Western State Chiropractic College Research Department Embarks on Three New Studies

PORTLAND, Ore., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The efficacy of chiropractic treatment for acute/chronic low back pain and certain types of persistent headaches is well established. The research faculty at Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC) has made a substantial contribution to the current understanding of the therapeutic effectiveness of chiropractic care for the treatment of both acute and chronic low back pain.

During the past 20 years, the WSCC Research Department has successfully acquired national research funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources. In fact, Western States Chiropractic College was the first chiropractic college ever to receive a federally funded research grant.

Western States Chiropractic College has the distinction of being part of three research centers funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine through the National Institutes of Health (NCCAM/NIH). In addition, Dr. Mitch Haas, the Dean of Research, is currently the principal investigator of several studies funded by the three Centers: the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders (housed at OHSU), the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Craniofacial Disorders (housed at Kaiser's Center for Health Research) and the Consortial Center for Chiropractic Research (housed at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa).

The Research Department is presently conducting three studies. Two of the studies address the question of how the frequency of chiropractic treatments affects the overall outcome of the therapy regimen. In particular, study participants with chronic low back pain or cervicogenic headaches, i.e. headaches with accompanying neck pain, are assigned to one of four treatment groups. The study participants receive either 1, 2, 3 or 4 chiropractic treatments per week for a period of three weeks. Four and twelve weeks after the treatment regimen, the study participants assess their relief of pain, and accompanying disruption of their daily activities, relative to the beginning of the treatment. The knowledge gained from these types of studies will enable chiropractors to schedule the optimal number of treatments to effectively treat chronic pain sufferers.

The third study currently underway involves a chiropractic diagnostic technique. The purpose of the study is to assess the usefulness of a diagnostic technique known as "end-play palpation" in targeting a spinal manipulation to a specific region of the spine. The goal of this type of study is to provide chiropractors with specific evidence to support the use a particular diagnostic technique.

In May, a large study will begin that involves the over-60 crowd who suffer from chronic low back pain. Half of the study participants will be drawn from the African-American Community. This study will focus more on learning to manage chronic pain and, in doing so, minimize the impact on one's daily life. These highly interactive 6-week group sessions will be conducted within the local communities. While this initial study will not include chiropractic treatment, it will provide information on which to base subsequent studies that integrate chiropractic care with self-management of chronic low back pain.

Western States Chiropractic College was established in 1904 and is renowned for its evidence-based curriculum and its dedication to academic excellence. Students at Western States Chiropractic College consistently score higher than the national average on their NCBE Board Exams. For further information, please visit our web site at www.wschiro.edu