March 4, 2021

Flipping the Evidence Hierarchy – Why Case Reports Matter for Chiropractic

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, case reports have been taking up an increasing amount of space in journals of late, and our very own Foundation is moving to do some exciting work in this space, too. But with traditional thinking arguing that randomised controlled trials are the gold standard in evidence, it’s a good time to talk about why case reports matter. This just so happens to coincide with a thought-provoking piece authored by chiropractors Rome and Waterhouse, which appeared in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research just last month. In it, they present a well-cited, well-argued point that […]
February 25, 2021

When Back Pain isn’t Just Back Pain: Case Report

A thorough history and examination is always an important aspect of the chiropractic experience. We know what we are looking for, and we know the red flags. But a case report appearing in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association presents a very compelling case for taking note when the symptoms change, or when something just doesn’t feel right. It covers the case of a 53-year-old man who presented to a chiropractor with lower back pain. This in itself was unremarkable. He was an avid golfer, and lower back pain is not uncommon in this group. What makes this case […]
February 17, 2021

Chiropractic, Kids and Quality of Life

When we hear the term “quality of life” it is usually used to describe someone who is aging, frail or in the grip of illness that affects their ability to engage with life in a healthy and vital way. Rarely do we think about quality of life outside of that construct. But perhaps we should, when the tools used to measure quality of life within a research context are actually measuring things like physical and mental wellbeing, social connectedness, daily activities, personal development or personal fulfillment and more. Thus, when some notable chiropractic research names decided to do a little […]
December 16, 2020

Adios 2020! Looking Forward to 2021

Here we are at the end of what may seem like the longest year in modern memory. While it will go down in the history books as the year of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it has been a time of incredible and almost unprecedented activity here at the Australian Spinal Research Foundation. So here, in the last blog post of the year, it seemed like a good time to celebrate this year’s wins and let you know what is to come for us in 2021. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be an exciting year! As our members know, the Australia Spinal […]
December 9, 2020

Trapezius fibre muscle analysis: An examiner reliability pilot study

A recent study appearing in the newly minted “Asia Pacific Chiropractic Journal” has examined the reliability of a particular muscle analysis used in a common chiropractic technique – the Sacro Occipital Technique. The pilot study took a hard look at the evidence-base around work pioneered by chiropractor, Major Bertrand DeJarnette, as far back as 1962. The sacro-occipital technique (SOT) is defined as “a chiropractic technique developed to restore a functional relationship between the head, the pelvis, and the spine – a structure that envelopes and protects our central nervous system [1].” It is known as being gentle method of checking and adjusting the […]
October 2, 2020

Neck Pain and Movement Habits – New Study

A new study undertaken by the University of Newcastle and funded by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation has been published. The study reveals insights into the impacts of neck pain on movement, offering important insights for clinicians. We caught up with Professor Suzanne Snodgrass to talk about it.  The full study, including a full statistical breakdown of findings, can be found here. 
September 18, 2020

Low Back Pain & Opioid Use Reduce Under Care: Case Study

Opioid overuse (or the misuse of certain strong painkillers and other drugs) has long been a public health concern. In fact, in 2018, it was reported that 128 people died every day in the United States because of opioid misuse. Misuse, addiction, healthcare and other associated issues present a massive cost not only in the United States but in other countries across the world. Currently, there isn’t a strong dataset telling us about the prognosis when moving to conservative care after long-term opioid (painkiller) use for the management of a condition. That’s what makes this case report very interesting. The […]
August 7, 2020

Reconnecting the Brain with the Body in Chronic Pain Research

Research into pain and the effect it has on the brain has been greatly informative over recent years, and has deepened our understanding of how chronic pain works. While we have gained greater insight into the role the nervous system plays in pain perception, gaps still remain in other areas of understanding. Such gaps include the connection between the central nervous system and peripheral tissue pathology, especially in relation to chronic musculoskeletal pain. Integration of our current knowledge and findings is the aim of the game here. It is simpler to separate information into different categories and isolate single causes. […]
July 24, 2020

The Impact of Spinal manipulation on Nitric Oxide, Substance P and Pain Perception

Regardless of your preferences in health care, pain management is a complicated topic that researchers remain invested in. Issues like sensitivity to pain, learned responses to pain and of course misuse of pain medication in many cases make it an important and complicated topic. That’s what makes the following study a particularly poignant one: it looked at the impact of spinal manipulation on two biomarkers associated with pain perception and sensitivity. The study of pain sensitivity and perception is an ongoing area and will likely remain so. Previous studies focussing on the effects spinal manipulation can have on pain sensitivity […]
July 17, 2020

Changes in Muscle Spasticity in Patients with Cerebral Palsy After Spinal Manipulation: Case Series

