As we celebrate our 25th anniversary as the definitive news and information source for the chiropractic profession, we look back at the important events as reported in DC since 1983, while also looking forward to the future.Throughout 2008, we will feature a review of the top headlines in chiropractic for a given year, along with an article on the future of chiropractic authored by an influential member of the profession.
January 1995: AHCPR Guidelines Recommend Manipulation
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) released its long-awaited low back pain (LBP) guidelines at a Dec. 8, 1994 press conference attended by all the major media - despite rumors of a surgical company threatening a lawsuit if the guidelines were issued.
For chiropractors, the most important finding of the multidisciplinary panel was: "Manipulation can be helpful for patients with acute low back problems without radiculopathy when used within the first month of symptoms." The panel recommended that if no symptomatic improvements result after one month, manipulation should be stopped and the patient re-evaluated.
According to the AHCPR, the guidelines are "systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care." Peer and field review evaluated the validity, reliability and utility of the guidelines in clinical practice. The panel's recommendations are based primarily on published scientific literature. Where the literature was incomplete or inconsistent, the "recommendations reflect the professional judgment of panel members and consultants."
In further evaluating the practice guidelines, one can't help but consider the panel's recommendation of acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to "control the discomfort of acute low back problems" The panel recommended acetaminophen "as reasonably safe and acceptable." But how safe are acetaminophen and NSAIDs? The AHCPR guidelines warn, "High doses of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage, and massive single doses sometimes lead to fatal hepatic necrosis."
The problems don't stop with the liver and kidneys. A meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed 16 studies on the potential of adverse gastrointestinal events for NSAID users. The authors found that people taking NSAIDs were almost three times as likely to experience serious gastrointestinal problems.
January 1995: Chiropractic Centennial Float Seen Worldwide
"The eagle has landed. From the Chiropractic Centennial Foundation (CCF) comes a 'Salute to America's Finest,'" announced Los Angeles television commentator Marcia Warfield, live at the 106th Tournament of Roses Parade. Millions of people heard the chiropractic message in 90 countries and 12 different languages.
John Beard, KTTV-Los Angeles parade host, described the float this way: "And it's the eagle with the majestic wingspread [that] represents the Chiropractic Centennial Foundation saluting America's and the world's athletes - many of whom, I'm sure, have made frequent trips to chiropractors. This year marks a century of chiropractic care."
The biggest draw of the CCF float was undoubtedly the chiropractic patients who rode the float amid the cascading floral bouquets: country music performer Lee Greenwood; U.S. Amateur Golf Champion Tiger Woods; Hall of Fame baseball player Joe Morgan; and speed skater Cathy Turner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
When it came to decorating the float, DCs, chiropractic students, Southern Californian patients and friends of chiropractic volunteered to complete the painstaking (and sticky) process of gluing 7 tons of flowers to the structure. The CCF float also could not have been a success without financial help from DCs around the country.
March 1995: Canada Issuing Three Chiropractic Stamps
In 1988, the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) applied to the Canada Post for a commemorative stamp to celebrate the chiropractic centennial. With mounting consternation, the CCA reapplied for a chiropractic stamp the next year, and the next year - and every year through 1994.
Beginning in December 1994, a campaign was set in motion involving every chiropractic organization and association in Canada; the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC); the chiropractic college at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières; and every registered member of the CCA. Members of parliament, high-level public servants, chiropractic patients and the media all added important support.
By mid-January 1995, the Canada Post requested a meeting in Ottawa with the chair of the Centennial Stamp Committee, G.N. Dunn, DC. Dr. Dunn characterized the meeting with senior officials as "very frank and to the point." The importance of the commemorative stamp to the chiropractic profession was reiterated, although as Dr. Dunn commented, "It was apparent that the effects of our campaign had already made this evident to the officials at Canada Post."
On Jan. 20, 1995 came the great news: Chiropractic would get not one, but three stamps. The agreement specified printing 5 million stamps to commemorate three significant events in chiropractic history: the 150th anniversary of the birth of D.D. Palmer, the centennial of chiropractic and the 50th anniversary of CMCC. Artwork for the commemorative stamps is being developed with input from the CCA Centennial Stamp Committee.
April 1995: Congress Recognizes Chiropractic Centennial
As part of the terrific exposure chiropractic is enjoying during its centennial year, proclamations recognizing 100 years of chiropractic, the first adjustment, and the contributions and necessity for chiropractic in health care were read recently in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Similar proclamations were read in the Nevada legislature and before the Clark County (Nevada) Commission.
