The easter bunny, santa claus, the existence of God. These are all topics humans like to note whether we 'believe' in or not. Somehow, through aggressive ignorance, the profession of chiropractic has been lumped into this category. I can't tell you how many people I've met that, once my background is revealed, they proceed to tell me whether they 'believe' in chiropractic or not. Well, my goal is to advance that thinking process for those that consider the basis of chiropractic to be unscientific or not backed by randomized controlled trials...So, skeptics, please read on.
There are two reference books I will utilize here, Guyton's Physiology and Netter's Anatomy (or Gray's if needed).
So, the first step is to clarify the existence of the spinal joints. Note many pages in both references will illustrate the facet joints (2 per spinal level) and the disc anteriorly. Done
Step two is to recognize, as all physiology books have for decades, that there are four phases that occur following an injury to a synovial joint in the human body. Swelling, congestion, scar tissue/adhesion formation, and remodeling. Fairly straight forward science. Done
Step three is to acknowledge the importance, following the formation of the aforementioned scar tissue, of reintroducing normal motion to the injured joint, much like a stint with a physical therapist following knee surgery.
Step four is where the elitist sarcasm will kick in a little, but it addresses the basic anatomical fact that humans can voluntarily move their knee, elbow, wrist, ankle etc. but do not have the ability to individually move the facet joints at specific spinal joints(Go ahead, move your knee, now move C5-6(spinal vertebrae)....ok, you're with me). So, if one (ie. you, the possible skeptic,) acknowledges that A) Synovial joints form scar tissue when injured, and B) inducing motion in the previously injured joint will not only break up adhesions but limit the formation of the scar tissue, and C) have the basic concept that it is voluntarily possible for humans to move knees and nearly all other joints other than the spinal joints, then you "believe" in chiropractic through what are essentially entry level scientific facts.
So, person A falls skiing, ruptures their ACL and suffers a whiplash injury. Somehow, in certain circles, it is scientific to perform PT after the ACL reconstruction to limit scar tissue formation in the knee that the patient can move, but somehow not legit to refer patient A with facet joint injury (see guyton's or Netter) to the only specialist trained to adjust/manipulate the individual joints of the spine that are injured because the patient's muscular specificity cannot perform the required actions??
In conclusion, I would love it if "belief" was reserved for religion and superheros, and left at the wayside for a profession that addresses real life scientific fact as it relates to the human condition. PS. Headaches aren't caused by a tylenol deficiency, but that's for another day.