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Chiropractors - Legit or Not? - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Bode...


Since you're apparently unfamiliar with the science and research of chiropractic methods, (particularly as they compare to other manual therapies) your opinions are based on ignorance and conjecture, just like most critics of the chiropractic profession.

Your comment about me "making a good living without hurting anyone" is insulting, and I'm insulted.

Nonetheless, you're entitled to your opinions, no matter how uninformed they may be.

Let's agree to disagree.


--Baja
post #32 of 46
Bode, after considering your comments, I realize that I'm making an unfair assumption about your apparent ignorance regarding chiropractic methodologies.

Both you and dp claim that...

Quote:
the theory behind their practice is complete quackery and pseudoscience
In all fairness, you should have the opportunity to show how informed you are regarding chiropractic concepts and theories.


So I would like to give you both the opportunity to explain the theory behind chiropractic practice, then explain how it is complete quackery and pseudoscience.

Thanks.
post #33 of 46
I have a genetic disorder called spondylolisthesis. Many of you may have this and not know it. Anyway I went to a chiropractor who diagnosed this from his xray, even though I'd known about it long ago and told him what I had....guess I had to help pay for the xray machine. He proceeded to "treat" me by having my lay down on my stomach and he pushed down hard on my Lumbar region a few times. That was it....actually he pushed the top of my butt toward the bottom of my butt if you can visualize that?! Maybe not huh?! Anyway, I've found that some stretches I do myself work better than what his treatment was.........
VERDICT >>> chiropractors = scammers
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_bare View Post
VERDICT >>> chiropractors = scammers

If we use your logic, we should make the verdict that dermatologists = crooks, huh?

Tallahassee Democrat - www.tallahassee.com - Tallahassee, FL.
post #35 of 46
Bode Klammer?

dp?


Do either of you want to provide explanations for your claims that chiropractic is quackery and pseudoscience?

dp... you're a physician. You must be well-versed in human anatomy and physiology, (particularly of the spine) and very familiar with chiropractic theories and concepts to make the accusation you did.

Bode Klammer... you seem awfully sure of yourself and your knowledge of healthcare. Perhaps you're a healthcare professional too?


How about it? Do you two have any sound reasoning behind your accusations?

---Baja
post #36 of 46
Since you asked, this is from Wikipedia but it sums up what I have thought about chiropractic for a long time:

Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer, based on his assertion that all health problems could be prevented or treated using "adjustments" of the spine, and sometimes other joints, to correct what he termed "subluxations." He, and later his son, B.J. Palmer, proposed that subluxations were misaligned vertebrae which caused nerve compression that interfered with the transmission of what he named Innate Intelligence. This interference interrupted the proper flow of Innate Intelligence from "above, down, inside, and out" to the organ to which it traveled. As a result, the human body would experience "dis-ease" or disharmony which would result in loss of health. He compared this process to stepping on a hose that slowed the flow of water to a garden: if you take your foot off the hose, the flow returns to normal and the garden will flourish.

While the "pinched garden hose theory" has mostly been abandoned, it is still used in a modified form by some chiropractors to explain vertebral subluxation. However, the concept of the subluxation, which has marginal evidence, remains integral to typical chiropractic practice, and in 2003 90% of chiropractors believed the vertebral subluxation complex played a significant role in all or most diseases.[4]

There is evidence that spinal manipulation is effective for the treatment of acute low back pain, tension headaches and some musculoskeletal issues, but not all studies support this conclusion.[5][6] There are no objective controlled trials with definitive conclusions for or against chiropractic claims concerning other health benefits.[7](emphasis added.)

That pretty much summarizes my opinion that the unique claims of chiropractic have no basis in science, and that proven benefits are available from other practioners. The fact that chiropractors are licensed as independent professionals at all (unlike pharmacists and physical therapists, who follow direction of doctors), just proves the distressing propensity of State legislatures' to ignore science.

BK
post #37 of 46
That's basically my point too. Of course this isn't the only theory that energy from nerves has to flow to make you healthy. In China, there's Qi Gong and acupuncture.

