Chiropractic Research of 2022

Best Chiropractic Research of 2022

I've compiled a list of my favorite articles about chiropractic research in 2022. This covers topics such as opioids, mattress recommendations, best practices for treating low back pain, and more. I think you'll learn something interesting here, enjoy!

1. Chiropractic Patients Use Fewer Opioids

"In this study [of 40,929 low back pain patients], we found that receipt of chiropractic care, though not physical therapy, may have disrupted the need for opioids and, in particular, long-term opioid use in newly diagnosed LBP."

This concurs with several other recent studies showing that chiropractic patients have a lower risk of drug use and associated side effects.

Opioid use by chiropractic patients
Acharya M, Chopra D, Smith AM, Fritz JM, Martin BC. Associations Between Early Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy on Subsequent Opioid Use Among Persons With Low Back Pain in Arkansas. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2022 May 21. (Link)

2. SMT Does Not Increase Stroke Risk (again)

"Among [53 million patients] aged 65 and older who received cervical spinal manipulation, the risk of cervical artery dissection is no greater."

This follows a 2022 JMMT study showing vertebral arteries “were not stretched” during HVLA.

Whedon JM, Petersen CL, Li Z, Schoelkopf WJ, Haldeman S, MacKenzie TA, Lurie JD. Association between cervical artery dissection and spinal manipulative therapy–a medicare claims analysis. BMC Geriatrics. 2022 Dec;22(1):1-9.

3. SMT Decreases Disc Surgery Odds

"Our findings suggest receiving chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy compared with other care for newly diagnosed lumbar disc herniation and lumbosacral radiculopathy is associated with significantly reduced odds of discectomy over 2-year follow-up."

Trager RJ, Daniels CJ, Perez JA, Casselberry RM, Dusek JA. Association between chiropractic spinal manipulation and lumbar discectomy in adults with lumbar disc herniation and radiculopathy: retrospective cohort study using United States’ data. BMJ Open. 2022 Dec 1;12(12):e068262. (Link)

4. Nerve Mobilization Helps Sciatica

"Neural mobilisations seem beneficial to reduce pain and disability in spinally referred leg pain independent of the criteria used to interpret neurodynamic tests."

Murape T, Ainslie TR, Basson CA, Schmid AB. Does the efficacy of neurodynamic treatments depend on the presence and type of criteria used to define neural mechanosensitivity in spinally-referred leg pain? A systematic review and meta-analysis. The South African Journal of Physiotherapy. 2022;78(1). (Link)

5. SMT Beats Prescription Drug Therapy

"Recipients of [chiropractic] SMT were more likely to be very satisfied with their care (84%) than recipients of prescription drug therapy (50%). The SMT cohort self-reported significantly higher health-related quality of life compared to the prescription drug therapy cohort. The SMT cohort had a lower degree of concern regarding chiropractic care for their back pain compared to the prescription drug therapy cohort's reported concern about prescription drug therapy.”

Kizhakkeveettil A, Bezdjian S, Hurwitz EL, Toler AW, Rossi D, Uptmor S, Sagester K, Bangash M, MacKenzie TA, Lurie JD, Coulter I. Spinal Manipulation vs Prescription Drug Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: Beliefs, Satisfaction With Care, and Quality of Life Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2022 Mar 26. (Link)

6. SMT is Effective for Headaches

"This review study demonstrates the benefits [spinal manipulation] has on decreasing headache frequency, intensity, and duration in tension-type headache and migraines. [Spinal manipulation] has shown to be beneficial, especially for patients seeking alternative non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive treatments."

Silva CE, Joseph AM, Khatib M, Knafo J, Karas M, Krupa K, Rivera B, Macia A, Madhu B, McMillan M, Burtch J. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment and the Management of Headaches: A Scoping Review. Cureus. 2022 Aug 9;14(8). (Link)

7. New Test is 92% Sensitive for Rotator Cuff Pathology

"Our results demonstrate that the Internal rotation and shift-test is a reliable and valid tool for assessing superior rotator cuff pathology. With good-to-excellent intra-rater and inter-rater reliability and strong sensitivity [92%] and specificity [67%], this test should be considered a valuable addition to clinicians' cadre of clinical evaluation tools."

Fieseler G, Laudner K, Sendler J, Cornelius J, Schulze S, Lehmann W, Hermassi S, Delank KS, Schwesig R. The internal rotation and shift-test for the detection of superior lesions of the rotator cuff: reliability and clinical performance. JSES international. 2022 Feb 18. (Link)

8. Neurodynamics is Effective for CTS (again)

"Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. Neural mobilizations can aid in the reduction of neural edema, neural mobility, and neural adhesion while improving nerve conduction. Splinting is only effective when combined with neurodynamics."

Wise S, Bettleyon J. Neurodynamics Is an Effective Intervention for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 2022 Dec 30;1(aop):1-4. (Link)

9. Chiropractic Rx For the Best Mattress

Existing literature does not provide a definitive evidence-based answer to “What type of mattress is best?” So, your ChiroUp team launched its own research survey to answer that question and found that individual chiropractors endorse different “best” mattresses for their patients.

Assessing the survey responses by subtracting the percent of discouraged (detractors) from the percent of recommended (promoters) generates a net endorsement score for each type of mattress with a possible range of -100 to +100. Not surprisingly, the scores are relatively similar, except for waterbeds which are strongly discouraged by chiropractors.

10. PCPs Ignore LBP Guidelines To Rx SMT

"Low back pain (LBP) clinical practice guidelines recommend referral for patients with persistent LBP however, discordance persists between recommended care and implementation in practice. Referral pathways that align to clinical guideline recommendations for non-surgical management remain underdeveloped."

What does this mean? It means your medical doctor is not using the latest research when giving you advice for treating your low back pain. Simply put, this is not their specialty and they have no superior knowledge about these kinds of injuries. It would be like asking your cardiologist about bowel disease. This is not their area of expertise.

Boyle EM, Evans K, Coates S, Fary RE, Bennell K, Sterling M, Rebbeck T, Beales DJ. Patient experiences of referral practices and primary care physiotherapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2022 Nov 5:1-7. (Link)