Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Chiropractic treatment techniques


OBJECTIVE: To assess the significance of adverse events after spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) by replicating and critically reviewing a paper commonly cited when reviewing adverse events of SMT as reported by Ernest (J Roy Soc Med 100:330–338, 2007). METHOD: Replication of a 2007 Ernest paper to compare the details recorded in this paper to the original source material. Specific items that were assessed included the time lapse between treatment and the adverse event, and the recording of other significant risk factors such as diabetes, hyperhomocysteinemia, use of oral contraceptive pill, any history of hypertension, atherosclerosis and migraine. RESULTS: The review of the 32 papers discussed by Ernest found numerous errors or inconsistencies from the original case reports and case series. These errors included alteration of the age or sex of the patient, and omission or misrepresentation of the long term response of the patient to the adverse event. Other errors included incorrectly assigning spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) as chiropractic treatment when it had been reported in the original paper as delivered by a non-chiropractic provider (e.g. Physician).The original case reports often omitted to record the time lapse between treatment and the adverse event, and other significant clinical or risk factors. The country of origin of the original paper was also overlooked, which is significant as chiropractic is not legislated in many countries. In 21 of the cases reported by Ernest to be chiropractic treatment, 11 were from countries where chiropractic is not legislated. CONCLUSION: The number of errors or omissions in the 2007 Ernest paper, reduce the validity of the study and the reported conclusions. The omissions of potential risk factors and the timeline between the adverse event and SMT could be significant confounding factors. Greater care is also needed to distinguish between chiropractors and other health practitioners when reviewing the application of SMT and related adverse effects.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Adverse event, Joint manipulation, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Spinal adjustment, Chiropractic treatment techniques


To examine beliefs about cracking sounds heard during high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust spinal manipulation in individuals with and without personal experience of this technique.

Concepts: Joint manipulation, Spinal manipulation, Spinal adjustment, Chiropractic treatment techniques, Cracking joints


BACKGROUND: Typically a large amount of information is collected during healthcare research and this information needs to be organised in a way that will make it manageable and to facilitate clear reporting. The Chiropractic Observation and Analysis STudy (COAST) was a cross sectional observational study that described the clinical practices of chiropractors in Victoria, Australia. To code chiropractic encounters COAST used the International Classification for Primary Care (ICPC-2) with the PLUS general practice clinical terminology to code chiropractic encounters. This paper describes the process by which a chiropractic-profession specific terminology was developed for use in research by expanding the current ICPC-2 PLUS system. METHODS: The coder referred to the ICPC-2 PLUS system when coding chiropractor recorded encounter details (reasons for encounter, diagnoses/problems and processes of care). The coder used rules and conventions supplied by the Family Medicine Research Unit at the University of Sydney, the developers of the PLUS system. New chiropractic specific terms and codes were created when a relevant term was not available in ICPC-2 PLUS. RESULTS: Information was collected from 52 chiropractors who documented 4,464 chiropractor-patient encounters. During the study, 6,225 reasons for encounter and 6,491 diagnoses/problems were documented, coded and analysed; 169 new chiropractic specific terms were added to the ICPC-2 PLUS terminology list. Most new terms were allocated to diagnoses/problems, with reasons for encounter generally well covered in the original ICPC 2 PLUS terminology: 3,074 of the 6,491 (47%) diagnoses/problems and 274 of the 6,225 (4%) reasons for encounter recorded during encounters were coded to a new term. Twenty nine new terms (17%) represented chiropractic processes of care. CONCLUSION: While existing ICPC-2 PLUS terminology could not fully represent chiropractic practice, adding terms specific to chiropractic enabled coding of a large number of chiropractic encounters at the desired level. Further, the new system attempted to record the diversity among chiropractic encounters while enabling generalisation for reporting where required. COAST is ongoing, and as such, any further encounters received from chiropractors will enable addition and refinement of ICPC-2 PLUS (Chiro). More research is needed into the diagnosis/problem descriptions used by chiropractors.

Concepts: Scientific method, General practitioner, Code, Source code, Chiropractic, International Classification of Primary Care, Spinal manipulation, Chiropractic treatment techniques


Over a period of decades chiropractors have utilized spinal manipulation under anesthesia (SMUA) to treat chronic back and neck pain. As an advanced form of manual therapy, SMUA is reserved for the patient whose condition has proven refractory to office-based manipulation and other modes of conservative care. Historically, the protocols and guidelines put forth by chiropractic MUA proponents have served as the clinical compass for directing MUA practice. With many authors and MUA advocates having focused primarily on anticipated benefit, the published literature contains no resource dedicated to treatment precautions and contraindications. Also absent from current relevant literature is acknowledgement or guidance on the preliminary evidence that may predict poor clinical outcomes with SMUA. This review considers risk and unfavorable outcomes indicators in therapeutic decision making for spinal manipulation under anesthesia. A new risk classification system is proposed that identifies patient safety and quality of care interests for a procedure that remains without higher-level research evidence. A scale which categorizes risk and outcome potential for SMUA is offered for the chiropractic clinician, which aims to elevate the standard of care and improve patient selection through the incorporation of specific indices from existing medical literature.

