Here’s One Word Chiropractors Should Stop Using…

There’s a word that I hear chiropractors use every day that I wish they’d stop using. The term I’m referring to is “remove” in the context of subluxation.

Now I know that there are several definitions for the word “remove” and that you can probably find one that’s applicable to your claim. But I think chiropractors should say what they mean and mean what they say. Consider this excerpt from The English Teacher Blog:

“Saying what you mean is more than choosing your words and stating them. Words, after all, have at least three meanings:  what you mean, what the listener thinks you mean, and the dictionary definition(s).”

As a fellow chiropractor I know exactly what my colleagues are implying with the phrase, “remove subluxation.” Unfortunately, patients can easily think it means something else. “Remove” has a surgical connotation to the general public. Think about it… Every day thousands of people are getting stuff removed: Wisdom teeth, moles, tonsils, gall bladders – even tattoos! To them, the “removal” process is permanent!

“Removing subluxation” sounds like a one shot deal. Can you blame anyone for questioning the need for follow-up visits? “Reduce” is a much more accurate, understandable, and mutually agreeable term that doesn’t contradict your treatment recommendations.

The ability to hold a chiropractic adjustment reflects a person’s lifestyle choices. Subluxations are reduced until some form of negative stress prevails; they’re never removed.

When patient’s discover the relationship between they way the live and the way they feel, the need for chiropractic checkups actually makes sense!


I really like this one. The weird thing is I was just thinking about the word remove just the other day. Thanks for the post Doc!

I’m guilty of using this word as well. But no more! Good stuff, as usual!

Dr. Eric V. Schonhard Monday at 12:00

Liked your post. I agree with you that reducing sbluxations is a much better then removing subluxations when explaining chiropratic and what the chiropractor does.

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