The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Ok, so how many chiroquacktors claim to treat colic?

Various bloggers have been investigating what their local chiroquacktic shop is claiming they can affect/cure. I’ve got bigger plans.

I’ve now collated the claims made by 296 chiroquacktors. They make some crazy claims. I’m still analysing the data, but here’s a taster:

Colic 29%
Whiplash 25%
Bed wetting 23%
Infection 19%
Asthma 18%
Arthritis 18%
Feeding problems 15%
RSI 11%
Hyperactivity 8%
PMS 7%
Sleeping problems 6%
Menstrual problems 3%
ADHD 3%
Vertigo 2%
Tinnitus 1%
Dyslexia 1%
Eczema 1%

Some of the even more bizarre claims include: ADD, OCD, Tourettes, Emphysema and Hay fever.

Of course, there is frequent use of weasel words and phrases like ‘patients come to us with…’, ‘chiropractic may sometimes help with…’, but it is abundantly clear what the overall impression is: it makes the public think they are a bone fide, proper, evidence-based medical profession that can make real differences to all these conditions.

How many call themselves Dr?

Of the 296 chiroquacktors, 150 use the prefix ‘Dr’ or the word ‘Doctor’ separate from ‘Chiropractor’. I believe this is deliberate — along with the way they present themselves and occasionally the way they denigrate proper medical profession — to confuse and confound the public. I’ll be mentioning this as well in my complaint to the GCC and Trading Standards.

12 Responses to Ok, so how many chiroquacktors claim to treat colic?

  • Do you understand the pathophysiology behind any of these conditions?

    And what is so 'crazy' about claiming to help for example musculoskeletal conditions like RSI or whiplash?

    By vertigo I presume you mean benign paroxysmal positional vertigo? Look up the hallpike technique.

  • And what is so sane about claiming to help for example non-musculoskeletal conditions like colic, bedwetting, infection or asthma?

    More chiropractors claim to treat colic than whiplash. What up with that?

  • I totally agree with claims to treat infection, I don't get that either. Anti-biotics all the way.

    I'm a chiropractor and I have had one patient (10 years old) who I treated for nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) and it worked. There is an excellent book on chiropractic and pediatrics (authors name escapes me for now, but if you would like i can find it).

    Now, is treatment given by a chiropractor just the spinal manipulation? For nocturnal enuresis there are many things that you can change eg. No fluids after 6pm, set an alarm clock for 3am to go to the toilet etc.

    Spinal manipulation can be done to help nerve supply to the bladder, but this is only one element that requires much more research.

    After all medical tests come back negative and they are told there is nothing else can be done for their child. Would you try to help them? Or just let the child grow up with that stigma? If you've got kids, as I have, have a think about that. I treated the kid for free too before you ask.

  • Please can all you anonymous posters put a name to your posts? It doesn't have to be your real name!

    To 'anonymous' number 3, directly above me:

    Of course one will try anything that might possibly help one's child. What is your point? Because zeno's point, if I understand correctly, is simply that some chiropractics are in breach of their code of conduct by making claims on their websites for which there is insufficient evidence, or no evidence at all.

    Do you think it's OK for chiropractics to do this?

