INTRODUCTION The use of spinal manipulation (SM) is widespread, particularly in English-speaking countries, where many studies are published showing its popularity. However, no study exists of the demography and activity of the French medical profession. Our objective was to investigate the use of SM by French doctors in their daily practice. MATERIALS AND METHODS We questioned 234 doctors, general practitioners and specialists who obtained the Inter-Academy of Manual Medicine and Osteopathy Diploma from Strasbourg University between 1985 and 2002. RESULTS We obtained a response from 140 physicians: 110 (79%) practiced SM in their daily practice. They considered the technique efficient and used it as a first intention. Approximately one quarter of cases resulted in adverse effects on the back. Most of the doctors (77%) continued their education during their career. CONCLUSION This first assessment of the practice of physicians trained in a university in manual medicine allows for confirming the respect of good medical practice with regular actualization of knowledge and reasonable outpatient care.