Hey, maybe some of this stuff works to cure disease, all I'm saying is they should have a warning label like on those supplement ads "these statements have not been evaluated by medical science", so caveat emptor.
post #38 of 46
A little advice, Bode...

Wikipedia generally isn't considered a credible or reliable source of information... particularly when much of the information given is in the form of opinion pieces written by volunteers.


Nevertheless...

Quote:
Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer, based on his assertion that all health problems could be prevented or treated using "adjustments" of the spine, and sometimes other joints, to correct what he termed "subluxations." He, and later his son, B.J. Palmer, proposed that subluxations were misaligned vertebrae which caused nerve compression that interfered with the transmission of what he named Innate Intelligence. This interference interrupted the proper flow of Innate Intelligence from "above, down, inside, and out" to the organ to which it traveled. As a result, the human body would experience "dis-ease" or disharmony which would result in loss of health. He compared this process to stepping on a hose that slowed the flow of water to a garden: if you take your foot off the hose, the flow returns to normal and the garden will flourish.


Using this paragraph as evidence to support your views would be like me criticizing the practice of medicine by referencing blood-letting, leaches, and skull-boring as "legitimate scientific" practices, Bode.

Many of the theories postulated by the founder and his son 100+ years ago do not coincide with current knowledge and application methods.

Prior to the "garden hose" theory, DD Palmer postulated the "guitar string" theory... that the various nerves in the body functioned by vibrating at certain frequencies and amplitudes. He theorized that subluxated spinal bones pinched the nerves, and changed the harmonic tone of the associated vibrating nerve. (this was the late 1800's, mind you... just imagine what medical doctors were practicing back then!)


Bottom line... these outdated theories based on misinformation, speculation, and lack of knowledge have been abandoned. Of course... some chiropractors may still believe that "innate intelligence flows over nerves" and nerves work like "garden hoses," but that's hardly an argument to use against the chiropractic profession itself!


Quote:
However, the concept of the subluxation, which has marginal evidence, remains integral to typical chiropractic practice, and in 2003 90% of chiropractors believed the vertebral subluxation complex played a significant role in all or most diseases


"Marginal evidence?"

This is the problem when one uses propaganda as evidence in an argument.

There is more than "marginal" evidence on the concept of subluxation. Geez... just type in "subluxation research" on google and see how much information you come up with.

Here's just a smattering of subluxation research:

CHIROPRACTIC SUBLUXATION AND NEUROLOGY ARTICLES



Does subluxation play a "significant" role in all or most diseases? Probably not.

But... if subluxation has an adverse effect on neurophysiology, then it plays a contributory role in any and all health and disease matters... no matter how slight that role may be.

Some sick people do get well as a result of getting their subluxations corrected. But many do not, because other factors are not addressed.


Quote:
There is evidence that spinal manipulation is effective for the treatment of acute low back pain, tension headaches and some musculoskeletal issues, but not all studies support this conclusion
Of course not all studies are going to support this conclusion.

Every human being is different from every other human being. Back pain and other "musculoskeletal issues" have literally thousands of different causes. And as such... medical (health related) research is the sloppiest, most inconclusive scientific research there is, whether it's for chiropractic, medicine, massage, acupuncture... any health intervention.

This is basic Statistics 101.


Quote:
There are no objective controlled trials with definitive conclusions for or against chiropractic claims concerning other health benefits.
There are no objective controlled trials with definitive conclusions for ANY THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION... medical, chiropractic or otherwise.

Talk about pseudoscience! The author of this opinion piece is poorly versed in the principles of science.


For every supportive research study of a therapeutic intervention, there is another one that refutes it. This is the nature of medical research (including chiropractic research and all other health related research)… the sloppiest, most skewed, most crude kind of scientific research there is.


Even the highest quality research is not designed, nor concluded to be "definitive." As any basic student of research knows, most quality studies end with...

"These findings suggest the need for further testing," or... "The data collected from this study indicates X, but subsequent studies are recommended."


Quote:
The fact that chiropractors are licensed as independent professionals at all (unlike pharmacists and physical therapists, who follow direction of doctors), just proves the distressing propensity of State legislatures' to ignore science.


