Scientists have studied the effectiveness of chiropractic care for different types of pain for many years.
Lower back pain The most promising research is in low back pain, which has shown spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) to be as effective as other common therapies, such as exercise therapy, standard medical care, or physical therapy.
Systematic reviews have shown that chiropractic therapy significantly reduces chronic low back pain and disability compared to other active therapies for at least six months;
is effective for both acute and chronic low back pain when used in conjunction with other interventions such as self-management counseling and exercise;
and has similar effects on short-term pain relief as other recommended therapies, but slightly better improvement in function.
Migraine symptoms, cervicogenic headache Low back pain is not the only type of pain for which chiropractic therapy is effective. Some reviews have found that chiropractic care improves episodic and chronic migraines and cervicogenic headaches (pain on the side of the head or face),
and it can reduce pain and migraine days.
neck pain There is also evidence that chiropractic care treats neck pain. A study found that TMS is more effective than short-term and long-term medications in treating acute and subacute pain,
and a review of the literature found weak evidence that spinal manipulation provides short-term relief from acute or chronic neck pain.
Research also shows that patients, at least, seem to be satisfied with their care.
Sciatica Additional research suggests that spinal manipulation may help with sciatica (pain associated with the sciatic nerve).