Chiropractic care and public health: answering difficult questions about safety, care through the lifespan, and community action

Claire Johnson, Sidney M Rubinstein, Pierre Côté, Lise Hestbaek, H Stephen Injeyan, Aaron Puhl, Bart Green, Jason G Napuli, Andrew S Dunn, Paul Dougherty, Lisa Zaynab Killinger, Stacey A Page, John S Stites, Michael Ramcharan, Robert A Leach, Lori D Byrd, Daniel Redwood, Deborah R Kopansky-Giles

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this collaborative summary is to document current chiropractic involvement in the public health movement, reflect on social ecological levels of influence as a profession, and summarize the relationship of chiropractic to the current public health topics of: safety, health issues through the lifespan, and effective participation in community health issues. The questions that are addressed include: Is spinal manipulative therapy for neck and low-back pain a public health problem? What is the role of chiropractic care in prevention or reduction of musculoskeletal injuries in children? What ways can doctors of chiropractic stay updated on evidence-based information about vaccines and immunization throughout the lifespan? Can smoking cessation be a prevention strategy for back pain? Does chiropractic have relevance within the VA Health Care System for chronic pain and comorbid disorders? How can chiropractic use cognitive behavioral therapy to address chronic low back pain as a public health problem? What opportunities exist for doctors of chiropractic to more effectively serve the aging population? What is the role of ethics and the contribution of the chiropractic profession to public health? What public health roles can chiropractic interns perform for underserved communities in a collaborative environment? Can the chiropractic profession contribute to community health? What opportunities do doctors of chiropractic have to be involved in health care reform in the areas of prevention and public health? What role do citizen-doctors of chiropractic have in organizing community action on health-related matters? How can our future chiropractic graduates become socially responsible agents of change?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-513
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Aged
  • Back Pain
  • Child
  • Chiropractic
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Community Health Services
  • Community Participation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Care Reform
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic
  • Manipulation, Spinal
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neck Pain
  • Public Health
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Change
  • Social Responsibility
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Wounds and Injuries
  • Editorial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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