A new role for spinal manual therapy and for chiropractic? Part I: weaknesses and threats

Søren Francis Dyhrberg O’Neill*, Casper Nim, Dave Newell, Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde

*Corresponding author for this work

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Spinal manual therapy is central to chiropractic history, clinical practice, and professional identity. That chiropractors have developed an expertise in this domain has provided some considerable advantages. However, we contend it is also at the crux of the ideological schism that fractures the chiropractic profession. In this article, which is the first in a series of two, we discuss chiropractors’ understanding and use of spinal manual therapy and do so with particular emphasis on what we see as weaknesses it creates and threats it gives rise to. These are of particular importance, as we believe they have limited the chiropractic profession’s development. As we shall argue, we believe that these threats have become existential in nature, and we are convinced that they call for a resolute and unified response by the profession. Subsequently, in part II, we discuss various strengths that the chiropractic profession possesses and the opportunities that await, provided that the profession is ready to rise to the challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalChiropractic and Manual Therapies
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Chiropractic
  • Chiropractic history
  • Professional development
  • Professional identity
  • Spinal manipulation


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