The chiropractic vertebral subluxation part 4: new perspectives and theorists from 1916 to 1927

Document Type


Publication details

Senzon, SA 2018, 'The chiropractic vertebral subluxation part 4: new perspectives and theorists from 1916 to 1927', Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, vol. 25, pp. 52-66.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



Objective: The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss the history of chiropractic vertebral subluxation (CVS) between the years 1916 and 1927.
Discussion: Theories during this period were shaped by many chiropractic school leaders and instructors. Unique contributions to theories during this period come primarily from 4 authors, John Craven, Jim Drain, Shelby Riley, and Ralph Stephenson. This period included the first thermographic instrumentation in chiropractic, which led to one of Craven's modifications of CVS theory. He also added to the literature about spinal cord pressure and developed the restoration cycle. Drain and Stephenson also expanded on the cord pressure models of CVS. Drain wrote, in plain language, of many central B. J. Palmer theories and developed protocols for acute and chronic CVS. Stephenson made several contributions to models, including his expansion on B. J. Palmer's theory of momentum of dis-ease. Stephenson's main contribution to theory was likely his vertemere cycle, which was a precursor to proprioceptive models. Riley's combination of Gregory's theories with zone therapy had a significant impact on several reflex theories.
Conclusion: Chiropractic vertebral subluxation theory during this period grew in complexity and demonstrated several new perspectives on CVS, which may be still relevant today.

Find in your library