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Chiropractic, again

Posted by R C on 6/19/02 at 09:36 (087993)

Hello, everyone. I thought I would do some more research into chiropractic, since the subject comes up here from time to time (and I have tried it myself for back pain). The best article I read was by Samuel Homola, D.C. (he is a chiropractor himself), who wrote an article called 'Is the Chiropractic Subluxation Theory a Threat to Public Health?'. It appeared in MedScape until very recently -- sorrry I can't seem to find it at the moment. Similar and consist information can be found at http://www.chirowatch.com , which is severely critical of chiropractic, but which I find to be credible. I have also read a lot of the responses from chiropractors, which also widely available on the internet. More on that below.

To summarize what I have read:
* The chiropractic neck adjustment is associated with an increased risk of stroke, even in young people, and should not be performed on a healthy person.
* There is no scientific evidence whatsoever in the claim that spinal 'subluxations' put pressure on nerves and result in disease to the major organs.
* There is no scientific evidence whatsoever in the claim that spinal manipulations cure anything (allergies, viral illnesses, sinus infection, blah blah blah); evidence only shows that spinal manipulation has roughly the same success rate at relieving lower back pain as other typical treatments (e.g., rest, massage).
* Pediatric spinal manipulation is warned against in the strongest terms.
* A chiropractor is not qualified to serve as a 'primary care physician'.

Now, I have read a lot of responses to this kind of information from chiropractors, and as a group those who wrote in have tremendously little credibility. Most of them respond by gratuitously attacking mainstream medicine without citing any studies, they merely repeat the 19th century humbug that their practice is built on, they defend the patient's freedom of choice in health care providers -- without giving any positive reason for choosing chiropractic. There is a small minority of responsible chiropractors who cry out for reform (i.e., drop subluxation theory, open the practice to independent scientific study, eliminate the cult-like practice-building behaviors).

Now, I am not interested in getting into a debate in this message board about the merits of chiropractic. Rather, I urge you (if you are so inclined) to evaluate the literature for yourself and make an informed decision on where you stand.

I've stopped going to my chiropractor after his bogus hard-sell tactics to treat my PF, and his trying to convince me that my newborn needs spinal adjustments -- and that he shouldn't be immunized.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Andrue on 6/19/02 at 11:33 (088005)

I tried one Chiro. for my feet and diaphram. I don't think he did anything for my diaphram but for my feet he manaed to squeeze several toes so that I suffered a temporary ingrowing tonails. I never went back.

OTOH my osteopath seems able to find tight and sore muscles by eye and after two visits he had almost cured my aching shoulder and my removed all discomfort from around my diaphram. I have high hopes that he will help with my feet.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Sharon W on 6/19/02 at 19:51 (088057)

RC,

I have not researched the literature, as you obviously have, and I will not venture an opinion on your post. I just want to tell a little (TRUE!) story.

At a local community college 3 years ago I became friendly with a girl named Alisha. Beautiful & brilliant girl, got straight A's, the daughter of a doctor. One day she came in with a brace on; she'd been in an accident and injured her back. Every day after that (if she came to school at all) she came in walking slowly, every movement obviously stiff and painful, telling us how miserable she was. Of course, she had been to several doctors and was in PT for her back, but she claimed the pain never got any better. Even her grades were slipping...

Another classmate, whose goal was to become a sports chiropractor, kept trying to convince her to try a local chiropractor, but she wouldn't do it. (She said her dad would KILL her!)

Then one day, Alisha came in walking normally again, a big smile on her face. Out of desperation, she had finally taken our classmate's advice and gone to see the chiropractor she recommended. Alisha's grades picked up again after that, she no longer walked like an old woman, and her smile was back for good!

I have never been to a chiropractor, myself, and I had always been a bit of a skeptic before that day. But, seeing is believing. If I had back pain, I definitely WOULD give that chiropractor a try!

-- Sharon

Re: Chiropractic, again

john h on 6/20/02 at 10:47 (088124)

I have been to a Chiropractor only once. He was of the old school which treated any kind of medical problem which I very much disagree with. Apparently some of the modern Chiropractors must have a place in the medical community because I see them on the staff of some prestigeous medical hospitals. I think I saw that the Texas Back Institute had a Chiropractor on Staff and they are one of the foremost back institutes in the world. I have no idea what they do.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Pamela S on 6/20/02 at 11:55 (088134)

Chiropractic does have a valid role! I have been to one, and he was the one who referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Also, my father was having alot of problems (he's 80 years old and his disks are shrinking), the chiropracter got him moving again.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Mahatmelissama on 6/21/02 at 12:09 (088216)

I am actually going to try a chiro...just left one a msg (the one that a massage therapist recommend). I went to a new massage therpist and she was all shocked at how tender my left foot was. She recommended this guy. Since she was a great massage therapist, hopefully this guy is as good.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Andrue on 6/19/02 at 11:33 (088005)

I tried one Chiro. for my feet and diaphram. I don't think he did anything for my diaphram but for my feet he manaed to squeeze several toes so that I suffered a temporary ingrowing tonails. I never went back.

OTOH my osteopath seems able to find tight and sore muscles by eye and after two visits he had almost cured my aching shoulder and my removed all discomfort from around my diaphram. I have high hopes that he will help with my feet.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Sharon W on 6/19/02 at 19:51 (088057)

RC,

I have not researched the literature, as you obviously have, and I will not venture an opinion on your post. I just want to tell a little (TRUE!) story.

At a local community college 3 years ago I became friendly with a girl named Alisha. Beautiful & brilliant girl, got straight A's, the daughter of a doctor. One day she came in with a brace on; she'd been in an accident and injured her back. Every day after that (if she came to school at all) she came in walking slowly, every movement obviously stiff and painful, telling us how miserable she was. Of course, she had been to several doctors and was in PT for her back, but she claimed the pain never got any better. Even her grades were slipping...

Another classmate, whose goal was to become a sports chiropractor, kept trying to convince her to try a local chiropractor, but she wouldn't do it. (She said her dad would KILL her!)

Then one day, Alisha came in walking normally again, a big smile on her face. Out of desperation, she had finally taken our classmate's advice and gone to see the chiropractor she recommended. Alisha's grades picked up again after that, she no longer walked like an old woman, and her smile was back for good!

I have never been to a chiropractor, myself, and I had always been a bit of a skeptic before that day. But, seeing is believing. If I had back pain, I definitely WOULD give that chiropractor a try!

-- Sharon

Re: Chiropractic, again

john h on 6/20/02 at 10:47 (088124)

I have been to a Chiropractor only once. He was of the old school which treated any kind of medical problem which I very much disagree with. Apparently some of the modern Chiropractors must have a place in the medical community because I see them on the staff of some prestigeous medical hospitals. I think I saw that the Texas Back Institute had a Chiropractor on Staff and they are one of the foremost back institutes in the world. I have no idea what they do.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Pamela S on 6/20/02 at 11:55 (088134)

Chiropractic does have a valid role! I have been to one, and he was the one who referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. Also, my father was having alot of problems (he's 80 years old and his disks are shrinking), the chiropracter got him moving again.

Re: Chiropractic, again

Mahatmelissama on 6/21/02 at 12:09 (088216)

I am actually going to try a chiro...just left one a msg (the one that a massage therapist recommend). I went to a new massage therpist and she was all shocked at how tender my left foot was. She recommended this guy. Since she was a great massage therapist, hopefully this guy is as good.