Arch Intern Med. 1998 Nov; 158(20): 2215-24.
Chiropractic: origins, controversies, and contributions.
Center for Alternative Medicine Research, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02215, USA.
Chiropractic is an important component of the US health care system and the largest alternative medical profession. In this overview of chiropractic, we examine its history, theory, and development; its scientific evidence; and its approach to the art of medicine. Chiropractic's position in society is contradictory, and we reveal a complex dynamic of conflict and diversity. Internally, chiropractic has a dramatic legacy of strife and factionalism. Externally, it has defended itself from vigorous opposition by conventional medicine. Despite such tensions, chiropractors have maintained a unified profession with an uninterrupted commitment to clinical care. While the core chiropractic belief that the correction of spinal abnormality is a critical health care intervention is open to debate, chiropractic's most important contribution may have to do with the patient-physician relationship.