Why Choose Evidence-Based Chiropractic?

There is currently a significant divide within the chiropractic profession.

It involves the belief systems chiropractors base their approach on. These different beliefs affect everything from how a practice is run, to how a patient is treated. It is therefore important for potential patients to learn about these differences so they can make an informed decision on which type of chiropractic treatment suits them best.

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The Two Main Chiropractic Philosophies

The Vitalistic Philosophy:

Those who follow the traditional beliefs of the founding chiropractors.

Although few chiropractors now follow the strict original philosophy of the founders, many still hold onto core aspects of their belief system. They often label themselves as “wellness chiropractors”.

The Materialistic Philosophy:

Those who follow what the science says can be achieved with chiropractic.

Generally an “evidence-based chiropractor” only believes and promotes the scientific research findings related to chiropractic treatment and/or manipulative therapy.

These belief systems lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, with most chiropractor’s likely sitting somewhere in the middle. Below we’ll detail the difference between the two.

The Difference In Theories

Chiropractic was invented by an American named D. D. Palmer in 1895. He realised that there are spots in your spine that don’t appear to behave normally. He called these spots “vertebral subluxations” and treated them with spinal joint manipulation.

He came to believe that these subluxations are detrimental to your health in a variety of ways and was quoted as saying:

“A subluxated vertebra … is the cause of 95 percent of all diseases … The other five percent is caused by displaced joints other than those of the vertebral column.”

The medical profession dismissed this idea. However, to this day chiropractors are still taught that vertebral subluxations are a real phenomenon can have a raft of negative effects on your health.

Until recently, many chiropractic colleges (including New Zealand’s) used the following definition of a subluxation:

“A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.”

Wellness chiropractors tend to have a belief system along these lines. They believe that chiropractic treats subluxations and therefore it helps improve a variety of body functions and general health.

In 2015 a different group of chiropractic colleges from around the world put out the following statement: