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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 14, 1994, Vol. 12, Issue 02

Manipulative Therapy In Russia, Part I

By Andrei Pikalov
The development of manipulative treatment in Russia is different from the US, but I think it will be interesting for you to know about it. The terms "manipulative therapist" or "manual therapist" are commonly used in my country to name doctors who practice manipulative treatment.

In a different time, there were many bonesetters in Russia. The most well-known of them even published a book,1 but they were never recognized by official medicine, even though they treated patients successfully. It's impossible to say who was the first manual therapist in Russia (as D.D. Palmer among chiropractors in the US), and what the birthday of manipulative therapy is in my country. I can only say that that it is very old.

The official recognition of manual therapy in Russia began about 30 years ago. It emerged from the studying of scientifically and practically approved methods of manipulative therapy from doctors Cyriax (1969), Stoddart (1959), Lewit (1977), Maitland (1973), and Dvorak (1988). Later, Russian doctors and scientists Goidenko (1983-1989), Kogan (1986-1989), Veselovskii (1990), Ivanichev (1990), and Barvinchenko (1990-1993) developed the theory and practice of manual therapy.

In the legal sense, it should be mentioned that methods of manual therapy can be used only by medical doctors. This type of treatment is practiced in all hospitals in Russia which treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system and which work in the field of vertebroneurology. The first MDs which become interested in manual medicine had specialities in neurology. Manual therapy was developed as a method for treatment of patients with neurologic vertebrogenous disorders.

Any MD in Russia can get an education in manual therapy at the special department of Advanced Training Institute for Doctors. There are six such Institutes in different towns around the country. Today Russia has about 1,500-2,000 MDs certified in manual therapy. In 1990, the Interstate and Moscow Associations of Manual Medicine were founded. The associations support including manual therapy's methods into routine practice, scientific research and education in the field of manual therapy. Both associations hold yearly scientific conferences and periodical research meetings. Russian manual therapists are very active in research. A number of monographs has been published in recent years. 2-5

Dr. A.A. Barvinchenko, president of the Moscow Association of Manual Therapy and the dean of Traditional Medicine (faculty of Moscow Advanced Training Institutes for Doctors), is encouraging collaboration between Russian manual therapists and chiropractors in the West. As a part of this collaboration, there is an opportunity for chiropractors to publish articles in Russian scientific medical journals, such as Manual Medicine, Vertebroneurologia, and the European Journal of Chinese Medicine. Chiropractors are invited to visit Moscow for lectures or presentations of chiropractic.

Details are available from:
Dr. Andrei Pikalov
Cleveland Chiropractic College
6401 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64131
Tele: (816)
333-8230 x 283
Fax: 361-0272


  1. Kasian NA. Manual Therapy at Osteochondrosis of Vertebrae. Moscow, 1985 (in Russian).


  2. Veselovskii VP: Practical Vertebroneurology and Manual Therapy. Riga, 1991 (in Russian).


  3. Voitanik SA, Gavata BV. Manual Therapy of Neurologic Symptoms of Vertebral Osteochondrosis. Kiev, Zdorovie, 1989 (in Russian).


  4. Goidenko VS, et al. Manual Therapy of Neurologic Disturbances of Vertebral Osteochondrosis. Moscow, (in Russian).


  5. Barvinchenko AA. Atlas of Manual Therapy. Moscow, Voenizadat, 1992 (in Russian).

Andrei Pikalov, MD, PhD
Kansas City, Missouri
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