Controversies Surrounding Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic or, more appropriately, the idea of organically improving health by performing necessary spinal adjustments is over a century old. Yet, there has always been an air of distrust surrounding it since its inception by magnetic therapist, D.D. Palmer in 1895. His claims that 95% of all diseases can be traced back to displaced vertebrae or a compressed nerve, to this day, convinces people that vertebral adjustments can contribute to overall health. But, belief does not amount to credibility.

Here are 3 major controversies plaguing chiropractic care:

Disapproval from the Medical Community

Medical practitioners have always disputed chiropractic claims but have not been very successful at containing them. In 1987, a US district court judge ruled in favor of chiropractors and accosted the American Medical Association and other administrative bodies of having restrained the trade of chiropractors. Since then, the medical community has taken a more lenient approach to chiropractic, supporting the fact that proper spinal adjustments can ease certain types of back pain and other related problems.    

Subluxation Theory

A lot of controversy stems from the ‘subluxation theory’ that says pressure on certain nerves by dislocated vertebrae are the source of many diseases. Medical practitioners who have studied the nervous system know for a fact that this is simply not true. In reality, it is a manipulative idea that captured the imagination of millions through various media, due to lack of scientific knowledge. While there may be benefits to having appropriate, generic spinal manipulations done by a certified therapist, there is no real evidence to suggest that they prevent diseases or heal them.    

Associated Health Risks

While satisfaction may be gleaned from hearing the occasional neck or vertebrae pop, there are risks associated with having spinal or neck manipulations done. As there is not much medical research or scientific backing in the chiropractic community, there is ample room for quackery in this field, with the potential of causing real damage to a person’s health. In a UK based survey from 2001, it was reported that 35 people suffered neurological problems within 24 hours of having spinal manipulations, over a span of 12 months. This data lends credibility to the fact that spinal and neck manipulations, when done improperly or by an untrained individual may cause severe, lasting damage to neurological health. 


Chiropractic has thrived and blended itself with other forms of organic treatments like acupuncture, herbal medicine etc. From the public to celebrities, chiropractic has gathered a cult like following, and the people endorsing it may be laboring misinformation. Fortunately, a treatment from a chiropractor in Mesa, AZ slowly fuses with medical science, it may bring about good for those suffering from acute muscular or skeletal problems.    

Thanks to LifeCare Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care and its controversies.