The chiropractic concept of vertebral subluxation has served the purpose of unifying early DC’s by contrasting a unique approach to health problems offered by chiropractors to allopathic medicine. However, confusion over the use of this term, and the concepts surrounding it, has existed because of a lack of consensus among chiropractors. A variety of methods has been offered to identify and measure the effects of vertebral subluxation in order to provide evidence regarding its existence. How the chiropractic profession deals with its belief systems and model building in this era of increasing accountability may be more important than the search for the subluxation itself.


In order to assist practitioners to cope with this dilemma, an overview of selected subluxation assessment procedures is provided including a qualitative review of relevant studies examining reliability and validity of the various approaches. Criteria for assessing technology are presented, and recommendations are made regarding the value of a number of currently available assessment strategies. A discussion of future technology assessment issues is offered.

Top Clin Chiropr 1996; 3: 1-9.

Author information: Osterbauer, PJ.