Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
Chris Waddell DC
Chris Waddell DC
President Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic

Says Focus on Subluxation is Within Standard of Care

James Lehman DC is an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences and Director of Health Sciences Post Graduate Education at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic and is an avid supporter of scope expansion and drugs in chiropractic. The Dynamic Chiropractic newspaper and its publisher Don Peterson have given Lehman and those he supports, such as the Florida Chiropractic Physicians Association, a platform to promote the expansion of chiropractic scope including drug rights.

Lehman had written an article for Dynamic Chiropractic in which he made ridiculous accusations that the Colorado Chiropractic Association was promoting standards of care that conflicted with the law in the State of Colorado. Those standards merely describe the right of a chiropractor to diagnose and manage vertebral subluxation.

Lehman's nonsensical rant serves as a reminder to the subluxation faction that as much as the Chiropractic Cartel says that a broader scope will not get in the way of the subluxation practitioner from doing his or her thing - the reality is something else entirely. The drug and primary care pushers in chiropractic don't just want to expand the scope and get drugs included - they want to stop chiropractors from being able to focus their care on the location, analysis and correction of subluxation.

Lehman is the poster child for this effort.
Thankfully, his attempts to portray subluxation centered practitioners as a threat to public health have no substance and thankfully there are leaders such as Chris Waddell DC, President of the Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic, who can set Lehman "straight".

The following is a Letter to the Editor from Dr. Waddell addressing the misinformation written by Lehman and promoted by Dynamic Chiropractic.  


In response to the recent article “Diagnosis Is Your Legal and Ethical Responsibility” by Dr. James Lehman, I would like to offer a few thoughts on this matter.

The author of the article is taking issue with resolutions that the Colorado Chiropractic Association adopted on September 11, 2015. The resolutions stated that it is an acceptable practice to deliver chiropractic care solely for the location, analysis and correction of spinal subluxation. The author states that the resolutions passed by the CCA are both “illegal and unethical.” Further, the author had concern that these resolutions absolved the chiropractor from performing a detailed examination in order to arrive at a proper diagnosis.

I contacted a member of the CCA who was involved with these resolutions and he advised me that in no way were the resolutions designed to lessen the current standard of care that exists in Colorado. Rather, the resolutions were implemented to give support to those practitioners who choose to focus their practice on the structural and functional integrity of the spine and nerve system.

It would seem that in order to provide ANY type of care, an examination and diagnosis must be made. It is certainly acceptable that Vertebral Subluxation does constitute a valid, recognized diagnosis that would warrant care regardless if symptoms were present at the time. Dr. Lehman states in the article that it is his “opinion” that the new CCA standards eliminate the need for a proper diagnosis prior to chiropractic treatment.  If the chiropractor uses objective measures to identify abnormalities in the structure and function of the spine and then uses these findings to determine the patient does indeed have Vertebral Subluxation(s) present, this would constitute a working diagnosis. In addition, a proper case history and examination would rule out any red flags that would prohibit care.

Dr. Lehman states in his article that the standards do not protect the public and calls the behavior “irresponsible.” I find this to be alarming. Certainly a chiropractor has the right to focus his/her practice on the structural and functional integrity of the spine and nerve system as long as that falls within the scope of practice in their state.

Part of EVERY patient encounter is “triage.” A responsible chiropractor knows that during each patient encounter, new or established, there should be a watchful eye for anything that doesn’t fit the norm. In the event that a finding is discovered that does not fall within the scope or focus of the practice that finding should be discussed with the patient, documented, and proper steps should be taken to direct the patient to receive any additional care that might be needed.

A practice that chooses to focus on the detection and correction of vertebral subluxation is not a threat to the public at all. In fact, it is a wonderful service that needs to be made readily available to those who seek our care. Practitioners who choose to practice in this manner still have the responsibility to insure safe and effective care for their patients but should not ever feel like they are “illegal or unethical” for practicing this way.

Chris Waddell DC

President, Oklahoma Board of Chiropractic

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation