The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a study on December 11, 2012 showing chiropractic improving the quality of life of a patient suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.”
The authors of the study note that medical treatment for CFS is only centered on the alleviation of symptoms while attempting to improve a patient’s quality of life. They also note that since there are no clear indicators or tests for CFS, the diagnosis of CFS is confirmed by ruling out other conditions with the continued presence of the symptoms.
In this study 20 people with CFS were selected to participate. Each was given a chiropractic examination and x-rays. One subject was disqualified due to having a metal plate in her head. Of the 19 remaining subjects 15 were female and 5 were male, with their ages ranging from 18 to 65 years.
The measurement of quality of life for the subjects was accomplished using the SF 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), a standard health questionnaire form with 36 questions used to measure these types of issues and the quality of a persons life related to their health issues. These forms were filled out by participants before care was initiated and then again at the conclusion of the study 6 months later.
Specific chiropractic care was rendered for subluxation of the top vertebrae in the neck, the atlas. The subjects initial SF 36 scores were then compared to the scores of the SF 36 after 6 months and the chiropractic care.
The results showed that the SF 36 scores increased significantly for the test subjects. The General Health component increased from a score of 30.3 prior to chiropractic care to 55.6 after the care. Additionally, the Mental Health scores of the SF 36, rose from 46.4 before chiropractic to 68.6 after care. The results of these measurements showed that there was a dramatic quality of life improvement as measured by the SF 36 test.
The authors noted that the improvement noticed with the subjects continued to show improvement. They commented, “Unlike treatment approaches for some chronic illnesses, where measurable changes recorded immediately after an intervention dwindle or vanish over time, our subjects’ SF-36 scores continued to improve compared to baseline; appreciably at three months, and substantially at six months.”