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Posted on 05-17-2016

Trying to trim your waistline this spring? Working with your chiropractor could help. A new study demonstrates that chiropractors trained in nutrition and exercise therapies can support patients in achieving their weight loss goals. The study outlined how a chiropractic weight-loss program helped patients lose an average of 15 pounds over the course of 13 weeks.

Although chiropractors are typically thought of as back pain specialists, the're also interested in the overall wellness and health of your body. Losing weight won't just reduce back pain and other musculoskeletal symptoms, it will slash your risk of a number of medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. That's why many chiropractors now incorporate weight loss, nutrition, and exercise counseling into their treatments.

A retrospective study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice examined the results of a weight-loss program facilitated by chiropractors. At the start of program, 30 patients with BMI levels in the obese or overweight range enrolled in the program. Each participant was given specific exercise guidelines and caloric restrictions based on their individuals characteristics. Participants logged their daily activity and caloric levels, and were given informational pamphlets on weight loss. Once per a week, the participants reviewed their exercise and diet logs with a chiropractor who provided them with counseling, advice, and spinal manipulation. 

The average mean weight at the start of the study was 190.46 pounds. Of the 16 patients who completed the program, the ending average weight was 174.94 pounds, or a difference in 15.52 pounds. The patients also had an average decrease in their BMI's of 2.44kg/m2. Both BMI and weight-reduction levels are considered statistically significant.

The researchers emphasized that their study did not assess the effectiveness of weight loss due to chiropractic adjustments alone. Instead, their study evaluated the whole program of chiropractic care which included exercise, nutrition, and individualized counseling.

"It may be that the chiropractors implementing this 13-week program spent more time (when compared [to} general medical practitioners) with their patients and possessed unique qualifications in exercise and nutritional counseling, which may have influenced the outcomes described, " the authors wrote. The findings show that chiropractors could have a meaningful impact on patient weight loss goals.

Reference DeMaria, et al. A weight loss program in a chiropractic practice: a retrospective analysis. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2013.
Written by: Marissa Luck


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