This blinded, randomized study of 31 patients aged 18-44 who were all on bronchodilators and/or inhaled steroids was conducted at the National University Hospital's Out-patient Clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. They received either sham or real manipulations. Interestingly, non-specific bronchial hyperreactivity (n-BR) improved by 36% and patient rated asthma severity decreased by 34% in both groups.
From the abstract: "The results do not support the hypothesis that chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is superior to sham spinal manipulation in the management of pharmaceutically controlled chronic asthma in adults when administered twice weekly for 4 weeks."
Dr. Koren's comment: These conclusions appear at variance with over a hundred years of clinical observation of chiropractic's effectiveness with asthmatics. Upon study of the paper, we notice a number of weakness: subjects were all adults on medication for years. Medication was continued during the course of spinal adjustment. A total of 8 adjustments (2x per week) were performed. So this paper shows that adult asthma sufferers, who are full of meds get as much relief as sham adjustments after 8 "manipulations." Perhaps the sham manipulation was more manipulation than sham? Perhaps the technique used was defective or not specific enough for asthmatic sufferers? Further, many asthmatic sufferers in the real world discontinue or decrease their medications under chiropractic care. In this hospital study that was not permitted as part of the protocol. This research was poorly designed and not worthy of the term chiropractic research.
Nielsen NH, Bronfort G, Bendix T et al Clin Exp Allergy. 1995 (Jan);25 (1): 80-88