The latest medical research on Chiropractice

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about chiropractice gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Intervention usage for the management of low back pain in a chiropractic teaching clinic.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Open Science Framework # g74e8.

This was a retrospective chart review of patients presenting to the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College teaching clinic with a new complaint of LBP from January to July 2019. Interventions provided under treatment plans for each patient were extracted. Interventions were classified as recommended, not recommended, or without recommendation according to two guidelines, the NICE and OPTIMa LBP guideline.

1000 patient files were identified with 377 files meeting the inclusion criteria. The most frequent interventions provided to patients were manipulation/mobilization (99%) and soft tissue therapy (91%). Exercise, localized percussion, and advice and/or education were included in just under half of the treatment plans. Patient files contained similar amounts of recommended (70%) and not recommended (80%) interventions according to the NICE guideline classification, with half the treatment plans including an intervention without recommendation. Under the OPTIMa acute guideline, patient files contained similar amounts of recommended and not recommended care, while more recommended care was provided than not recommended under the OPTIMa chronic guideline.

Despite chiropractic interns providing guideline concordant care for the majority of LBP patients, interventions classified as not recommended and without recommendation are still frequently offered. This study provides a starting point to understand the treatment interventions provided by chiropractic interns. Further research should be conducted to improve our understanding of the use of LBP guideline recommended care in the chiropractic profession.

Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of chronic whiplash patients: a clinical practice-based feasibility study.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Whiplash injury is common following road traffic crashes affecting millions worldwide, with up to 50% of the injured developing chronic symptoms and 15% having a reduced working capability due to ongoing disability. Many of these patients receive treatment in primary care settings based upon clinical and diagnostic imaging findings. Despite the identification of different types of injuries in the whiplash patients, clinically significant relationships between injuries and chronic symptoms remains to be fully established. This study investigated the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques including quantitative diffusion weighted imaging and measurements of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow as novel non-invasive biomarkers in a population of healthy volunteers and chronic whiplash patients recruited from a chiropractic clinic for the purpose of improving our understanding of whiplash injury.

Twenty chronic whiplash patients and 18 healthy age- and gender matched control subjects were included [mean age ± SD (sex ratio; females/males), case group: 37.8 years ± 9.1 (1.22), control group: 35.1 years ± 9.2 (1.25)]. Data was collected from May 2019 to July 2020. Data from questionnaires pertaining to the car crash, acute and current symptoms were retrieved and findings from clinical examination and MRI including morphologic, diffusion weighted and phase-contrast images were recorded. The apparent diffusion coefficient and fractional anisotropy were calculated, and measurement and analysis of CSF flow was conducted. Statistical analyses included Fisher's exact test, Mann Whitney U test and analysis of variance between groups.

The studied population was described in detail using readily available clinical tools. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups on MRI.

This study did not show that MRI-based measures of morphology, spinal cord and nerve root diffusion or cerebrospinal fluid flow are sensitive biomarkers to distinguish between chronic whiplash patients and healthy controls. The detailed description of the chronic whiplash patients using readily available clinical tools may be of great relevance to the clinician. In the context of feasibility, clinical practice-based advanced imaging studies with a technical setup similar to the presented can be expected to have a high likelihood of successful completion.

Efficiency of primary spine care as compared to conventional primary care: a retrospective observational study at an Academic Medical Center.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Primary Spine Care (PSC) is an innovative model for the primary management of patients with spine-related disorders (SRDs), with a focus on the use of non-pharmacological therapies which now constitute the recommended first-line approach to back pain. PSC clinicians serve as the initial or early point of contact for spine patients and utilize evidence-based spine care pathways to improve outcomes and reduce escalation of care (EoC; e.g., spinal injections, diagnostic imaging, hospitalizations, referrals to a specialist). The present study examined 6-month outcomes to evaluate the efficiency of care for patients who received PSC as compared to conventional primary care. We hypothesized that patients seen by a PSC clinician would have lower rates of EoC compared to patients who received usual care by a primary care (PC) clinician.

This was a retrospective observational study. We evaluated 6-month outcomes for two groups seen and treated for an SRD between February 01, 2017 and January 31, 2020. Patient groups were comprised of N = 1363 PSC patients (Group A) and N = 1329 PC patients (Group B). We conducted Pearson chi-square and logistic regression (adjusting for patient characteristics that were unbalanced between the two groups) to determine associations between the two groups and 6-month outcomes.

Within six months of an initial visit for an SRD, a statistically significantly smaller proportion of PSC patients utilized healthcare resources for spine care as compared to the PC patients. When adjusting for patient characteristics, those who received care from the PSC clinician were less likely within 6 months of an initial visit to be hospitalized (OR = .47, 95% CI .23-.97), fill a prescription for an opioid analgesic (OR = .43; 95% CI .29-.65), receive a spinal injection (OR = .56, 95% CI .33-.95), or have a visit with a specialist (OR = .48, 95% CI .35-.67) as compared to those who received usual primary care.

