The Chiropractor as the Primary Spine Care Specialist

by Dr. Jeffery Campbell
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Chiropractic has been at the forefront of spinal care for more than 120 years, even though spinal manipulation has been utilized for centuries in Europe and Asia.

The first chiropractic adjustment in the United States was given on September 18th, 1895. Chiropractic quickly became a sought after treatment for many health ills. Since that time, Chiropractic has been through multiple large scale attacks from the medical profession starting as early as the 1920’s.

Medicine’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein as the acting secretary of the American Medical Association (AMA) from 1924 to 1949, he started what became a 50 year anti-chiropractic misinformation and slander campaign in professional publications, the public, and in medical offices all around the country.

Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and “killers”, and portrayed chiropractic an unscientific cult. In 1949 the AMA removed Fishbein but continued to wage its anti-chiropractic campaign. Chiropractors were even accused of practicing medicine without a license and jailed in the early years.

This all came to a head in 1980 as The Wilkes Suit; where a group of chiropractors sued the AMA. Initially the AMA and other defendants were questionably found not guilty of all charges. That decision, however, was overturned and a new trial was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 1983.

Judge Susan Getzendanner found the AMA and others guilty of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession in September of 1987, ordering a permanent injunction against the AMA, and forcing them to print the courts findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This decision was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1990.

Since the 1990’s chiropractic as a profession has been seen more as a primary care doctor throughout the country, however they really are the premier spine care specialists. Chiropractic continues to be supported by the literature to be superior to physical therapy and medicine as the first treatment option for the spine concerning outcome measures, cost of care, as well as reduced medication utilization and surgery utilization. Additionally, studies have found that musculoskeletal education and diagnostic skill in medical school to be inferior to that of chiropractic colleges.

For more information our brand of chiropractic care, please feel free to call the Spinal Health Center office in Gladstone, Mo. at (816) 436-1500

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  1. Chiropractic: History and Evolution of a New Profession. Walter Wardwell, Ph.D., Mosby Year Book publishing (1992). (chapters 6 and 8, pages 105-130 and 161-178
  2. Gristani, (2016), The AMA Conspiracy Against Chiropractic
  3. Tobey, James A. (1933). Fads and Quackery in Healing. American Journal of Public Health and the Nation’s Health 23 (3): 295–296.
  4. Paul B. Bishop, DC, MD, PhD, Jeffrey A. Quon, DC, PhD, Charles G. Fisher, MD, Marcel F.S. Dvorak, MD: From the University of British Columbia. The Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) Study: A randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in the medical and chiropractic management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain. The Spine Journal October 2, 2010 [epub]
  5. Blanchette, MA, Rivard, M, Dionees, CE, Hogg-Johnson S, & Steenstra. (2017) Association between the type of health care provider and the duration of financial compensation for occupational back pain. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 27(3), 382-392.
  6. Educational Deficiencies in Musculoskeletal Medicine. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Am) 84: 604-608 (April 2002). Kevin B. Freedman, MD, and Joseph Bernstein, MD. Investigation performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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