Omnibus Complaint to the General Chiropractic Council

Various bloggers have been complaining to their local chiropractor, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) or the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). These include jdc325, Tristan at Cargo Cult Science and APGaylard at A canna’ change the laws of physics.

These are all excellent and should make them realise that they are being watched – critically and under a very powerful (scientific) microscope. However, I don’t think this will bring about the seismic shift in the way chiropractors advertise their services that is badly required to properly protect the public. What is needed is the GCC to sit up and take note of what their charges are doing and ensure the rules governing chiropractors are followed – to the letter. After all, that’s what a regulator is supposed to do, isn’t it?

So, what are the rules? I’ve blogged about this previously:

Who are the British Chiropractic Association?

What the ASA have to say about chiroquacktic

What chiroquacktors are allowed to claim

These are the rules, nothing more, nothing less

Ok, so how many chiroquacktors claim to treat colic?

To summarise: the GCC has a statutory duty to regulate all UK chiropractors. Part of that duty is ensuring they abide by their Code of Practice (CoP). This clearly states that chiropractors should not make claims that would not stand up to the scrutiny of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA guidance is given mainly in their Code of Advertising Practice (CAP). This clearly requires scientific evidence for claims made by advertisers and not just anecdotal claims or testimonies. The CoP and CAP also require them not to use the title ‘Dr’ in any way that might lead the public to believe they are properly qualified medical practitioners.

It’s time to pull all this together and to make a complaint to the GCC – not just about my local chiropractor, but about all of those making claims for which there is no robust clinical evidence.

About 40% of entries in the BCA register give a website of a member’s clinic and I have used this to compile a list of the claims made on those 287 websites. According to the BCA’s register, there are 523 chiropractics working in these clinics. I have written an ‘omnibus’ complaint and I have submitted it to the GCC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, Margaret Coats.

My letter of complaint and the list of the 523 chiropractors concerned can be downloaded here.

The complaint is in three parts: complaints against the unsupported claims made; the use of the term ‘Dr’ misleading the public; and miscellaneous complaints about issues like chiropractors encouraging their patients into taking on continual chiropractic care for the sake of their ongoing health.

One thing I have found: the GCC do seem serious about complaints. It is one of their statutory duties to deal with all complaints in a thorough and professional manner.

I know what I want the GCC to do in response to my complaints, but I’ll save that for a later blog post and see what the GCC proposes.

109 thoughts on “Omnibus Complaint to the General Chiropractic Council”

  1. "chiropractors encouraging their patients into taking on continual chiropractic care for the sake of their ongoing health"

    Surely you mean, "ongoing wealth".

    Btw, good work.

  2. Good work. Just remember to make sure you have a copy of the web sites in question. The Chiros' first reaction may be to just change the text and hope that the fuss goes away.

    The best way is to print the site and then sign and date the back. Its not proof (and bugger all is in the digital age) but its a hell of a lot more convincing than 'well this is what it said a few months ago'.

  3. If you save the pages and write them immediately to a CD (non-rewritable), the date of writing to the CD is there.
    In fact these types of web sites are typically very small and can be downloaded in their entirety with an application SpiderZilla.

  4. Excellent! I hope you get somewhere with this.

    One of the clinics on your list, Amethyst Family Chiro Clinic) shows an interesting attitude on its 'prices' page.

    'Initial visit:
    Examination £24
    Treatment £30
    Therefore first visit £54'

    So the default position is that you will need treatment, with no possibility of the chiro deciding s/he can't help or that you might not need any treatment anyway.

    From there I found, via the Times Guide to CAM', a link to this: which advises chiros on how to increase the numbers of 'patients' and tells how much money can be made using good salesmanship………….

  5. Did anyone ever consider the possibility that Chiropractors may just be good people who are helping others in a medical systm that revolves around drugs and surgery and is manipulated by the big pharmaceutical companies with their huge budgets. Consider the possibility that Chiropractors may actually, after 6 years of tertiary education, have a skill and knowledge that can help a great many people.

  6. Why just chiropractors? Have you seen the British Osteopathic Website – the claims there are just the same. With cranial osteopathy it seems they can cure even more complaints.

  7. Does cost effectiveness override efficacy? The research done on chiropractic that chiropractors seem to rely on have been well demolished on jdc325's Weblog, DC's Improbable Science, EBM-first and the adverse effects examined on Dr Harriet Hall's blog on Science-Based medicine.

  8. I went to see my GP last month with a burning pain in my neck and shoulder. I work on building sites, and have put up with quite a bit in the past – but this was too much.

    After my 8 minute consultation with my Doctor I got a prescription for painkillers. On my way to get them, I started to wonder if all the increases in medical research had really led us to this point. I decided not to get the pills.

    I rang a local chiropractor, and saw them the next day. After 3 treatments I am back at work.

    I'm not that bothered about research – I now have no pain and I've taken no drugs.

  9. Answering some of the comments:

    I'll obviously post any response from the GCC when I get it, but I don't expect a speedy response!

    woodchopper, pvandck: I have copies of the relevant pages for their websites!

    I think the osteopaths will be earning the sceptical gaze of many bloggers in the not too distant future!

    I sent my complaint to Margaret Coats as Chief Executive & Registrar.

