What's Wrong With Chiropractors?

A skeptical look at medical practices
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What's Wrong With Chiropractors?

Postby flyer1 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:36 pm

Have I just been incredibly lucky with mine? I go to a chiropractor fairly irregularly, usually when my neck is bothering me. He uses heat, ultrasound, and massage therapy to undo the tension in my back and neck, caused by two vertebrae in my back that have been out of alignment since I was 16. I go away, and am usually good for another 6 months.

I've never had a chiropractor offer to cure anything, from gallstones to depression by cracking my back; I've never had one suggest I needed to try any homeopathic remedies; I've never had one claim my bipolar disorder was all due to a misaligned spine. When I did have gall bladder trouble, my then chiropractor told me to see my primary care doctor post-haste.

I see all the rants about chiropractors here & in Skeptical Inquirer. Have I just been lucky and missed all the quacks? :shock:
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Postby JJM » Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:23 pm

To learn what is wrong with chiros check out http://www.chirobase.org, a subsidiary of http://www.quackwatch.org
In addition to that information, there is an interesting book "The Naked Chiropractor" by Preston H. Long, D.C., 2002, ISBN 0-9722816-0-6

There are some rational chiros (like PH Long), often these are identified by their membership in the National Association of Chiropractic Medicine. They seem equivalent to masseurs or, in some ways, physical therapists.

In short, the problems with classical chiropractic are, minimally, faulty assumptions and general lack of proven efficacy 110 years after its invention.

Traditional chiropractic is based on a fictional vertebral mis-alignment they called a "subluxation." It was demonstrated, with Xrays, that this does not exist. So they re-defined "subluxation" as something quite vague which can be summarized as "whatever I can bill you for claiming to fix."

Aside from the fact that their subluxation is a fantasy, their traditional notion that all body organs are controlled through the spinal column is wrong. You can tell because transplanted organs work well despite having no nerve connections to the host (nerves can't be grafted or regrown).

The only clinical evidence for efficacy in classical chiropractic is in the treatment of low back pain of short (3 days to 4 weeks) duration. And that should only require one or two visits. There is no known benefit for a chiropractor snapping a person's neck; but that is known to cause the occasional stroke- so the risk vastly outweighs the benefit.

So, the underlying notions of classical chiro (subluxation and nerve control), which are still taught, are nonsense. And the best clinical evidence shows limited applicability and real potential for harm.

Joe

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Postby JenJen » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:41 pm

JJM is correct - Quackwatch is a great resource for understanding the controversy of chiropractic. I'm going to take a purely subjective approach.

I find that my problem with chiropractic is that so many people confuse them with MDs and that so few people even realize that there is a controversy. With herbal remedies and homeopathy, people seem to, generally, understand that they are going outside of the mainstream medicine. For the most part, they seem to use the AM products more like "it can't hurt" supplements rather than substitutes for good medical advise. Generally, it seems to be true that the products probably won't hurt them.

I knew a lady who was very sick. She didn't seek medical help until very late in her illness. After sitting in the emergency room for several hours, she decided to go to Dr so & so, a chiropractor. Dr so & so sets her up for two or three visits a week and promises to fix her right up. Turns out that she is so sick she cannot even go through those treatments and ends up in the hospital within a few days. She had a cyst in her abdomen that was so large she could no longer function. She was too sick for an operation. She died last Christmas. The chiropractor absolutely did NOT cause her death or her illness. However, by changing nothing in the scenario except having her visit the chiropractor when she first started feeling ill, he may have caused her to not seek the medical help that she needed.

I also personally know of a family that visits their chiropractor every week for regular spinal adjustments - including the children. I know that when I've had habits, in the past, of cracking my joints, I have a need to do so or there will be pain. So now you create a situation where people are in pain because they have a HABIT of spinal adjustments - and only one guy can help them.

You can get the rest - problems with x-rays, lack of proof, subluxations, no medical training, etc. from Quackwatch. They also tell you what to look for in a "good" chiropractor.

It really isn't hard to see why people would be confused by things like chiropractic since it's so widely accepted by even the government (tax deductible!) and insurance companies. There is no chiropractic controversy in the "general public". It's mainstream - right next to every nail salon in town!

