May 9, 2019 -- “There’s
never been a time of greater cultural authority for chiropractic.” That’s the
message Carl Cleveland III, DC delivered during his presentation at the 2019 Logan
University Spring Symposium.
Cleveland is President of Cleveland University in Kansas City, which was
founded by his grandfather, Carl Cleveland, DC. He is also an author, educator
and international lecturer. Generations of his family have been pioneers in
chiropractic, giving him a unique perspective on just how far the profession
has come in terms of public acceptance.
all started with Dr. Cleveland’s great-grandmother, Sylva Ashworth. Sylva was
born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1874, 26 years before chiropractic was founded. By
the time she was 27, she suffered from cardiovascular problems and severe
diabetes that caused an infection in her foot. Surgeons didn’t think she could
survive the amputation and predicted she’d live only a few more months. Thankfully,
a neighbor suggested Sylva try chiropractic. “Over time, her gangrenous toes
pinkened up and the diabetes left her,” Dr. Cleveland said. “Not long after,
she packed up her children and moved to Davenport, Iowa, to enroll in Palmer
College of Chiropractic.”
daughter Ruth followed in her mother’s footsteps. Ruth met her husband Carl
Cleveland while both were students at the Palmer School of Chiropractic. The
couple eventually moved to Kansas City and founded Central College of
Chiropractic in 1922. The school was run out of their home. Chiropractic
wouldn’t be legal in Missouri for another five years. Their son, Dr.
Cleveland’s father, grew up afraid that his parents could be arrested at any
moment. They escaped arrest—many of their students did not—but it was nevertheless
a curious home to grow up in, with the kitchen serving as the dissection
chiropractic was legal by the time Dr. Cleveland came along, the public still
largely misunderstood it or—worse—thought of DCs as “quacks,” Dr. Cleveland
recalls. Chiropractic has come a long way since then. “Today my grandchildren
won’t hear words of disrespect about what we do,” Dr. Cleveland said.
of chiropractic’s cultural authority include:
of 2018, chiropractors were serving in official capacities at 97 VA facilities
and 66 military treatment centers in the U.S. and overseas.
were included in the official medical staff for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio
serve all 32 NFL teams and 28 of 30 MLB teams.
2017, the American College of Physicians, the Danish Health Authority, the
Journal of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical
Association all recommended chiropractic for pain control ahead of
pharmacological options, driven in large part by the opioid crisis.
2018, Missouri covered chiropractic care under Medicaid.
of April 2019, Missouri HealthNet covers complementary and alternative
therapies to treat adult chronic pain.
increase in visibility and trust is due to a few different factors. One big
reason is that chiropractic succeeds in all three goals laid out by the triple
aim of the Affordable Care Act: improved care experience, reduced health care
costs and improved health care outcomes. Numerous studies prove chiropractic’s
efficacy in each area. Chiropractic patients seeking treatment for back
pain tend to rate their satisfaction
higher when compared to medical patients. A 2017 Consumer
Reports study showed that 95% of back pain patients find effective relief
from chiropractic. Studies have demonstrated the significant
cost benefits of sending patients to a chiropractor as a first line of
defense against back and neck pain.
Cleveland concluded his presentation with a call for the chiropractic community
to cultivate a wider understanding of chiropractic care and prepare future DCs
to work within a multidisciplinary environment.