The World Health Organization (WHO) has produced the “WHO Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Chiropractic.”

According to an excellent summary by Frank at, “the Guidelines clarify that chiropractic is a separate profession rather than a set of techniques that can be learned in short courses by other health professionals. They also make it clear that medical doctors and other health professionals, in countries where the practice of chiropractic is not regulated by law, should undergo extensive training to re-qualify as chiropractors before claiming to offer chiropractic services. In some countries there have been recent efforts by medical groups to provide short courses of approximately 200 hours in chiropractic technique. The WHO feels this is a bad decision.

“The World Health Organization guidelines indicate that a medical graduate should a require an additional minimum of 1800 class hours, including 1000 hours of supervised clinical training, before claiming to offer chiropractic services.”

Therefore, WHO has affirmed the necessity of proper and thorough training in chiropractic, which in turn affirms the importance of the chiropractic profession. What we do isn’t merely “racking and cracking”, it’s extremely specific adjustments for specific results. (Frank’s summary can be found here.)

This reaffirmation of chiropractic follows yet another study which recommends the use of chiropractic adjustments for all patients with acute low-back pain. The article, which was published in the highly-respected journal Spine in October, examined 14 other random clinical trials, which included over 2,000 patients. The most common providers of “spinal manipulation” were chiropractors and physical therapists. Success was defined as an improvement in function: that is, after a course of treatment, was the patient more able to perform a given activity.

Good news! The article concludes that “spinal manipulations” are just as or more effective than (articles like this abhor definitiveness as a rule) exercise, electrical stim, physical rehab, education, and the like. In other words, this whole “spinal manipulation” thing really works!

In conclusion, the article recommends all spine care clinicians to discuss the possibility of “spinal manipulation” with their acute-low-back patients who need something more than home exercises.

All this means that going to your chiropractor really IS worth it!

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