29 Comments

  1. William M. London

    The author of this essay seems oblivious to: (1) the continued lack of clinical research support for chiropractic adjustments (and even for spinal manipulation); (2) the widespread promotion (in advertising, publicity, and direct selling) of hyped, non-science-based supplements, gadgets, theories (e.g., subluxation theory), services, and recommendations (e.g., anti-vaccination) by chiropractors; and (3) the unethical marketing gimmicks that are commonly used by chiropractors (some of which are promoted by chiropractic practice building businesses and some of which involve insurance fraud).

    Recognizing CCE as an accrediting agency may have given chiropractic the appearance of legitimacy, but the author fails to point out that accreditation of educational institutions is not a sign that what is taught at the institutions about chiropractic treatment is scientifically supported. Chiropractic remains a healing cult with many factions, each based on ideology rather than science.

  2. David Ramey

    It is disingenuous to talk about a “field” of “chiropractic medicine.” There is no unified field of chiropractic, any more than there is a unified field of astrology, tarot, or palm reading. Chiropractic medicine, as per Lewis Carrol’s Humpty Dumpty character, “…means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    It has been said that for every chiropractor, there is an equal and opposite chiropractor. The fact that the AMA lost a restraint of trade lawsuit, or that some significant minority of the population uses it (whatever “it” may be) does not also imply legitimacy.

  3. George Curry

    Chiropractic remains to gain in popularity becuase it gets results where traditional medicine fails. There is more research to support the effectiveness of Chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation)than the majority of traditional medical innervations. Don’t take my word for it…just do a pubmed search online.

  4. The author of this article is an ignoramus. The article states: “Ever since Wilk, the AMA and other federally associated institutions have been obliged to recognize and treat chiropractic medicine as a legitimate practice in alternative medicine.” That is absolutely untrue. In 1987, federal court judge Susan Getzendanner concluded that during the 1960s “there was a lot of material available to the AMA Committee on Quackery that supported its belief that all chiropractic was unscientific and deleterious.” The judge also noted that chiropractors still took too many x-rays. However, she ruled that the AMA had engaged in an illegal boycott. She concluded that the dominant reason for the AMA’s antichiropractic campaign was the belief that chiropractic was not in the best interest of patients. But she ruled that this did not justify attempting to contain and eliminate an entire licensed profession without first demonstrating that a less restrictive campaign could not succeed in protecting the public. Although chiropractors trumpet the antitrust ruling as an endorsement of their effectiveness, the case was decided on narrow legal grounds (restraint of trade) and was not an evaluation of chiropractic methods. The ruling did not legitimize chiropractic or order anyone to stop criticizing it. It merely said that certain restrictive activities had to be based on individual decisions rather than blanket institutional policy.
    See: http://www.chirobase.org/08Legal/AT/at00.html

  5. In 1995 Nasel and Szlazak reviewed chiropractic literature and concluded that there had not been a single well controlled study to suggest that the “chiropractic subluxation” or problems with spinal structures is the cause of any organic disease.

    The Department of Education also accredits a school of astrology, a practice on a par with chiropractic when it comes to scientific validation. Should the medical professions also “integrate” astrology into their practice as well? “Sorry, we can’t do your surgery for the next month because your moon is rising someone else’s house.”

    This issue of your journal is very disappointing.

  6. Jay

    Did you know that applicants only have to have 60 credits of undergraduate education and a 2.5 GPA to be admitted to a chiropractic school? Did you know that chiropractic has been completely “delisted” by all but one of the Canadian provinces because it has not proven any effectiveness? Most strikingly, did you know that most chiropractors deny that there is a chance for causing strokes by neck manipulation?

  7. Kenneth Tennant, DC

    As a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic (class of 2000), I am disgusted with the lack of integrity that is pervasive in that institution. Having been adjusted in their student clinic under a DC, I was almost stroked out due to the incompetence and total lack of oversight. I have a “military neck” and yet the student extern used this dangerous technique called a modified rotary break, which uses maximum rotation, despite the contra-indication of using rotation where the normal cervical curvature (lordotic curve) is diminished or absent. They changed the name to eliminate having to explain to a jury using the term “break,” yet they continue to “teach” this technique. Talk about stuck on stupid. Someone there needs a check up from the neck up. Palmer has long lost it’s spine to teach the truth about the harmful effects of vaccines and fails to be honest in too many ways, I believe. ie Only 40% of graduates sustain a practice and a much smaller percent make a difference. They over X-ray and over charge. I learned more from my grandmother about health than all of Palmer’s “Teachers” combined. I feel defrauded. You Tube: Dr. Carley I also found it curious that they do not accept their own credentials for students applying for special programs to help disabled students (ask Dr. Lori Neuman) They require a medical doctor’s authorization. I want my money back.