  10. Anonymous said: "Did anyone ever consider the possibility that Chiropractors may just be good people who are helping others in a medical systm that revolves around drugs and surgery and is manipulated by the big pharmaceutical companies with their huge budgets. Consider the possibility that Chiropractors may actually, after 6 years of tertiary education, have a skill and knowledge that can help a great many people."

    I'm sure many chiropractors are 'good people who are helping others', but your characterisation of proper medicine is skewed. Of course there are drugs and surgery. Yes, pharmaceuticals have loads of money and yes, they do sometimes influence doctors and health policy when they should not. But thank goodness for drugs and surgery and proper doctors!

    But none of this makes subluxations any more likely to exist; pressure on nerves more likely to be the cause of asthma, colic or the like; it does not make high velocity thrusts any more likely to affect a nerve in such a way as to alleviate any condition; it does not make any of the trials that have been done on chiropractic any more favourable to chiropractic being effective.

    Making someone feel a bit better can be important, but we need proper doctors to cure the serious illnesses.

  11. To the other anonymous commenter: I'm glad your neck and shoulder are better.

    You say you are not bothered about research. Fine. But others are because if research isn't done, we'll never know what works and what doesn't work; what the correct doses are and whether they are safe.

  12. Sorry – think we may have our wires crossed.

    I am a fitter, and got forwarded a link from youtube about the court case from my mate as he knew I'd just been to see a Chiropractor.

    My point really is that from my where I was sat, the GP was only interested in giving me something for the pain, and not for the problem. We didn't even talk about why I might have a problem.

    At least the Chiropractor talked to me about why it might hurt, and where the pain might be coming from.

    I didn't ask the GP for any evidence about why I was given pills, so why should I have asked the Chiropractor?

  13. Had a quick google….

    Cost Effectiveness of Physiotherapy, Manual Therapy, and General Practitioner Care for Neck Pain: Economic Evaluation Alongside a Randomised Controlled Trial

    Available at :

    I'll be honest and say I don't really get all of it, but there seems to be quite a lot on the site.

    The conclusion states :

    Manual therapy (spinal mobilisation) is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care by a general practitioner

    Only took me five minutes. Whats all the fuss?

  14. Hi Zeno, In response to the time it is likely to take there are apparently several stages a complaint must go through. I guess you have read the documents on the GCC web site but for those that haven't the next stages seems to be:

    What happens next?
    The GCC will:

    •Write to you within seven days to tell you it has received your complaint
    •Tell you if it can take forward your complaint
    •Tell you who is dealing with your complaint and how to contact them
    •Give you detailed information about what will happen next
    •Write to the chiropractor to tell them about your complaint. The GCC must pass them a copy of your complaint (and any other relevant documents) so that they know the details. If you are worried about this please tell the GCC
    •Ask you to agree to the GCC obtaining your health records (if relevant to your complaint)
    •Carry out an investigation into your complaint
    •Explain what will happen at every stage of the process
    The GCC may ask you if you are willing for a solicitor to visit or phone you to:

    •Go over the details of your complaint
    •Ask you to make a statement of evidence, set out in a legal way
    If this happens, the GCC will pay the solicitor's fees.

    THEN the chiro gets to respond:
    A copy of any statement of evidence provided to the Committee under
    paragraph (1) shall be sent to the chiropractor concerned with the notice given under
    Rule 3(1), or as soon as practicable thereafter, and (if not sent with that notice) shall be accompanied by an invitation to submit observations within such period (expiring
    not less than 14 days after the day on which the invitation was served) as may be
    specified in the invitation.

    After that the whole bundle of papers goes to the Investigating committee who may call for more evidence, throw it out or draft charges and refer it on to the Professional Conduct Committee. This seems to take a long time judging by dates on the charges for current cases due to be heard

  15. We mostly trust our GPs. But there are good reasons for that trust. All medicines are regulated by the MHRA, any treatment has to be approved by NICE and doctors are well trained, qualified and regulated. So what your GP prescribes is very likely to be pretty safe and effective.

    It's not that there have been no trials done for chiropractic, but that it has shown – in good quality trials – to essentially be ineffective. If there were no risks, then I'd be less opposed to it, but there are two categories of risk associated with chiropractic (other than the more common minor side effects): the risks of spine or artery damage, possibly leading to death, and the risk of delaying or dissuading people from getting proper medical advice for potentially serious medical conditions. You just have to read some chiropractic websites to see how scathing they can be of proper medicine.

  16. This is nothing more than a malicious witch hunt dressed up as a righteous crusade. "Let's get the chiropractors!" You obviously loath chiropractors. Now emboldened, you are possibly after the Osteopaths, so you hate them aswell. What about physiotherapsits who manipulate? Is that one just a too little tricky?

    Why don't you just take the next stage and start beating them up in the street or have them thrown into camps for their wicked ways. You could also have them all arrested and put on trial for being enemies of the people, they'd never see that coming. Let's pin the recesssion on them aswell. I'm sure my house must be worth alot less because of them.

    There you go, you've got alot more material to work with now. Put them all behind bars. Dress it up how you like, but don't pretend that is is anything other than your own personal unalterable dislike and prejudice.

  17. So, Anonymous, you're not concerned about people making health claims they cannot substantiate and misleading the public? The GCC haven't been fulfilling their statutory duties, so someone's got to highlight it. It's now up to the GCC to put their house in order.

