The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published the results of a study on June 12, 2020, showing that chiropractic care was able to cause an increase in strength, endurance, and balance in active duty military personal participating in this study.
A number of studies have shown that benefits of chiropractic care for military personnel. Physical ailments are common in the military due to the active nature of training and activities. Numerous studies have shown a high degree of satisfaction among military personnel who undergo chiropractic care.
Legislation in the U.S. established chiropractic care at many military facilities, thus making chiropractic more available than in the past to those serving in the armed forces. One large study published on May 18, 2018, in the JAMA Network Open under Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation showed that adding chiropractic to standard medical care gave superior results for lower back pain than just standard medical care among active U.S. military personnel.
This controlled trial study was designed to see if chiropractic had an effect on strength, balance, and/or endurance in active-duty United States military personnel 18–40 years of age with low back pain. In this study, 4 weeks of chiropractic care was given to 110 active-duty military personnel who were suffering with lower back pain.
The chiropractic care rendered to the participants in this study consisted of spinal adjustments (referred to as manipulation in this study), education, advice, and reassurance. All the care was rendered at the Naval Air Technical Training Center branch clinic at the Naval Hospital Pensacola Florida.
To measure strength, the participants were asked to do isometric pulling from a semisquat position. Balance was tested by having participants perform a single-leg balance with eyes open and eyes closed. Endurance was measured by a test called the Biering–Sorensen test. This test requires the participant to lie face down on a table with the top half of their body extending over the table. They are then tested to see how long they can keep extended straight out from the table using their torso muscles. These tests were performed initially, and after four weeks of chiropractic care.
The results showed that there was a statistical improvement in strength and endurance for the group after chiropractic care as compared to their initial testing. Balanced was improved after chiropractic with the eyes closed, but no statistical difference was seen when the eyes were kept open. The participants also saw improvement in lower back pain (LBP) and disability due to the chiropractic care.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “Active-duty military personnel receiving chiropractic care exhibited improved strength and endurance, as well as reduced LBP intensity and disability, compared with a wait-list control.”