Oh, of course, Bode! It has all to do with State legislatures ignoring propaganda (your supposed "science") from people like yourself.

It has nothing to do with the fact that chiropractic has advanced and organized into a primary contact provider profession because 1) it works, (and works very well, especially where medicine and other therapies fail) 2) it's safe, and 3) it's practitioners are trained and tested (overseen by the government) to provide that role.

Because I tell you... it sure ain't our lobbying influence! The chiropractic profession has peanuts in lobbying pull and finances compared to the pharmaceutical industry. We get shot down every time.


Quote:
That pretty much summarizes my opinion that the unique claims of chiropractic have no basis in science, and that proven benefits are available from other practioners.


"Proven benefits" from what? Back pain? Of course. See above.

As far as "no basis in science," that claim has been refuted. See above.


Don't take my post as a bickerfest or pissing contest, Bode. Just make sure you check your claims and beliefs with solid evidence before you make slanderous, insulting statements toward certain professionals.

I hope this was a learning experience for you.


dp... do you have anything to add to this discussion?
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post

There are no objective controlled trials with definitive conclusions for ANY THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION... medical, chiropractic or otherwise.
[
This is the money quote. Rather than offer scientific evidence, you deny that anyone else has scientific evidence for any therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
... medical (health related) research is the sloppiest, most inconclusive scientific research there is, whether it's for chiropractic, medicine, massage, acupuncture... any health intervention.

This is basic Statistics 101.
When I taught Statistics 101, I don't remember that chapter.

BK
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
This is the money quote. Rather than offer scientific evidence, you deny that anyone else has scientific evidence for any therapy.
Didn't I offer you some scientific evidence? Or did you ignore it?

Where did I "deny that anyone else has scientific evidence for any therapy?"


Read my previous response again... carefully this time. It's all right there for you.


Quote:
When I taught Statistics 101, I don't remember that chapter.

BK
You taught statistics?

Then you understand the concept of "variance," yes? ( V[X] )

Well... in this case, "metabolic multivariation" is the spread of distribution about the average. Human beings, as individualized complex organisms, possess differing properties of cellular reproduction/turnover, biochemical rates of reaction, nutritional needs, genetic values, etc.

Medicine (referring to the scientific study and research of human physiology and pathology) is not a true science due to the lack of reproducibility... and hence, lack of predictability. Human health care of any kind will never be a *science* until all human beings are alike.

We can use scientific principles to study human health and disease, but that type of biological scientific study will always be less predictable than the scientific study of, say... chemistry or physics.

And we don't even have to go into the corruption that is rampant in medical research! All in all, it's the most disgraceful conduction of science (if you can even call it that) the world has ever seen.


Unfortunately, it's this misinterpretation of health care being considered a "science" that misleads physicians, critics, and laypeople into the dangerous realm of pseudoscience. Medicine, just like chiropractic, is an art based on certain scientific observations.


So, Bode, you'll have to do just a bit of critical thinking on your own to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of medical research. It won't be spoonfed to you in any textbook chapter.


The tone of your responses has degenerated into (actually, always was) sarcasm and misquoted straw man arguments. Do you have any counterarguments to what I presented? Or will you finally admit that your statements were not based on factual evidence?


An apology for insinuating that I'm a crook would be nice as well.

Quote:
That sounds like quakery to me, but I'm glad you're making a good living without harming anyone.
post #41 of 46
Find a osteopath who does manual manipulation. That should be your starting point. The Osteo can do everything an MD can do, they can do manipulation and they can write you a prescription (referral) for physical therapy. the osteo train more with boes and muscles than MDs do.
I was being treated by an MD who said I had a badly herniated disc, that could require surgery (or injections) which may have been caused by one leg being shorter than the other. I also saw 2 different chiropractors who told me that my spine was too curved.
On my first visit to the osteopath he discovered that the my SI (sacro illiac)joint was stuck in the wrong position. He unstuck the SI joint which leveled out my hips and my legs "became" the same length again. The osteo gave me a referral for Physical therapy so that my muscles would hold the SI joint in place better and to free up the spine so the SI wouldn't be forced to move so much.
post #42 of 46
Baja:

(I'm not speaking as a moderator in any way. I'm just posting as a person who has, unfortunately, been a patient of orthopaedists, neurologists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and physical therapists for various problems over the years.)