  • Hello Zeno,

    I am a young medical doctor and recently also qualified as a chiropractor. I come from a family of medical doctors (both my parents) and the reason I decided to embark in a further four (4) year of study is that I could not bear the idea, ethically and consciously, to be ONLY able to help the suffering patient by prescribing drugs.
    I will not go into any more details about the knowledge of specific drugs and the false claims (since you are talking about false claims) that often pharmaceutical companies make in order to sell those chemical compounds, (usually at the patient’s expenses) however, I can surely tell you that chiropractors undergo a very strict training and have a profound knowledge and preparation to recognize, manage and often treat conditions which no other medical profession can, usually without the unnecessary risk of prescribing ‘wrong drugs’.
    Additionally, I am led to believe that within the British Government (surely a board of medical/science freaks) chiropractic has been acknowledged to be a respectable health profession (as they are its practitioners), so much so, that the National Health System (NHS) has issued its 2009-10 NHS Guidelines outlining chiroprators to be the first line of contact for patients presenting/suffering from acute and/or chronic musculoskeletal conditions/pain, (but I’m sure that you were aware of that).
    This is not even the point here. It seems to me, that you have very little medical or research knowledge, if any at all, and yet, you are happily making a fool of yourself trying to discredit a professional body scrutinizing some spelling confusion in their website.
    Oh dear! You got to be a real ‘sceintist’.
    Even worse is the fact that you are not doing this for personal reason, but rather to help/support someone (friend?) who is a lunatic scientist author who, in his public and internet presentations, uses scientific references from his own books, (WOW! that’s got to be evidence).
    I believe we both know who is the author in question here and you should agree with the fact that he stepped over the line and should have apologized when the BCA asked him to; that was before going to court (but I’m sure that you were also aware of that, obviously).
    Finally, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate all your supporters; you have won the medal of (dis) honour with your courageous and productive acts. Surely, the majority of ‘non’ graduated British people are proud of you. Keep up the good work.
    Regards,
    Dr N.E.O.
    MD DC Mchiro

  • I’m confused. Are you Jackie W or Dr N.E.O. MD DC MChiro?

  • Hey Zeno,
    Did you notice that? Dr N.E.O. spelled Mchiro instead of MChiro.
    Let’s write another couple of hundreds of useless blogs so that people learn how to spell MChiro and, that s/he is a bogus. They should have gone to grammar school first, don’t you think?
    Ciao

  • Jackie

    What are you on about? If you want to have a decent discussion, I’m more than willing, but you’ll have to write more clearly.

    It’ll be tiresome, but if you want, I’ll answer all the points you/Dr N.E.O. is throwing about.

  • Does it really matter who I am? or is this the best you can reply? (well, considering the crap you have been posting on the net, I’m not surprised).

    Do you actually have a job? or you just kill time by writing nonsense?

    Thanks ‘niceone’. Gosh, I hope it’s not too late and I’ll have to appear in court for that.

    Dr N.E.O.
    MD DC MChiro

  • Jackie W

    You posted as Jackie W, but put Dr N.E.O. at the bottom, so it was not clear whether this was you or you were quoting someone else. Which was it? Are you just the messenger?

    You then posted, not as Jackie W, but as niceone.

    But you’re absolutely right that it doesn’t matter who you are – it’s your ‘argument’ that’s important. As I said, I am more than willing to answer all the points whether raised by yourself or N.E.O.

    However, it won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that, while claiming that it matters not who you are, you throw ad hominens around at me.

    As I said, if you are really interested, I will answer the points raised by you or N.E.O., but I would ask you to read the helpful notes in the Comment Guide before commenting again.

  • Jackie W/D.E.O.

    I could not bear the idea, ethically and consciously, to be ONLY able to help the suffering patient by prescribing drugs.

    ONLY? Why do you think that doctors are ONLY able to help by prescribing drugs?

    I will not go into any more details about the knowledge of specific drugs and the false claims (since you are talking about false claims) that often pharmaceutical companies make in order to sell those chemical compounds, (usually at the patient’s expenses)…

    Yes, there are problems with some pharmaceutical companies and the way they market their products, particularly in the USA, but what’s that got to do with my complaints against chiropractors not complying with their Code of Practice? Are you suggesting that, because some pharmaceutical companies make dubious claims that it is therefore OK for chiropractors to not bother with adhering to their Code of Practice?

    …however, I can surely tell you that chiropractors undergo a very strict training and have a profound knowledge and preparation to recognize, manage and often treat conditions which no other medical profession can, usually without the unnecessary risk of prescribing ‘wrong drugs’.

    Thanks for telling me about the training and knowledge of chiropractors, but can you confirm what is imparted about subluxations: what they are, how they arise, how they affect the body and how ‘removing’ them helps? What conditions can chiropractors treat that no other medical profession can?