People get more upset about my doubting of their chiropractor than my doubting of their God.

Jen

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Postby spacekadet » Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:20 am

to quote Randi " having your back rubbed does feel good, and the pops produced by flexing and streching do sound impressive" Thats why people go to massage therapists when they are sore after rigorous sporting events.
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Postby JJM » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:08 pm

JenJen is right about the appearance of legitimacy for chiropractic (which I blame on the, scientifically illiterate, legislators that granted them licensure). The chiro lobby is too big and well-financed for us to reverse this mistake.

To clarify my own post, above: The problem with the faulty reasoning of chiropractic is that it leads them to (mistakenly) believe that they can treat conditions such as asthma, diabetes, ear infections, etc.

Joe

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Postby Flash » Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:32 pm

I was once run over by a vacuum cleaner (seriously), a big industrial floor cleaning machine that can easly go through the wall of a supermarket if left on and unattended. With no bones broken but in a terrible pain I was send to a local chiropractor who promply xrayed me (second time, the first time it was done at the hospital) and diagnosed me with some extra ailments having nothing to do with my injury. Of course, if I agreed to his treatment he was going to fix it all. What struck me about that guy was his hostility to a modern medicine and his methods of getting and holding onto patients. In addition to long treatment I would been required to attend his seminars on holistic "medicine" which I think was a method for winning converts to the entire BS show.
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Postby flyer1 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:55 pm

Got back from the chiropractor a week ago. My neck feels fine, full range of motion once again. Sprained ankle feels fine again; headaches are gone. As usual, no mention of "homeopathic" treatments or anything weird. Some minor adjustments, one very long massage.

Obviously, I have been very lucky with my chiropractor, who is more like a sports medicine masseur, undoing the tense muscles that the stresses of life creates. But that raises a new question. What in jehovah's name causes people to think that cracking their spine--which does feel nice, not unlike cracking one's knuckles--is going to cure their insides? Rhetorical question. Why would anyone think that realigning their bones would cure their cancer? Are people nuts? Second rhetorical question, I guess. :shock:
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Postby JenJen » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:28 pm

It is my understanding (not being a doctor) that you are not realigning anything in an adjustment. When you hear the pop, it is a release of a gas from between the joints. An MD would be helpful here.

At various times, in my younger life, I have had the habit of cracking my back or my knuckles - no "professional" involved. It did feel good and, when you do it frequently, you must do it or it becomes painful. I do admit that occasionally (very rarely) I feel like my knuckles or a spot on my lower back needs to pop but it usually goes away in a few minutes or I may try to pop that particular spot. In general, I prefer the more conservative route of not doing such things. Exercise has been much more beneficial for any back/neck/flexibility troubles that I used to have than anything else.

But, I think you are correct, though chiros do occasionally cause permenant damage, the primary concern is that people are mislead into thinking that spinal adjustments do anything more than pop your joints. I also think that it's a problem that people are lead to believing that regular spinal adjustments are necessary for general health or beneficial at all.

Jen

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Postby spacekadet » Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:00 am

wear my blue chrystals around your neck and in one to two weeks you will feel better. Only $19.95. (the green chrystals will work faster but they are $129.95. )
" can god microwave a burrito so hot that he cant eat it?" Homer J Simpson

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Postby JenJen » Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:06 am

spacekadet wrote:wear my blue chrystals around your neck and in one to two weeks you will feel better. Only $19.95. (the green chrystals will work faster but they are $129.95. )


spacekadet's crystals are just colored glass and a cheap cotton string (it's not even a RED string)!

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Postby spacekadet » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:32 am

Scream as loud as you want, jenjen. Anyone interested inn bying my chrystals isnt on this forum!! (chrystals- christ) Could be a connection! buy now!!!
" can god microwave a burrito so hot that he cant eat it?" Homer J Simpson

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Postby JenJen » Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:39 am

Foiled again! It's become the story of my skeptic life. (sigh)

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Postby flyer1 » Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:53 pm

spacekadet wrote:wear my blue chrystals around your neck and in one to two weeks you will feel better. Only $19.95. (the green chrystals will work faster but they are $129.95. )


And do you have any of thos homeopathic herbals you put under your tongue?
"Have you seen my people, magician?" said the unicorn. "They are wild and sea-white, like me."