  8. Annette Osenga

    I am a librarian at Life Chiropractic College West. The following is my opinion, not that of my employer. The undergraduate author looked widely at available literature and news, and attempted to provide a balanced view. Some commentary is unfair. Pre-requisites are 90 not 60 at our college. The author hardly deserves to be called an ignoramus, based on (mis)understanding the AMA vs Wilk case. I am happy that the author refers to research more current that 1995. I am also happy to report that many DCs are involved in clinical research, and all of the colleges’ research departments are working to increase the body of literature. Any of the contentions made in the article can be further researched by interested readers.

  9. Chiropractic saves lives

    People that insist on defaming chiropractic usually have an agenda…or they are just plain ignorant.

    And this quote was before John D. Rockefeller ruined healthcare for good in this country.

    “I firmly believe that if the whole materia Medica could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes.”
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, M. D.
    – Professor of Medicine at Harvard.

    Prescription drugs, botched surgery, and the inability of physicians to comprehend anything outside of the two kill people, not chiropractic.

    Oh… and Mr. Ramsey, the minority of the population that use chiropractic are ten times more healthy than the people that are fooled into relying on medicine.

    Open your mind…it will do everybody around you some good.

    http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2011/06/mhst1-1106.html

    http://www.advancedhealthplan.com/The_Drug_Story.html

  10. Dr. Mitchell Holland

    Articles and attacks on alternative medicine of all kinds have never stopped and probably never will. Meanwhile millions of people continue to suffer and die uneccesarily from routine and toxic medications, surgical nightmares and the traditional very profitable and entirely horrible American Medical System.

    A few things of note:

    Traditional Allopathic American medicine causes more deaths annually than all the alternative medical treatments put together by a factor of millions.

    William Jarvis and Stephen Barrett have been making a great living putting down all forms of alternative therapy for decades. They are both hacks for Corporate medicine and have no credibility. The good news is most people who do any research soon figure this out.

    Chiropratic is not surgery. It’s holistic, supportive and rehabilitative in nature. It rarely if ever causes any type of permanent damage even when misapplied. When properly applied, the results border on miraculous to those who have their conditions and pain cured without surgery or drugs.

    Medicine/Surgery is great for trauma care, but lacks very poorly in these other areas and can cause great harm and death when missapplied, which is frequently.

    These are simple facts. People do not need to suffer needlessly from conditions that are easily treatable with a few Chiropractic Treatments. Anyone who advocates for other than that is just promoting suffering.

    There is a saying in Chiropractic: Chiropractic First, Medicine Second, Surgery Last.

    This makes sense which is why so many people trust Chiropractic. It works most of the time and without harm.

    Look at the lawsuits against drugs and surgery and compare that to the tiny amount of lawsuits against Chiropractors and you will have all the scientific information you need to decide for yourself what is scientific and does the least harm.

  11. KillJoy

    About five months ago, seemingly out of the blue, I began to experience numbness and tingling, along with a deep dull ache in my right hip and leg. Alarmed at the onset of this I immediately arranged to see a chiropractor, as at the time I did not have insurance. I go in, I get tested for “muscle stimulation” down my spine(lots of tension), I get an x-ray(spine is “too straight”, but nothing conclusive), and I get an adjustment on a pneumatic table with what looked like a tuning fork in the end of a gun that is clicked up and down your spine. I am optimistic at first so I arranged for a “payment package”. I rigorously went twice a week for 6 weeks, initially motivated by small improvements to my original condition. After about 3 weeks of treatment improvement stopped. Dr. Miller insisted he could fix me manually, but if necessary he could put me in traction and that would be a sure thing. Went into traction and that seemed incrementally better but again progress stopped after about 3 treatments, one per week. In total I had more than a dozen adjustments and 8 traction treatments, spent over $2000, and I feel better since I have discontinued my treatment. My overall feeling if that chiros are scammers. In my short relationship with Dr. Miller he tried to sell me; an ergonomic pillow, shoe inserts to help with my posture and lower back pain, and supplements for an active adult. Not to mention the treatment packages that I pre-paid for. One time I was in traction in the back room of his office and it was after hours. Some guy shows up talking supplements with Dr. Miller saying, “These ones are flyin’ off the shelves. I just recently bought stock in them and I’m already making money. If you were smart you would buy some stock too.” At that point Dr. Miller came back and shut the door to the room I was being treated in knowing that his supplement rep was announcing sensitive information. I assure you I have no agenda, I am only sharing this as a result of my frustration I have endured over the past 5 months. I have since gone to a spine specialist where I received an MRI. I have a herniated disc in my lower back that is pressing on my sciatic root nerve. Surgery will be required to alleviate my pain. And if it were up to Dr. Miller, he would still be happily spending my hard earned money for a service that he never provided.

