Chiropractors conclude that chiropractic subluxation is woo.
Posted: 13 December 2009 03:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here is the paper:

http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-17-13.pdf

“This lack of supportive evidence suggests the subluxation construct has no valid clinical applicability.”

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Posted: 13 December 2009 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What took them so long?

wink

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Posted: 13 December 2009 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Peter Harrison - 13 December 2009 03:43 AM

Here is the paper:

http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/pdf/1746-1340-17-13.pdf

“This lack of supportive evidence suggests the subluxation construct has no valid clinical applicability.”

So, how do chiros respond now that some of their own say there is no support for their supposed disease process?  I somehow doubt this will make any significant impact within the industry. 
For those that operate without supportive evidence from the beginning, a further lack of evidence won’t make much of a dent.

But it is further ammunition for those of us that have to counter this in clinical practice.

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Posted: 13 December 2009 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No doubt those four chiropractors will now be shunned by the rest of their industry as “a few quacks.”

Hopefully more and more “moderate” chiropractors will agree with this paper and come out in support. Of course that means they’ll have to genuinely compete with massage therapists and physical therapists as they are now known to be providing exactly the same service for relief of back pain. But many chiropractors these days aren’t making a lot of their money on “adjustments” they’re selling woo-woo vitamins and other services, combining their practice with acupuncturists and Reikki healers and reflexology and “T.Touch” nonsense. Very little of the business end still has to do with spinal manipulation. They just get them in the door and then it’s one hard sales pitch for other services.

Perhaps they should change their marketing from - “subluxation causes all disease and germ theory is a joke” to something like “Chiropractic - do it because it feels good to pop your back!” I think honesty is the best policy, and that is why people keep going back to chiropractors - because it feels good to pop your back.

Of course for about the same amount of money as a 3-minute chiropractic back popping adjustment to relieve minor back pain, you can have about the same service in a one hour relaxing wonderful massage that feels amazing. I’d rather get more for my money - one hour of relaxation for mind and body vs. 3 minutes of being twisted like a pretzel and crackled.

(Edit - I should note I don’t meant to equate massage therapists with physical therapists. I believe proper massage therapy (of a therapeutic kind rather than the spa experience) can feel wonderful for minor back pain and relieve back muscle soreness. Physical therapy would be helpful in the long term to both provide immediate relief and strengthen the back to keep the soreness from happening again. And of course, people should see their doctor first, especially for moderate to severe pain, which could indicate a serious back problem requiring intervention or surgery. As always, “talk to your doctor.”)

[ Edited: 13 December 2009 05:54 PM by Jules ]
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Posted: 13 December 2009 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Sadly, this will have no impact on the popularity of this nonsense. I’m sure we will soon hear the echoing refrain, “Well, I don’t know why it works, but it works!” *sigh*

A couple of blog entries on the topic at SkeptVet and Science-Based Medicine.

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Posted: 16 December 2009 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Agreed, won’t stop believers, but still useful ammo.

mckenzievmd, thanks for the blog links.

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Posted: 24 March 2011 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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What took them so long?

I suppose it wasn’t much of a moneymaker to state something which mainstream medicine has known for well over a century.

Why kill a cash cow as long as it still sells? rolleyes

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Posted: 10 July 2011 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There appear to be two main schools of training regarding chiropractioning.
I don’t know the particulars of each well enough to comment on them, however, I suspect that one is more voo-doo while the other containing some specific merit.

Having worked in the insurance business in the past, I’ve witnessed many individuals find solutions to their problems through chiros where regular doctors had failed them. Perhaps the most dramatic was an individual who, after having a car accident, was in extreme neck pain. Several docs and several xrays concluded that there was no problem, and he was prescribed one barrage of pain killers after another, until finally ending up at a chiro’s office. The treatment took 5 minutes, the relief was instant, and the patient no longer needed drugs. It would seem that there was an issue at the point where the skull met the spinal column.

Then I had my own incident involving my lower back. During a lift, I felt a pop, and hit the ground, not able to stand erect. The ER took xrays, and the doc prescribed narcotics. I didnt believe the diagnosis, and went to a chiro, still unable to stand, and in extreme pain. Five minutes later, after one of those 3 second voo-doo adjustments, I was completely pain-free and walking upright - the relief was instant and exceptionally notable.

Now, I don’t believe that a spinal adjustment will cure a flu or cold, and I don’t think chiropractic should be the first stop for all things medical.
However, based on several accounts by insurance clients and my own experience, there are certain instances where a chiropractor will excel where mainstream medical fails.

Based on the disdain apparent in other posts here, I imagine this view will not be well received, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
BTW, in my case, the ER doc became infuriated that I would dare question his diagnosis and disbelief that a mere muscle spasm would result in a “pop” and instant handicap. I guess no one’s perfect.

[ Edited: 10 July 2011 10:06 AM by freeapostate ]
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Posted: 10 July 2011 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The chiropractors in your examples were acting as physical therapists which the doctor should have prescribed in the first place. The problem occurs when the chiropractors try to operate outside of that scope of practice and try to ‘cure cancer’ (etc) with their spinal manipulations. A licensed physical therapist could have done the same thing for you.

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Posted: 11 July 2011 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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asanta - 10 July 2011 04:56 PM

The chiropractors in your examples were acting as physical therapists which the doctor should have prescribed in the first place. The problem occurs when the chiropractors try to operate outside of that scope of practice and try to ‘cure cancer’ (etc) with their spinal manipulations. A licensed physical therapist could have done the same thing for you.

Ahh, I wasnt aware that a physical therapist could re-align a herniated disk, or skull to spinal alignment. Interesting.

As for cancer treatment, I agree, absolutely not. That would be like trying to treat all illnesses with asprin - just doesnt make sense.

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Posted: 11 July 2011 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Ahh, I wasnt aware that a physical therapist could re-align a herniated disk…

Niether can a chiropractor. Herniated discs don’t stop being herniated discs just because somebody flexes and manipulates the spinal column.

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Posted: 11 July 2011 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 11 July 2011 11:03 AM

Ahh, I wasnt aware that a physical therapist could re-align a herniated disk…

Niether can a chiropractor. Herniated discs don’t stop being herniated discs just because somebody flexes and manipulates the spinal column.

EOC you are correct. The disc STAYS herniated. It is best to make sure you use ergonomics to PREVENT herniation.

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Posted: 12 July 2011 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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May I ask if Chiropractors do have an impact on the generak heakth of the patient, by say, “aligning the spine” .

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Posted: 12 July 2011 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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May I ask if Chiropractors do have an impact on the generak heakth of the patient, by say, “aligning the spine” .

Depends on what it is they’re trying to “correct.” If all they’re doing is the same sort of thing that any trained physical tharapist can accomplish and IF there aren’t any other issues such as a heriated disc, or even a broken spinal bone, then there may be some benefit.

If there ARE underlying issues, then they could easily cripple or kill their patient.

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