Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine which attempts to diagnose and treat patients through manipulation of their musculus skeletal system, especially the spine. While chiropractors share many attributes of primary care providers, chiropractic is considered more of a specialty such as dentistry or podiatry. It uses manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, joints, and soft tissues as well as exercises and lifestyle counseling. Traditional chiropractic, based on vitalism, assumes that spine problems interfere with the body’s general functions and innate intelligence, a notion that brings ridicule from mainstream health care.
D. D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s, and his son B. J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. Some modern chiropractors now incorporate conventional medical techniques, such as exercise, massage, and ice pack therapy, in addition to chiropractic’s traditional vitalistic underpinnings. Chiropractic is well established in the U.S.,Canada and Australia. It overlaps with other manual-therapy professions, including massage therapy, osteopathy, and physical therapy. Chiropractic care is most often used for low back pain.
Throughout its history, chiropractic has been controversial, battling with mainstream medicine and sustained by pseudo scientific ideas. Despite the general consensus of public health professionals regarding the benefits of vaccination, there are significant disagreements among chiropractors, which has led to negative impacts on public vaccination and acceptance of chiropractic. The American Medical Association boycotted chiropractic until 1987, but in recent decades, chiropractic has developed a strong political base and sustained demand for services.Medical guidelines have been developed for the profession, and it has seen coverage by most health plans in the United States.
Studies of chiropractic have found it to be a generally ineffective treatment, except for lower back pain. The cost-effectiveness of chiropractic is unknown. Evidence published by practitioners show the therapy is safe, but there is no systematic reporting, and the number of adverse results is not known. There are reports of mild to serious adverse effects, with serious or fatal complications in rare cases.