Patients who received PSC in an academic primary care clinic experienced significantly less escalation of their spine care within 6 months of their initial visit. The PSC model may offer a more efficient approach to the primary care of spine problems for patients with SRDs, as compared to usual primary care.

Risk factors for low back pain in active military personnel: a systematic review.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Low back pain (LBP) is prevalent in military personnel. We aimed to systematically review the literature regarding risk factors for first-time LBP during military service among active duty military personnel.

We searched six electronic databases (inception-April 2020) for randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals. Eligible studies were independently critically appraised by paired reviewers and a descriptive synthesis was conducted.

We screened 1981 records, reviewed 118 full-text articles, and synthesised data from eight acceptable quality cohort studies. Studies assessed physical (n = 4), sociodemographic (n = 2), and/or occupational factors (n = 5) associated with LBP. Two studies reported prior LBP was associated with a greater than twofold increased risk of LBP compared to those without prior LBP. Other factors consistently associated with LBP included previous musculoskeletal injury (n = 2), less time spent on physical training (n = 2), female sex (n = 2), and lower rank (n = 2). Factors associated with LBP from single studies included marital status, lower education level, blast injury, job duties, and service type. We found inconsistent associations for performance on physical fitness tests, age, and occupation type. Psychological risk factors were not assessed in any included studies.

In active duty personnel, prior history of LBP, previous musculoskeletal injury, less time in physical training, female sex, and lower rank were consistent risk factors for LBP. This information is relevant for researchers, active duty military personnel, and other decision makers. Future studies should explore causal relationships for LBP in this population. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018084549.

The Keystone device as a clinical tool for measuring the supination resistance of the foot: A reliability study.

Musculoskeletal care

The supination resistance test (SRT) is a kinetic test used in clinical and research contexts to estimate the amount of force required to supinate the foot. Previous studies either used a manual, less reliable version of this test or a more reliable instrumented version, but with devices inconvenient for clinical use. The clinically available Keystone device has been developed for the SRT, and could be better suited for clinical purposes. The objective of this study is to determine the intrarater and interrater reliability of the Keystone device for the SRT.

Thirty young adults underwent two prospective experimental sessions, 1 week apart, during which SRT measures with the Keystone device were registered. Intrarater and interrater reliability were calculated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), standard error of measurement (SEM), minimal detectable difference (MDD) and limits of agreements (LoA).

The intrarater reliability of the SRT was good (ICC = 0.86, p < 0.001). The SEM, MDD and 95% LoA were 7.3, 20.4 and -31.6-14.3 N, respectively. The interrater reliability of the SRT was good (ICC = 0.76, p < 0.001). The SEM, MDD and 95% LoA were 9.0, 24.9 and -36.6-24.9 N, respectively.

The Keystone device is a reliable tool that can be used in clinical and research contexts. Prospective studies aiming to determine if SRT measures are predictors of musculoskeletal injuries or if they can predict the effects of external supports on the biomechanics of the foot and ankle are warranted.

Patient engagement in the design of an intervention to prevent muscle loss in individuals with knee osteoarthritis and a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 35.

Musculoskeletal care

Interventions for knee osteoarthritis (OA) in adults with a large body size (defined as a body mass index [BMI] ≥ 35 kg/m2 ) often prioritise weight-loss, which may overshadow specific benefits for physical function, metabolic health, and body composition. As part of the development of a future clinical study, we gathered perspectives from individuals living with knee OA and a large body size to inform the proposed intervention design and delivery.

Purposive and voluntary sampling was used to engage individuals ≥40 years of age with self-reported knee OA and a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 . An anonymous electronic survey was distributed on social media between April 2020 and June 2020. Open-ended questions addressed a proposed 12-week multimodal intervention (involving targeted nutrition, resistance exercises, and self-management support). An optional semi-structured interview was offered upon completion, with interviews recorded and transcribed verbatim. Reflexive thematic analysis and interpretation guided by an acceptability framework was used to identify recommendations for the intervention design and delivery.

Twenty individuals living across Canada completed the survey (100% female; 18 aged <65 years and 2 ≥ 65 years). Ten individuals completed the interview. From aggregate survey and interview data, three recommendations were generated: (1) the effectiveness of the intervention for health improvement (specifically mobility and pain) must be emphasised to avoid perceived weight-loss expectations; (2) extend support beyond 12-weeks and consider terminology free from weight-bias to enhance acceptance; (3) include optional customisation of intervention delivery to reduce acceptability-related burden.

These female patient-derived recommendations may improve perceived intervention acceptability, and thereby may enhance participant enrolment and retention in clinical trials.

