Over the past decade, mechanical adjusting devices (MAD’s) were a major source of debate within the Chiropractors’ Association of Saskatchewan (CAS). Since Saskatchewan was the only jurisdiction in North America to prohibit the use of MAD’s the CAS established a committee in 2001 to review the literature on MAD. The committee evaluated the literature on the efficacy, safety, and uses of moving stylus instruments within chiropractic practice, and the educational requirements for chiropractic practice. Following the rating criteria for the evaluation of evidence, as outlined in the Clinical Guidelines for Chiropractic Practice in Canada (1994), the committee reviewed 55 articles – all of which pertained to the Activator: Of the 55 articles, 13 were eliminated from the final study. Of the 42 remaining articles, 6 were rated as class 1 evidence; 11 were rated as class 2 evidence and 25 were rated as class 3 evidence. In this article – the first in a series of two -the background and the methods utilized by the MAD committee’s activities are described, as well as the results for the review of the literature on efficacy. Of the 21 articles related to efficacy, five were identified as Class 1 evidence; 4 were identified as Class 2 evidence; and 12 were identified as Class 3. Overall, the committee reached consensus that the MAD procedures using the Activator were as effective as manual (HVLA) procedures in producing clinical benefit and biological change. A minority report was also written, arguing that there was not enough evidence to support or refute the efficacy of MAD’s.

J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2004 Mar;48(1):74-108. [PMID:17549220]

Author information: Taylor SH, Arnold ND, Biggs L, Colloca CJ, Mierau DR, Symons BP, Triano JJ.

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