows your body to return to its natural state of balance called homeostasis. To put it another way, when the bones in your spine are allowed to move and work normally with the body’s other muscles and joints, and your body is working properly, you should feel better.
Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulations can be especially helpful in relieving pain for facet joint injuries, osteoarthritis, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction, because such conditions respond well to mobilization. Moreover, scores of patients with chronic tension type headaches and in some cases migraines have reported significant relief after chiropractic therapy. Chiropractic care can also be utilized to help with healing and manage pain in disc injuries that are not significant enough to warrant surgery.
Increasingly, over the past few decades through the validation of many clinical studies, the medical community has come to recognize chiropractic care as an appropriate form of treatment for a wide variety of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractic care has been shown to be one of the best considered treatment options for patients with low back pain and new studies are completed routinely validating the benefit of chiropractic care in managing a wide range of other conditions.
Studies by leading medical journals in recent years have confirmed the benefits of chiropractic care:
- A 1993 report by the Ontario Ministry of Health concluded that chiropractic care was the most effective treatment for lower back pain.
- In 1994, the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research published its Clinical Practice Guidelines, which asserted that spinal manipulation was effective in reducing pain and speeding recovery.
- A 1996 New England Journal of Medicine study found that patients treated by chiropractors were significantly more satisfied than those who saw primary care, orthopedic or managed care practitioners.
- A 1996 study in the journal Spine found that patients who sought chiropractic care were more likely to feel treatment was helpful, more likely to be satisfied with their care, and less likely to seek care from another provider for the same condition.
- In 2001, the Center for Clinical Health Policy Research at Duke University concluded in a study that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for headaches that originate in the neck, with fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
For more chiropractic research information: Chiropractic Research