A descriptive study of sports chiropractors with an International Chiropractic Sport Science Practitioner qualification: a cross-sectional survey.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

This paper describes the education and case management profile of sports chiropractors with the Federation of International Sports Chiropractors (FICS) postgraduate qualification: International Chiropractic Sport Science Practitioner (ICSSP). The ICSSP is the predominant international sports chiropractic qualification.

A cross-sectional survey, carried out between 22/10/2014 and 22/12/2014,was utilized with a 39-item web-based survey examining practitioner, practice and clinical management characteristics, and was distributed via email to all sports chiropractors who held an ICSSP qualification (n = 240) in 2014.

The survey response rate was 64% (n = 154). 36% of chiropractors were aged between 31 and 40 years, just over three quarters were male, and 27% had been in practice for 5-10 years. The majority of respondents were based in North America. All sports chiropractors surveyed reported treating neuromusculoskeletal conditions outside of the spine. 91% utilized a multimodal approach in most of their treatments, prescribing rehabilitative exercises in 76% of consultations. Almost 64% of respondents reported current treatment of professional athletes, and 78% reported current treatment of semi-professional athletes, whilst the vast majority of those surveyed endorsed past treatment of professional (91%) and semi-professional (95%) athletes. All respondents reported referring to a range of conventional and allied health providers.

This study of ICSSP-qualified sports chiropractors describes a small but well-educated workforce treating high-level athletes, managing a wide range of spine and non-spinal neuromusculoskeletal conditions, utilising multimodal approaches (including active and passive strategies), and referring to and co-managing with other health practitioners.

A scoping review protocol: Investigating the extent and legal process of cauda equina syndrome claims for UK physiotherapists.

Musculoskeletal care

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a condition where early identification and treatment is crucial to avoid potentially devastating effects. There is a high number of litigation cases linked with CES given it is a relatively rare condition. This scoping review protocol proposes to explore the extent and process of CES litigation in UK healthcare context cases amongst UK physiotherapists.

The methodological framework recommended by Arksey and O'Malley, Levac et al. and the Joanna Briggs Institute will be used throughout this review to aid reporting and transparency. A patient and public involvement (PPI) group meeting was convened at the beginning of the review process in order to provide knowledge exchange to inform the search strategy and propose resources to be used during the scoping review. Two reviewers will independently review the literature in order to apply the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Once the studies to be included have been identified, the data from these studies will be extracted and charted. Results will show quantitative data of the studies included in the review and a narrative synthesis of the literature.

This scoping review will evaluate the existing knowledge relating to CES and litigation and will map the key concepts around this topic. Results will be disseminated to practitioners and policy-makers through peer-reviewed publications, conferences, reports and social media. This method may prove helpful to others who are investigating extent and processes relating to medicolegal cases involving healthcare practitioners.

The current paper is registered with OSF registries (DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/MP6Y3).

Digging deeper: exploring chiropractors online claims about non-musculoskeletal disorders.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Some chiropractors suggest that chiropractic treatment is appropriate for health issues other than musculoskeletal problems. The prevalence of such claims on individual clinic websites has previously been reported as approximately one-in-four in Denmark. The underlying rationales for such claims may reflect convictions about traditional chiropractic subluxations paradigms, but are not self-evident and has not previously been studied.

An exploratory qualitative case interview study of Danish chiropractors with websites which contain claims about chiropractic efficacy in the treatment of non-musculoskeletal disorders. Websites were identified from a nation wide random sample (57%) of all chiropractic clinic websites.

Of the original 139 websites, 36 were identified as mentioning non-MSK conditions. When revisited, 19 of those clinic websites still mentioned non-MSK disorders and were contacted. Eleven (11) declined our invitation to participate. Interviews were conducted with the responsible chiropractor from each of the remaining 8 clinics. Five distinct themes were identified in the rationales for treating non-musculoskeletal disorders: 'Positive side-effects,' 'Experience,' 'Web page,' 'Communication' and 'Conviction.'

A minority of Danish chiropractic websites suggest that non-musculoskeletal disorders are within the chiropractic scope of practice. Those that do, do so for varying reasons-poor communication and website maintenance were commonly cited problems. An explicitly stated adherence to traditional chiropractic subluxations concepts was uncommon. By contrast, a more tempered rationale that suggested a potential beneficial side-effect of chiropractic on non-musculoskeletal health issues were more common and was typically presented in softer-language and/or with some reservations.

Corticosteroid injection or dry needling for musculoskeletal pain and disability? A systematic review and GRADE evidence synthesis.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Corticosteroid injection and dry needling have been used in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, but it is unclear which intervention is the most effective. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of corticosteroid injection and dry needling for musculoskeletal conditions at short-, medium-, and long-term follow-up.