As our understanding of chiropractic care increases, it seems that this same knowledge bank continues to illuminate the ways in which the brain and muscles respond when we check and adjust vertebral subluxations. But can chiropractic care possibly have a positive effect on a person if their muscle control issues stem from something pathological: something, for example, like Cerebral Palsy? It was this issue that an article in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine took on in 2016. It might be four years old, but in research terms, that is still very recent. Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition “caused by […]
July 10, 2020

Manual Therapy and Occupational Health: how chiropractic and other modalities might impact workforce performance

A recent piece published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine has taken a novel look at the potential offerings when it comes to manual therapy modalities and the workforce. Specifically, the study looked at how manual therapy (including spinal manipulation) might impact upon absenteeism and presenteeism in the workforce. While chiropractic research is commonly focused on either the resolution of musculoskeletal disorders or the effects of subluxation on things like strength, balance, mental performance or other brain-based functions, this paper represents an interesting move into the broader potential applications of chiropractic care. Absenteeism is generally defined as employees calling […]
May 22, 2020

Geriatric Chiropractic Care: Case Report Reveals Improvement in Gross Spinal Deformity

For a long time, chiropractors have suggested that chiropractic care may be of benefit right across the age spectrum. The belief has been that, while early intervention is certainly preferable, it is never too late to reap some benefit under chiropractic care. A recent case report seems to have put this idea to the test, with an 87-year old patient presenting for chiropractic care for the first time.  To make the case more interesting, the patient reported low back pain and disability for the last thirty years. This would almost certainly represent subluxations and compensatory patterns that were quite set […]
May 15, 2020

Literature Review Reveals Spinal Manipulation Potential Positive for Parkinson’s

Among the myriad of concerns pertaining to an ageing population is the issue of neurogenerative disorders like Parkinson’s Disease. It is currently estimated that more than 82,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in Australia alone. That number increases exponentially when you include other countries with similar life expectancies and quality health care systems. This represents a huge burden of care and a massive shift in quality of life for sufferers. Alarmingly though, this isn’t something we can blame on an ageing population alone: 18% of Parkinson’s sufferers are of working age. A new study appearing in the Journal of Contemporary […]
May 1, 2020

Chiropractic and Anxiety: an interview with Bruce Steinberg

Dr Bruce Steinberg was the lead author on a recent case series covering five cases of anxiety that improved concomitant with chiropractic care. He sat down with us to talk about it this week, and in true Steinberg style, he managed to pack a lot of gems into a short interview. So here’s the scoop on the latest case series, and an important discussion about chiropractic, mental health, and vagal tone in times of anxiety. 
April 24, 2020

Study Examines Best Measurements for Flat Back Posture

While postural assessments are part of the everyday experience of the working chiropractor, posture is central to functional movement and much more. As the population adapts to changing worlds of work and technology, we have witnessed a significant increase in postural concerns such as forward head posture or cervical kyphosis. Another postural concern is flat back syndrome, and it is this that a recent study took aim at. When we think of an idea spine, we think of a spine with several gentle front to back curves. It’s almost like a lazily drawn “S”. It’s not just about aesthetics either […]
April 17, 2020

New Research Examines Back Pain, Coping Skills and Chiropractic Patients

Its old news that chronic low back pain affects a lot of people and that this number increases with age. It is also an old chiropractic adage that says “the aim of chiropractic is to add years to life and life to years.” But beyond the rhetoric, is there any truth to the saying?  A recent study examined the coping and management techniques of chronic low back pain sufferers under chiropractic care – and the results are in. There is often a perception that individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP) may have become habituated to their condition: that is […]
April 8, 2020

New Case Report Shows Improvement in Anxiety and Cortisol Levels

Measuring cortisol levels in saliva has long been used as a measure for adrenal function (which is an indicator of long term stress on the endocrine system). A recent case report published in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic has followed an interesting case – when a patient presented with neck pain and headaches but left with an improvement in other, non-musculoskeletal symptoms. The premise behind chiropractic is simple: when we nurture the nervous system and ensure it is operating optimally, free of subluxations, then we are setting up the body so that it can adapt, heal and express life as […]
March 30, 2020

New Study Examines Immediate Effects of Lumbar-Pelvic Manipulation on Knee Pain

In recent years, a number of chiropractic-related research studies have indicated that chiropractic care can improve various musculoskeletal conditions just as back and neck pain, and improve joint position sense. The latter is an interesting one: technically, joint position sense is an indicator of proprioception or an accurate sense of where our bodies are in space. Proprioception is important for coordination, falls prevention and even things like motion sickness. Recently, a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies took a look at knee pain in patients with patellofemoral pain – or pain in and around the kneecap. […]