  18. "Why don't you just take the next stage and start beating them up in the street or have them thrown into camps for their wicked ways. You could also have them all arrested and put on trial for being enemies of the people, they'd never see that coming. Let's pin the recesssion on them aswell. I'm sure my house must be worth alot less because of them."


  19. "According to the groundbreaking 2003 medical report Death by Medicine, by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Dorothy Smith, 783,936 people in the United States die every year from conventional medicine mistakes. That's the equivalent of six jumbo jet crashes a day for an entire year. But where is the media attention for this tragedy? Where is the government support for stopping these medical mistakes before they happen?"

    Anyone can quote the negative side of any industry.

  20. Yes, that's tragic and should be highlighted (assuming the figures are accurate). Does that site also have figures for the number of lives saved and vastly improved by conventional medicine?

  21. Nice one anonymous…

    So now I'm I bit confused.

    Zeno quotes …"our PROPER medicine"

    So year on year pharmaceutical companies produce more drugs, year on year GP's prescribe more drugs, year on year more and more people get ill and die.

    I'm not entirely sure how this all fits together.
    If the US are spending $95 billion (in 2005) on medical research then how come people are not now more healthy than they were say 10 or 20 years ago?

    Maybe we should be looking more closely at the so called evidence based, safe and effective medication that seems to be prescribed without thought or care in too many cases.

    If a heathly person took drugs would it make them more healthly?

  22. Thanks Zeno – my point exactly. What about the vast number of lives improved by alternative and complimentary medicine, including Chiropractic? Remember they don't have the research funding the medical world has especially if you seek to bankrupt their association.

  23. "So year on year pharmaceutical companies produce more drugs, year on year GP's prescribe more drugs, year on year more and more people get ill and die."

    Do you have evidence for any of that, or is it just speculation?

    "how come people are not now more healthy than they were say 10 or 20 years ago?"

    Again, why do you think that?

    "Maybe we should be looking more closely at the so called evidence based, safe and effective medication that seems to be prescribed without thought or care in too many cases."

    This is being done all the time. See NICE or the Cochrane Collaboration.

    "If a heathly person took drugs would it make them more healthly?"

    That doesn't exactly help your argument.

  24. "…the vast number of lives improved by alternative and complimentary medicine"

    You mean the one who feel a little nit better because someone listened to their worries and maybe gave them a nice massage or whatever?

    There is certainly a place for that and GPs should be able to spend more time listening to their patients, but AltMed has no independent record of curing any major, non-self-limiting condition, so the comparison is flawed.

  25. Jeeze, Louise!
    The anonymous woo-woo-zombie cowards** have emerged from their mentally-impoverished slime-graves in order to give the most remarkable exposition of the
    Gish-Gallop that I have seen in some time.
    The lies are flying past at a rate with which not even an Olympic skeet-shooter could hope to cope!

    Have these delusional liars NO sense of truth nor reality?

    ** Assuming that your interlocutor is not a solitary fraud.

  26. Just to counter the spurious claims about old wives tale never helping anyone.
    Here's another, amongst many, story of how a widely used folk medicine, when put to the test by real open minded scientists proves the old stories are based on real experience.
    This simple weed has definitely saved many people from skin cancer, amongst knowledgeable country people for decades at least (centuries if the truth was known/documented?), and eventually science has caught up. Phase 3 clinical trials complete an all.

  27. Zeno,

    Awesome. Glad you've seen fit to focus your energy on trying to bring down one of most helpful branches of medicine in existance today.

    Research? Here's some:

    Let's see, unnatural drugs with oft disclosed multitude of side effects vs. the natural approach of enabling the body to do what it's intended to do – heal and take care of itself.

    To the comment earlier about 'wealth'. Really, you have no issue with the pharma industry spending billions to make billions selling drugs to mask symptoms in a 'sick care' system that is little more than a profit machine (yes, Drs are good and do great things) but going to by Dr. to have him say "oh, I have a shot/pill/whatever" for that…which only masks the real issue…wow, that's advancement.

    Sorry, you can keep your drugs. I'll keep going to my chiropractor (and stay healthy).

  28. Shall we take blood pressure as a great example of medical care?

    GP measures blood pressure
    Gets a high reading
    Prescribes a drug to lower it
    Why? Because high blood pressure is seen to be a disease – which of course it's not – it's just simply the body expressing an intelligent adaptation to stress.

    Any questions about what might be causing the elevated blood pressure? No. Questions about stress? No. Lifestyle advice? No.

    So prescribe the drugs
    Blood pressure goes down – victory for the GP, and result for the patient..

    So has the patient got healthier?

    Of course not.

    The high blood pressure was an intelligent reaction, afterall the body is designed for health, and not sickness.

    So the chemical toxins that artifically lower blood pressure stop correct and healthy cell function, and as the body recognises that the blood pressure is now inappropriatly low given the stressful situation its under, it responds by releasing more stress hormones to elevate the blood pressure to where it should be based on physiological demand.

    So the blood pressure does come down, but the patient gets sicker from the diseases of adaptation that develop from the chronically increased stress hormone levels that have never been adressed – but in actual fact made worse by the use of drugs.

    When another sign or symptom of their "disease of adaption" is discovered, another drug is prescribed and so the cycle of sickness continues.

    Are we really then making great strides forward by using medication?

    And as for the pure and simple brainwashing and scare mongering of huge portions of society that CHD, cancer, obesity, ADHD, high blood pressure etc etc are genetic…. genetic??? don't think so.

