Wellness, health promotion and prevention

This page only includes articles published in the last 5 years


A 2012 analysis of National Health Interview Survey data on wellness-related use of complementary health care found that “users of natural product supplements and yoga were more likely to have reported using the approach for a wellness reason than for treatment of a specific health condition, whereas more spinal manipulation users reported using it for treatment rather than for wellness. The most common wellness-related reason reported by users of each of the three approaches was for ‘‘general wellness or disease prevention.’’ The majority of users of all three health approaches reported that they perceived this use improved their overall health and made them feel better.”1

Prevention of low back pain (LBP)

A 2016 systematic review suggests that effective interventions to prevent LBP are exercise alone or exercise combined with education. “Other interventions, including education alone, back belts, and shoe insoles, do not appear to prevent LBP.”2

Falls prevention in older adults

An article providing an overview of this topic suggests that DCs “may have a role in falls prevention strategies in the subpopulation of the elderly that suffer from mechanical neck pain or dysfunction and non-specific dizziness.” However, more research is needed.3

Screening for skin cancer by DCs

A survey of UK DCs indicated that over 80% of respondents considered skin cancer screening to be within their scope of practice, and a substantial number already perform screening and refer patients with suspicious lesions for further diagnosis.4

Tobacco cessation training for CAM practitioners

A 2015 developmental study described the evaluation plan for an online training program for DCs and other CAM practitioners. “The potential impact of this study is to expand tobacco cessation and health promotion infrastructure in a new group of health practitioners who can help combat the continuing epidemic of tobacco use.5

Chiropractic best practices for wellness, health promotion and disease prevention

Chiropractic best-practice recommendations indicate that DCs should provide patients with appropriate counseling on health promotion and disease prevention that is consistent with recommendations from agencies such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.6

DCs should screen patients for obesity/overweight by obtaining a body mass index; physical inactivity; tobacco use and hypertension. They should counsel those with risk factors on tobacco cessation, physical activity, weight management and healthy diet.6

“Chiropractic care provided for the purpose of preventing disease, optimizing function, and supporting the patient’s wellness-related activities is best termed wellness care, although the term preventive care may also be appropriate.”6


  1. Stussman BJ, Black LI, Barnes PM, Clarke TC, Nahin RL. Wellness-related use of common complementary health approaches among adults: United States, 2012. Natl Health Stat Report. 2015(85):1-12. FREE FULL TEXT
  2. Steffens D, Maher CG, Pereira LS, et al. Prevention of low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Int Med. 2016:1-10.
  3. Kendall JC, Hartvigsen J, French SD, Azari MF. Is there a role for neck manipulation in elderly falls prevention? – An overview. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2015;59(1):53-63. FREE FULL TEXT
  4. Glithro S, Newell D, Burrows L, Hunnisett A, Cunliffe C. Public health engagement: detection of suspicious skin lesions, screening and referral behaviour of UK based chiropractors. Chiropr Man Therap. 2015;23(1):5. FREE FULL TEXT
  5. Muramoto ML, Howerter A, Eaves ER, Hall JR, Buller DB, Gordon JS. Online tobacco cessation training and competency assessment for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners: protocol for the CAM Reach Web Study. JMIR Res Protoc. 2016;5(1):e2. FREE FULL TEXT
  6. Hawk C, Schneider M, Evans MW, Jr., Redwood D. Consensus process to develop a best-practice document on the role of chiropractic care in health promotion, disease prevention, and wellness. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2012;35(7):556-567.