Props to you for (mostly) maintaining your calm and patience in the face of some pretty hostile comments. You've represented your profession well.

To me, the bottom line is that many, many people have been "helped" by chiropractic. Placebo effect or not. Pseudoscience or not.

Sure, there are quacks and hacks in your profession. I hear that all the time about my job as well (realtor). Who hasn't heard the same about *some* MEDICAL doctors, attorneys, stock brokers, politicians, yadda, yadda, yadda?

My own experience twenty-some years ago with a chiropractor was the result of a recommendation by one of the world's best-known and highly-respected orthopaedic surgeons. The chiropractor (and a physical therapist) gradually reduced an exceedingly painful back problem when "traditional" medicine's only remedy would have been drugs and/or surgery.

I look on chiropractic in a similar way that I look on ANY other service. Do your due diligence as a customer, try it if you can afford it, stop if it doesn't do you any good.

Anyway, thank you for your contribution to this thread and I hope you'll continue to participate.
post #43 of 46
Thanks for the kind words, Bob.


You would think that all (or at least most) people would realize that there are good and bad practitioners of every profession! But biases and prejudices create emotions that are often too strong for some people to overcome in order to process information rationally. Hence, blanket hatreds aimed at entire groups tend to result.

But I'm used to having my character attacked... even by many chiropractors themselves. (As you can tell, I'm an outspoken critic of my profession.) Many of the criticisms I get about the profession are true, or at least have some validity. But what can I say? I can't speak for every chiropractor and what they do... As a license holder, I have a responsibility to respect all chiropractors and methodologies, so long as they practice legally and safely... even if I do disagree with certain state laws and scopes of practice.


It seems that every time I respond to character attacks, it turns out that the attacks aren't legitimate, and are based on misinformation and propaganda instead.


I'm also unnerved about certain definitive advice, especially on a message forum, on directing someone to a particular kind of doctor (and avoiding other doctors) just because it happened to help them. So... someone recommends to find an osteopath who "specializes" in OMT (osteopathic manipulative therapy.) The problem is, there are very few osteopaths left who are proficient in spinal manipulation. In fact, a student of osteopathy can go through their entire educational curriculum and never perform manipulation under supervision, but prescribe drugs and perform minor surgery instead. (OMT is no longer a required method in school) If you can find an "old-timer," chances are you'll get a skilled manipulator with years of experience.

That's one thing about chiropractors... at least you know that spinal adjusting is something they do every day!

Last year, a woman was carried into my office from one of the local osteopaths in my area. Nice guy, has been in practice 10 or 12 years. He attempted a side posture lumbar roll for the woman's back pain (against her wishes, she mentioned that her chiropractor was on vacation and wanted to wait for her chiropractor to adjust her), thrusted 3 or 4 times until something went "pop,"... and she couldn't get up off the table. He called me immediately to see if she could be brought over to try and undo the damage.

So... that's definitive evidence that all osteopaths are dangerous, and you should never get manipulated by an osteopath... right? VERDICT = CRUDE BACK POPPERS.

Right?


The problem with the idea that "Chiropractic helps some people, but not others," comes from the fact that most people use chiropractic as a backache therapy. As I mentioned on an earlier thread, I think chiropractic is one of the worst (ineffective) therapies for back pain! I dread getting a new patient in my office who is hunched over in pain and wants me to "fix their back," after they sit at a desk all day at work and lounge on the couch every night eating 4 bags of Frito Lays. Like adjusting their spine is reeeeeeeally going to "fix their back." :

I believe 98% of back pain can be alleviated, corrected, and even prevented by proper exercise and stretching. (Lisamarie's and SNOtrainer's field of expertise) Doing that in coordination with periodic chiropractic adjustments helps the entire body stay strong and healthy.

