Patients With Depression Improve With Chiropractic
A study in the November 7, 2005 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research finds that patients diagnosed with clinical depression experienced a “highly significant” level of improvement in their depression symptoms after a short round of chiropractic care to correct small misalignments of the spinal bones known as vertebral subluxations.In the study, 15 patients from around the country diagnosed as clinically depressed were put under chiropractic care.
The study subjects were given the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) survey to determine the extent of their depression before and after the chiropractic care.The BDI-II is a questionnaire designed to measure the presence and severity of depression in people 13 or older and is one of the most widely used standards of psychological measures. In the study, specific attention was paid to the first vertebra in the spine, known as the upper cervical (neck) region. The researchers limited their communications with their patient during the procedures to decrease the possibility of placebo effect. No other relaxation or therapeutic methods such as heat or massage were used in order to decrease the number of variables that might affect the outcomes.Before the patients had chiropractic care, the mean BDI-II score was 17.After the chiropractic care, the mean score had decreased to 8 (lower isbetter). 11 of the 15 patients showed marked improvement after care.Commentary: The authors of this study report that historically, the interest in the effect chiropractic care has on mental health started in the 1920’s. Indeed, two chiropractic psychiatric hospitals ran successfully for almost thirty years in Davenport, Iowa. Unfortunately when those hospitals closed in the 1950’s most of the patient records were destroyed. Clinical observations during that time suggested that chiropractic was at least as successful as state psychiatric facilities.Since those early days many studies have reported a connection betweenchiropractic care and improvement in many mental health issues. This study not only adds to that body of information, it also gives rise to the need for further exploration.