Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chiropractic: not all it's cracked up to be

Chiropractic [1]. First, a disclaimer: I work in Deloraine in the Deloraine Chiropractic clinic [2]. My landlord’s Dr Roberto De Souza – a chiropractor and an exceptionally lovely man. My personal view of chiropractic? First, I must explain, there are basically two groups of chiropractors, i.e. those who diagnose and treat musculoskeletal symptoms by physical spinal techniques, and those who use same or similar techniques to treat non-musculoskeletal conditions they believe are spinally caused, e.g. lung, digestive, skin conditions. I tolerate – without embracing – the first group, for though I may disagree with their theories on disease, injury and symptom causation, doctors don’t know everything, and if something works then it works. (And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But maybe it’s better to try it than not.) The second group I shun totally. Because their practice’s not remotely scientific. Regarding medicine and chiropractic, as Australian Doctor editor Dr Kerri Parnell wrote last Tuesday: ‘the issue is fraught’ [3]. The tension’s probably due to a sense of being threatened – on a clinical level but also regarding finances and professional rivalry. On 13 June 2009 I wrote of the Simon Singh case [4]. Singh was sued by the British Chiropractic Association following his vehement public criticism of chiropractors who use spinal manipulation to treat childhood conditions including asthma, colic and ear infections. On 15 April 2010 the BCA officially withdrew its lawsuit, ending the case [5]. As a result of Singh’s article and case, 25% of UK chiropractors are under investigation [6]. Ho hum.

No comments: