A lot of research doesn't sit well with chiropractic because it is not a lab. It's not something you can just dissect inside a laboratory. And lots of from the answers are somewhat subjective. The individual feels better. The pain is less. Though you will find x-rays and leg-length checks that can be made.
The skill of Chiropractic
So what is the skill of chiropractic?
To the observer, it's a spinal manipulation procedure. Which basically means you are handling someone's joints, mainly in the spine. Although chiropractors look at other joints too.
Because of the practice philosophy of chiropractic, the spine is much more important since it houses the mind and spinal-cord. All of the nerves flow from the spine. And the nerves control the organs and muscles.
In defining the skill i know of a noticeable difference between manipulation and adjustment. These two terms get interchanged in some circles but they're not the same thing.
A manipulation is not chiropractic!
This might shock you in the beginning, but it is true.
A manipulation infers that the practitioner is moving some pot without consequence of position or direction. Which means that the person is trying to mobilise a joint.
So if a drawer is jammed, and also you provide a push and shove, you're actually governing the drawer and its fitting!
It's stuck. You unstick it.
Chiropractors usually have preferred this term. This means that the direction of alignment is taken into account. You're correcting a joint in the relationship with other joints in a certain plane.
Chiropractors call the misalignment of the spine a "listing." With this we mean, one bone in relationship to another could be posterior to the left, which is what it is rotated. It may be posterior to the left and tilted down (called posterior left inferior), and so forth.
It got much more precise than this after the work of Drs John Grostic and Al Wermsing in the 30's and 40's.
They began to list the skull and atlas (the top spinal bone) when it comes to examples of displacement as based on x-ray. In this you may have for instance, a Right 2 degrees on the Left 2 degrees, skull to atlas misalignment.
Within the 1980's Dr Don Harrison from Wyoming, working with Dr Harry Wong, desired to learn more about the Grostic style listings in degrees.
They determined that head-to-shoulder postures were the cause of the degree misalignments.
Patterns for example rotations, tilts, and side and forward head carriage produced the different angles that Grostic practitioners had been observing for 4 decades.
A Grostic "against the kink" would be a rotation and "into the kink" a side bend. Gleam third type in which the head side-tilts on the first vertebra (atlas) only.
The Art of Chiropractic requires the manual procedures, dexterity and skill learnt out of chiropractic college. In certain colleges they will use half-tyres to develop the muscle action required.
There is another thing known as a speeder board, which will help for recoil movement.
In modern days, instruments (for example blocks and activators) are used. These require a comprehension from the practitioner in positioning depth.
All of them need a sensitivity in the chiropractor, which is why it's an art.
It's okay to have science, but a lot of it is feel. A lot of it is intention, a lot of it is care.