Surgeon General Report on Chiropractic

Surgeon General Report on Chiropractic

Washington, D.C.
APRIL 1, 2011

Effective, well-documented care exists for the most common spinal disorders, yet nearly 87% of all Americans who have subluxations fail to seek chiropractic care, according to the first ever Surgeon General’s Report on Chiropractic. The report, commissioned by the Health and Human Services Secretary, focuses on the connection between spinal health and overall health, barriers to receiving chiropractic, and the specific issues of children, adults, and the elderly.

“Chiropractic is fundamental to a person’s overall health, indispensable to personal well-being, and instrumental to leading a balanced and productive life,” said Dr. Visentin, D.C. (Head of the Blue Ribbon Chiropractic Commission). “My message to Americans is this: If you or a loved one are experiencing pain, or just want to stay healthy, do not hesitate to seek chiropractic care. Insist on the kind of chiropractic services that this report makes clear can and should be available. Most people with spinal disorders have options, especially chiropractic.”

Subluxation as a Serious Spinal Condition
The 500-page publication, “Chiropractic: A Report of the Surgeon General“, defines (subluxations) as a serious spinal condition that interferes with a person’s capacity to be healthy, productive, and enjoy a fulfilled life.

About 13 percent of the U.S. adult population use some form of chiropractic; however, the complex and fragmented chiropractic delivery system can create barriers to a full range of appropriate services. Financial barriers also serve as deterrents to appropriate and necessary care. These factors result in a gap between what research has shown to be optimally effective care and what many people receive in actual chiropractic settings. A 16 billion dollar federal grant has been included with the trillion dollar national healthcare plan specifically earmarked for chiropractic education research and services. While this is unprecedented, research shows that chiropractic applied to correct the cause of illness (subluxation) will actually help save lives and money by getting sick people well and preventing the well from becoming sick. Research shows reduced costs in nursing homes, hospitalization, medication, and surgeries by using chiropractic.

“While subluxation touches all Americans either directly or indirectly, all do not have equal access to care,” said Dr. Visentin, D.C. “We need to ensure that chiropractic services are as widely available as other services in the continuously changing healthcare delivery system.”
The report also proposes broad courses of action that will improve the quality of chiropractic in the nation. These actions include continuing to build the science base; improving public awareness of care; ensuring the supply of chiropractic services and providers; ensuring delivery of state-of-the-art adjustments; tailoring care to age, gender, race, and culture; facilitating entry into chiropractic offices; and reducing financial barriers to care.

Different stages of life are associated with vulnerability to distinct forms of subluxation disorders. The report examines how gender, culture, and age influence the detection, course, and reduction of subluxation. It also acknowledges the growing role of advocacy groups, consumers, and families in insuring chiropractic for all age groups.

“Subluxations can affect anyone,” Dr. Visentin, D.C. said. “Few Americans are untouched by this serious disorder, whether it occurs within one’s family, among neighbors, co-workers, or members of the community.”

The report also acknowledges areas in which further research and analysis is necessary to understand the impact of chiropractic on special populations. These include health issues regarding racial and ethnic groups, and people living with disabilities.

Dr. Visentin, D.C. urged chiropractors to celebrate this long-awaited federal recognition and appropriate funding by adjusting as many people as possible. He added, “This seems unbelievable, almost too good to be true.”

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