  29. "So, Anonymous, you're not concerned about people making health claims they cannot substantiate and misleading the public? The GCC haven't been fulfilling their statutory duties, so someone's got to highlight it. It's now up to the GCC to put their house in order."

    So you don't deny this is a malicious witch hunt? You also don't deny that this is personal and based on your own prejudice? At least we all know that now. But it does seem, well, pretty obvious.

    Frankly your other points are just lame. This is just all about you. Protecting the public is just your hobby horse, its what you're using to justify your actions. You're not really actually trying to make anything better are you? This is a consuming grudge for you isn't it? Actually, it could almost appear like a vendetta.

    The most interesting thing is how do you expect the general chiropractic council to go about its other regulatory work? How can it regulate anything whilst investigating your ridiculous complaint. Or is that what you want aswell? You could have contacted them directly about your concerns, looked for clarification, made suggestions, etc. All the things people do to improve things. The public can't be aswell protected whilst the GCC is bogged down with this. Did you even reflect on that? Are you trying to have over 500 chiropractors struck off? Or are they just pawns to you?

    Perhaps, thinking about it you get their bank accounts frozen aswell. Their clinics could be seized by the state and I think any staff would have to be fined and sent away for re-education. We could take away their homes aswell whilst we're at it. Everything must be their fault come to think of it.

    You're a medical fascist, don't pretend otherwise.

  30. It would be helpful if the various anonymousness would give themselves some name if only to distinguish themselves.

    One of you makes an interesting point though when you say this is a vendetta. I think there may actually be some truth in this. The sceptical world view demands constant critical engagement with ideas in a process of creative destruction to arrive at better, though eternally imperfect understanding of the world around us. Singh, Ernst, Goldacre and the bad science bloggers have been pursuing this process in the belief that such open critical engagement of ideas and data takes us forward.

    When the BCC sued Singh it threatened to use the fear of legal action to intimidate those engaged in such debate. It also promised to set a president by which other groups with even less legitimacy than the BCC might do the same. This must be prevented at all costs. Make no mistake, you are now in the fight of your lives.

  31. Points of debate and facts should speak for themselves, names seem to be little more than grandstanding in this particular public fracas.

    For the record and a long way away, the idea of using the law to crush people's (however ill-informed) opinion over some well humoured debate is a real problem. Though I'm also aware this has been used by the medical industry at times when it's to their apparent advantage going back a long way.

    Anonymously (again)

  32. "Points of debate and facts should speak for themselves, names seem to be little more than grandstanding in this particular public fracas."

    I totally agree, just pick some consistent moniker, even a random alphanumeric sequence, to permit your distinction from other anonymous posters.

    "Though I'm also aware this has been used by the medical industry at times when it's to their apparent advantage going back a long way."

    Totally agree, and worse is done, such as using threats to withdraw funding to secure favourable write ups from academics. Having papers ghost written for academics who have not been given access to full data. Sceptics do actually campaign against such things, we value clear unbiased evidence.

    Chiros and homoeopaths are more of a warm up. Here the egregious abuses are so clear and unsophisticated they make good target practise.

  33. Please check out the latest NICE guidlines relating to back pain. They recommend manipulation and acupunture. Yes those very same NICE guidlines you keep quoting are FOR chiropractors and acupuncture.

  34. "Chiros and homeopaths are more of a warm up"
    "They make good target practice"

    Yeah right, a bunch of rabid science freaks and physicists know everything about actually dealing with sick people, and justify a kind of cultural cleansing take place on that basis?

    Healthcare of real humans is as much an art as a science… you might have something to contribute in regard to one aspect of that. Nothing here adds to the other aspects, in fact it seems completely dismissed and attacked.

    Anonymous (again)

  35. The only rule is this:

    If you presume to treat people, and particularly if you take money off them to do so, ensure you use treatments which you have good reason to believe will work.

    This is not a manifesto for drugs and pills as sole treatment. This is just a demand for honesty and a rejection of fraud, because that is the issue here. Are chiropractors guilty of heath fraud?

  36. Whilst living in Penang I visited an American Chiropractor for 6 months & had extensive treatment.

    Prior to this my lower back would cause me so much pain that I was nearly immobile and even when the pain subsided my actual mobility was limited.

    The manipulations were, in my opinion, the most effective treatment as he tried to correct the root of the problem, whilst my GP in the UK would just prescribe morphine based pain killers.

    Pain killers do not address the problem, they simply mask the underlying cause. I don;t see what the issue is – if a mechanical machine has a misalignment then its pretty obvious that this will cause damage – so why not with bio mechanics too?

  37. I think I might have some sort of illness. I don't think its an accident that there are chiropractors in my town. They obviously gave it to me. I'll report it to the medical authorities, police and to Simon Singh. This sort of this should be outlawed

  38. "Are chiropractors guilty of health fraud?"

    Are science freaks guilty of irrational generalisations about whole groups of people, events and places they have no direct experience and knowledge of?

    People hand their money over for things they feel, understand or have good reason to believe assists them.
    It's completely simplistic to ignore the fact that any relationship, financial or otherwise involves more than one side to participate. Unless of course every member of the human race, except science bloggers of course, is incapable of making any sort of reasonable and real decision for themselves. Based on their own real experience, good or bad.

