A new role for spinal manual therapy and for chiropractic? Part II: strengths and opportunities

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

*Corresponding author for this work

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In a previous paper, we presented some important weaknesses of and threats to the chiropractic profession as we see them. We further argued that the chiropractic profession’s relationship with its principal clinical tool (spinal manual therapy) is at the core of the ideological divide that fractures the profession and prevents professional development towards greater integration in the healthcare landscape. In this manuscript, we shall argue that the historical predilection for spinal manipulation also gifts the profession with some obvious strengths and opportunities, and that these are inextricably linked to the management of musculoskeletal disorders. The onus is now on the chiropractic profession itself to redefine its raison d’être in a way that plays to those strengths and delivers in terms of the needs of patients and the wider healthcare system/market. We suggest chiropractors embrace and cultivate a role as coordinators of long-term and broad-focused management of musculoskeletal disorders. We make specific recommendations about how the profession, from individual clinicians to political organizations, can promote such a development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalChiropractic and Manual Therapies
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 27. Mar 2024


  • Chiropractic
  • Chiropractic History
  • Professional Development
  • Professional Identity
  • Spinal Manipulation


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