J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996 (Jun); 19 (5): 317–323
Bryner P, Staerker PG
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of indigestion and mid-back pain in persons seeking chiropractic care. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey using a self-report questionnaire. SETTING: Three primary care private chiropractic practices in metropolitan Perth, Australia. SUBJECTS: Persons seeking chiropractic care during a 1-month period.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Six-month prevalence of indigestion and mid-back pain, rate of association between indigestion and mid-back pain, and distribution of thoracic dysfunction and manipulation. Proportion who report relief from manipulation.
OBSERVATIONS: Of 1567 persons who consulted 8 chiropractors on 2974 occasions during November 1994, 1494 responses were obtained. There were 119 first-time consultations. The mean age of respondents was 41 yr (range 10-94); 57% were women. Fifty-seven percent reported indigestion infrequently or more and 71% reported mid-back pain during the previous 6 months. Forty-six percent experienced both symptoms during this time. Of these, 36% reported the symptoms together at some time. Twenty-two percent of those with indigestion reported some relief after chiropractic care. Compared with those reporting no relief, mid-back pain was more common among those reporting indigestion. The level at which the manipulation was given was unrelated to relief. No major differences were noted between the three clinics in patient demographics or the main outcome measures.
CONCLUSIONS: Indigestion and mid-back pain are commonly experienced in this population. A person with indigestion is more likely to report mid-back pain. Relief of indigestion by manipulation is more common among those who report mid-back pain. Further research is needed to understand differences between subgroups and differences compared with other studies.