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Inappropriate Use of the Title “Chiropractor”

Inappropriate Use of the Title “Chiropractor”

The Chiro.Org Blog

Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2006 (Aug 22);   14 (1):   16 ~ FULL TEXT

The results of this year-long prospective review suggests that the words chiropractor and chiropractic manipulation are often used inappropriately by European biomedical researchers when reporting apparent associations between cervical spine manipulation and symptoms suggestive of traumatic injury. Furthermore, in those cases reported here, the spurious use of terminology seems to have passed through the peer-review process without correction.

Additionally, these findings provide further preliminary evidence, beyond that already provided by Terrett, that the inappropriate use of the title chiropractor and term chiropractic manipulation may be a significant source of over-reporting of the link between the care provided by chiropractors and injury.


As already mentioned, Terrett [6] has carried out a study with the objective of determining how the words chiropractic and chiropractor have been used in publications reporting complications from cervical SMT. Furthermore, he pointed out that in countries without chiropractic registration it can be difficult to determine the educational and professional background of the provider of care that has been associated with harm. Terrett revealed that errors regarding terminology and professional identity have been documented, in one or more cases, in India, Ireland, Italy, Taiwan, France, and Germany. The results of the present study suggest that errors regarding terminology and professional identity are still taking place in Germany [9, 13], and that Spain [12] and England [14] can now also be added to that list.

Terrett’s review [6] revealed that many cases of complication after manipulation described in the medical literature as “chiropractic complications” are found to be, on closer inspection, either:

(a) medical misrepresentation of the literature;
(b) inaccurate reporting by medical authors; or
(c) inaccurate reporting by medico-legal journalists.

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