Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 22983
  Title History or science: The controversy over chiropractic spinography
Journal Chiropr Hist. 2013 Summer;33(1):66-81
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article

The historic year 1895 marked the beginnings of both radiography and chiropractic, inventions that would alter the course of world health care. These impressive developments are related in far more than merely dates of origin. Their histories have been intricately interwoven in a tapestry spanning over a century of impressive accomplishment.

But these accomplishments have been accompanied by numerous internal conflicts within the chiropractic world. Techniques and ideologies have vied for supremacy over the course of chiropractic history. One controversy which continues today involves what at first may seem a relatively simple question: when or if to use imaging in a patient's case. This seemingly innocuous problem has generated great debate and strife within the chiropractic community.

The biomechanical-based radiographers have embraced the historical chiropractic concept that the primary reason for ordering x-rays is to evaluate spinal alignment. The pathology-based radiographers have rejected the traditional chiropractic approach and feel radiography should be performed in accordance with the "red flag" philosophy. Each group seems guided by its acceptance or rejection of historical chiropractic's view on x-ray usage and then proceeds to craft arguments in line with a preconceived belief.

It would appear that some tolerance might be expressed by both sides to allow individuals to practice somewhat to his/her own understanding without the interference of either faction. Perhaps this controversy could be summed up in the words of the often-controversial B.J. Palmer which were once emblazoned outside of the driveway arch of the Palmer School of Chiropractic: "Anything that you do that the majority do not do is 'queer.' Queer, isn't it."

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Full text is available by subscription.


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