Throughout its history chiropractic
has been the subject of internal and external controversy and criticism
According to magnetic healer Daniel D. Palmer
, the founder of chiropractic, subluxation
was the sole cause of disease and manipulation was the cure for all diseases of the human race.
A 2003 profession-wide survey found “most chiropractors (whether “straights” or “mixers”) still hold views of Innate and of the cause and cure of disease (not just back pain) consistent with those of the Palmers.”
A critical evaluation stated “Chiropractic is rooted in mystical concepts. This led to an internal conflict within the chiropractic profession, which continues today.”
Chiropractors, including D.D. Palmer, were jailed
for practicing medicine without a license
For most of its existence, chiropractic has battled with mainstream medicine
, sustained by antiscientific
ideas such as subluxation.
Chiropractic has been controversial, though to a lesser extent than in past years.
Chiropractic researchers have documented that fraud, abuse and quackery
are more prevalent in chiropractic than in other health care professions.
Unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy of chiropractic have continued to be made by individual chiropractors and chiropractic associations. The core concept of traditional chiropractic, vertebral subluxation
, is not based on sound science
. Collectively, systematic reviews
have not demonstrated that spinal manipulation
, the main treatment method employed by chiropractors, was effective
for any medical condition, with the possible exception of treatment for back pain
spinal manipulation, particularly on the upper spine, can also result in complications that can lead to permanent disability or death; these can occur in adults
Chiropractors historically were strongly opposed to vaccination
based on their belief that all diseases were traceable to causes in the spine, and therefore could not be affected by vaccines.
Some chiropractors continue to be opposed to vaccination.
Early opposition to water fluoridation included chiropractors in the U.S. Some chiropractors opposed water fluoridation
as being incompatible with chiropractic philosophy and an infringement of personal freedom. Recently, other chiropractors have actively promoted fluoridation, and several chiropractic organizations have endorsed scientific principles of public health.