Schmendrick shook his head. "I have never seen anyone like you, not while I was awake."

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Postby Eos of the Eons » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:19 pm

caused by two vertebrae in my back that have been out of alignment since I was 16


Out of alignment? Wouldn't that kill you? How did they get out of alignment? Who found this out for you? Was it a bad accident?
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Postby flyer1 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:49 am

Eos of the Eons wrote:
caused by two vertebrae in my back that have been out of alignment since I was 16


Out of alignment? Wouldn't that kill you? How did they get out of alignment? Who found this out for you? Was it a bad accident?


No, mild scoliosis. Both my family MD and a PhysEd screener noticed it; but as I was near the end of my growth spurt (so they thought--I kept growing till I was in college) nothing was ever done. Basically my 6th and 7th thoracic vertebrae turn slightly to the left. It's been confirmed by x-rays, but it never got any worse. Exercise to strengthen my upper back muscles generally solves the problem nicely.
"Have you seen my people, magician?" said the unicorn. "They are wild and sea-white, like me."

Schmendrick shook his head. "I have never seen anyone like you, not while I was awake."

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Postby Eos of the Eons » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:29 am

:) Thank you for disclosing such personal information. You are indeed lucky to find a chiro that isn't pushing something "a little out there" on you. A chiro at a "World of Women" show was charging $150.00 to measure vitality and recommending expensive "personalized" supplements to "increase your personal vitality" and improve quality of life.

I'd still be willing to bet even your chiro is antivaccine. Would you be willing to just ask his opinion on vaccination and let us know what he said?
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Motion affecting a measuring device does not affect what is actually being measured, except to inaccurately measure it.

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Postby The Inquisition » Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:13 am

chiros are falling out of favor among insurance companies and personal injury lawyers.

15 years ago, california personal injury lawyers and chiro mills would team together to run up the medical special damages on any soft tissue 1/ injury because the general, or "pain and suffering" damages were directly tied to the amount of the chiro's bills. any PI attorney or chiro worth his or her salt would know about how much any soft tissue injury could be milked -- how much the opposing injurance carrier would pay out without sending the claim to defense counsel.

chiros were routinely referred to by PI attorneys as "whores", their reports were wonders of word processing.

now, fortunately, these practices are on the wane as insurance companies have taken a much harder stance.

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1. e.g., a "victim" of a 5 mph rear-end accident with a "sore neck" who developed a "sleep disorder" and "anxiety". Real injuries, such as broken bones or something treatable by an M.D., would not need a pay-for-report style chiro.
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Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:09 pm

I asked an orthodox surgeon specialising in back problems about chiropractors. His reply was that there is a very common back problem (about 50% of all cases) which responds in a very temporary manner to massage. A chiropractor can help here, as can a spouse or friend who receives five minutes training in back massage.

Apart from that, he said, chiropractors can do nothing useful. Indeed, according to this surgeon, they are known to cause serious complications by applying massage to conditions that should not be manipulated, to the extent that some (rarely) have actually caused people to become paraplegic.

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Postby statisticool » Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:24 pm

I have a friend who swears by chiropractors. I attended one of the sessions, and for the life of me everything I saw looks like the whole-body equivalent of 'cracking the knuckles'.

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Postby JenJen » Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm

You can see how that could cure stomach troubles and cancer and blindness and hearing problems... Right???

You know ... it makes perfect sense ... subluxa .... never mind.

Jen

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Consumer Choices and Chiropractors

Postby graves » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:14 pm

The issue isn't whether or not a chiropractor can make your back feel better. Of course she can. So can a massage chair. Back rubs feel GOOD.

The issue is whether you should choose a chiropractor to get that good feeling ... and support the chiropractic educational and billing systems.

chiropractic: noun -- a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, esp. those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.

Chiropractors follow roughly the same school of thought as sacro-cranial therapists (head rubbers) and reflexologists (foot and hand rubbers) ... that rubbing one part of the body can cure disorders in other parts of the body. If you can find a part that feels good to rub, you'll find a practitioner who claims that rubbing that part can cure diseases and disorders elsewhere in the body. This belief is taught as a fundamental truth to everyone who wants to be a chiropractor.

