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Table 2 Description of eight clinical studies on chiropractic primary or early secondary prevention included in a systematic review

From: Effect of chiropractic treatment on primary or early secondary prevention: a systematic review with a pedagogic approach

First Author (Year) Journal Affiliation Country Research question(s) or purpose of study Type of manipulative therapy/chiropractic treatment Outcome variables for studied condition Authors’/author’s conclusion in relation to effect/benefit of chiropractic treatment
Kessinger (1997) JVSR ? USA “to assess the influence of upper cervical adjustments on pulmonary function.” Upper cervical treatment Lung function: a)forced vital capacity (FVC); b)forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV-1) “The study indicates that subjects show improved pulmonary function in FVC and FEV-1 after receiving chiropractic care for the correction of upper cervical vertebral subluxation.”
Kessinger (1998) JVSR ? USA “to investigate the relationship between frequency of adjustments (hence presence of a vertebral subluxation) and changes in visual acuity among a population of subjects previously naïve to any form of chiropractic.” “Upper Cervical Specific Care for the correction of atlas and/or axis (C-1, C-2)” Distance visual acuity “This information suggests that correction of upper cervical subluxation, regardless of its vector character (right versus left, or inferior or superior to axis) is associated with either uni-lateral, and/or bilateral improvements in %DVA.” “Thus, through the upper cervical adjustment procedures employed in the present study, improvement in visual acuity appears to be linked to correction of vertebral subluxation.” “Consequently, while further study of other subject populations is required to validate the preliminary findings presented in this article, it appears that the effects observed are of longer term than would be expected from a stimulus-response reaction. Further evaluation, however, will be needed to elucidate the long term nature of the effects observed, as well as to decipher the differential vision changes apparent in the present study.” DVA = Distance Visual Acuity
Morter (1998) JVSR Morter Health System, Inc. and developer of Bio-Energetic Synchroniza-tion Technique USA Testing the hypothesis that “lower salivary pH would accompany excessive sympathetic stimulation while higher pH values would accompany parasympathetic predominance”. Also to test the hypothesis that “salivary pH values would increase or decrease accordingly after administration of care”. Bio-energetic synchronization which “updates or re-sets engrams eliciting inappropriate physiology often associated with autonomic imbalance” Salivary pH “Effect sizes for the two groups revealed a large treatment effect in the S-Group (0.80) compared to a moderate effect in the P-Group (0.50) …” S-Group = sympathetic group P-Group = sympathetic group
Campbell (2005) JVSR Camgen, Inc. USA “to assess the effect of short-term and long-term chiropractic care on serum thiol levels in asymptomatic subjects” Thiol = a surrogate estimate of human health status; of DNA repair enzyme activity -network spinal analysis -diversified technique with drop-table -activator methods Plasm/serum thiol “Asymptomatic or primary wellness subjects under chiropractic care demonstrated higher mean serum thiol levels than patients with active disease and produced some values that were higher than normal wellness values.” “chiropractic could influence the basic physiological process of endogenous generation of oxidative stress”
Boone (2006) JVSR Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic USA Pilot study “to gather preliminary information regarding chiropractic care and possible links to immune status and improved aspects of health and quality of life” -“chiropractic care” -“chiropractic adjustments when indicated” Blood tests for immunological markers “This pilot study has provided some preliminary information regarding chiropractic care and possible links to immune status …”
McMasters (2013) Journal of Chiropractic Medicine Private practice USA “to determine if a course of chiropractic care would change BP measurements in African American patients and to determine if a study was feasible in a chiropractic teaching clinic.” BP = blood pressure “chiropractic adjustments (manipulation) based upon the spinal examination findings” Systolic and diastolic blood pressure on subjects diagnosed with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension “There was no statistically significant difference in BP following chiropractic care for this group of African American patients. However, when 4 patients who had large BMIs (outliers) were excluded from the group, a statistically significant decrease in diastolic BP was observed. It is possible that patients with higher BMI may be more resistant to BP reductions in the context of chiropractic care. Unfortunately, the mechanism between BMI and BP is not well understood.” BMI=Body Mass Index
Jones (2014) Disability and Rehabilitation School of Health Science and Social Care UK “to investigate the hypothesis that MT produces additional benefit when compared with breathing retraining alone in a group of patients with primary DB.” MT = Manual Therapy DB = Dysfunctional breathing All the subjects were treated with standardised respiratory physiotherapy management The intervention group: individualised selection of manual therapy techniques (e.g. Maitland mobilisation/ manipulation) Primary outcome -Nijmegen score for dysfunctional breathing Secondary outcome -Spirometry measured by: a)forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) b)forced vital capacity (FVC); -Breath hold time “There was no significant difference between the manual therapy and respiratory treatment groups for the primary outcome (Nijmgen score) or any secondary outcomes”
Goertz (2016) JMPT Palmer college of Chiropractic USA Pilot study “to estimate the treatment effect and safety of toggle recoil spinal manipulation for blood pressure management” Toggle recoil spinal manipulation therapy Systolic and diastolic blood pressure on subjects diagnosed with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension “...there is limited research to support the use of SMT for patients with high BP. Thus, rigorous studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SMT for hypertension are needed to guide chiropractic clinical practice.” BP=Blood Pressure SMT = Spinal Manipulative Therapy
  1. JVSR journal of vertebral subluxation research
  2. JMPT journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics