Clinical Research

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The ORI was established in 1988 and within a decade became known as the premier orthopaedic research institute in the southern hemisphere.

Clinical Trials

Referred Shoulder Pain Study

Chiropractic Treatment for Referred Shoulder Pain

Sometimes shoulder pain can be referred from the neck (C5/C6 facet joints). Chiropractic “adjustments” have been used to treat this pain, however there are no studies to show whether this works or not.


“The major effect of a mechanically assisted instrument (MAI) over placebo applied to the C5 facet joints two times per week for six weeks, then once a week for three weeks in patients who presented with referred shoulder pain was improved shoulder strength in internal rotation at 24 weeks. There was a reduction in the frequency but not severity of extreme shoulder pain in the treatment cohort, with average ranking reducing from weekly to monthly. No deterioration in any parameters was detected in either cohorts, and there were no adverse reactions to the procedures reported”. 

The aim of this study was to determine if a series of “treatments” with a Mechanically Assisted Instrument (MAI) will help referred shoulder pain or not.

Patients were randomized into two groups, one  received a series of treatments with the MAI with an experienced chiropractor, the other  received placebo treatments.

This research was completed in 2012, and is now complete for submission as a Master’s thesis in Medicine.



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