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John Przybylak, D.C., Madeline Behrendt, D.C.

Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ April 19, 2004 ~ Pages 1-9


The chiropractic relief effort at Ground Zero offers a profound reflection of chiropractic commitment and service. While laws, licensure, and guidelines are often used to define and describe a profession, critical world events can shape a deeper and clearer understanding of purpose. Shortly after the first 9-11 strike, chiropractic was offered at the site in Manhattan. In the ensuing days increasing numbers of chiropractors gravitated there to provide adjustments to the distressed and injured.

Their early presence, while welcome, was unofficial. While the fires were extinguished and the ruins smoldered, chiropractic leaders coordinated with government agencies to serve America in a joint effort of restoration, of healing. Through the efforts of the New York Chiropractic Council, certification was procured for chiropractic services on the Ground Zero respite sites. Officially, chiropractors now served in the deepest wound ever inflicted on American soil, and recovery workers could receive the benefits of chiropractic care. The formal chiropractic relief efforts were manned around the clock, at up to 5 sites, beginning September 28, 2001 through May 30, 2002, when all work at Ground Zero was completed.

Approximately 1,500 chiropractors donated over $1.5 million in services, adjusting up to 500 per day. During those months on the front lines chiropractors served, then returned to their hometowns and offices to continue their work, confident that the America they loved was healing. In the dark rubble of this event, chiropractic shone brightly as a vital component of the recovery of a city, state, and nation. The successful chiropractic care at Ground Zero sites serve as a model for any future emergency response effort to consider the inclusion of chiropractic services.

Key words:  chiropractic, New York Chiropractic Council, 9-11, Ground Zero, adjustments, disaster or relief efforts, vertebral subluxation

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