New research and functional MRI show brain changes after adjustments, supporting chiropractor visit frequency. As written by Mark Studin DC September 2, 2022


It has been well-established that chiropractic renders positive outcomes for mechanical spine pain. DeVochet, et al. (2005), reported that 87% of chiropractic patients reported improvement. Leeman, et al. (2014), reported that 95% of chronic pain patients reported improvement. Shokri, et al. (2018), reported that 95% of sacroiliac joints, a primary pain generator in low-back pain, improved with manipulation (chiropractic spinal adjustments or CSA). But new in 2022, Yang, et al., verified through functional MRI (fMRI) that immediate changes in the brain involving pain and emotional and cognitive changes were achieved using CSA, reporting further diminishing chronic low-back pain in all patients, and supporting chiropractor visit frequency and improved results for patients.

Outcomes verified via fMRI

The above outcomes are all related to pain and do not consider the biomechanical changes in the spine that are necessary to “normalize” the pain generators.

These pain generators make up the mechanoreceptors and nociceptors. They are comprised of Pacinian corpuscles, Ruffini corpuscles, Golgi ligament organs, and the nociceptors found in the joint capsule and on the facets. The fMRI changes reported by Yang, et al. (2022), are a direct result of a CSA causing afferent innervation, as reported by Coronado, et al. (2012), from the mechanoreceptors and nociceptors into the lateral horn. According to Montero, et al. (2021), these evoke central sensitization with both primary and secondary hypoalgesia.

Chronic pain mechanisms

The pain mechanisms are a result of biomechanical failures and neurological compromise as described herein, which are a result of joint capsule (ligamentous) subfailures.

Holsgrove, et al. (2016), reported, “Any disruption to the various hard and soft tissue structures of the facet joint has the capacity to elicit pain. The facet capsule and synovial folds are innervated by nociceptive and mechanoreceptive afferents. Pain can result from direct damage of nociceptors but can also be produced indirectly through damage to the mechanoreceptors, which alters feedback and increases neck instability, leading to pain in muscles and/or from muscular contractions” (pg. 1).

Chronic pain indicates a persistent biomechanical failure and a constant firing of the nociceptors and mechanoreceptors to the central nervous system. Chronic neck and low-back pain as reported by Herman, et al. (2021), “usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed” (pg. E62).

Chiropractor visit frequency and better outcomes

Medicine for too long has tried to apply a pharmacological solution to a mechanical problem, with poor outcomes. Cifuentes, et al. (2011), reported that medical management of mechanical spine pain had a 250% increase in disability duration vs. chiropractic care. Herman, et al. (2021), reported that if patients didn’t receive chiropractic care, their pain would have been double.

It was reported by Herman, et al., that 30-60% of patients in the United States with chronic low-back pain have seen a chiropractor, creating an easy “pool” of people to study. These results of studying 2,024 patients indicate that increased chiropractor visit frequency (greater than once weekly) over a three-month period rendered better outcomes. The study also found that adding complementary therapy (i.e., massage, etc.) rendered better functional improvement. It was also found that the more significant the pain initially, the more frequent chiropractic care per week rendered better outcomes.

Chiropractic 444K times safer than surgery

According to Shokri, et al. (2018), “compared to common treatments for lumbar disc herniation, chiropractic care is 37,000 to 148,000 times safer than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 55,000 to 444,000 times safer than surgery.”

Whedon, Mackenzie, Phillips and Lurie (2015) reported on the safety in general of chiropractic patients and based their study on 6,669,603 subjects after the unqualified subjects had been removed from the study, with the total patient number accounting for 24,068,808 office visits. They concluded, “No mechanism by which SM [spinal manipulation] induces injury into normal healthy tissues has been identified” (Whedon, et al., 2015, p. 5). This study supersedes all the rhetoric about chiropractic and stroke and renders an outcome assessment to help guide the triage pattern of mechanical spine patients.

The only ‘first choice’ for spine pain

Chiropractic is safe, creates a mechanical solution for biomechanical pathology, and renders better outcomes when used as clinically indicated.

