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Saw chiropractor, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who had ever seen a practitioner for chiropractic care (2002) or for chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (2007 and 2012) (COMEV) and for sample children in 2007 and 2012, COMYR reports whether the person had used chiropractic, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in the past 12 months.

Chiropractic care, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation were one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the Complementary and Alternative Health Supplements.


The 2002 Field Representative's Manual says that chiropractic care involves:

the adjustment of the spine and joints to influence the body's nervous system and natural defense mechanisms in order to alleviate pain and improve general health. It is primarily used to treat back problems, headaches, nerve inflammation, muscle spasms, and other injuries and traumas.

This definition was not routinely shared with respondents.

The 2007 and 2012 Field Representative's Manuals instead refer specifically to chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation:

Chiropractic (kye-row-PRAK-tik) manipulation is a form of health care that focuses on the relationship between the body's structure, primarily of the spine, and function. Doctors of chiropractic, who are also called chiropractors or chiropractic physicians, use a type of hands-on therapy called manipulation (or adjustment) as their core clinical procedure.

The 2007 and 2012 manuals define osteopathic manipulation as:

a full-body system of hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, restore function, and promote health and well-being.

In 2007 and 2012 field representatives were advised to "feel free to offer [these definitions] even if the respondent has not requested them."

Related Variables
Additional information about use of chiropractic care was collected for respondents who reported using chiropractic care in the past 12 months, including variables on frequency of use and amount of out-of-pocket costs. Please use the IPUMS NHIS drop-down menus and search function to explore these variables.


In 2007, sample children were added to the universe for this question. In 2007 only, the sample child universe was not restricted by if the sample child had ever used chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (COMEV). Because of this expanded universe, the number of negative responses for COMYR is much higher in 2007. Otherwise, there are no comparability issues.


  • 2002: Sample adults age 18+ who ever seen a practitioner for chiropractic care during the past 12 months.
  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever seen a practitioner for chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation and sample children under 18 .
  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever seen a practitioner for chiropractic care and sample children between the ages of 4 and 17.


  • 2002, 2007, 2012