  39. ''If there were no risks, then I'd be less opposed to it, but there are two categories of risk associated with chiropractic (other than the more common minor side effects): the risks of spine or artery damage, possibly leading to death, and the risk of delaying or dissuading people from getting proper medical advice for potentially serious medical conditions.''

    I am a chiropractor and I agree there are risks for spinal manipulation which I inform every patient of before treatment. There are also 'red flags' in someones history ie. high blood pressure, previous strokes, and also tests that we can perform prior to spinal manipulation which can assess whether someone is in a high risk category for a bleed and no one deemed high risk receives spinal manipulation for their problem, there are other treatments available that would be offered instead.

    Chiropractors are highly qualified in differential diagnosis (infact the first 3 years of my degree were very similar to what a GP would study at medical school), so if there are red flags for serious medical conditions then these patients in my office would be referred back to their GP (without treatment provided) along with a letter with the patients history and examination findings(in my experience the GP spends on average 10mins if you are lucky taking a history and if you are really lucky they may actually look at the problem; I spend approximately 1 hour taking a full medical history and performing a physical exam). I would like to repeat that any patient with a suspected serious medical condition would be referred back to the GP.

    I would also like to state that I have had many patients who have come into my office and had the initial consultation – I have told them that I do not think chiropractic is not going to help them and I write them a letter to take back to their GP – they are very impressed by the examination that they receive in comparison to what the GP would provide. I do not make any money from doing this, aside from the initial consultation fee, which I think is fair as I have spent 1 hour of my time with the patient. Who would work for free?

    As for lumping us all in one category, this is unfair. There are always rotten eggs in any profession and I believe you have highlighted a number of the problems including false advertising and overtreating of patients, but not all chiropractors are like this and certainly not me. And as for the GCC trying to protect the chiropractic profession I say 'rubbish', they just like to take our £1000 annual registration fees.

  40. It was more of a general question that I pondered halfway through the posts. Fund research for chiropractics and there will be evidence…based on the modern chiropractics not the slightly crazy ones of the olden days.
    I heard someone say that its rare they say they can "cure" something like asthma or colic, but they can "treat", as in reduce the symptoms of. I used to suffer from asthma and my ribcage and muscles would get very tight, a couple of treatments with my chiro and I would be able to breathe a lot easier…thats just my experience though.

  41. From my research, nearly 30% of chiropractors claim to have some influence on colic and one in five, asthma. Some of them use various obfuscating words around the claims, but the reader is left with the distinct impression that their condition can benefit from chiropractic. Now, if a chiropractic can substantiate that claim with robust evidence to the standard required by the GCC's CoP, then there is no problem.

  42. FAO: Zeno

    As a member of the "general public" I appreciate your concern but in all honesty I think your witch hunt is unfounded. Let the public speak for themselves because from what I'm hearing, Chiropractic care does works.

    Why don't you find a more worthwhile cause to lobby. There are greater threats to the "general public" than Chiropractors.

    BTW I'm not a Chiropractor and I'm not affiliated with the profession in any way.

  43. How can you ask the Anonymous people to give their names??? If you take the time to read the complaint letter sent to the GCC it starts with the following sentence:
    "Under no circumstances is my name, postal address, email address or any other details that
    would allow me to be identified, to be divulged to anyone other than absolutely necessary
    for the processing of my complaints".

    Now other than seeming like pure cowardice, if you're going to jump on this 'bandwagon' don't you think that the rules should be the same for both sides? If the person who wrote the complaint letter would like to step out the shadows and name themselves i'm sure the anonymous posters might do the same.

    Also Zeno, I have to say that I find it amazing that you can spend so much time when you are clearly both ignorant and hugely misinformed about Chiropractic and other forms of Complementary health care, as well as so called "proper Doctors".
    If you are so well informed would you please let me know where I can find postive research (to the standard you feel is necessary) on the vast majority of treatments performed by "proper Doctors". You may not be too happy when you realise it doesn't exist!!!

    Also I'd like you to substantiate your statement "the risks of spine or artery damage, possibly leading to death". When you say "possibly leading to death" is there a proven case of this in the UK? or is that the same as a Chiropractor saying that they can "possibly help colic" or any other conditions?

  44. Anonymous

    The last bit of what you quoted from my complaint letter says '…other than absolutely necessary for the processing of my complaints'. If you care to read the GCC's leaflet available on their website, it clearly states on page 5, point e that my details will be passed on the chiropractors.

    What I did not want to happen was any premature release of my details. If I was a coward, either I wouldn't have made the complaint in the first place or I would have tried to get the GCC to keep my details secret.

    I will keep whatever privacy I have for the time being, thank you. You will note that I have allowed anonymous and sometimes somewhat aggressive posts and have not deleted them.

    What Derrik was saying was that it isn't clear which anonymous person was responsible for what post. Each anonymous poster could have chosen a different moniker (eg Tom, Dick and Harry, or whatever). Then it would be clearer whether each post was something new or whether it was it was a continuation of an earlier post. Not difficult, really.

    You said: "you are clearly both ignorant and hugely misinformed about Chiropractic and other forms of Complementary health care"

    Perhaps you could help me by detailing what you think I am misinformed about?

    As I've said elsewhere, this complaint is about the substantiation of claims made by chiropractors (and I think I might be going on to car salesmen next), but if you feel a need to look at the substantiation for any other intervention, please feel free to do so. Blogs are easy to set up.

