Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ December 11, 2012 ~ Pages 92-99
Introduction: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has an elusive diagnosis and etiology. Treatment
focuses on alleviation of symptoms and improving a patient’s quality of life. The primary
objective was to observe and record changes in health related quality of life (HRQoL), before
and after a National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) Atlas correction, using
the SF 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36).
Methods: Nineteen subjects diagnosed as having CFS according to the 1994 Center of Disease
Control (CDC) diagnostic criteria were studied. Patients who were fatigued six (6) or more
months and who met four (4) or more diagnostic criteria were evaluated for study inclusion. Data
and study administration were conducted using a practice based research protocol. Patients
were monitored for a period of six months to insure Atlas alignment was maintained and then
retested with the outcomes measures.
Results: SF-36 results at the end of the study by a paired t-test of SF-36 data (n=19) revealed a
significant increase in the General Health component, from 30.3 pre to 55.6 post (p<0.001) and
Mental Health, from 46.4 to 68.6 (p<0.01). The overall PSQI score decreased from 12.1 to
6.1 (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: This chiropractic procedure may contribute to an improved quality of life in some
subjects with CFS as demonstrated in improved SF-36. If correction of Atlas misalignment in
clinically diagnosed CFS patients could be the single variable that appears responsible for
self-reported improvement of functional and mental health status, further study is warranted to
determine the utility of this intervention in patient care. The study was limited by the lack of a
control group and that care was provided by only one practitioner.
Key Words: Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic /therapy, Chiropractic /methods, Health Status,
Quality of Life, Questionnaires, Sleep/physiology, vertebral subluxation, NUCCA