Chiropractic

Published in: Complementary and Alternative Medicine / Edited by In Kiohasu W (Philadelphia, PA: Hanley and Belfus, 2002), p. 101-109

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Robert Mootz, Ian D. Coulter

Chiropractic services are the most frequently used of the complementary and alternative medicine approaches. Chiropractic, named for a Greek term meaning done by hand, began in the late 19th century in the Midwestern United States. Using a question and answer format, this chapter describes educational requirements for chiropractic professionals, diagnostic and treatment procedures used by chiropractors, expected treatment outcomes, and quality issues. The chapter also defines common chiropractic terms, discusses insurance coverage, and summarizes the results of research. The majority of studies of chiropractic have examined its effects on musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic has been found to be effective for the treatment of low back pain, neck pain, and some types of head pain. The treatment method is easily adapted for use with both pediatric and geriatric patients. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the six principles of chiropractic philosophy: vitalism; preference for natural remedies; holism; humanism; therapeutic conservatism; and critical rationalism.

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