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There is some evidence, though more research is needed, that you may see an improvement in some types of:• asthma• headaches, including migraine and• infant colic
Brønfort concluded in 1997 that there is moderate evidence (Level B) that SMT is a non-efficacious therapy for chronic to moderately severe asthma in adults. There was insufficient data (Level D) to draw conclusions about the efficacy of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for other respiratory diseases (including childhood asthma)
In 2001, Brønfort et al ( see c. below) concluded that after three months of combining chiropractic SMT with optimal medical management for childhood asthma, the children rated their quality of life substantially higher and their asthma severity substantially lower. The observed improvements were thought unlikely to be as a result of the specific effects of chiropractic SMT alone, but other aspects of the clinical encounter that should not be dismissed readily.
The results do not support the hypothesis that chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is superior to sham spinal manipulation in the management of pharmaceutically controlled chronic asthma in adults when administered twice weekly for 4 weeks.
In children with mild or moderate asthma, the addition of chiropractic spinal manipulation to usual medical care provided no benefit.
Systematic reviews often conclude that ‘‘more evidence is needed’’. In this particular instance, however, I am not convinced that more studies of spinal manipulation should be funded with public money. The current evidence is clearly not positive, not even encouraging. If clinicians or organisations nevertheless imply (as they do) that spinal manipulation is an effective therapy for asthma, the onus is on them to fund, conduct and publish rigorous trials that demonstrate this claim to be true.