An interesting study was published on August 29, 2012, in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, that studied the usage of chiropractic by people suffering from arthritis. What made this study interestingly different is that it looked at the chiropractic usage of people in rural areas compared to those in nonrural areas.
The authors of the study begin by noting that, “Arthritis is considered the leading cause of disability among adults in the United States today and contributes substantially to the rising cost of health care.” They also note that in the years 2007 and 2008 it was reported that just over 20% of adults were diagnosed with arthritis.
The study authors also note that between 6% to 12% of the population currently uses chiropractic care. These people primarily seek chiropractic for musculoskeletal problems. As expected, those in rural communities reported more joint pain than those living in nonrural areas.
The study points out that there was a significant difference in chiropractic usage between people in rural areas as compared with those in nonrural areas. Those with arthritis in rural areas utilized chiropractic care at nearly twice the rate of those not in rural areas in spite of the fact that chiropractic was more readily available in the nonrural areas.
People with arthritis who lived in rural areas sought chiropractic care at nearly twice the rate that their nonrural counterparts did. Additionally, people living in rural areas who had arthritis and did not seek chiropractic care rated their health much more often as either fair or poor. In comparison, those in rural areas who utilized chiropractic care experienced better health outcomes, and rated their health as much higher, averaging excellent or very good.