    Additionally, I am led to believe that within the British Government (surely a board of medical/science freaks) chiropractic has been acknowledged to be a respectable health profession (as they are its practitioners), so much so, that the National Health System (NHS) has issued its 2009-10 NHS Guidelines outlining chiroprators to be the first line of contact for patients presenting/suffering from acute and/or chronic musculoskeletal conditions/pain, (but I’m sure that you were aware of that).

    It is certainly true that chiropractors are statutorily regulated in the UK; something set up by an Act of Parliament. It is a moot point as to whether they made a properly informed decision in doing that. However, that they are is a fact. That same Act binds chiropractors to their Code of Practice. However, the Code of Practice itself is not prescribed: that was something written by the General Chiropractic Council and something all registered chiropractors have to agree to abide by as a condition of their regulation.

    The NHS did not issue any guidelines on back care. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) made some recomendations last May. Is that what you’re referring to? If so, please read the following:

    NICE falls for Bait and Switch by acupuncturists and chiropractors: it has let down the public and itself
    NICE fiasco, part 2. Rawlins should withdraw guidance and start again
    The NICE fiasco, Part 3. Too many vested interests, not enough honesty

    If you wish to answer the criticisms of the NICE decisions raised in those articles, please do so as comments on those article.

    However, the full NICE guidance is:

    Low back pain: early management of persistent non-specific low back pain

    What it does not say is that chiropractors are to be the first line of contact for patients presenting with back pain, etc. If you think it does, please cite the paragraph where it does.

    However, perhaps you are referring to some other guidance? If so, please tell me what that is so I can read it.

    This is not even the point here.

    I agree.

    It seems to me, that you have very little medical or research knowledge, if any at all

    Rather than question my knowledge, please try to refute the arguments I have made. As I said, it matters not who you are or what qualifications you hold, simply that you supply cogent arguments and rebuttals to my argument. Similarly, it should not matter to you who I am. If you spot a specific gap in my knowledge, please feel free to point it out. If you want to question some part of an argument I have made, please do, but I again refer you to the Comment Guide.

    and yet, you are happily making a fool of yourself…

    Thanks for your opinion.

    …trying to discredit a professional body scrutinizing some spelling confusion in their website.

    I may well have done, but I don’t know what you’re referring to. There is no mention of a spelling mistake in the article above.

    Oh dear! You got to be a real ’sceintist’. [sic]

    I assume you simply intend this as an ad hominem in the hope someone mistakes it for an argument?

    Even worse is the fact that you are not doing this for personal reason

    Please do not try to impugn my motives, about which you obviously have no idea.

    but rather to help/support someone (friend?)who is a lunatic scientist author who, in his public and internet presentations, uses scientific references from his own books, (WOW! that’s got to be evidence).

    WOW! That’s got to be libelous!

    Besides, what problem do you see with a scientist citing their own work? Do you have a similar problem with a chiropractor citing any of his/her own work?

    I believe we both know who is the author in question here

    I don’t know why you are being so reticent! I think quite a few people know by now.

    and you should agree with the fact that he stepped over the line

    Nope. Why do you think I should agree with what you say?

    and should have apologized when the BCA asked him to; that was before going to court (but I’m sure that you were also aware of that, obviously).

    I assume you are aware of the offer made by the Guardian newspaper (who published Simon’s article) of a 500 word ‘right of a reply’ to the BCA – an offer the BCA refused? I wonder why, if they were concerned about their reputation, they did not jump at the chance of setting the record straight? Instead, they decided to pursue Simon (not the Guardian, you note) through the courts.

    Finally, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate all your supporters; you have won the medal of (dis) honour with your courageous and productive acts.

    Since you use the word ‘dishonour’, perhaps you could tell us what is dishonourable about trying to ensure chiropractors abide by their own Code of Practice?

    Surely, the majority of ‘non’ graduated British people are proud of you.

    What do you mean by ‘non graduated’?

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks. I will.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


2 + = three

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>