  12. James J. Lehman, DC, MBA

    There are needs to improve health care in this country. The National Prevention Strategy calls for primary care sites that are holistic, patient-centered and integrated. Chiropractic clinicians have a chance to make a difference for patients in need of their services with the changes suggested as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

    Chiropractic medicine along with allopathic medicine must continue to improve by using a patient-centered and evidence-based model. The training of medical doctors and chiropractors must evolve into a contemporary model that stresses effective learning opportunities at lower costs.

    Everyone in healthcare should take time to view the documentary that discusses problems in our American healthcare system. http://www.indiegogo.com/EscapeFire

  13. This to the MD’s who bash chiropractic.
    I am tired of hearing you call us quacks. Although I regret becoming a chiropractor due to the struggles that we go through getting decent insurance reimbursement, considered alternative, and people like yourselves that bash our profession – I still think it is a very good healing art. There are some bad apples in our profession as there are in yours. By stereotyping you show your ignorance. I myself realize the ridiculousness of attributing all causes of disease to misalignments in the spine, although you as an MD will have to agree that distortions to spinal nerves can affect conditions other than just causing back pain such as paresthesias and other things – as published in your own medical journals. Also many chiropractors work with nutrition and natural healing methods, a thing that most MD’s gave up long ago due to the corrupt influence of the pharmaceutical industry. What ever happened to – you are what you eat, an apple a day, a teaspoon of cod liver oil ? Have you guys sold your soul to the devil or something. The pharmaceutical industry is like witches and warlocks conjuring up evil potions that merely treat symptoms with all kinds of horrible side effects. It is the body that heals itself, not your medicines. God gave us what we needed on this planet for healing, however the distortion of nature to make medicines fueled by the root of all evil (money and the pharmaceutical industry has merely played on the weaknesses of peoples lack of discipline to eat right, exercise, etc. Or is it still more sinister than that – yes I think it is. Since birth we are inundated with television commercials promoting medicine for each and every possible symptom. Symptoms are warning signs from the body that something is wrong. Don’t cover them up thinking you have fixed the problem. C’mon, take your head out of your asses MD’s. If you paid attention in school, you know that medicine is hard on the liver, and our bodies can only take so much, then the kidneys go, etc, etc. Whatever happened to your hippocratic oath “first do no harm” oh, I know, you thought it meant to be hypocrites. I myself come from a country where the average life expectancy is in the 90’s, most people never get sick, and live long healthy lives – a country where so called alternative medicine and the medical field work together to achieve the best results possible. Here our healthcare system is a disgrace, and is money driven instead of results driven. There is a place for medicine, but not as a first line. Benefits should outweigh the risks, and if there is a safer more natural way, then that should be explored first. The trouble is that you are not educated in these areas ever since the money grubbing big pharma took over. In conclusion, I think it is many (not all) the MD’s in this country that are the quacks working like legalized drug pushers using potions and concoctions made by satan and his minions. What a wonder that the medical symbol is a snake. Just like Satan, you give something to entice (treatment of symptoms) for the weak and unsuspecting victims to enjoy, but it is full of horrible side effects. The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5) I honestly don’t know how you can sleep at night. I will pray for you all, and your victims.

  14. Bobby Long

    All I know is that my wife’s doctors were going to put her on a regiment of 8 weeks PT 3x / week for a back injury while working. She visited a Chiropractor ONE TIME and the pain went away..

    My son had a neck injury when he was 6 months old which caused him to draw his head to left.. We took him to a Chiropractor friend of ours and after 1 adjustment, he straightened up..

    I, and my family have used Chiropractic for years for shoulder and neck pain. I am a personal trainer and very physically active. I have found Chiropractic a very cost effective and effective treatment for neck and back pain. Many times, the relief is instantaneous..

    So, for all you who call them quacks and discount their practice, don’t knock it until you try it.. Maybe your just afraid to admit that there is a better way to treat some injuries that muscle relaxers and months of PT.. Or it might just be that scared feeling you get when you realize that this way of treatment doesn’t support your myriad of MD buddies that can suck the money out of your patients with all the consult fees, radiology reads, and months of therapy..

