Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Chiropractic in the United States: Training, Practice, and Research

Chiropractic in the United States: Training, Practice, and Research

Training, Practice, and Research

The Agency For Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) supported this research to help consumers, policymakers, and health care providers better understand the strengths and limitations of chiropractic care in the United States. The project (grant HS07915) sought to produce a comprehensive and balanced overview of the chiropractic profession and its current and future potential role in the U.S. health care system.


It has taken 100 years for chiropractic to approach the point where it can be referred to as a mainstream health care provider. As such, the issues surrounding the role and scope of chiropractic practice are receiving greater attention than ever before. Many important questions are now being asked, such as: Is chiropractic really an alternative to medicine? Is there a complementary role that includes collaborative care? Should chiropractic remain a separate and distinct profession or seek inclusion into medicine as a subspecialty in musculoskeletal conditions? Should chiropractic education seek affiliation with major universities and colleges housing medical education? It is hoped that this research report will serve as a first step in finding answers to these and other questions about the practice and future direction of chiropractic in the United States.

About the Research Report

The report is a collaboration among scholars, researchers, and practitioners from the medical and chiropractic communities. It attempts to provide an unbiased view of what is known and not known about the profession and practice of chiropractic. Topics include:

  • The history and belief systems of chiropractic.
  • Chiropractic training and education, research, and practice.
  • Supply, distribution, and utilization of chiropractors in the United States.
  • Licensure and legal scope of chiropractic practice.
  • Insurance coverage for chiropractic services.
  • Chiropractic in the American health care system.
  • Biological rationale for possible benefits of spinal manipulation.
  • Risks associated with spinal manipulation.
  • Future research priorities and policy issues.

The report was edited by Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, Senior Scientific Investigator, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound (Seattle); and Robert D. Mootz, DC, Associate Medical Director for Chiropractic, Department of Labor and Industries (Olympia, WA).

Ordering Information

Copies of the research report (NTIS accession No. PB98-111693) are available for purchase from:

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22161

Phone: (703) 605-6000 or 800-553-6847

The NTIS accession number used for ordering the report is PB98-111693. Contact NTIS for pricing information.

Page last reviewed April 1998
Internet Citation: Chiropractic in the United States: Training, Practice, and Research. April 1998. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care