Effectiveness Of Chiropractic
The best available scientific evidence for chiropractic concerns acute back pain, chronic neck pain, and tension headaches. Some of this evidence is fairly convincing. It is generally stronger than the evidence for conventional physical therapy techniques.
The greatest strength of chiropractic is in treatment of neuro- musculoskeletal conditions such as sprain or strain-type injuries of the back and adjacent structures. Their strongest suit is low back conditions. This is followed by neck, head, and arm problems, especially migraine headaches, tension headaches, stiff necks, and torticollis. The next strongest area would be extra spinal conditions such as problems in the knees, wrists, elbows, ankles, and other joints.
For low back pain, research has helped make it possible to predict fairly reliably which individuals will benefit. For conditions with more vague complaints or with visceral manifestation like gastritis, asthma, or allergies, the predictability of benefit is lower, although there is much anecdotal evidence that these conditions too can benefit.
Acupuncture and/or movement therapies can be combined with chiropractic manipulation for an amplified effect.
Animal studies showed that spinal manipulation can produce a number of physical responses, such as decreased blood pressure and renal and adrenal nerve activity. It may also enhance immune function by increasing metabolic rates of certain white blood cells and increasing other substances that play a role in immune regulation and inflammation. These studies also show that spinal adjustment can reduce levels of inflammatory Prostaglandins and possibly increase levels of beta-endorphins, the natural painkillers in the body.
Chiropractic has been believed to be useful in treating the following conditions:
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