    I'm not sure why you're only concerned about people in the UK, but a good place to start looking into the adverse effects of chiropractic (including death) can be found here: Science-Based Medicine » Adverse Effects of Chiropractic

  45. I am about to send the following letter to the New Zealand Chiropractic Board (the NZ equivalent of the GCC). As I have had legal threats from the NZ chiropractic association, I thought I'd add it to this website for comments.

    Dear Sir,

    I am seeking clarification regarding the Chiropractic Board of New Zealand’s position on use of the title ‘Dr’ or ‘Doctor’ by NZ registered chiropractors who do not have a traditional doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, DSc, or D.Phil.), doctor of chiropractic degree (DC), or general medical qualification (e.g., MB ChB or MD).

    Following a number of claims upheld by the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled against the use of the title ‘Dr’ by chiropractors because it is deemed misleading, I am concerned that the use of the title ‘Dr’ or ‘Doctor’ by New Zealand Chiropractors may mislead prospective clients into believing that chiropractors possess general medical qualifications. Moreover, I aware of the following information from the 1979 Report of the Royal Commission into Chiropractic regarding use of the title of ‘Doctor’ by chiropractors.

    “We [the Royal Commission] are aware that the term “doctor of chiropractic” as distinct from the more modest term “chiropractor” has come to New Zealand from North America, where it has a cultural basis and a degree of traditional acceptance. As far as New Zealand is concerned we find the usage unnecessary and objectionable…”. (p.184)

    “What we [the Royal Commission] do suggest is the terms “Dr” and “Doctor”, or “Doctor of Chiropractic” must not be used or displayed in any notice, sign, letterhead, or other material designed for public information” (p.269)

    “…chiropractors who are not registered medical practitioners be restricted in their use of the title ‘doctor’, and that some usages of the title by them be made illegal as well as providing grounds for disciplinary action”. (p.315)

    Furthermore, The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) states that “a person may only use names, words, titles, initials, abbreviations, or descriptions stating or implying that the person is a health practitioner of a particular kind if the person is registered, and is qualified to be registered, as a health practitioner of that kind.” (p.7).

    The Medical Council News (2006) sought to make clear the intent of the Act by stating that practitioners of CAM should not “do anything to suggest that he or she practices or is willing to practice medicine unless he or she is a medical practitioner and holds a current practising certificate” (p.5) and, “when the title ‘Dr’ is used in a health service provider environment, it is easy for the public to be misled and believe the person they are dealing with is a registered medical practitioner” (p.5).

    Given that that use of the title ‘Dr’ or ‘Doctor’ was not encouraged by the 1979 Royal Commission’s report, but that the report is so often cited by chiropractors as being supportive of chiropractic, I am intrigued and concerned as to why it is now so commonplace. I look forward to your response.

    Yours faithfully,

  46. As this post actually contains evidence I expect that it will be deleted soon enough, it seems the witch hunt against chiropracters doesn't like peer reviewed evidence supporting chiropractic.

    Simon Singh is pursuing an appeal in the whole liable case debacle. The BCA has, in the correct manner of an ongoing case, generally not responded to the mud slinging of Singhs associates in the liable out of science campaign.

    For the sceptical amongst you I refer to the latest issue of New Scientist(13th June 2009) where, on P22, there is an article by Richard Brown of the BCA that points to Spine vol 32, P2375 and vol 33 P S176.

    Spine, for those of you that are unaware of this publication, is where peer review for the treatment of spinal issues for all disciplines westernised ('traditional') medicine and complimentary medicine which supplies the evidence that is so sadly 'missing'. Below are the links to the abstracts of these articles.

    By the way if we follow the natural progression of the liable out of science campaign I could cheerfully say that paracetamol gives you herpes because some people that took paracetamol got herpes therefore it must be true.

  47. Nope, not deleted it.

    Several bloggers are currently examining the BCA's 'evidence' and a good place to start is Deliberately Dishonest? A Review of The BCA's Evidence for Chiropractic | The Lay Scientist and British Chiropractic Association produces its plethora of evidence.

    If you want to take issue with any of their conclusions, you can always try to argue it out with Martin and David.

    However, the paper you linked you provided isn't even on the BCA's list, so presumably they didn't think much of it either. Besides, it's about side effects of chiropractic manipulation, not whether it does any good and certainly not about the efficacy for colic or asthma.

  48. MAny thanks, Zeno – Will do.

    T O Donngaile: The Spine article is only an abstract – it's therefore difficult to ascertain the validity of the conclusions, because there can often be a few little devils in the detail of an article. Like what sampling methods were used? Inclusion exclusion criteria? What about neck manipulation?

    Interestingly, the abstract seems to suggest a higher rate of adverse events (e.g., dizziness, numbness, and tingling in the upper limbs) than I expected. Aren't symptoms such as these cause for some concern? For example, how are they explained by chiropractic? (Because if there is no theoretical reason for why they occur, I would find that cause for concern.)

  49. Zeno says: "Making someone feel a bit better can be important, but we need proper doctors to cure the serious illnesses."

    Chiropractors are trained as primary care partitioners i.e. to have the same diagnostic triage skills as a GP. If they find a serious condition that could be best treated by another healthcare professional, then the patient is referred to them. They do not stand in the way of the "proper doctors" from treating these conditions, rather they can be a very important part in the diagnostic process.

