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Legislative alchemy: the US state chiropractic practice acts



Chiropractors claim the ability to detect ‘subluxations’, an ill-defined, unproved spinal pathology of no known clinical significance. Patients are advised that subluxations can adversely affect organ function and general health even if the patient is asymptomatic. The removal of vertebral subluxations through chiropractic treatment is posited to restore ‘neural integrity’, facilitating the body's self-healing ability. Despite the deficiencies of these concepts, the 50 state chiropractic practice acts essentially define chiropractic as the detection and correction of subluxations and assume their significance to human health, allowing a broad scope of practice. Because the chiropractic profession seems unwilling to abandon these discredited concepts, reform of the state chiropractic practice acts to eliminate subluxation-based chiropractic practice may be the only viable solution to the perpetration of unscientific and unproved healthcare practices.