Methods: Data was drawn from published peer-reviewed literature 1995 to 2006 located from searches of PubMed, CINAHL, and ICL electronic databases, Australian Bureau of Statistics 1995 Health survey, and original data from a case series study.
Results: SF-36 data analysed indicates that patients with spinal disorders have significant reductions in self-reported health status as measured by the SF-36 survey, particularly for physical domains The health status of these patients is similar or worse than for many other disease conditions such as cancer and AIDS. The presence of comorbidities, such as smoking, obesity, active compensation and other disease conditions, further decrease the health status of these patients. Studies on chiropractic spinal patients demonstrate similar results and suggest that chiropractic manipulation is effective in increasing their perceived health status.
Conclusions: Spinal conditions cause a significant lowering of health status, which is exacerbated by the presence of comorbidities. When treating patients with spinal conditions, health practitioners, including chiropractors, need to be aware of the impact of spinal condition upon quality of life, and management of these patients should take this into account. There is a significant negative effect of factors often associated with wellness management, such as smoking, obesity, hypertension and nutrition. This indicates a strong need for practitioners to assess and manage these factors in order to achieve optimal health for their patients.
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