By Dr. Christopher Kent

A recent article in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR) is must reading for all subluxationcentered chiropractors. Doctors of chiropractic who provide lifetime wellness care are sometimes criticized for providing services to asymptomatic patients. It is sometimes alleged that there is no evidence to support such care.

The falsity of this premise is thoroughly debunked by Dr. Sean M. Hannon’s excellent paper, “Objective Physiologic Changes and Associated Health Benefits of Chiropractic adjustments in Asymptomatic Subjects: A Review of the Literature” (JVSR, April 26, 2004).

Among the findings reported:

Part 1: Objective Physiologic Changes in Asymptomatic Patients.

Changes are reported affecting improvements in ranges of motion, muscle strength, surface EMG, immunological responses, betaendorphin levels, blood pressure, papillary cycle time, heart rate variability, and spirometry.

Significant changes were also reported in studies assessing agility, balance, kinesthetic perception, power, and speed reaction in asymptomatic athletes. Another study reported significant improvement in the performance of a group of male college athletes.

Part 2: Objective Physiologic Changes in Subjects without Mention of Symptomatic Presentation.

These studies measured improvements in physiological function, without mention of symptoms or pathology. As Hannon noted, “The primary focus of these studies was…to demonstrate the objective physiologic changes of chiropractic adjustment and any subsequent health benefit.”

Studies were cited reporting improvements in neurocognitive function, visual field blind spot analysis, overall dance performance, visual acuity, salivary cortisol levels, muscle strength, healthrelated behaviors, and savings in health care costs.

Part 3: Objective Physiologic Changes in Subjects Presenting with Symptoms or Pathology.

Hannon has selected a sampling of papers that involve persons with specific conditions or pathologies. These studies report health benefits, including increases in immunoglobulins IgA, IgG, and IgM, improved CE4 cell counts in HIV+ subjects, decreased triglyceride levels, decreased blood pressure in persons with elevated BP, improved cardiac function, and remission of duodenal ulcers confirmed by endoscopy.

Hannon concludes, “Data reviewed in this article lend strong support to the popular contention that chiropractic adjustments, for the purpose of correcting subluxations, confer health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.”

This article provides the references you need if challenged by individuals claiming that there is no scientific evidence to support chiropractic care for asymptomatic persons. The abstract may be read free, and the article downloaded by paid subscribers at

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