    Don’t get me wrong; I don’t use Chiropractic for all injuries, just those that I know it works. I just find it astounding of the hatred and vile comments toward a practice that has resulted in millions of satisfied patients… So, some advice from a not only a patient of traditional medicine and of Chiropractic, I say to the MD’s, get over it…

  15. The numbers of people who have been helped thru chiropractic ,is unlimited. The numbers of people harmed thru medicne is unlimited. I suppose we all know we have life within us, we certainly know when someone loses his or her life. The purpose of the the chiropractic adjustment is not to treat disease or symptoms, but to facilitate the expression of life over the nerves from brain to cell. Thus life does the healing, which is something no Dr. of any kind can do.
    Prove us wrong that life does the healing.

  16. David

    I’m not here to tell anyone that their views are wrong, but take the time to understand that Chiropractic does make a positive impact in the patient lives. I’ve seen a Chiropractic since the age of 13, I started my own Chiropractic Organization at Michigan State University, I’ve worked at a Chiropractic office for over 3 years, and I will be attending Chiropractic school in fall 2013; my life is Chiropractic. The allopathic medical word understands the deleterious effects of decreased nerve flow caused by impinging vertebrae. Unlike the medical world, which can only “fix” this problem through surgery, Chiropractic focuses on keeping spinal vertebrae mobile to allow proper nerve flow. It’s a very simple concept…are you ready for it? Proper nerve flow, or life force, allows for optimum function in your body. If you understand that concept, you understand Chiropractic. It’s easy to discredit such a simple concept with the lack of double blind, randomized, controlled studies that the western medical world demands. On the upside, Chiropractic is accommodating to this system and pushing out positive results! For the people who discredit such an awesome profession, go hang out in a Chiropractic office for a day. I guarantee you will be told a “miracle” or two from patients. In reality, this is no miracle at all. The Chiropractor just removed interference in the Nerve System and the body did the healing! Chiropractors don’t heal, they just allow your “internal doctor” to work with clarity.

  17. This study was printed in the Journal of Hypertension, peer reviewed.

    Study Finds Special ‘Atlas Adjustment’ Lowers Blood Pressure. Study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

    The result is the same as taking 2 BP meds per day and get this no one in the study even had any neck pain. Take your drugs and stick em whee the sun doesn’t shine

  18. C.KING

    At Macquarie University, Chiropractic Science is a 5 year course – 3 years Bachelor degree and 2 more years Masters degree. It is a very difficult Science course, one year longer than Physiotherapy and most other Health Science courses, the same length as Vet Science at Sydney Uni and Medicine at Western Sydney Uni. I am tired of people knocking chiropractors! They help a lot of people and are very well-trained!

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  20. Brick House

    While I support Western medicine for its medical advances, I have personally been “fixed” by alternative medicine where Western medicine failed. After pulling my right iliopsoas tendon during a gym class, I gimped around for several days before seeing an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI to find the exact location of the inflammation, and diagnosed a “Goldilocks” approach: if it hurts, don’t do it.

    The tendon snapped as I walked on a regular basis for the next two weeks as a vacation to Ireland loomed in the near future. My mother, a RN with thirty years of experience, suggested that I visit her chiropractor. He ordered several x-rays from the local hospital to be taken, and discovered that the right hip was out of alignment.

    He placed electrical stimulation on the lower back muscles for approximately twenty minutes, gently adjusted my lower back in three moves, and sent me on my way. The snapping tendon occurrence was reduced, and I was able to return to the gym and enjoy my vacation. The orthopedic surgeon only diagnosed the issue, but did not prescribe any real fix for the pain.

    There are chiropractic doctors who should not be practicing medicine. If the problem cannot be fixed within several visits, allopathic medicine should be considered for treatment in my opinion. Individuals should be able to find what treatment works for their biological make-up instead of being turned away from ANY possible treatment that may relieve their condition.

    Western medicine is working toward individualistic medicine with biologics to conform better to the human body, but most pharmaceutical compounds are just chemical compilations of naturally occurring compounds for greater strength and conformity for ease of manufacturing. If alternative medicine was given the proper platform for clinical trials and an objective review, then perhaps some scientific progress may be made in the future. Chiropractic medicine has fallen under more federal regulation within the United States due to health insurance accepting alternative treatments under current plans, but more research is required in order for conventional medicine to possibly support this form of treatment.

    Is it ethical or moral to turn down a possible cure for chronic pain?

  21. Henrik

    Here is a link to an article that show that Wiliam Jarvis mentioned in the article above was a leader fore a subcommittee to AMA illegal committee.

    http://buggesblogg.blogspot.se/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5

    There you can find many things. For example Text of the Court Order in Wilk v. AMA, and other interesting things this link : http://buggesblogg.blogspot.se/2011_06_01_archive.html

    Most other articles in the blogg are in swedish. But you can use goole translate.

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