Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research,
Davenport, Iowa, USA.
Spinal manipulation has been used for its therapeutic effects for at least 2500 years. Chiropractic as we know it today began a century ago in a simplistic manner but has developed into to a well-established profession with 33 colleges throughout the world. During the initial, bumpy years, many people thought it had little more value than a placebo. Nevertheless, there have always been satisfied recipients of chiropractic care during the years, and the profession slowly gained prominence–mostly by word of mouth. More recently, personal opinions based on isolated incidents have given way to the results of numerous clinical and basic science studies, primarily regarding low back pain.
As of 2002, 43 randomized trials of spinal manipulation for low back pain had been published with 30 showing more improvement than with the comparison treatment, and none showing it to be less effective. Other studies have shown that chiropractic care compared with medical care is safer, costs no more and often costs much less, and has consistently greater patient satisfaction for treatment of similar conditions. Consequently, there is now better public and professional opinion of chiropractic with coverage by insurance companies and government agencies. That trend is likely to continue.