Concepts: Medicine, The Canon of Medicine, Decision theory, Joint manipulation, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Chiropractic treatment techniques, Manual therapy


[Purpose] To present a case of the non-surgical improvement in cervical kyphosis in a patient with history of cervical spine trauma and advanced osteoarthritis. [Subject and Methods] A 38 year old male presented with a chief complaint of chronic neck pain that was not substantially relieved by recent previous traditional physiotherapy and chiropractic manipulation. The cervical radiograph demonstrated a cervical hypolordosis of 5° as measured by the Harrison posterior tangent method from C2-C7. There was a 15° kyphosis at C4-C6 with advanced degenerative changes consistent with previous spine trauma. The patient was treated by CBP® methods incorporating cervical extension traction, extension exercises, and spinal manipulation for 30 sessions over an 18 week period. [Results] After the treatment sessions, there was a substantial (27°) increase in global C2-C7 lordosis, and 5° decrease in C4-C6 degenerative kyphosis corresponding to the reduction in neck pain and disability, and an improvement in overall health status as indicated on the SF-36 health questionnaire. [Conclusion] Although degenerative spondylosis of the cervical spine will have physical limitations to non-surgical correction, this case serves as an example that it is possible to reduce degenerative kyphosis and increase global cervical lordosis corresponding to health improvements in these patients.

Concepts: Patient, Vertebral column, Scoliosis, Cervical vertebrae, Joint manipulation, Lordosis, Chiropractic, Chiropractic treatment techniques


[Purpose] To present a case demonstrating the reduction of progressive thoracolumbar scoliosis by incorporating Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP®) technique’s mirror image® exercises, traction and blocking procedures based on the ‘non-commutative properties of finite rotation angles under addition’ engineering law. [Subject and Methods] A 15-year-old female presented with a right thoracolumbar scoliosis having a Cobb angle from T5-L3 of 27° and suffering from headaches and lower back pains. Her curve had progressed over the last two years despite being under traditional chiropractic care. [Results] The patient was treated using CBP structural rehabilitation protocols incorporating mirror image traction, home blocking, corrective exercises and spinal manipulation. The patient was treated 24 times (including 45 home self-treatment blocking sessions) over the course of 15-weeks. Her thoracolumbar curve reduced from 27° to 8° and her headache and low back pain disability improved significantly. [Conclusion] CBP mirror image exercises and traction are consistent with other successful non-surgical approaches and show promise in treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Concepts: Spinal disc herniation, Back pain, Scoliosis, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Spinal adjustment, Chiropractic treatment techniques


Evidence suggests that chiropractic manipulation might exert positive effects in osteoporotic patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of chiropractic manipulation on bone structure and skeletal muscle in rats with bone loss caused by ovariectomy (OVX). The 6-month old Sprague-Dawley rats at 10 weeks following OVX or sham operation (Sh) did not suffer chiropractic manipulation (NM group) or were submitted to true chiropractic manipulation using the chiropractic adjusting instrument Activator V(®) three times/week for 6 weeks as follows: Force 1 setting was applied onto the tibial tubercle of the rat right hind limb (TM group), whereas the corresponding left hind limb received a false manipulation (FM group) consisting of ActivatorV(®) firing in the air and slightly touching the tibial tubercle. Bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were determined in long bones and L3-L4 vertebrae in all rats. Femora and tibia were analyzed by μCT. Mechano growth factor (MGF) was detected in long bones and soleus, quadriceps and tibial muscles by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. The decrease of BMD and BMC as well as trabecular bone impairment in the long bones of OVX rats vs Sh controls was partially reversed in the TM group versus FM or NM rats. This bone improvement by chiropractic manipulation was associated with an increased MGF expression in the quadriceps and the anterior tibial muscle in OVX rats. These findings support the notion that chiropractic manipulation can ameliorate osteoporotic bone at least partly by targeting skeletal muscle.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Skeletal system, Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, Femur, Muscular system, Rat, Chiropractic treatment techniques


Cervical high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) manipulation technique is among the oldest and most frequently used chiropractic manual therapy, but the physiologic and biomechanics effects were not completely clear.

Concepts: Creativity techniques, Joint manipulation, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Chiropractic treatment techniques, Manual therapy


A total of 75% of the chiropractic medicine students in the new program at the University of Zürich are women, which is in stark contrast to the traditional ratio of chiropractors in Switzerland, where 75% have been men. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare work behaviors between female and male chiropractors relating to workload, patient variety, and chiropractic treatment techniques.

Concepts: Gender, Alternative medicine, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Spinal adjustment, Chiropractic treatment techniques, Activator technique


Back pain is one of the most common presentations to the emergency department. Though case reports of patients presenting with increased back pain following chiropractic spinal manipulations are rare, we have identified a case rarely reported in the literature where a potential injury from chiropractic manipulation resulted in a diagnosis of multiple myeloma. We have reported a previously healthy 66-year-old male who presented with persistent lower back pain over 4 weeks. An initial evaluation with thoracolumbar radiographs revealed no significant findings. Following initial presentation to the family physician, the patient underwent three treatments of spinal manipulation from his local chiropractor, which resulted in worsening lower back pain. A re-examination and new radiographs in the hospital revealed multiple compression fractures and an underlying diagnosis of multiple myeloma. We have explored current literature examining the prevalence of lower back pain, as well as the incidence of spinal fracture following chiropractic manipulation, and have highlighted a potential complication from chiropractic manipulation in a patient with an undiagnosed underlying neoplastic disorder.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Patient, Hospital, Physician, Chiropractic, Spinal manipulation, Spinal adjustment, Chiropractic treatment techniques