But the chiropractic profession has done a lousy job in marketing itself to the general public. So we have two major points of marketing instead... "See a chiropractor to get your backache fixed" (which may be partially helpful to only some people, at best), or "Don't go to medical doctors, go to your chiropractor because Chiropractic gets sick people well!" (abject quackery and a danger to public safety)

What we chiropractors should be doing is marketing ourselves to that portion of the general public that gets the most benefit from spinal adjustments... people who are active and athletic. People who are proactive about their health. The majority of my practice is made up of athletes, yoga instructors, personal trainers, massage therapists, dentists, and nurses. I see a few MD's, and a handful of PT's as well. These are people that are health-conscious, and also tend to have physically stressful jobs.

(yes, I have the typical backache and headache patients too.)


The most exciting research studies in chiropractic aren't the "aches and pains" therapeutic studies (which mimic the public's results of back pain... some studies show positive results, others don't ) ... but the human performance studies:


Bonci A, Ratcliff C. Strength modulation of the biceps brachii muscles immediately following spinal manipulation of C4/C5 inververtebral motor unit in healthy subjects; Preliminary report. Am J Chiro Med 1990; 3:14-18

Conclusion: This study showed immediate strength gains in the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles.



Bonci A, Ratcliff C, Adams E et al: Strength modulation of the erector muscles immediately following manipulation of the thoracolumbar spine. Chiropractic 1990; 6:29-33

Immediate strength gains in back extensor muscles and respiratory muscles.


Suter E, McMorland G, Herzog W, et al: Decrease in quadriceps inhibition after sacroiliac joint manipulation in patients with anterior knee pain. JMPT 1999; 22:149-53

Grimston SK, Engsberg JR, Shaw L, et al: Chiropractic care prescribed in coordination with prior muscular rehabilitation for sacroiliac subluxation in female distant runners. Chiro Sports Med 1990; 4:2-8

These two studies showed immediate strength gains in extensor and stabilizer muscles of the knee.


Lauro A, Mouch B. Chiropractic effects on athletic ability. Chiropractic. The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. 1991; 6:84-87

This study from Australia looked at the effects of daily chiropractic adjustments on 50 athletes by measuring agility, balance, poprioception, power, and reaction time. After 6 weeks, the group receiving adjustments increased significantly in all tests compared to the control group.


Schwartzbauer J, Kolber J, Schwartzbauer M, et al. Athletic Performance and Physiological Measures in Baseball Players Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Pilot Study. JVSR 1997; 1:33-39

This similar study done in America found that athletes who received chiropractic care for 14 weeks had a significant improvement in muscle strength, long jump distance, blood pressure, pulse rate and capillary count.


There is more research currently being conducted on spinal subluxation's effects on information processing in the cerebral cortex. It will be interesting to see those results.


So... are Chiropractors Legit or Not?

You can either believe what other people tell you (including me), or investigate all the information and evidence, positive and negative, and decide for yourself.
post #44 of 46
To get back to the original question, I had bursitis in both hips and my MD sent me to a chiro. I had seen this chiro before for a back problem. His approach is to adjust what needs adjusting and then give exercises that will strengthen the muscles that will keep the said adjusted stuff back where it belongs. His goal is to keep me from coming back, not to keep me coming back. He's awesome. But I can't imagine seeing a chiropractor who didn't combine adjustment with exercises, that would definitely keep one coming back until the health insurance ran out.
post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Queen View Post
His approach is to adjust what needs adjusting and then give exercises that will strengthen the muscles that will keep the said adjusted stuff back where it belongs. His goal is to keep me from coming back, not to keep me coming back.

Great points, Ice Queen. So nicely said.

Some chiropractors believe that "people need to get adjusted." (Mo' adjustments = mo' money) Never mind about actually checking if they're subluxated or not. Insurance only pays chiropractors to crack joints (to treat pain and discomfort). Insurance won't pay if the person is checked and found to be unsubluxated, and therefore doesn't need to be adjusted.


Other chiropractors believe that "people need to be unsubluxated." In other words, if someone needs to keep getting adjusted, the adjustments aren't really doing anything, are they?

There could be many reasons why a patient's spine isn't getting stronger and more stable during a course of chiropractic care... it could be a lack of exercise/physical activity [as you say], it could be occupational or recreational repetitive stress causing ongoing imbalance, it could be poor nutrition, or mental/emotional stress, it could even be their bed mattress or office chair.

