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Chiropractic in the United States Military Health System: A 25th-Anniversary Celebration of the Early Years

By |February 5, 2022|Nonpharmacologic Therapies, Veterans|

Chiropractic in the United States Military Health System: A 25th-Anniversary Celebration of the Early Years

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Chiropractic Humanities 2020 (Dec); 27: 37-58

Bart N.Green DC, MSEd, PhD, Scott R.Gilford DC, Richard F.Beacham DC

Employer Based Integrated Primary Care Health Centers,
Stanford Health Care,
San Diego, California



Objective   The purpose of this report is to record noteworthy events that occurred during the early years of chiropractic in the United States Military Health System (MHS).

Methods   We used mixed methods to create this historical account, including documents, artifacts, research papers, and reports from personal experiences.

Results   Chiropractic care was first included in the MHS in 1995, after years of legislative activity. The initial program was a 3-year study of the feasibility and advisability of integrating chiropractic in the MHS. This period was called the Chiropractic Health Care Demonstration Project; 20 pioneering chiropractors began their MHS journeys at 10 military bases in fiscal year 1995. The Demonstration Project was extended for 2 more years to gather research data, and 3 additional military facilities were added during those years to accomplish that purpose. The Demonstration Project concluded in 1999. In 2000, Congress approved the development of permanent chiropractic services and benefits for members of the uniformed services. These new clinics opened in 2002.

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Health-related Quality of Life Among United States Service Members with Low Back Pain Receiving Usual Care plus Chiropractic Care plus Usual Care vs Usual Care Alone

By |January 29, 2022|Nonpharmacologic Therapies, Veterans|

Health-related Quality of Life Among United States Service Members with Low Back Pain Receiving Usual Care plus Chiropractic Care plus Usual Care vs Usual Care Alone

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Pain Medicine 2022 (Jan 21); pnac009 [EPUB]

UCLA Department of Medicine,
Los Angeles, CA.

Department of Epidemiology,
University of Iowa,
Iowa City, IA.



Objective:   This study examines Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS®)-29 v1.0 outcomes of chiropractic care in a multi-site, pragmatic clinical trial and compares the PROMIS measures to: 1) worst pain intensity from a numerical pain rating 0-10 scale, 2) 24-item Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ); and 3) global improvement (modified visual analog scale).


Design:   A pragmatic, prospective, multisite, parallel-group comparative effectiveness clinical trial comparing usual medical care (UMC) with UMC plus chiropractic care (UMC+CC).

Setting:   3 military treatment facilities.

Subjects:   750 active-duty military personnel with low back pain.

Methods:   Linear mixed effects regression models estimated the treatment group differences. Coefficient of repeatability to estimate significant individual change.

Results:   We found statistically significant mean group differences favoring UMC+CC for all PROMIS®-29 scales and the RMDQ score. Area under the curve estimates for global improvement for the PROMIS®-29 scales and the RMDQ, ranged from 0.79 to 0.83.

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NON-PHARMACOLOGIC THERAPY Section and the:

CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR VETERANS Section

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Care Outcomes for Chiropractic Outpatient Veterans (COCOV): A Qualitative Study with Veteran Stakeholders From a Pilot Trial of Multimodal Chiropractic Care

By |January 18, 2022|Chiropractic Management, Cost-Effectiveness, Veterans|

Care Outcomes for Chiropractic Outpatient Veterans (COCOV): A Qualitative Study with Veteran Stakeholders From a Pilot Trial of Multimodal Chiropractic Care

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Pilot Feasibility Stud 2022 (Jan 14); 8 (1): 6

Stacie A. Salsbury, Elissa Twist, Robert B. Wallace, Robert D. Vining, Christine M. Goertz & Cynthia R. Long

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
Palmer College of Chiropractic,
741 Brady Street,
Davenport, Iowa, 52803, USA.



Background:   Low back pain (LBP) is common among military veterans seeking treatment in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare facilities. As chiropractic services within VA expand, well-designed pragmatic trials and implementation studies are needed to assess clinical effectiveness and program uptake. This study evaluated veteran stakeholder perceptions of the feasibility and acceptability of care delivery and research processes in a pilot trial of multimodal chiropractic care for chronic LBP.

Methods:   The qualitative study was completed within a mixed-method, single-arm, pragmatic, pilot clinical trial of chiropractic care for LBP conducted in VA chiropractic clinics. Study coordinators completed semi-structured, in person or telephone interviews with veterans near the end of the 10–week trial. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative content analysis using a directed approach explored salient themes related to trial implementation and delivery of chiropractic services.

Results:   Of 40 participants, 24 completed interviews (60% response; 67% male gender; mean age 51.7 years). Overall, participants considered the trial protocol and procedures feasible and reported that the chiropractic care and recruitment methods were acceptable. Findings were organized into 4 domains, 10 themes, and 21 subthemes. Chiropractic service delivery domain encompassed 3 themes/8 subthemes: scheduling process (limited clinic hours, scheduling future appointments, attendance barriers); treatment frequency (treatment sufficient for LBP complaint, more/less frequent treatments); and chiropractic clinic considerations (hire more chiropractors, including female chiropractors; chiropractic clinic environment; patient-centered treatment visits). Outcome measures domain comprised 3 themes/4 subthemes: questionnaire burden (low burden vs. time-consuming or repetitive); relevance (items relevant for LBP study); and timing and individualization of measures (questionnaire timing relative to symptoms, personalized approach to outcomes measures). The online data collection domain included 2 themes/4 subthemes: user concerns (little difficulty vs. form challenges, required computer skills); and technology issues (computer/internet access, junk mail). Clinical trial planning domain included 2 themes/5 subthemes: participant recruitment (altruistic service by veterans, awareness of chiropractic availability, financial compensation); and communication methods (preferences, potential barriers).