Senator Richard Bryan (D-Nev.) read a chiropractic centennial proclamation from the floor of the U.S. Senate on Feb. 22, 1995. On March 16, 1995, fellow Nevada Congressman John Ensign (D) read a similar version of the proclamation from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Senate proclamation reads, in part: "I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the devoted professionals involved in this occupation for their commitment and service. Chiropractors have made many Nevadans' lives better through their practice."
Congressman John Ensign ended his House proclamation by saying, "As members of the chiropractic profession gather in Nevada's first Congressional District ... I would like to extend a warm welcome to these doctors. I join my colleagues in the House of Representatives and my fellow Nevadans in congratulating them and their profession's many achievements over the last century."
The impetus for the proclamations comes courtesy of Monte Greenawalt, DC, and his wife, Jeanne. Dr. Greenawalt is best known as the founder of Foot Levelers, Inc. The Greenawalts are currently living in the Las Vegas area, where they continue their good work to promote the chiropractic profession.
May 1995: University-Based Chiropractic Program in Japan
On March 16, 1995, Professor David Beanland, vice-chancellor (president) of RMIT University, whose main campus is in Melbourne, and Dr. Hiroaki Takeyachi, president of the Japanese Chiropractic Association (JCA), signed an international agreement witnessed by Australian Ambassador Ashton Calvert at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. Dr. Takeyachi will head the new RMIT Chiropractic Unit-Japan. Dr. Takeyachi has a great love for chiropractic. He is well-qualified for the position of head of the chiropractic unit, as he is a National College of Chiropractic graduate (1976) and a qualified orthopedic surgeon with MD and PhD degrees.
The RMIT University-JCA program in Japan consists of two important degrees. The Bachelor of Applied Science (Clinical Science) is the first three-year degree, followed by a three-year Bachelor of Chiropractic Science (BCSc). An impressive body of staff is responsible for the preparation and delivery of the curriculum and will meet unique requirements not only in Japan, but also bring education there to an international level within six to 10 years.
July 1995: Chiropractic Memorial Stamps Unveiled
After months of work, the designs for the Canadian chiropractic commemorative stamp booklet and its cover have been unveiled. The stamp booklet itself will not be introduced to the public until Sept. 15. Tom Charlton, GM of Mail Operations-Central for Canada Post, presented the chiropractic profession with an artwork memorial of the auspicious event.
According to Charlton, each stamp booklet contains 10 green/gold pressure-sensitive stamps shaped in the form of a central circle with wing-like banners on either side. The central circle on each stamp has been left blank so the mailer can add one of the four special sticker designs bearing chiropractic images: D.D. Palmer, the new Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, the new logo of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, and the hands of a chiropractor in a thrust position.
Each stamp booklet comes with a package of 15 stickers, giving the mailer the freedom of choice to select the chiropractic image to affix within the stamp's circle. The front of the stamp booklet displays a mosaic of images on the theme of chiropractic. A brief text on the history of chiropractic treatment is printed on the back of the booklet cover and on the reverse side of the sticker panel.
"Commemorative stamps featuring Canadians, their accomplishments and our nation's history, allow Canada Post to remind all Canadians of who we are, where we came from, and what is important to us," said Charlton. He noted that Canadian stamps travel to virtually every country and serve as what he called "national ambassadors carrying our pride around the world."
October 1995: Davenport Hosts Chiropractic Centennial Celebration
More than 5,500 members of the worldwide chiropractic family gathered in the profession's birthplace for the Chiropractic Centennial Foundation's (CCF) Grand Celebration, Sept. 13-16, 1995. It was a time to celebrate, remember and rekindle the spirit and power of chiropractic with an eye toward the profession's second 100 years.
Participants came to hear from many of the most famous names in chiropractic philosophy, clinical practice, legal issues, practice management, history and research, and to explore an exhibit hall filled with 175 vendor booths offering every kind of chiropractic product and service imaginable. There was also an impressive and extensive array of continuing-education seminars.
"Innate is alive and well in Davenport!" exclaimed Louis Sportelli, DC, secretary of the World Federation of Chiropractic, who has appeared regularly in the national media spotlight on behalf of the profession. Dr. Sportelli rallied the audience at one of the philosophy sessions and declared, "This is a time for celebration. We can iron out our differences. But are we ready for the next century?" Attendees replied with a resounding, "Yes!"
Centennial Celebration highlights included a memorable "Evening with Ray Charles" for all attendees and a preview of the CCF's hour-long chiropractic documentary, "From Simple Beginnings," hosted by Jack Perkins. The documentary is in the final editing stages and will be aired on national television. The celebration concluded with a huge gala at Davenport's LeClaire Park on the banks of the Mississippi River, featuring dinner, cocktails, entertainment headlined by actor Alan Thicke, dancing and a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi - which, like chiropractic, continues on its venerable way.