WebMD says, “chiropractic care is considered a safe, effective treatment for acute low back pain, neck pain, headaches, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.” A large literature review from the UK published in 2010 (The Bronfort Report) reported “moderate to high-quality evidence” for manual therapy for the following conditions: acute low back pain, chronic low back pain (>3 month duration), acute whiplash-associated disorders, shoulder girdle pain/dysfunction, adhesive capsulitis, tennis elbow, hip osteoarthritis, knee osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, plantar fasciitis (sore feet), migraine, cervicogenic headache, cervicogenic dizziness, extremity joint conditions, acute/subacute neck pain, and chronic neck pain. The report points out that often a combination of treatment approaches may be more effective than one form of manual therapy alone, and the term “manual therapies” includes manipulation, mobilization, and massage.
A 2011 medical-based study compared the following three groups of patients with chronic low back pain: 1) those receiving no chiropractic (sham or “fake”) care; 2) those receiving acute chiropractic care (three times a week for four weeks); and 3) those receiving acute care + maintenance care (times a week for four weeks followed by every two weeks for the next nine months). They found significantly lower pain and disability scores (disability means difficulty or inability to perform daily activities – personal, social, and/or work-related) after the first month of treatments in the two groups receiving three times a week adjustments compared to the group receiving sham (or no) treatment.
However, at the end of the ten-month study period, ONLY the group receiving the additional treatments every two weeks showed MORE improvement in pain and disability scores compared with the one-month point. Additionally, the acute care only treatment group’s pain and disability scores had returned back to near their pre-treatment levels. The two MDs who wrote the article concluded, “…SMT [spinal manipulative therapy] is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21245790).
A series of Norwegian studies about maintenance care (MC) reported the following: 1) the primary indication for MC care was a past history of LBP + a beneficial response to treatment; 2) the typical time interval or spacing between MC treatments was nine weeks; 3) the content of the MC encounter included a history, exam, and treatment; and 4) the primary purpose of MC care was LBP-prevention oriented.
Including regular chiropractic care in your health management plan appears to have significant benefits and results in a higher quality of life.