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.
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; 22:149-53Grimston 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.