Dynamic Chiropractic – May 24, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 11

ICSM Marks Chiropractic's Progress in the '90s

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
Like a "gathering of the clans," the chiropractic profession came together April 12-13 for the 1991 International Conference on Spinal Manipulation (ICSM). As a signal that the profession was beginning to enter the main stream of scientific research, the opening address was delivered by J.
Jarrett Clinton, M.D., M.P.H., the acting administrator of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). (Please see related article entitled "Chiropractic Cost Comparison Presented at AHCPR Conference" on page 20 of the March 1, 1991 issue).

The importance of Dr. Clinton's presence can not be overstated. The opportunity to hear how the chiropractic profession could fit into the plans of the AHCPR, and the chance for researchers and representatives of national associations to make contact with a person in his position was fantastic. If this opportunity is pursued, it will effect the future of our profession for decades to come.

In addition, there were numerous papers presented on the following topics:

  • Outcome Measures in Chiropractic Care
  • Analysis of the Cervical Spine
  • Issues in Clinical Assessment
  • Chiropractic Field Investigations
  • Studies in the Lumbar Spine
  • Clinical Evaluation of Spinal Manipulation
  • Diagnostic Imaging of the Spine
  • Measurement of the Cervical Spine
  • Professional Issues in Chiropractic
  • Approaches to Validating Chiropractic Technique
  • Biomechanics of the Spine
  • Measurement and Treatment of Low Back Pain1

In addition, two workshops were conducted:

-Chiropractic Clinical Management of Sports Injuries
-Conducting Clinical Investigations in the Chiropractic Office

But perhaps the highlight of the conference was the debate on "Alternative Philosophical Perspectives in Chiropractic." This debate was between:

-Fred Barge, D.C., Ph.C., former president of the ICA
-Joseph H. Donohue, D.C., noted author and lecturer
-Thomas Gilardi, D.C., president of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
-James F. Witerstein, D.C., D.A.C.B.R., president of National College of Chiropractic.

While the sparks flew between the panel members on a number of philosophical issues, all participants were both professional and congenial. In fact, it appeared to this observer that the philosophical extremes within the profession could strongly disagree and still be "family."

But perhaps the best part of the conference took place after the scheduled events. Those times at dinner and afterwards when the giants of chiropractic research, academic, and journal communities made themselves available for dialogue with attendees. No one was "unreachable." It was a rare chance to learn from, debate, and discuss any and all subjects with those pioneers who are pushing the chiropractic frontiers to the limit.

This year's ICSM showed a marked change in those who attended. Chiropractic clinicians are asking better questions and expecting a higher degree of quality from those who are presenting papers. Issues that used to only be raised by a few researchers are now being raised by other concerned DCs. All in all, this years ICSM was a great success.

If you couldn't be at this year's conference, you can order a copy of the ICSM proceedings from the FCER for only $35. But whatever you do, plan on being a part of it next year. You will come back to your patients and your practice excited about your profession, what you do, and the patients your serve.

1. This session included collaborative research between DCs and MDs. This is one of the first times this has occurred.

DMP, Jr.

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