  50. Chiropractic helps people. Drugs help people.
    There are side effects to drugs people can't explain, there are side effects to manipulation people can't explain.
    Medical doctors make mistakes, chiropractors make mistakes.
    Quackery websites are ignorant of a lot of facts and spark off a lot of out-dated and unsubstantiated debate that only quackerists like to read. But there are groups that are anti-everything. Any piece of evidence pro-chiro is never up to standard, but i'm sure you could say that about a lot of medical research too e.g. cardio guidelines (45% are grade C on an A,B or C scale) see link below.
    If you don't like chiro, stop getting all worked up over it. Volunteer to help a charity or something productive like that (, there is good evidence to suggest people without water have side effects such as death.

    "Most major clinical trials are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, because they want to bring products to market," Tricoci said. "We don't have a source of funding for those situations that the pharmaceutical industry might not be interested in. We should not be surprised that the pharmaceutical industry is not interested in trials from which they might not make money."

  51. Chiropractors are not allowed to call themselves doctors in any manner likely to mislead the public into thinking they are registered medical practitioners. Many ignore that condition of their registration.

    They call themselves 'primary care practitioners' simply because they think their statutory registration gives them some kind of equivalence with proper doctors.

    However, there are more than a few chiropractors who really need to go back to school and learn about germ theory. If that is indicative of their medical knowledge, I don't want them anywhere near me.

  52. as a side issue the average dentist has a degree of the same length as a chiropractor with an equivalent qualification at the end and yet you seem to have no issue with them calling themselves doctor? What have you got against chiropracters?

  53. Hi "Zeno"

    I've been watching this with some interest. (I had it pointed out to me by a dear freind who is a chiroprator) as far as I cen tell your objection comes down to the fact that there is in your opinion not enough research done on the benificial effects in comparison with say, drugs?

    I'm not trying to make any accusations here, but I will ask a simple question.

    What exactly is your relationship to drug research and drug companies?

    Because I can see them taking a hit if people work out that going to see a chiroprater can deal with the problem rather than taking some pils to mask it.

    Its not quackery, its science. Cope.

  54. I have no relationship whatsoever with any drug research or company (and never have)! Even if I did, how would that affect whether chiropractors held the right level of evidence for their claims?

    The issue here is very, very simple (despite veiled attempts to divert attention onto other issues): do chiropractors have the robust evidence to back up the claims they are making – as required by their statutory CoP? If they do, then fine. If they don't have that evidence, then they need to start taking their statutory obligations a bit more seriously.

    It's a pity it's taken an outsider to point out that they don't appear to very well regulated and the public not being properly protected.

  55. BZeno\Alan,
    I assume you are just as worried about the lack of 'robust' evidence behind a great deal of medications and medical procedures also? If not, where's your point? How can you have such faith in 'proper' medicine without it!

  56. I will decide what I might look at next once this issue is resolved.

    Meantime, if you feel strongly about some area or other, please feel free to investigate it yourself.

  57. Alan,
    I am honestly disappointed by your answer!
    It makes me think you have only jumped on this crusade in support of Simon Singh and not to actually protect the public as you have previously claimed. If you were actually trying to protect the public you would be a lot more concerned with medical procedures and both prescribed and over the counter medications which are all used by a vast number more people than Chiropractic or any other complementary health care.

  58. There are only so many hours in the day, JB!

    Perhaps you could tell us what are you doing about the issues you are so concerned about?

  59. I never said I was concerned about these issues! I'm not the one blogging on these issues or sending complaints to the relavant authorities!
    I'm simply pointing out that your priorities don't seem to match your actions!
    My concern is that people get healthy and stay healthy, how they achieve that is up to them, but if your concerns are hard evidence all practicing healthcare providers are 'quacks' and the pharmaceutical companies are just as bad.
    Of note, your issue with the title 'Doctor' although upheld by the ASA is in fact a complete falacy. The only real doctors are those with a PhD, and all healthcare providers including 'proper' doctors are given the customary title of 'doctor'. The misinterpretation is actually wholly down to the general public who if they are stupid enough to think that a medical doctor is working as a chiropractor or even a dentist then they're not really going to be intelligent enough to worry about what the person studied. The Americans have the issue sorted by making everyone with the title 'doctor' explain it after their name, for example 'Dr Joe Bloggs MD', or 'Dr Fred Jones DC'.

  60. I’m never sure of the difference between an analogy and a metaphor, but here’s a little about moi…

    I like to do a little bit of DIY at the weekends (quite often I have to get a proper tradesman in afterwards to sort out the mess I make). However, I would be pushing-my-luck if I started wearing my trousers at half-mast, tucked a pencil behind my ear, wolf-whistled any passing females, and began calling myself a builder. If I did, people might come to me with serious structural problems which I either might not spot (e.g., that’s not rising damp, that’s a little bit of dust) or to which I might cause further damage (e.g., I’ll give that beam a thump on the side with my sledgehammer and see if that sorts it out).

    No offence to builders, by the way.

