Wilson & Allen
Health and Chiropractic Literature
"Up to 2 million people
are hospitalized and
140,000 die each year
from side effects or
reactions to
prescription drugs,
says a report based
on Food and Drug
Administration data."

USA Today, January 3
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considered to have "functional,” (non-ulcerous) dyspepsia.

In this study, the authors sought to determine whether dyspepsia is commonly encountered in the chiropractic
setting; the chiropractic procedures used by DCs to address the condition; and if DCs perceived that their
care was effective in treating the condition. Researchers sent an electronic survey and explanatory note to
621 members of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia. Participants were asked to estimate how often
patients with dyspepsia were seen in their clinics; to specify which techniques they used most frequently for
dyspepsia patients (including specific vertebral levels adjusted); and to rate their perceived effectiveness in
the management of dyspepsia. The chiropractors were given 10 days to complete and return the

Results: Data drawn from the 66 surveys received (11.8% of those originally e-mailed) showed that the most
common method of dyspepsia management was adjustment of the thoracic spine (91%), followed by nutritional
advice (74%), cervical adjustment (68%), visceral manipulation (55%) and soft tissue work/mobilization (52%).
Recommendation of herbal/homeopathic remedies, pelvic adjustments and lumbar adjustments were all used
less than 50% of the time.

More than 30 "brand name" techniques were employed by chiropractors in the management of dyspeptic
patients. The most commonly used techniques were Sacro-Occipital Technique (41%), Activator Methods
(36%), applied kinesiology (32%), relaxation techniques (30%), and cranial techniques and Terminal Point
Technique (27% each). Overall, chiropractors considered their methods effective in the management of
dyspepsia. Ninety-five percent of the respondents rated chiropractic management "very effective" or
"moderately effective." Only 5% considered chiropractic management "mildly effective."

The researchers concluded that their findings, particularly those related to the effectiveness of chiropractic in
the treatment, provide grounds for "further investigation in the form of randomized, controlled clinical trials."
They added, "Further research into the efficacy of individual methods used, as well as details of those
specified only in broad terms, would be interesting."

While this study illuminates some interesting associations between dyspepsia and chiropractic care, readers
should be aware that a response rate of 60% or more is generally accepted as the standard for a survey to
provide valid data.

Love Z, Bull P. Management of dyspepsia: a chiropractic perspective. Chiropractic Journal of Australia June
2003:3(2), pp57-63.