As a consumer, you have to make some choices:
    -You know back rubs make you feel good.
    -Chiropractic medicine as a whole makes unsubstantiated claims about what this can do (yes, some individuals are different).
    -You can get your back rubbed by massage therapists, too. As a whole, RMT practitioners do not make unsubstantiated claims (yes, some individuals are different).
    -Society is better served if you support the more-scientific, more-honest practitioners.
    -You are not penalized (you can get equally good results) if you support these other practitioners.

In other words, don't let the temptation of a good back rub lure you into supporting an unscientific, potentially-dangerous pseudo-medical group when you can, instead, get the same results in another way.

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Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:52 pm

About 50% of visits to General Practitioners are for illnesses that do not seem to have an organic basis. Most of these are emotional problems, not physical. The people who turn up, of course, are genuinely feeling symptoms, but they are symptoms that respond to emotional 'warm fuzzy' treatments. It is a terrible shame that most doctors do not have time to apply the time these people need. Chiropractors often do have the time. What is needed in these cases is warm sympathy, some physical contact such as a massage, and a chance to talk.

This may appear to suggest that chiropractors should have a place. The problem lies with the 50% that DO have an organic basis. Chiropractors cannot help them, and many need urgent and real treatment. Going to a quack may help those with psychosomatic disorders but may lead to the death of those with a real disease.

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Postby flyer1 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:51 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:About 50% of visits to General Practitioners are for illnesses that do not seem to have an organic basis. Most of these are emotional problems, not physical. The people who turn up, of course, are genuinely feeling symptoms, but they are symptoms that respond to emotional 'warm fuzzy' treatments. It is a terrible shame that most doctors do not have time to apply the time these people need. Chiropractors often do have the time. What is needed in these cases is warm sympathy, some physical contact such as a massage, and a chance to talk.


What? You're suggesting doctors should spend time with their patients? :wink: That, I think, hits the nail squarely on the head. In today's hurry-scurry world of HMO's and 15-minute doctor visits, people will gladly spend $100 to visit a chiropractor or acupuncturist or reflexologist who will greet them with a smile, spend a few minutes in friendly chit-chat about how's the family and job, and do something that makes them feel better immediately.

Instead of scornfully dismissing alternative medicine as quackery, maybe physicians should either learn from them, or else know when a person needs immediate medical care, or just, as you say, a session of warm fuzzy care. :shock:
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Schmendrick shook his head. "I have never seen anyone like you, not while I was awake."

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Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:18 am

I hope you have not missed my main point. That is that quacks can only deal with the immediate emotional needs of their patients. While I do not belittle that need, it should be catered to by people who are not saying that they can heal genuine disease.

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Postby SkepticReport » Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:06 am

JJM wrote:To learn what is wrong with chiros check out http://www.chirobase.org, a subsidiary of http://www.quackwatch.org
In addition to that information, there is an interesting book "The Naked Chiropractor" by Preston H. Long, D.C., 2002, ISBN 0-9722816-0-6

There are some rational chiros (like PH Long), often these are identified by their membership in the National Association of Chiropractic Medicine. They seem equivalent to masseurs or, in some ways, physical therapists.


Preston was kind enough to send me a copy of his book. It is indeed a very good book to read.

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Postby corymaylett » Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:50 pm

An anecdote, but a very personal one for me... When I was a child, my grandmother paid regular visits to her chiropractor. She noticed a lump in her breast, and the chiropractor diagnosed it as a non-cancerous, fluid-filled cyst (based on how it "felt"). His treatment, of course, was a weekly regimen of spinal manipulations intended to solve the problem by correcting mysterious "nervous system blockages."

After a year of these "treatments" my grandmother confessed the situation to my mother. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized throughout her body by that time. She died a very painful death several months later. Our family considered suing the chiropractor, but he soon died himself, so my family dropped it.

