Chiropractic Research – Dr. Terry Rondberg

xray of human spineMillions of people around the globe have received chiropractic care and know its value. But the rest of the population dismisses the profession’s growth and patient testimonials as shoddy evidence.

Regrettably, scientists have only a few studies showing correlations between the quality-of-life changes and chiropractic care. Most scientific clinical studies suggest chiropractic as a treatment for adult low-back pain, thus limiting chiropractic care.

The public only hears: “…there is no evidence that any chiropractic treatment works for infants and/or kids.”  ( – or – “I am not aware of any chiropractic research that has led to any significant improvement in patient care.” (Stephen Barrett, MD)

Supporters of chiropractic care are aware of this false perception and its negative affects on the general public.

“The dearth of defensible information about chiropractic and chiropractors is still hampering our external ability to integrate successfully with the rest of the so-called health industry…. Let’s face it. We have a massive fact deficit in chiropractic.” (William Meeker, DC, MPH, FICC, director of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research)

“Whether the practice of chiropractic is of any value to the patient cannot be known with certainty until a scientific base has been established. …It is clearly apparent that it would be beneficial to the public for the profession to systematically study the subluxation as it relates to the health of the patient. Chiropractic can be observed and measured.” (The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research Association)

“The Committee believes additional research is necessary to further quantify the already‑known benefits of chiropractic care.” (US Senate Appropriations Committee hearings on ‘Health Care Access and Cost Containment Strategies’)

“Evidence of the value of spinal manipulation for problems other than low-back pain is less extensive, and the role that subluxation (of other forms of joint dysfunction) may play in causing and/or providing relief through adjusting is uncertain.” (“In the Quest for Cultural Authority,” Joseph Keating, DC, et. a., Dynamic Chiropractic, December 16, 2004.)

“The claim that loss of neural integrity influences ‘organ system function and general health’ is also unsubstantiated by currently available experimental data. … assertions may be appropriate as hypotheses (tentative assertions) and proto-theories (from which testable propositions may be derived), and deserve our critical attention by means of research. However, to assert their validity in the absence of hard scientific data is to engage in dogmatism.” (Joseph Keating, Dynamic Chiropractic, Dec. 16, 2004)

The answer lies in thoroughly conducted scientific research and observing the mechanisms surrounding chiropractic care such as stress reduction on the autonomic nervous system and wellness. The results must then be reviewed by chiropractic experts and other professionals with the appropriate credentials to write and review research reports.  At that time, reports should be submitted to major health journals for publication.

It’s insufficient to research solely manual manipulation’s effectiveness as a resolution for musculoskeletal conditions such as low-back pain. Such technicalities only reemphasize the false belief that chiropractic is just physical therapy that can be provided by regular physician and physical therapists. Should this remain to be the only field of chiropractic research, it will be utilized as evidence to limit chiropractic care.

The chiropractic theory claims that stress on the nervous system negatively impacts overall wellness.  Such health-like components like immunity, vitality, and well-being must be measured.  It is essential to conduct research to confirm this supposal.

Research must compare and contrast the individual’s state of health before and after receiving chiropractic care. Our goal is to develop a standard rating system measuring the severity of stress on the nervous system and integrating it to measure the noteworthy result of chiropractic care. With this rating system, the next step is to create a formula connecting outcome results and the impact on a patient’s level of stress.

This method has gained popularity in epidemiology. It is also used for studying sleep apnea severities. (Journal of Subluxation Research, 3:24-30, 1999.) Upon completion, this formula will function as a universal standard for chiropractic care and wellness.

A detailed analysis of database findings of millions of chiropractic patients can disclose direct links between stress and wellness. The findings could lead to ground-breaking information regarding the impact of chiropractic on the human nervous system and overall health.

About the Author
Terry A. Rondberg, DC, is a leading proponent of research to demonstrate the benefits of chiropractic care on patients, not only for back pain but also for the brain, the heart, the nervous system and total body wellness. He is a sought-after public speaker, author and advocate for millions of chiropractic patients and practitioners.