March 25, 2008

Chiropractic: Denouncing and Rejecting?

I lied - I have another post on chiropractic.

Have I been fair to chiropractors? Honestly, I don’t feel anyone has an obligation of fairness to a field of practice that eschews scientific rigor in the endeavor of health care.

However, what if there are chiropractors who focus on manipulative methods for back therapy only? What if they properly warn their patients? What if they completely renounce the chiropractic hypothesis of subluxations causing disease?

There is such a subset of chiropractors, who identify themselves by their membership in the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (NACM).

The first and foremost requirement for membership in the NACM is that a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine renounce the chiropractic hypothesis and/or philosophy; that is, the tenets upon which their scope of practice is based.

This would seem to me to be a good starting point in judging an individual chiropractor. Quackwatch has a number of other tips as well.

In Canada, a similar organization known as Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists (CAMT) refers to the practitioners as Manipulative Therapists. I think there’s some wisdom in using a different name to distance themselves from the sort of charlatans who tried to stop the polio vaccine. And I applaud the effort to scope manipulative therapy to back pain only, with a regimen of treatment that is usually limited in the number of visits rather than a lifelong commitment.

I understand that only a small minority of chiropractors belong to these organizations, and I’m not sure how you verify that a chiropractor belongs. Is there a certification? A list somewhere?

In any case, file this under “questions to ask next time you bump into a chiropractor.”

Posted by James at March 25, 2008 2:25 AM
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ITs funny because I knew only of the "good" kind of chiropractor. My dad had to see one when I was younger because he has spinal issues. I've never heard of any of this other "holistic" nonsense. I thought chriopractors were just guys who tried to fix your spine when your discs got misaligned.

Posted by: David Grenier at March 25, 2008 12:53 PM

OMG, David, listen to the idiot "Dr. Ross" on WSAR in the afternoon. I don't know what days he has his show (the website doesn't seem to have a schedule), but I remember listening to him during that horrible snowstorm we had last semester, on my looooong drive home from Dartmouth. He thinks that subluxations cause disease, not viruses and bacteria. And he was confusing hand-sanitizer with anti-bacterial soap. I was calling furiously, but of course it's not a call-in show.

Posted by: Maggie at March 25, 2008 2:15 PM

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