Electronic databases were searched up to 31 October 2021. Two researchers independently screened titles, abstracts and full-text articles. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that investigated the effectiveness of dry needling compared to corticosteroid injection in patients over 18 years with a musculoskeletal condition were included in the review. The studies had to report pain and/or disability as outcome. Risk of bias was assessed by using the revised Cochrane Collaboration tool (RoB 2.0). Quality of evidence was evaluated by using the GRADE approach.

Six studies were included (n = 384 participants). Four musculoskeletal conditions were investigated. There is very low-quality evidence that CSI is superior to DN for reducing heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and lateral elbow pain at short- and medium-term follow-up, but not for myofascial pain and greater trochanteric pain. There is very low-quality evidence that DN is more effective than CSI at long-term follow-up for reducing pain in people with plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis. Very low-certainty evidence shows that there is no difference between DN and CSI for disability at short-term follow-up. One study showed that CSI is superior to DN at medium-term follow-up and another observed that DN is superior to CSI for reducing disability at long-term.

There are no differences between DN and CSI in pain or disability for myofascial pain and greater trochanteric pain syndrome. Very-low certainty evidence suggests that CSI is superior to DN at shorter follow-up periods, whereas DN seems to be more effective than CSI at longer follow-up durations for improving pain in plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis. Large RCTs with higher methodological quality are needed in order to draw more incisive conclusions.


The effect of spinal manipulative therapy and home stretching exercises on heart rate variability in patients with persistent or recurrent neck pain: a randomized controlled trial.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

The trial was registered 03/07/2018 at, registration number: NCT03576846. ( ).

A randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out in five multidisciplinary primary care clinics in Stockholm from January 2019 to April 2020. The study sample consisted of 131 participants with a history of persistent or recurrent neck. All participants performed home stretching exercises daily for 2 weeks and were scheduled for four treatments during this period, with the intervention group receiving spinal manipulative therapy in addition to the home exercises. Heart Rate Variability at rest was measured at baseline, after 1 week, and after 2 weeks, with RMSSD (Root mean square of successive RR interval differences) as the primary outcome. Both groups were blinded to the other group intervention. Thus, they were aware of the purpose of the trial but not the details of the "other" intervention. The researchers collecting data were blinded to treatment allocation, as was the statistician performing data analyses. The clinicians provided treatment for participants in both groups and could not be blinded. A linear mixed-effects model with continuous variables and person-specific random intercept was used to investigate the group-time interaction using an intention to treat analysis.

Sixty-six participants were randomized to the intervention group and sixty-five to the control group. For RMSSD, a B coefficient of 0.4 (p value: 0.9) was found, indicating a non-significant difference in the regression slope for each time point with the control group as reference. No statistically significant differences were found between groups for any of the Heart Rate Variability indices.

Adding four treatments of spinal manipulation therapy to a 2-week program of daily stretching exercises gave no significant change in Heart Rate Variability.

What are the effects of diagnostic imaging on clinical outcomes in patients with low back pain presenting for chiropractic care: a matched observational study.

Chiropractic and Manual Therapies

Evidence suggests that diagnostic imaging for low back pain does not improve care in the absence of suspicion of serious pathology. However, the effect of imaging use on clinical outcomes has not been investigated in patients presenting to chiropractors. The aim of this study was to determine if diagnostic imaging affects clinical outcomes in patients with low back pain presenting for chiropractic care.

A matched observational study using prospective longitudinal observational data with one year follow up was performed in primary care chiropractic clinics in Denmark. Data was collected from November 2016 to December 2019. Participants included low back pain patients presenting for chiropractic care, who were either referred or not referred for diagnostic imaging during their initial visit. Patients were excluded if they were less than 18 years old, had a diagnosis of underlying pathology, or had previous imaging relevant to their current clinical presentation. Coarsened exact matching was used to match participants referred for diagnostic imaging with participants not referred for diagnostic imaging on baseline variables including participant demographics, pain characteristics, and clinical history. Mixed linear and logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of imaging on back pain intensity and disability at two-weeks, three-months, and one-year, and on global perceived effect and satisfaction with care at two-weeks.

2162 patients were included, with 24.1% referred for imaging. Near perfect balance between matched groups was achieved for baseline variables except age and leg pain. Participants referred for imaging had slightly higher back pain intensity at two-weeks (0.4, 95%CI: 0.1, 0.8) and one-year (0.4, 95%CI: 0.0, 0.7), and disability at two-weeks (5.7, 95%CI: 1.4, 10.0), but the changes are unlikely to be clinically meaningful. No difference between groups was found for the other outcome measures. Similar results were found when sensitivity analysis, adjusted for age and leg pain intensity, was performed.

Diagnostic imaging did not result in better clinical outcomes in patients with low back pain presenting for chiropractic care. These results support that current guideline recommendations against routine imaging apply equally to chiropractic practice.