Are all chiropractors nefarious quacks? Well, quacks, yes, but I suspect that most of them genuinely believe they're practicing a type of legitimate medicine. Despite that, however, the whole foundation of chiropractic is based on 19th-century baloney about all kinds of diseases being the results of abnormally functioning nervous systems and misaligned bones. I wouldn't trust this profession of charlatans with a simple backrub, let alone a medical problem.

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Postby JJM » Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:33 pm

Thylacine,

If your family had pursued a legal course, you might have been stymied. When (scientifically naive) legislatures allow licensing for a "health profession," they provide some measure of protection. If the chiro can demonstrate that his actions were within the scope of chiropractic, he may be safe.

Almost a year ago, a "naturopath" was charged in Utah for a scam similar to what happened to your Grandmother. He was charged with practicing medicine without a license. His lawyer complained to the newspapers that it wasn't fair- if Utah gave the guy a license he would have been on safe ground wth his "therapy."

Now, I am not a lawyer and I recognize that there are differences between civil and criminal actions. Also, different jurisdictions approach these problems differently. However, the bottom line is that quacks should not have the protection of licensure, and that is an issue for state legislatures. Naturopaths have been trying to get licensure in Massachusetts for several years. (They are licensed in about 1/3 of the states.)

Whenever a quack group tries to get licensure, you must write your representatives to oppose it. Sadly, chiros have too much political clout for us to hope they will be de-licensed.

Joe

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NOT TOO IMPRESSED WITH THE DISCUSSION

Postby rational doc » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:07 pm

rading your comments is like listening to my dog discuss astropyhsics, i am a physiatrist who regularly treats patients in chronic pain, i see the failures of chiropractic, PT and medicine and believe you me it is the pot calling the kettle black, all professions have wacko's, most of what medicine, chiropractic and PT does is really not scientifically based, they all fail on individual cases, but in general they all have benefits and give relief to certain people with certain conditions - most of the time
this is the best any health care can accomplish

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Re: NOT TOO IMPRESSED WITH THE DISCUSSION

Postby Pedantica » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:32 pm

rational doc wrote:rading your comments is like listening to my dog discuss astropyhsics


Do you reply to you dog too? :wink:

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Postby JJM » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:05 pm

rational doc said "most of what medicine, chiropractic and PT does is really not scientifically based"

I wonder what (s)he charges for sham treatments, and how his/hers are superior.

Hey, r doc, what have I written that is wrong?

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ans- what is wrong with what was written

Postby rational doc » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:02 pm

well, i only talk to my dog about religion :) (haha)

my problem is that not what you said was completely wrong, it is that it is inaccurate

you lump all chiropractors, PT's and MD's together, each as an individual group - this so far away from reality

the reality is that there are good rational doctors and that there are doctor's run by greed and that there are doctors who are just bad / stupid, and to complicate things there are very intelligent doctors out there that are really dumb when they talk outside their area of expertise

the latter is what i see when i read this forum

there are scams and there are bad treatments - unfortunately in all health fields

where is your forum about bogus medical treatments , bogus PT therapies??

ones that have shown to be ineffective and harmful at time to cause even death or disfigurement?

the skeptics that i have read ( my curiosity was piqued so i read a bunch) seemed to be on a witch hunt for chiropractic - seems almost racist in a sense.

joint manipulation has been around for a long time- DO's and PT's also do a version, however joint manipulation is a difficult thing to do well and accurately, anybody can get a joint to pop but it takes skill to get it to improve and heal with better function- like anyone can paint a house but few can paint a mona lisa

the fact is that most manipulatios is done by chiropractors, most DO's and PT's don't do it enough to get really good at it

the key is to ask your doctor and your friends and relataives for recommendations and then interview the doctor to get his views on how the problem should be treated - i would not go to a PT that recommended 3 or 4 months of treatment for my back, or an MD who is fixing my back pain by supressing it with meds ( like fixing my noisy muffler with earplugs), back problems need to be calmed down out of the acute phase and then rehabilitated for improved motion, muscle strength and coodination, and the patient needs to be trained on how not to hurt themselves and maintain their fitness

who cares if the MD, PT or DC does this as long as it gets done and done efficiently?

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i use tx that have shown to have the most effectivness

Postby rational doc » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:08 pm

for the situation that presents,

do your research on scientifically based pt and md treatment - most is clinical trial and error - except for drug therapy - but there are scientifically researched medications that have shown to be lethal

science based doesn't always mean safe

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Postby JJM » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:25 pm

rational doc said:

"my problem is that not what you said was completely wrong, it is that it is inaccurate
you lump all chiropractors, PT's and MD's together, each as an individual group - this so far away from reality"

This is interesting. >>What was inaccurate?

>>When did I lump PTs, chiros and MDs together? I only quoted you.

I did lump chiropractors together; but, I acknowledge they come in many varieties, too numerous to count. The majority are still irrational in their beliefs and practices. They:
>recruit patients for regular, long-term treatments (even in the absence of a complaint)
>"dowse" the spine for subluxations
>find subluxations with a meter that "measures temperature differences" on either side of a vertebra
>claim the ability to treat organic disease (diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, etc.) without any evidence
>employ homeopathy
>employ "applied" kinesiology (not normal kinesiology) in which they subjectively test muscle strength while the patient "experiences" various, potential "toxins." This is especially interesting since some apply the substance to the tongue, while others merely ask the subject to hold a glass vial that contains the substance!!??
>profit from selling "dietary supplements"
>>I could go on, check out http://www.quackwatch.org

Many chiropractors get that old "popping" action going with your neck. There is no evidence it is better (for anything) than a neck-rub and gentle mobilization. There is evidence that it can cause vertibrobasilar stroke. Taken together, that is the worst possible risk-to-benefit ratio.

Members of the National Association of Chiropractic Medicine eschew the "chiropractic subluxation" and promise to practice "rationally;" but, what inane ideas have they retained?

R doc suggests the we persecute chiropractors. He should study them critically. In a nutshell, there is no quality control for chirpractic and it is safest to avoid them.

r doc said:

"for the situation that presents,

do your research on scientifically based pt and md treatment - most is clinical trial and error - except for drug therapy - but there are scientifically researched medications that have shown to be lethal

science based doesn't always mean safe"

You have me there. Quackery is usually irrational, and often simple to disprove experimentally (such as the original chiropractic subluxation, the one that radiologists can't see). And I rely on the opinion of health professionals who specifically study quackery. I certainly don't have the expertise to sort through the evidence of "science based" medicine.

Joe

rational doc
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lets try this again

Postby rational doc » Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:51 am

are there questionable diagnostics techniques used by some chiropractors - yes, the majority ?? where is the research to prove this?

do people see chiropractors when they are symptom free? some, and some feel strongly in this, just like people who feel strongly that they should see the dentist every 6 months or see the md for their yearly physical - are these necessary - sometimes things can be caught, but mostly the md and dentist tell me i am fine and i pay them, am i wasting my money, with your logic yes i would be - why go to the dentist when i am symptom free?? do i agree in going to the dentist 3 times a week for maintenance - no, just like going to the chiropractor that much for maintenance is foolish also - if people took more responsiblity to get more healthy they would not need so much care, but going occasionally to improve my spines ability to move and bend is resonable

as far as manipulation being a sham - read more, joint manipulation is taught to DO's and PT's who both use it in the course of care - each profession has it's own name for it - the DO's manipulate, the chiro's adjust, the PT's do a grade 5 mobilization - same stuff, are all the PT and DO schools teaching quackery? in your eyes they must be

quackwatch ? give me a break those people have been discreditied right and left - they have an agenda and are very biased, that is obvious to any critical thinker

chiropractic medicine association - that just what the world needs :), did some research there, seems nobody gives them much credibility except for quackwatch and you guys, makes you wonder - they have very little support from chiropractic or medicine or anyone else

you said :
There is evidence that it can cause vertibrobasilar stroke. Taken together, that is the worst possible risk-to-benefit ratio.

do your research, there is also the same evidence indicating as high a risk of stroke from having your washed at the hairdresser - let's shut down salons!!!

