Go to the Source

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Sun Sep 3 02:28:13 MDT 2006

Hans - take a look at my earlier message, taken verbatim from
chirobase.org, in which the author explains the things that
chiropractic care is known to be good for.  (chirobase.org, by the
way, is run jointly by an MD and a DC, Doctor of Chiropractic.  So if
you want to talk about going to the source...)

It's not that I don't like chiropractic care.  I have visited a
chiropractor in the past, and I feel that his care was competent,
professional, and worthwhile.  I've followed his advice and as a
result haven't needed chiropractic care since then.  If I ever do, I
won't hesitate to seek out another chiropractor.  (The one I saw was
in Minnesota.)

What I do have a problem with is people who practice things that have
no basis in hard science.  Another word for these people is quacks.
The sad thing is that for various reasons, most quacks honestly
believe in the thing they're practicing and/or preaching.  Most of
them are well educated, eloquent, honest, hard working, rational, etc.

Nobody (well, very few people) become chiropractors or doctors because
they want to scam people out of money.  Some may go into it because
the earning potential is high, but my guess is that the vast majority
of people who become chiropractors and doctors have helping people get
better (while living comfortably) as their base motivation.

Unfortunately, good intentions don't make what you do valid or
scientifically sound.  A lot of chiropractors use diagnostic
techniques and treatments that have no basis in science and no data
showing that they work.  This has been documented extensively, and
I'll be glad to cite references if it would make any difference.
(Let's be honest, how likely are you to look it up if it's not

A lot of chiropractors also attempt to treat things that have nothing
to do with their patient's musculo-skeletal structure, which is really
all a chiropractor has any business messing with.  Someone said "yes,
a chiropractor - they don't all just do backs".  They *should* all
just do backs - it's the only thing they've been shown to have
competence with.  And yes, there are several studies that show this
too, and yes I will be happy to provide citations for anyone who wants

A lot of people have posted some neat stories to this list about how
their chiropractor healed them miraculously of ailments which medical
doctors said couldn't be cured.  It's great that you got better, but
your stories (while touching) are not hard data.  They are not the
result of a double blind study with controls.  What worked for you may
not work for someone else, which is the essence of science - including
medical science.  Results must be reproducible.  If they're not,
they're a fluke, no matter how heartwarming the story may be.  And the
important thing is that *chiropractors don't seem to care*.  They keep
on prescribing treatments that have no hard data to back them up.

In some cases the treatments will work just fine, and those who have
posted to the list with their happy stories are examples of that.  In
other cases, though, they do serious harm.  Have any of you ever had
your chiropractor say "You can try this but it's important that I
discuss the risks with you first..."  I seriously doubt that you have,
because chiropractors, when they start to dabble in pseudo-scientific
treatments, are generally not even aware of the risks.

I know a girl who used to have migraines all the time when she was a
kid.  Her neighbor was a chiropractor and kept bugging her to let him
adjust her neck to help with the headaches.  She never let him, which
was fortunate because it was later discovered that she had serious
problems with her brain stem.  Problems which, had  a chiropractor
adjusted her, would almost certainly had led to her paralyzation.
There's a reason why the Hippocratic oath says "First, do no harm."
But most chiropractors are only too happy to twist and snap away
without competently diagnosing the problems beforehand.  There are
documented cases of chiropractors severely harming their patients,
including paralyzation, because they lacked the ability to adequately
diagnose the cause of the problems their patient was experiencing.

Let me close this email (which is already too long, I apologize) by
saying that anyone who is considering chiropractic care owes it to
themselves to learn everything they can first.  There are good reasons
to be skeptical of chiropractors.  I've listed some; plenty of others
are available from reputable sources.  I urge anyone who is interested
in this topic to examine all of the information available to them and
consider all sides of the issue objectively.


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