Chiropractic care amongst people with multiple sclerosis: a survey of MS therapy centres in the UK

Elizabeth A. Carson, Gabrielle Swait, Ian P. Johnson, Christina Cunliffe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Many of the musculoskeletal symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be managed with physical therapy. Chiropractors are well placed to deliver this, but the extent of their involvement in the team management of multiple sclerosis in the UK is unknown. The present study investigates the level of awareness and use of chiropractic by people with MS in the UK. Methods: A retrospective cross sectional postal survey design was employed, utilising a structured, self-administered questionnaire and convenience sampling of individuals aged over 18 years with a definitive diagnosis of MS who were members of UK MS Therapy Centres. Results: Ninety-one per cent of respondents had used complementary therapy modalities of some kind, with physiotherapy being the most popular (52%), followed by massage (44%), then chiropractic (42%). Of those that had used chiropractic, 68% used it to manage their MS symptoms and most would recommend it to others with MS. Just under half had consulted their General Practitioner for approval prior to receiving the treatment, with 79% obtaining support. Of those who did not use chiropractic, 78% cited lack of knowledge about chiropractic as the main reason. All of the MS therapy centres contacted during this study offered physiotherapy and massage, but none offered chiropractic. Conclusions: There is moderate uptake of chiropractic by people with MS in the UK together with a willingness to recommend it. Further awareness of the potential benefits of chiropractic amongst stakeholders may help its integration into the team management of MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Chiropractic
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Awareness
  • Chiropractic
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Survey
  • United Kingdom


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