lets do the math - millions of neck manipulations are done each year ( remember pt, do, dc, and even some mds) that would mean that alot of people would be stoking out on a regular basis - not happening - is there an occasional case - apparently - but rationally the risk is small compared to the benefit of getting out of pain and moving your head, in my experience a neck rub, exercises and medicine sometimes don't fix my patient's neck pain - so what do i tell them - live with it?? no , i have them evaluated to see if they are a candidate for manipulation ( not everyone is) and we discuss it as a treatment option - these are non surgical and FAILED surgical cases usually

also too, manipulation when done properly is high speed - low depth - in other words quick with not alot of depth of movement imparted into the actual segment being manipulated

how many other activities creat high force and alot of neck movement?
how about whiplash - usually soft tissue damage - not any stoke even with twisting movements of the neck, how about falls , getting hit in the head ( my son got beaned once with a baseball - no stroke!), violent roller coaster rides, the list goes on and on - people get wacked all the time - i did it to myself on the door frame of the car last week - no stroke -
if the forces involved with manipulation of the neck were that dangerous we would be accidently stroking out all over the place - it defies rational thought

again i say that not everyone is a candidate for manipulation - there are weel documentated situations when it is not appropriate

as for side effects the ones i have seen are short lived, more of my patients have side effects from the ibuprofen i prescribe and that is a "safe" medicine - except for the people who get gastric bleeding from it,


you wrote:
In a nutshell, there is no quality control for chirpractic and it is safest to avoid them.

i think that it would be better explained that there is a variation in clinical thought and treatment protocols - now if i said that about physical medicine - i would be entirely accurate, same things going on in medicine

there is no one size fits all in physical medicine - situations are different with different complxities of problems - sometimes creative thinking is necessary to improve the patient's condition - in medicine we call it being innovative, in chiropractic we blast them for not agreeing with each other

do all medical improvemtns or innovations pan out to be the best course of action - no - sometimes we go down the wrong path and hopefully we try something different again, this is how progress is made, does medicine have all the answers - no, and neither does anyone else

as far as quality control, there is as much quality control in chirpractic as there is in pt or medicine, you pass national and state board exams, you get licensed and if you don't mess up too bad you get to keep your license as long as you pay the state and take continuing education credits - that is as much quality control you get in any field of healthcare

it is safest to avoid all healthcare, if you want to look at it that way, because there is always a risk

you really need to research better

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Postby JJM » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:25 am

r doc,

Let's try to stick to chiropractic, which is the only concern of this thread. Besides, you bring in DOs and PTs for an, unacceptable, "you too" argument. Saying that others have some irrational ideas does not make it okay for chiropractors to be irrational.

Also, please refrain from putting words in my mouth, and then attacking them. You imply I suggested "there [are] questionable diagnostics techniques used by [most] chiropractors [then you ask] - ... 'the majority ?? where is the research to prove this?'" I said that most chiropractors are irrational. That stems from the overwhelming majority who subscribe to "chiropractic subluxation," which is a fantasy.

Most (probably all) chirpractors studied subluxations in school and the overwhelming majority are members of professional societies that promote the notion of subluxations. Extending these well-known facts to chiropractic diagnostic methods, one can safely say the majority use questionable diagnostic methds. After all, how do you rationally diagnose a non-existent condition?

You say that there is quality control in chiropractic because they have to pass licensing exams. That begs the question of whether standard chiropractic care is high-quality health care on a par with that expected from a doctor. When one is evaluated in irrational practices by other irrational practitioners, that is not quality control. If states start licensing astrologers, it will not make their predictions of any use.

So, most chiropractors adhere to the nonsense of the subluxation. And letting them regulate themselves does not elevate their irrational practices.

Joe

[Added a few minutes later:
According to a recent survey [1], 76.5% of chiropractors teach that there is a relationship between spinal subluxations and internal health and that subluxation is a significant contributing factor in 62.1% of visceral ailments. The overwhelming majority of respondents (88.1%) said they want to retain the term "vertebral subluxation complex" and 89.8% opposed limiting use of chiropractic adjustments to treatment of musculoskeletal problems.

1. How Chiropractors Think and Practice: The Survey of North American Chiropractors. Institute of Social Research, Ohio Northern University, 2003.]