It could even be that the exercises they perform... even if they're done properly... are causing some joints to slip (slightly) out of balance.

Every human being is unique. Yoga, for some people, keeps their spinal joints moving freely and dynamically... but for other people, yoga causes stress on certain areas of their spine. The same is true of tennis, pilates, massage, construction work, picking up their toddler, bicycling, and even amateur spinal manipulation (which really sets the stage for chronic neck and back problems).


Exercise is a necessary part of an ongoing healthy lifestyle... not just a few movements of a particular body region that you need to do as part of a therapy.

My opinion about exercise is this: (Keep in mind I'm not a fitness professional)


If you're exercising your whole body, properly, on a regular basis... you won't need to rely on isolated, specific exercises (given by your doctor, chiropractor, PT, etc) to strengthen the muscles associated with your particular pain. In fact, limiting your exercise to therapy of a particular body region while ignoring a well rounded whole-body program will likely cause more problems and imbalances.

I can't stand doctor-recommended exercises for only one region of the body to help treat the pain of that area. (especially low back exercises.) Not only is it an incomplete dis-service, in many cases these exercises that are performed independently can create excessive strain on joints and tendons.


My professional recommendations about exercise is always the same, for every patient in my practice, whether they have back problems, neck problems, or no musculoskeletal problems at all: DO IT. And do it properly.

"Dr. Baja, are there exercises I should be doing to help this shoulder pain?"

"Mary, you should exercise your whole body to get strong and flexible... and stay that way. You should have been doing that all along!"


And if they don't know anything about proper exercise? That's when I refer them to a professional fitness expert like Lisamarie or SNOtrainer. These folks know more about fitness and exercise than I do... and 99+% of doctors, chiropractors, and PT's as well. They will also pay attention to the fitness balance of your whole body... not just your weak iliopsoas on the left side, or that tight levator scapulae, or that strained quadratus lumborum.

All your body parts and systems should work together... synergistically... for the good of the whole. Piecemeal therapies for body parts ignore the big picture of health.

Does anyone know what the #1 cause of heart disease is?


It isn't cholesterol.


Or mental stress.


It's actually kidney malfunction. Look it up in any medical reference of pathology.

As many of you know, the job of the kidneys is to pull poisons and toxins (mainly in the form of excessive salts and minerals) out of your blood. If your kidneys aren't functioning properly to help balance out your blood chemistry... and leaves some of the poisons in there, then the poisons just recirculate around your body. What effects do you think that will have on your vascular and heart tissues?

But nobody thinks of a kidney specialist for heart disease. (not that you should go there for a heart problem anyway) You go to a cardiologist, who in many cases, doesn't address the cause, and only compensates for the problem.

So it is with piecemeal doctor-recommended therapy exercises. (In my opinion)


My advice: Consult your doctor before starting any serious program of exercise. But... consult a qualified fitness trainer before performing any doctor-recommended exercises.



Thanks for bringing up an excellent point about health, Ice Queen. Kudos.
post #46 of 46

Chiro Worked for Me, Yeeayy

I did some tournament water skiing back in the day. Shortly after a really hard crash I developed some seriously sharp stabbing pains in my right side sacroiliac area. My father, a thoracic surgeon set me up with a good radiologist and orthopedist, but they couldn't find anything wrong. As my Dad's sentiment that chiropracters were quackery, I was dissuaded from seeing one, and suffered off and on for maybe 15 years with occasional lower back pain. At a local gym, a chiropracter was offering free back exams and I was talked into seeing him. After wrestling with me for awhile he managed to "crack" my back, with a really loud pop. I experienced profound relief and revisited him for a few more sessions. Since then, if I layout at ultimate frisbee or otherwise get hammered on my mountain bike, drunk wrestling, etc. the back will flare up, and recent visits to chiropracters haven't been able to adjust it much at all. I have found however, that lots of long hard ab/core/lower back workouts with resistance and physio balls have done wonders to rehab a once very problematic back. My opinion is that for the right kind of problem, chiropracters have a lot to offer.
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