DCís Perform Most Manipulations
and Receive Most Eduaction

The release of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Guideline on Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No. 14, establishes and legitimizes spinal manipulation as a conservative method of dealing with back pain. While this has resulted in unparalleled visibility for the chiropractic profession, we must be aware that it also provides a window of opportunity for other practitioners of manual medicine, like Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs), Medical Doctors (MDs), and Physical Therapists (PTs).

In their 1992 study, the RAND Corporation confirmed that chiropractors perform 94% of all spinal manipulation procedures in the U.S. with osteopaths delivering just 4% and general practitioners and orthopedic surgeons performing the remaining 2%. In light of the AHCPR's findings, we must be prepared for these figures to change as spinal manipulation becomes more accepted as a viable treatment of choice.

As FCER Executive Director Stephen R. Seater, CAE, observed, "This should not be viewed as a long-term victory for the chiropractic profession. Both the osteopaths and the PTs will quickly enter the manipulation arena full-force in an attempt to carve out their respective pieces of the pie."

A study recently completed for FCER by Michael Hillyer, DC, "Manipulation in the Curricula of Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Physical Therapy, and Medical Schools," helps to establish chiropractors as the best educated to perform manipulation when compared to DOs, MDs, and PTs. For the study, Dr. Hillyer surveyed at least 10 schools in each category to determine the hours of education spent on manipulation.

The results of Dr. Hillyer's study should be known by every patient who is selecting a health care practitioner to provide spinal manipulation. His survey showed that Doctors of Chiropractic receive an average of 563 total hours of preparation and practical training in the various aspects of manipulation technique. In contrast, DOs receive an average total of 146 hours, MDs receive no training in manipulation, and PTs, who do not employ spinal manipulation but perform "joint mobilization," receive no experience in manipulation during their formal education.

These results will help to further establish the Doctor of Chiropractic as the physician of choice for spinal manipulation. The entire study may be purchased for just $15, which includes shipping and handling. Please contact: FCER/Staying Well, 66 Washington Ave., Des Moines, IA 50314 or call (800) 622-6309. Faxed orders may be sent to (515) 282-3347.


Since 6-28-1998