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non-exisistant condition? geez louise

Postby rational doc » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:32 pm

why should we stick to chiropractic - what we are talking about is a profession that threats a symptom complex in a way that other professions treat it - you skeptics say that chiropractors are bad and pt's and do's and md's are good - when they are doing the same thing in similiar ways - how does that make any sense?

subluxations are non-existant - boy, if i call all dogs cats, does that make all dogs not existant? subluxations are call mechanical lesions in my profession - same thing, people doing physical medicine all look for joint range of motion and elastic end play when evaluating a joint for "normalcy", spinal joint - do to the close proximity to the nervous system can sometimes have an effect spinal nerves - causing neuralgia or neuritis - in medicine we call this impingement - you get varying degrees of problems depending on many different factors - the condition exists whether you want to call it a subluxation or not - do your research

are spinal lesions debated as to their effect on the human body - yes, every prefession does this, even at this time we are not show how everything works or how everything is interrelated - go figure

most chiropractors are irrational - like you've done studies? - geez
(ok, most skeptics are pig headed and unable to look at the whole picture of things - i have no proof of this but i can say it is so )

the majority use questionable diagnostic methods? lets see like standard orthopedic and neurological tests, x-ray, MRI, CT, blood work - detail cas histories, EMG testing, NCV testing - boy sounds pretty bizarre to me!

are there questionable tests - yes in all professions, do even standard tests give bad info - yes, false positives and false negatives - happens all the time - this is why we redo tests and sometimes they are still wrong or in error - this is problem in all healthcare

what i said is that there is as much control over chiropractic as there is over any other profession - they are all just as much under control as each other

we have medical mistakes and abuses all the time - that's why malpractice lawyers are rich - where is the medical police when you need them

the facts lay out that chirpractic is not any more dangerous than PT or osteopathy and you can make the argument that you have a greater chance of getting hurt, abused and killed by medical care

chiropractors do no regulate themselves, just like medical docotors do not-
we are all reulated by state boards made of appointee's doctors of (sometimes different) professions and lay people, we are regulated by administrative staff, and by insurance companies

when it comes to this subjet you guys seem to get caught up in verbiage and lose it on concept - i'm glad you guys are not doctors

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Postby JJM » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:32 pm

Sorry, r doc, I thought you knew what chiropractors mean by "subluxation." Actually, I don't think they know either, so don't feel bad. According to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges:

"A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health."
http://www.chirocolleges.org/paradigm_scopet.html

In plain English, one might say "A subluxation is whatever we treat and bill you for." Notice they were so anxious to get the wording sufficiently vague that, in a Homer Simpson moment, they forgot to say this applies only to the spine.

I am tired of trying to treat this enormous subject in a limited forum. See:

"Chiropractic: The Victim's Perspective" George Magner (Prometheus, 1995)
"Inside Chiropractic" Samuel Homola, DC (Prometheus, 1999)
"The Naked Chiropractor" Preston Long, DC (Evidence-Based Health Services, 2002)
http://your-doctor.com/patient_info/alt ... actic.html

Joe

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Postby Paul Sherman » Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:28 am

When my dad was a medical examiner he autopsied a (previously healthy) young man who died suddenly when a chiropractic neck adjustment tore his vertebral arteries. That's enough to keep me away from them. If my back hurts I'll go to a massage therapist.

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better stay away from everything then

Postby rational doc » Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:48 am

my mom went to a doctor and died of cancer - i betyter stay away from md's

that is so ridiculous - like my post said before if manipulation rips an arty then there was a great chance that something else could have done it too

your massage therapist has good but limited effect on anything but muscle tightness and fascial issues

read something else besides quackwatch, how about journels on physical medicine, pt or osteopathy

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Postby Paul Sherman » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:16 am

Your analogy simply doesn't work, unless you're suggesting that the doctor caused your mother's cancer or exacerbated her condition (my condolences, by the way).

There may have been a great chance that something else could have eventually ripped this young man's vertebral artery, but the cold fact remains that a chiropractic neck adjustment is what actually ripped it. Maybe he would have ripped it himself an hour later craning his neck to peer at a pretty girl. Maybe he would have ripped it years later playing tackle football with some friends. Or maybe he'd have lived his entire natural lifespan and never torn it. We can't know. What we do know is that, whether by hours or years, his life was shortened by chiropractic "care".

Paul


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