Growth of Chiropractic Medicine


Please allow me the privilege of sharing a thought on the growth of chiropractic medicine today.


As you know, the Harvard Health Letter, November 2017, published that low back pain relief can be resolved by a chiropractor or primary care doctor. (1) Now, who utilized chiropractic care?  A newly published paper by Forte and Maiers just answered this question: "Functional limitations in adults who utilize chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in the United States: analysis of the 2012 National Health Interview survey." Among the 8.5% of U.S. adults who reported receiving manipulation, 97.6% saw chiropractors. Most adults were under age 65 (83.7%), female (56.6%), and white (85.1%). Except for sitting tolerance, functional limitations were significantly higher among older manipulation users compared with younger manipulation users (all p < .001). Older (vs younger) chiropractic/osteopathic users more often reported functional limitations (65.7% vs 37.2%), had difficulty walking without equipment (14.7% vs 2.8%), found it very difficult or were unable to walk one-quarter mile (15.7% vs 3.8%) or climb 10 steps (11.4% vs 2.5%), and needed help with instrumental activities of daily living (6.9% vs 2.0%). Comorbidities differed by age: cardiovascular events/conditions, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis were more common among older adults, and headaches, neck pain, and depression were more frequent in younger adults. Similar proportions of older and younger adults had emergency room visits (23.0% vs 21.7%); older adults reported more surgeries (26.1% vs 15.4%).

Note the contrast of these papers and the tremendous future for our profession. What I mean by this is – If only 8.5% of U.S. adults utilize chiropractic for low back pain and it is now recommended by such prestigious medical schools as Harvard, imagine the future for chiropractic spine specialists. This percentage will growth rapidly. I see the challenge being for the chiropractors to lead the medical profession in skills to relieve low back pain.

Remember we are dealing with an epidemic of back pain in our country and the world. We are finally being into the arena of best clinical outcome treatment.

Respectfully submitted,

James M. Cox, DC, DACBR


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