Dr. David R.Willing
Family and Sports Chiropractic Physician


Chiropractic Facts

This information is provided to broaden the understanding of chiropractic 


"Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient."


Chiropractic Effectiveness

Research Affirms the Foundations of Chiropractic

Tooth decay occurs well before you get the first warning signs of pain. That is why the dental profession recommends regular check-ups which include teeth cleaning and gum care as well as the regular home care of brushing and flossing teeth. Wear and tear of the engine in a car will occurs well before the oil runs out, but everyone knows to change the oil every three thousand miles.

"Similarly, according to chiropractic theory and practice, vertebral subluxation [the area of the spine or other joint which is stuck and needs to be adjusted] may have a significant impact on health before the appearance of pain or other signs and symptoms. For example, loss of movement or stiffness in a spinal joint may lead to associated degenerative changes [osteoarthritis] - changes that can be prevented or even reversed if there is timely treatment to restore movement in the joint, but that may be irreversible before warning signs of pain appear."

In several experiments, the knee joints of rabbits were immobilized [splinted so they could not bend] for 16 weeks. Within ONE WEEK degenerative changes began to occur and by week 12 the joints were completely fused. The follow-up experiment was even more interesting. In one group of rabbits which were immobilized for five weeks, the splints were then removed. Over the next 18 months, some were released to "normal cage activity" and some jogged on a treadmill five days per week. The rabbits in both of these groups had NO increase in the level of osteoarthritis once they resumed regular activity.

So what's the bottom line: Loss of movement in a joint leads to significant degeneration (arthritis) and this may happen well before symptoms occur. Timely restoration of this movement by chiropractic adjustments and regular exercise will prevent, halt and may reverse these degenerative changes.From The Chiropractic Report, May 2004, p.1

Chiropractic Research

*Acute Low Back Problems in Adults- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Chiropractic manipulation was recommended as a treatment of choice for acute low back pain by the Agency For Health Care Policy and Research, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. These guidelines were published in December, 1994.

 * Worker's Compensation studies suggest a minimum 50% saving in overall costs when treatment is chiropractic rather than medical.

California, 1972: Half the work days were lost by chiropractic patients as compared to medical patients. Wolf, CR, (1974), Industrial Back Injury. Internation Review of Chiropractic, 26:6-7.

Wisconsin, 1978: Half the work days were lost by chiropractic patients as compared to medical patients. Chiropractic care about half the cost of medical care. Duffy, DJ, (1978), A Study of Wisconsin Industrial Back Injury Cases, University of Wisconsin, unpublished monograph.

Florida, 1986: The duration of disability was 51.3% shorter for chiropractic patients. The cost of chiropractic care was 58.8% less than medical care. Wolk,S (1988), An Analysis of Florida Workers' Compensation Medical Claims for Back Related injuries, Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, Arlington, VA.

Utah, 1991: Chiropractic care outperformed medical care by a 10:1 margin in compensation costs. The number of work days lost under medical care was nearly 10 times higher than those receiving chiropractic care. Jarvis KB, Phillips RD et al (1991), Cost Per Case Comparison of Back Injury Claims of Chiropractic versus Medical Management for Conditions with Identical Diagnostic Codes, Journal of Occupational Medicine, 33(8): 847-852.

*The Meade StudyA ten year government study in Great Britain showed that among all patients with severe and chronic pain, chiropractic patients improved more than medical patients. "If all the patients were referred for chiropractic instead of hospital treatments...there might be a reduction of some 290,000 days in sickness absence during two years saving about $21,580,000 in output and $4,814,000 in social security payments." "...for patients with low back pain in whom manipulation is not contraindicated chiropractic almost certainly offers worthwhile, long term benefit in comparison with hospital outpatient management."

Meade, TW, Dyer, S, et al. Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and hospital Outpatient Treatment,British Medical Journal, 2 June 1990, Vol.300, No.67137, pp. 1431-1437.

*The Meade Study- Follow-upThe author did a three-year follow-up to the study which concluded that, "When chiropractic or hospital therapists treat patients with low-back pain as they would in day-to- day practice,those threated by chiropractic derive more benefit and long term satisfaction than those treated by hospitals." There was a 29% hreater improvement in patients treated with chiropractic compared with hospital care.

Meade, TW Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Management for Low Back Pain: Results from an Extended Follow-up, British Medical Journal, 5 August 1995, Vol.311.

*The Duke StudyBased on a literature review of several headache treatment options, a panel of 19 multidisciplinary experts concluded that spinal manipulations resulted in almost immediate improvement for cervicogenic headaches and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly-prescribed medication. Researchers concluded the following: Manipulation appeared to result in immediate improvement in headache severity when used to treat episodes of cervicogenic haedache when compared with an attention-placebo control. Furthermore, when compared to soft-tissue therapies (massage), a course of manipulation treatments resulted in sustained improvement in headache frequency and severity."

McCrory DC, it al. Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache. Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center, Durham, North Carolina, January, 2001.

* In 1991, a Gallop Poll revealed that 90% of chiropractic patients felt their treatment was effective. A report in the Western Journal of Medicine in 1989 stated that patients of chiropractors were 3 times more satisfied with their care than patients of family practice medical doctors. Demographic Characteristics of Users of Chiropractic Services. The Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J., 1991. Back Pain Care from Family Physicians and Chiropractors, Western Journal of Medicine, March 1989, Vol.150, pp. 351-355.

* The Manga Report, commissioned by the government of Ontario, Canada, in 1993, stated that chiropractic management is superior to medical management for patients with low-back pain - in terms of safety, scientific evidence of effectiveness, evidence of cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction.

"There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low-back pain is more cost-effective than medical management."

"Chiropractic services should be fully integrated into the health care system." "There should be a shift in policy to encourage and prefer chiropractic services for most patients with low back pain."

"Finally, the government should take all reasonable steps to actively encourage cooperation between providers, particularly the chiropractic, medical and physiotherapy professions. Lack of cooperation has been a major factor in the current inefficient management of low back pain. Better cooperation is important if the government is to capture the large potential savings in question and, it should be noted, is desired by an increasing number of individuals within each of the professions.

Manga P, Angus, D it al (1993) "The Effective and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain," Pran Manga and Associates, University of Ottawa, Canada.

* University of Richmond Research"Researchers compared chiropractic care with treatment rendered by general practitioners, internists, surgeons, physicians, and non-physicians. When the treatment costs were compared, chiropractic care was the lowest. Total treatment costs were lower for those receiving chiropractic care, than for those receiving care from other types of practitioners. Researchers concluded that if chiropractic care was covered by insurance to the degree of other types of care, it would be the first choice by many patients."Dean, David H., Ph.D., Schmidt, Robert M., Ph.D., A Comparison of the Costs of Chiropractors Versus Alternative Medical Practitioners, Bureau of Disability Economics Research, Robins School of Business, University of Richmond, January 13, 1992, Page 25.

* The New Zealand Report"In 1979, the government of New Zealand published an objective study of chiropractic. The commission concluded that spinal adjustments given by registered chiropractic doctors are safe, and that their education helps them assess and manage spinal problems at a very high level. Based upon the commission's objective findings, chiropractic care was recommended to be a covered service under its Social Security and Accident Compensation Acts." Chiropractic in New Zealand, Report of the Commission of Inquiry, 1979, Page 78.s


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