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Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance in Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel with Low Back Pain

By |July 30, 2020|Low Back Pain, Veterans|

Effects of Chiropractic Care on Strength, Balance, and Endurance in Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel with Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Altern Complement Med 2020 (Jul)

Robert Vining, Cynthia R. Long, Amy Minkalis, M. Ram Gudavalli, Ting Xia, Joan Walter, Ian Coulter, and Christine M. Goertz

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
Palmer College of Chiropractic,
Davenport, IA, USA.


Objectives:   To investigate whether chiropractic care influences strength, balance, and/or endurance in active-duty United States military personnel with low back pain (LBP).

Design:   This study employed a prospective randomized controlled trial using a pragmatic treatment approach. Participants were randomly allocated to 4 weeks of chiropractic care or to a wait-list control. Interventions: Chiropractic care consisted of spinal manipulation, education, advice, and reassurance.

Settings/Location:   Naval Air Technical Training Center branch clinic at the Naval Hospital Pensacola Florida.

Subjects:   One hundred ten active-duty military personnel 18-40 years of age with self-reported LBP.

Outcome measures:   Isometric pulling strength from a semisquat position was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes were single-leg balance with eyes open and eyes closed, and trunk muscle endurance using the Biering-Sorensen test. Patient-reported outcomes such as pain severity and disability were also measured. Outcomes were measured at baseline and 4 weeks. Linear mixed-effects regression models over baseline and 4 weeks were used for analysis.

Results:   Participants had mean age of 30 years (18-40), 17% were female, 33% were non-white, and 86% reported chronic LBP.

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Chiropractic Care Works for Troops with Lower Back Pain

By |September 19, 2019|Veterans|

Chiropractic Care Works for Troops with Lower Back Pain, But Not Everyone Can Access It

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Military.com ~ 16 Sep 2019

By Patricia Kime

Military.com


A decade after being asked to study how chiropractic care may increase fitness among troops with lower back pain, the Defense Department has submitted its report to Congress.

The answer? It works.

But service members still shouldn’t expect the treatment to be available at every military health facility.

And as for military family members, retirees and their families, the benefit, along with other alternative therapies, remains uncovered by Tricare.

Earlier this month, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs James Stewart sent a final report to Congress (PDF) on three clinical trials conducted in the last 10 years at military health facilities by Rand Corp., Palmer College of Chiropractic and the Samueli Institute to determine whether chiropractic care can ease lower back pain in troops, help service members stop smoking and increase readiness.


Related:   Does Tricare Cover Chiropractic Care?


The $7.5 million study was ordered under the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on Oct. 28, 2009. According to the report released Sept. 6, the trials showed some positive results.

The first clinical trial, to determine whether chiropractic care reduced pain and helped troops stop smoking, showed statistically significant improvement for service members with back pain who received chiropractic care alongside regular medical care.

The second trial, to test whether chiropractic care had any effect on the reaction and response times of special operations troops, showed that a single session had an immediate effect on motor response.

But the trials also found that chiropractic care had no real influence on smoking cessation, nor did the acceleration of response time among special operators last after the initial effect.

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Use of Non-Pharmacological Pain Treatment Modalities

By |May 6, 2019|Spinal Pain, Veterans|

Use of Non-Pharmacological Pain Treatment Modalities Among Veterans with Chronic Pain:

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   J Gen Intern Med. 2018 (May); 33 (Sup 1): 54–60

Sara N. Edmond, Ph.D., William C. Becker, M.D., Mary A. Driscoll, Ph.D., Suzanne E. Decker, Ph.D., Diana M. Higgins, Ph.D., Kristin M. Mattocks, Ph.D., M.P.H., Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D., and Sally G. Haskell, M.D.

Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center/11ACSLG,
VA Connecticut Healthcare System,
950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT, 06516, USA.


BACKGROUND:   Despite strong evidence for the effectiveness of non-pharmacological pain treatment modalities (NPMs), little is known about the prevalence or correlates of NPM use.

OBJECTIVE:   This study examined rates and correlates of NPM use in a sample of veterans who served during recent conflicts.

DESIGN:   We examined rates and demographic and clinical correlates of self-reported NPM use (operationalized as psychological/behavioral therapies, exercise/movement therapies, and manual therapies). We calculated descriptive statistics and examined bivariate associations and multivariable associations using logistic regression.

PARTICIPANTS:   Participants were 460 veterans endorsing pain lasting ≥ 3 months who completed the baseline survey of the Women Veterans Cohort Study (response rate 7.7%.

MAIN MEASURES:   Outcome was self-reported use of NPMs in the past 12 months.

KEY RESULTS:   Veterans were 33.76 years old (SD = 10.72), 56.3% female, and 80.2% White. Regarding NPM use,

22.6%   reported using psychological/behavioral,
50.9%   used exercise/movement and
51.7%   used manual therapies.

Veterans with a college degree (vs. no degree; OR = 2.51, 95% CI = 1.46, 4.30, p = 0.001) or those with worse mental health symptoms (OR = 2.88, 95% CI = 2.11, 3.93, p < 0.001) were more likely to use psychological/behavioral therapies.

Veterans who were female (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.43, 0.93, p = 0.02) or who used non-opioid pain medications (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.146, 2.84, p = 0.009) were more likely to use exercise/movement therapies.

Veterans who were non-White (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.5, 0.94, p = 0.03), with greater educational attainment (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.42, 3.15, p < 0.001), or who used non-opioid pain medication (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.09, 2.68, p = 0.02) were more likely to use manual therapies.

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