Design: Prospective, sequential, longitudinal pilot cohort study using a structured questionnaire to determine pre- and post-treatment outcomes.
Setting: Private chiropractic clinic in south-west England.
Subjects: Eighty-three consecutive patients presenting to the clinic who confirmed the presence of pain of digestive origin in the central chest or epigastric area of greater than 2-years duration.
Intervention: Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy and adjunctive soft tissue modalities.
Results: Patients showed an improvement in the severity (P < 0.001) and frequency of their symptoms (P < 0.001) without any reported adverse events. Thirty-seven of 83 patients were able to downgrade their medication (P < 0.001) suggesting a possible saving in healthcare costs.
Conclusion: Patients with chronic idiopathic dyspepsia may benefit from conservative chiropractic management in terms of decreased symptom frequency and severity over a 3-month period and dependence on palliative pharmacological interventions. The pilot study offers scope for a larger controlled trial to investigate efficacy.
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