Dynamic Chiropractic – August 26, 2012, Vol. 30, Issue 18

dynamicchiropractic.com >> Health & Wellness

The Chiropractic Difference

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

There is more to living a chiropractic lifestyle than having a fully functioning spine. There are health benefits provided by chiropractic care that go beyond what is currently known through research.

You see this in your office every day. I know it in my life as the son and grandson of chiropractors. My family sees it in their lives year in and year out.

While research is still trying to catch up with clinical experience, we have other ways to measure how chiropractic affects health beyond the spine. In a previous article, I suggested we conduct a survey of chiropractic patients to see if we could demonstrate (at least through a nonscientific method) that people who enjoy consistent chiropractic care are healthier overall than people who don't visit a chiropractor.1 Unfortunately, we weren't able to get enough DCs interested in volunteering their patients to participate in the survey. This is understandable given patient confidentiality, HIPAA, etc.

Instead, we surveyed DCs to see if they enjoy better health with chiropractic. Our metrics for this survey included fewer sick days, better sleep and more exercise than the general population - three variables generally regarded as among the more relevant when assessing quality of life / health. (See tables showing results of all three survey questions compared to the general population.)

As you can see from just three measurements, people who maintain their health through consistent chiropractic care generally enjoy more sleep, more exercise and fewer sick days. And while this survey does not meet the requirements to be scientifically valid, it does reinforce the potential for chiropractic to play a much larger role in the health of Americans and people everywhere.

Chiropractic remains the primary profession focused on wellness. This is something we need to keep reminding our patients - and the world.

Percentage of People Who Sleep 7 Hours or Less Per Night2

Age General U.S. Population U.S. DCs
25–34 39.4% 21.6%
35–44 39.3% 24.5%
45–54 39.0% 35%
55–64 34.2% 29.7%
≥65 24.5% 29.8%

Percentage of People Who Exercise at Various Levels3

Gender High Activity Medium Activity Low Activity Sedentary Activity
U.S. Women 27% 13% 24% 36%
DC Women 31.2% 37.6% 22% 9.2%
U.S. Men 31% 21% 20% 28%
DC Men 39.4% 23.9 21.1% 15.7%

Average Number of Sick Days by Employment Category4

Category U.S. Employee DC Employee
Salaried Exempt 3.8 days <1 day
Salaried Non-Exempt 5.6 days 1.1 days
Non-Union hourly 4.8 days .76 day
Union Hourly 5.5 days N/A


  1. Petersen Jr D. "Demonstrating a Better Quality of Life With Chiropractic." Dynamic Chiropractic, May 20, 2012.
  2. "Unhealthy Sleep-Related Behaviors - 12 States, 2009." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 4, 2011;60(8).
  3. Brooks DJ. "Ms. Couch Potato? Gender and Exercise" (reporting on the results of a Gallup Poll). Jan. 28, 2003.
  4. "Leave of Absence Benefits Among Private-Sector Employers Paid Holiday, Vacation, and Sick Leave." Employee Benefit Research Institute. July 2000.

Read more findings on my blog: http://blog.toyourhealth.com/wrblog/. You can also visit me on Facebook.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.


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