Q:  Chiropractic Treatment and Mood Disorders


Is there any research supporting chiropractic treatments to restore chemical imbalances resulting in mood disorders(bipolar,etc.)?

Dear Debra -- 
None that I am aware of.  I'd be interested in hearing from any reader who knows of any -- as long as the treatment has been tested against a control "placebo" treatment.  That kind of research is difficult to do, so we don't see much of it.  By contrast, "case reports" are easy to generate, so you might find all sorts of reports that this or that "works" for somebody.  What we're looking for is something that clearly works better than the suggestion that something is going to help -- because just that suggestion, especially when it comes along with a good ritual like an office and a procedure and a charge, can help a lot of people, at least for a while.  In most research studies of depression, the "placebo" group gets better in about 25-30% of cases.  What you want is something that works better than that.  That's hard to demonstrate even if there really is something out there that "works" -- look at the www.truehope.com site for example.  They're getting pretty close to showing something, but until their "controlled trial" begun last July is released, and shows the nutritional supplement works better than placebo, I'm going to hold off recommending it to patients (unless they've tried all sorts of other stuff and are pretty desperate, as has been the case for about 5 of my patients, one of whom did try it).  

Dr. Phelps


Published May, 2001