Vertebral Subluxation Concept Under Renewed Attack

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Vertebral Subluxation Concept Under Renewed Attack

Author Says Subluxation is an Antiquated Notion

I just read an article by John Hanks DC in which he denigrates the term subluxation calling it an “antiquated notion”:

“The word (subluxation) has been an anchor hung around the neck of the profession for too long. It should be cut off and left to slowly sink to the bottom of the sea of antiqued health jargon, along with words like lumbago or rheumatism. Continuing to use this confusing S word is endangering the essence of the "biological classic concept" that holds true in our day-to-day chiropractic effort to help suffering humanity.”

Hanks J, It’s about the word. Dynamic Chiropractic – July 1, 2013, Vol. 31, Issue 13

I grew up in and around chiropractic. Actually I grew up in and around the subluxation centered faction of the chiropractic profession.

Back then it was called “straight” chiropractic though these days the terms “straight” and “mixer” seem to have lost their meaning.  So, for me growing up chiropractic was subluxation and subluxation was chiropractic. There really wasn’t any confusion about it.

Until I got to chiropractic college that is. Then suddenly I began to experience the naysayers. Those just like Dr. Hanks. Those that contended that subluxations did not even exist never mind that they had any clinical meaningfulness. And of course those that want to get rid of the term for one reason or another.

Over several quarters I struggled to try and understand how the very thing that I was brought up to believe was synonymous with chiropractic was now suddenly a questionable entity.  

No one seemed to have any answers.   

So I decided that if I was going to figure this out it was going to be up to me and I set out to gather everything I could on the topic of subluxation and asked as many questions as I could from people who I thought had answers.

This practice has continued since my graduation over 24 years ago. I’ve spent the better part of the last 24 years either practicing subluxation centered chiropractic, studying it, researching it or teaching it. I have a fairly good idea regarding the disconnect, why it exists and what we need to do I order to fix it.  

A major piece of the puzzle is RESEARCH. The problem is that the chiropractic profession is not just apathetic when it comes to research, the chiropractic profession has a disdain for research. This is especially true for the subluxation centered faction of the profession.

As I speak to my colleagues and ask why they feel this way there are several recurring themes:

  1. Research is “medical”
  2. Research is not Vitalistic
  3. We don’t need research
  4. We should just tell the story one spine at a time

Well , here is the reality. Research is not medical, research can explore the vitalistic nature of what we do, we are in an age of accountability so now more than ever  we need research and one spine at a time is NOT working as evidenced by decreasing market share and decreasing incomes for chiropractors.   

So what is the solution?

The solution is actually multifaceted and involves a Research Agenda focused on crucial questions regarding vertebral subluxation that we MUST answer, the publication of that research and the marketing of that research in a way that will persuade people to engage the services of chiropractors to be checked for vertebral subluxation.   

Here is what I can tell you:

I have been providing a place for the publication of subluxation centered research for about 14 years. Every week, one by one we add to the evidence. Our journals are a treasure trove of vitalistic, subluxation centered research.

What we are missing is widespread support within the subluxation centered community. We have our stable of avid supporters – some even since we started publishing. But we need a groundswell of support and that support comes from actively subscribing to the journals.

Do you adhere to subluxation theory in your clinical practice? Do you believe that subluxations lead to increased morbidity and mortality? Do you believe that reducing and correcting subluxations leads to improved health outcomes?

Won’t you take the time today to respond to Dr. Hanks and others like him by putting your money where your mouth is and subscribing to our journals?:

  • Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research
  • Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
  • Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research
  • Journal of Philosophy, Principles and Practice of Chiropractic   

Click the banner below to find out more.

As always I look forward to your feedback, comments and questions.

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
McCoy Press

McCoy Press