FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2007

Grant Allows Sherman College Researchers to Further Study Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Local Public Safety Personnel

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the South Carolina Chiropractic Association (SCCA) and an on-campus financial commitment of more than $25,000, Sherman College will expand its recent study of the benefits of chiropractic care for local public safety personnel.

With a desire to contribute to the physical and emotional health of its local public service personnel, Sherman College initiated a project in 2004 with ten volunteers, primarily from the North Spartanburg Fire and Emergency Services Central Headquarters. The project, (recently published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research) was designed to gather preliminary data to evaluate the impact of chiropractic care on the physical and self-perceived health of public safety personnel.

Preliminary findings suggest that chiropractic care may play an important role in helping public safety personnel cope with the well-documented stress and physical demands they experience in their careers (see http://www.pearsonassessments.com/resources/publicsafety-bib.htm).

As a group, the ten initial volunteers’ physical assessment outcomes improved significantly. Physical findings included (1) visual postural analysis, (2) cervical range of motion, (3) lumbar range of motion, (4) spinal balance and leg length, (5) orthopedics, (6) motor strength (7) deep tendon reflexes, (8) superficial reflexes and (9) sensory testing. In addition, the volunteers were asked to self-rate areas of their health. Self-rated aspects of health included physical well-being, mental/emotional state, stress management, life enjoyment, overall quality of life and an index of combined wellness representing a total of all of the areas.

Generally speaking, physical assessment outcomes improved among test subjects, and self-rated areas of health/quality-of-life showed improvements as well. The SCCA grant and Sherman College’s own funding will allow researchers to further test the validity of these findings by expanding the study to include 50 volunteers from public safety categories such as fire safety, police at county, city and state levels, 911 personnel and administrators associated with these areas. The study will run for one year. Sherman College will support the project by reducing fees for the volunteers participating in the study and providing specialized supervision for interns documenting relevant clinical information and providing chiropractic care.

Project findings will be correlated with public safety departmental statistics such as effectiveness and efficiency of first responders, injuries, absenteeism, retention and other indicators that reflect aspects of improved human performance and stress management. Progress evaluations will be conducted quarterly to assess volunteers’ progress in the areas described.

“We hope to show through this study that chiropractic care is a beneficial addition to the public sector’s health care regimen,” says Sherman’s Director of Research Ralph Boone, Ph.D., D.C. “This expanded study may even help open the door to future investigations with other populations,” he says. “We really appreciate the support for this project from the SCCA. Their grant allows us to move forward.”

SCCA President Farrel Grossman, D.C., anticipates good outcomes from the SCCA’s involvement with the study. “It is a great pleasure for the South Carolina Chiropractic Association to be involved with our public safety heroes to prove through scientific research the positive effects of chiropractic care,” he says.

The study is titled, “Chiropractic Care and Improvements in Physical State and Self-Perceptions of Health and Quality of Life Among Public Safety Personnel.”

Download the study (PDF)

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