The National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM) is a consumer advocacy association of chiropractors who confine their scope of practice to scientific parameters and seek to make legitimate the utilization of professional manipulative procedures in mainstream health care delivery. The NACM offers consumer assistance in finding member practitioners.


The National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM) was founded in consumer advocacy. Most professional associations are formed to further the interests of the professional individuals forming the organization. Members of the NACM believe that the interests of the public must come first over the interests of the professionals making up the association. Associate members believe that, in serving the public interest, they will be working toward a better profession, which, ultimately, will further their professional/personal goals.

The first and foremost requirement for membership in the NACM is that a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine renounce the chiropractic hypothesis and/or philosophy; that is, the tenets upon which their scope of practice is based. The original chiropractic hypothesis, stated simply, is that "subluxation is the cause of dis-ease." Modern day chiropractic associations may have expanded and changed this simple statement for the public, but the reality is that this remains the backbone of chiropractic education and practice to this day. In clarification, the term "subluxation" has never been defined by the profession in a way as to have universal acceptance within the chiropractic profession. Chiropractic "subluxation" is not the same as medical subluxation, which represents a partial dislocation of joint structure and would be a contraindication to "adjusting" or "manipulating" the joint structures. Chiropractic "subluxation," not having universal definition, and, thereby, not having received universal scientific status of existence, has evolved into a metaphysical status. Further, the profession has neither defined nor outlined what disease or "dis-ease" that the correction of the "subluxation" might cure or affect. Because the hypothesis has found no validity in universally accepted, peer-reviewed, published scientific journals, belief in the hypothesis, then, is essentially a theosophy. Science has not found any organ system pathology which "adjustment" or "manipulation" of spinal joint structures has effect; that is, no disease or "dis-ease" process is affected.

For these reasons, members of the NACM renounce the chiropractic hypothesis as a basis for their scope of practice. NACM members accept the scientific fact that "manipulative procedures" ("adjusting" spinal segments) has scientific validity simply for affecting joint dysfunctional disorders. NACM members confine their scope of practice to the treatment of joint dysfunctional disorders, which include the biomechanics of the human frame, posture, weight bearing and gait, and the pain or discomfort concomitant with this dysfunction which may result in excessive "wear" of these joint structures. NACM members do not consider themselves to be an "alternative" to scientific medical care and attempt to work closely with medical/osteopathic professionals. NACM members do not consider themselves to be "primary care" practitioners, as this would necessitate the training and ability to therapeutically impact any health care need of the consumer. NACM does not believe chiropractic education nor license to practice encompasses this scope of practice. NACM membership practitioners are "portal of entry" doctors, in that the consumer does not need referral from any other type of health care professional.

Because of these requirements, member Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine of the NACM have been recognized and recommended by professional associations and consumer magazines/periodicals, some of which are listed below:

Our Mission



What is the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM)?

Who are the members of the NACM?

What is the purpose of the NACM?

Is the NACM politically motivated or directed?

How does the NACM recruit its membership?

What is the relationship between the NACM and the AMA, AOA, and medical or osteopathic society or orthopractic?

What is the NACM position regarding:

What is the NACM position on ancillary physical modalities?

What is the benefit to chiropractors for joining the NACM?

How is the NACM funded?

What type of continuing education does the NACM recommend for members?

Is the NACM a corporation and is it profit or non-profit?

Are NACM members permitted to have duel membership in other organizations?

What is the scope of practice of an NACM chiropractic member?

What is the NACM position on the treatment of children?

Does the NACM have a policy statement for the insurance industry?

Yes, as follows:

  1. reasonable and necessary

  2. scientifically valid as universally accepted by the medical scientific community

  3. recognized as being medically necessary for the diagnosed condition(s).

  1. Spinal manipulative procedures are recognized only for the treatment of some neuromusculoskeletal conditions of musculoskeletal origin.

  2. Spinal manipulative procedures are not generally accepted for the treatment of children under six (6) years of age.

  3. Spinal manipulative procedures have not been proven to be of therapeutic value for chronic conditions or prolonged/protracted protocol of treatment.

  4. Spinal manipulative procedures or the manipulation of any of the articulations of the human body shall be by hand only and may not be done by machines or mechanical devices.

  5. Spinal manipulative procedures are known to be first diagnostic and then may be therapeutic. It has been found that there should be documented subjective and objective improvement in four to six weeks and/or eight to twelve treatment sessions. If no improvement occurs within this time frame, all treatment should cease for reassessment and consultation with an appropriate medical specialist. A treatment protocol should clearly be established based on physical examination findings, subjective response, judicious re-evaluation and this should be documented in daily treatment assessment notes made by the attending physician.



The Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain, (RAND, 1991)

Report to the Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations. CHAMPUS Chiropractic Demonstration, prepared by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. (Dec. 1993).

Clinical Guideline - No. 14 - Acute Low Back Problems in Adults: Assessment and Treatment, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. (Dec. 1994).

Monograph of the Quebec Task Force, Whiplash - Associated Disorders. (April 1995)

What the Scientific Literature Tells Us About the Use of Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Back and Neck Pain. (Harvard Symposium on Alternative Medicine, April 1995)

Chiropractic Services in a Staff Model HMO, Utilization and Satisfaction. HMO Practice, March 1997, Vol. II, Number 1, pg. 39-42, by John P. Hansen, M.D., M.S.P.H. and Daniel B. Futch, D.C., M.P.S.

1997 Wiley Expert Witness Update, New Developments in Personal Injury Litigation, Chapter 2, Chiropractic Medicine: Myth, Reality, and the Expert Witness. Charles E. DuVall, Jr., Wiley Law Publications, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Web-Related Resources

  1. World-Wide Medical Search

  2. NCAHF - National Council Against Health Fraud

  3. Quackwatch - A Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisionmaking

  4. Chirobase - A Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Current Practices

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If you have questions about NACM or you would like for us to contact you, please e-mail us at:

Postal address: 15427 Baybrook Drive
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