Research and chiropractic


Research supports chiropractic – numerous studies throughout the world have shown that chiropractic treatment, including manipulative therapy and spinal adjustment, is both safe and effective.

Below is a selection of research papers of relevance and interest. We also have out for perusal, Clinical Chiropractic, which is a publication of case studies, retrospective studies, RCT amongst others.

Professor Scott Haldeman & Martin Underwood’s report released on 25th February 2010 says, “Chiropractors are extremely fortunate in these times of evidence based health care. There is little dispute amongst knowledgeable scientists that manipulation is of value in the management of back pain, neck pain and headaches, that make up 90% or more of all patients that seek chiropractic care.”

UK Beam Trial; Back pain, exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. British Medical Journal Nov 2004; 329; 1377 (doi: 10.1136 /bmj. 38282. 669225.AE)

Medical Research Council; ‘Low Back pain of mechanical origin: randomised comparison of chiropractic from hospital outpatient treatment’; Meade et al.

Medical Research Council (Follow-up-study; Trial ‘Randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient management for low back pain; results from extended follow up’; Meade et al.

RCGP – Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain 1996, 1999, 2001.

Clinical Standards Advisory Group; Backpain Report 1994.

Acute Back Pain – Primary Care Project; The Wiltshire and Bath Health Commission.

Carter JT, Birrell LN (Editors) 2000. Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain at work – principal recommendations. Faculty of Occupational Medicine. London. Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain at work – leaflet for practitioners. Faculty of Occupational Medicine. London. 2000. Waddell G, Burton AK 2000. Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain at work – evidence review. Faculty of Occupational Medicine. London.

Chiropractic Treatment in Workers with Musculoskeletal Complaints; Mark P Blokland DC et al; Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System vol 8 No 1, Spring 2000

House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. November 2000

Musculoskeletal Services Framework – Department of Health, July 2006

The main treatment interventions, as recommended by the current evidence review and that of clinical guidelines is a biopsychosocial approach: a) Guidance on activity, lifestyle, prognosis and prevention. b) Physical treatments drawn from all types of manual therapy, spinal manipulation and rehabilitation exercise. c) Advice about pain control, including non-prescription medication. d) Psychosocial interventions aimed at resolving cognitive barriers to recovery.

Non-rigid stabilisation procedures for the treatment of low back pain – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, June 2006

States that chiropractic intervention can be used in the treatment of acute low back pain.

European guidelines for the management of acute nonspecific low back pain in primary care. 2005 Recommends the consideration of spinal manipulation for patients failing to return to normal activities.