Should the medical community and insurers read the evidence in the literature, chiropractic isn’t the best “first choice” for mechanical spine pain, it should be the only first choice. There are tools in the industry (i.e., X-ray digitization) that render demonstrative guidance to DCs on where and when to adjust, and when MMI has been attained. These demonstrative tools also give evidence of the biomechanical changes made with a CSA. It is tools like this and others that will help “bridge the knowledge gap” to bring chiropractic to the forefront as a Primary Spine Care Provider.

Chiropractic and Exercise Are Better than Drugs Says New Study

Chronic pain impacts an estimates 76.5 million americans, one-third who describe their pain as severe or disabling (American Pain Foundation, Pain Facts and Stats).

Among them, many suffer from neck pain, which is the third most common type of pain according to the American Pain Foundation.

It is estimated that 70% of people will experience neck pain in their lives but research into effective treatments is surprisingly limited (Annals of Internal Medicine, January 3, 2012).

If you visit a physician for pain there is a good chance you will leave with a perscribition for pain medication. HOWEVER, there are better options than drugs for neck pain, not only in terms of pain relief, but also in helping to treat the underlying cause of the pain so that healing can truly occur.

New Study Shows Exercises and Chiropractice Care Beat Drugs for Neck Pain.

According to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, medication is not the best option for treating neck pain.

After following 272 neck-pain patients for 12 weeks, those who used a chiropractor or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free compared to those who took medication.


  • 32% who received chiropractic care became pain free
  • 30% of those who exercised became pain free
  • 13% of those treated with medication became pain free

Researchers concluded:

"For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT (spinal manipulation therapy) was more effective than medication in both the short term and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA (home exercise with advice) resulted in similar outcomes at most time points."



Emotions are part of the natural, healthy response process we have to virtually every situation we encounter. However, sometimes challenging emotional experiences and physical vulnerabilities create lingering stress in our mind-body architecture. Such stress can contribute to physical complaints, emotional difficulties, and problems with goal achievement. The Neuro Emotional Technique ® (NET) is a powerful inter- vention that can assess and alleviate the internal stressors that are creating barriers to health and success.

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"Dr Kelley has been such a blessing for me since moving to Manhattan Beach. I originally made an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment due to severe back pain I was having. I came back weekly and tried a mix of acupuncture and continued adjustments and I have never felt better! She is so knowledgeable and has a solution for everything. Surprisingly affordable and worth every penny. Dr Kelley has not only worked through my back pain, but also has been a huge help with wisdom teeth removal healing, shin splints, and overall stress relief and inflammation. 10/10."

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Conditions Chiropractic can help:

Allergies Ankle swelling Arm and shoulder pain, numbness tingling Arthritis Asthma Back pain, backache Blood pressure – high or low Bronchial conditions Bursitis Circulation, poor Colitis Colon, spastic Cough, chronic Constipation Diarrhea Disc problems Dizziness (Vertigo) Fatigue, chronic Feet, cold Feminine/female problems Gallbladder disorders Glandular Troubles Hay fever Headaches Hiccoughs Hip pain Impotence Indigestion Injuries – Auto, home, sports, work Insomnia Joint pain Kidney problems Knee pain Leg pain, cramps, tingling, numbness Liver problems Neck pain, stiffness Nervousness Neuralgia Prostate trouble Rheumatism Sciatica Shoulder pain Sinus trouble Sore throat Sports Injuries Stomach problems

Note from Dr. Kelley:
In my years of experience, people have come to me with many types of pain. I have found that pain is not just local, it comes from an imbalance of the spine, spinal curve, posture, and sometimes from the patient’s gait (how someone walks). To get to the root of the problem, I also evaluate the patient’s diet, stress level, medication use, emotional state and their daily activities. In addition, I integrate a Chinese medicine and an acupuncture evaluation. These approaches are a perfect marriage to pain-relief and overall health and well-being.

I prefer manual manipulation (Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy) as my chiropractic therapy of choice which works beautifully right after each acupuncture session.

Above all, I like to meet each patient on his or her comfort level. Acupuncture or chiropractic can be done alone or as a single therapy.