This white paper discusses the significance of the 2017 study published in the Journal of Spine called “The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults: Results From the 2012 National Health Interview Survey”.


In the United States, chiropractic is the third largest primary healthcare profession, surpassed in numbers only by physicians and dentists. It is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative healthcare professions. The profession of chiropractic has withstood many challenges through its early days. And even today while many obstacles still exist, chiropractic has continued to thrive for one main reason. That reason is results. Chiropractic delivers results to people of all ages by seeking to get to the underlying cause of problems. This research looked at the current motives, results, and influence that chiropractic care has on people in North America today. The findings were as follows:

  • The aim of this study was to investigate the lifetime and 12-month prevalence, patterns, and predictors of chiropractic utilization in the US general population.
  • There is a growing trend of chiropractic use among US adults from 2002 to 2012.
  • 55 million adults in the US have been to a chiropractor.
  • 19 million adults in the US have consulted a chiropractor within the previous 12 months.
  • Percentage of adults that used chiropractic in their lifetime was 24%. Percentage of adults that use chiropractic in the past year was 8%.

The most common reported use of Chiropractic:

  • General wellness or general disease prevention (43%)
  • To improve energy (16%)
  • To improve athletic or sports performance (15%)
  • To improve immune function (11%)
  • To improve memory and concentration (5%)

***Starting under Chiropractic care was also shown to help patients: exercise more regularly, eat healthier, cut back or stop smoking, eat more organic food, and cut back or stop drinking alcohol.

Chiropractic was shown to:

  • Improve overall health and feel better in 67%
  • Help to sleep better in 42% ▪ Reduce stress levels in 40%
  • Easier to cope with health problems in 38%
  • Give a sense of control over health in 32%
  • Help to feel better emotionally in 27%
  • Improved attendance at job or school in 17%
  • Improved relationships with others in 13%

Specific health problems chiropractic is used for:

  • Back pain or back problems in 63%
  • Neck pain and neck problems in 30%
  • Joint pain or stiffness in 14%
  • Muscle or bone pain in 9%
  • Severe headache or migraine’s in 5%
  • Arthritis in 5%
  • Chronic pain in 4%

***Chiropractic was reported to help for specific health problems a “great deal” in 65% of the cases and only 3% reported that it did not help at all.

Chiropractic care was most utilized for reasons as follows:

  • 65% reported that chiropractic combined with medical treatment helped best
  • 62% reported that it treats the cause and not just the symptoms.
  • 38% said because it is natural.
  • 34% said because medical treatments do not work for their specific health problem.
  • 25% said that it focuses on the whole person, mind, body, and spirit.
  • 18% said because medications cause side effects.
  • 11% said because it was part of their upbringing.
  • 6% said because medical treatments were too expensive.

Chiropractic has become a significant healthcare option to improve many aspects of health, performance, and function, while reducing the necessity of drug use. Formerly known mostly as an aid in the alleviation of neck or back pain, chiropractic now continues to offer much-needed solutions that get to the cause of problems instead of treating the symptoms. From families who are looking to avoid illness, maximize their health, or reach a greater potential, to athletes singularly focused on improving performance, Chiropractic can help. Recent trends show an affinity for drugless healthcare solutions interest younger families more than any other time in recent history. Chiropractic will continue to play an important role with helping men, women, and children achieve the health and life they deserve.

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