  61. Difficult to write an original Post:
    1. Zeno, are you Simon Singh's mate or working for him and ERnst?
    2. You are not a voluntary puppet of big-pharma/medical establishment from reading your posts, but how does it feel to be their stooge by default? Their game-plan – which is similar to a Big Software Company's approach to competitors – denigrate, duplicate, dominate.
    3. The OECD has published a lovely Round TAble report on Beneficial Competition in Health CAre Professions (that is roughly the title) and documents the obstacles to competition faced by new and innovative professions when dealing with legacy, monopolistic incumbent health care professions and big-pharma. Can you find the reference yourself, or does it not interest you?
    4. Before your carp about me diverting from the issue of substantiating claims – I agree with the concept and care very deeply about the issue. The supposedly corrective mechanism you have set in motion suggests to me that you do not care a jot about the issue but just care about some kind of vendetta.
    5. The chiropractors that make unsubstantiated claims do so in the majority of cases in good faith – in the sense that they care about the patients.
    6. You seem to have made your complaint for some kind of personal gain – otherwise the normal thing to do would be to contact the webmaster to complain.
    7. Out of curiosity, and not to divert from the issue, just why did you choose to target only BCA members registered with the GCC?
    Anonymous For Now
    (by the way I could not figure out how to change the Anonymous title and put a tom dick or harry after it, that is why I am signing at the bottom)

  62. This is completely bogus, 'proper medicine'….
    your obviously just trying to find a reason to complain about chiropractors as has been pointed out by many others. Just because the treatments are regulated by 'proper doctors' doesn't make them better for the public.
    Pain killers for back problems may stop the pain, but are they going to rid you of the problem? No.
    Chiropractic works in this respect and in many of the other 'false claims' they have been making. Maybe there is not enough research behind these techniques or solid evidence, but I have failed to find masses of evidence to support the negatives.
    I don't think you'll find many chiropractors promise to cure the listed afflictions, just like 'proper doctors' can't either. They do however offer an alternative treatment to such problems.

    The fact they write 'has helped to treat…' doesn't really strike me as not protecting the public. Its factual information.
    Chiropractors are fully qualified to practice the alternative therapies and patients are told the risks of these. Courses make sure they are doing it right and the results speak for themselves.
    To be honest you seem to be a bit of a hater, there must be more pressing issues in the world than, 'Chiropractor says he can treat condition'.

  63. Love how you quackers think that anyone who campaigns against the bogus claims made by quacks must either be in the pay of big pharma or have some ulterior motive. Why is it so difficult to appreciate that some us are horrified by the appalling tragedies caused by these bogus claims and want to prevent any more happening?

    Is it because you have too much invested in quackery or are you just short on brain cells?

  64. Shorts

    Do you have a problem with chiropractors abiding by their own rules and someone pointing out when they don't? Do you think we should also leave politicians alone instead of pointing out when they don't abide by their own rules?

  65. politicians? what have politicians got to do with this?
    and I'm not really getting the gist of that question, do you mean 'someone pointing out when they do?'

  66. Skepticat,

    could you elaborate on these so call "appalling tragedies"???

    and Zeno, you went a bit quiet the other night? Did you lose the will to debate, or are you just silent when you're wrong?

  67. What do you mean "so call (sic) tragedies"?

    Do you not think people suffering permanent injury or needless death at the hands of quacks are appalling tragedies?

    I'm getting a bit sick of having to point people in the direction of what they should already know if they consider themselves to be well-informed on the subject but here goes:

    And, no, Zeno is not wrong, nor has he ever lost the will to debate. It's just that he has a life.

    Perhaps you don't?

  68. I would like to know at appalling tragedies have happened such as helping babies suffering feom colic I was alos under the impression that Simon Singh had lost the case against the BCA in which he claimed that chiropratic treatments i.e for colic were bogus and he is currently appealing the courts decision!

  69. What is it about chiropractic specifically that you have an issue with. I would assume that it is manipulation that you are talking about – but when others have pointed out that you need to include osteopaths and the physios and doctors who use manipulation you ignore it and say it is the way chiropractors work that is ineffective and dangerous. Well if you take away manipulation are you saying that soft tissue work, myofascial trigger point release, stretches, ultrasound and interferential therapy are ineffective and dangerous? Are you saying that teaching people core strengthening and rehabilitating joints and muscles are dangerous because that is what other facets of chiropractic treatment can involve if you remove manipulation. If you are targeting manipulation and you want to save the public than you really must include all the professions who use manipulation.

    When a patient comes in is it ineffective to perform neurological examinations (as we were taught in college by "proper doctors" i.e neurologists). I could go on….

  70. You have an issue with people having maintenance treatment or check ups with chiropractors. So does that mean that you want to stop preventative care as a whole – should people stop going to the dentist for their checkups – I mean if they are not in pain – why are they having treatment? Should we wait until are teeth are rotting or falling out before seeing a dentist. I mean after all, rotting teeth are not life threatening. Does that mean that you are against schemes like BUPA's well man and well woman checks – I mean why check people's blood pressure and test their blood sugar levels
    for early signs of diabetes – why nip them in the bud – should we all wait until we start developing serious symptoms of high blood pressure and diabetes before getting treatment? Why let the public take an active role in their care and prevent pain and illness and take the burden off of an already overstrained NHS.

  71. LOL! At least that's something there's good evidence for!

    To the other anonymous commenters:

    How about sticking to the issue? There's a clue in the title of this post: the rules chiros have to abide by – like it or not – and whether they hold evidence for the multifarious claims they have made.

    BTW, Simon did not lose the court case – and you'd know that if you'd done any research. What did happen was that Eady made a ruling on the meaning of the words complained of. Simon has appealed that decision. The case has not gone to court yet. If you want some good bedtime reading, try Jack of Kent's blog. You might learn something.

  72. So why only chiropractors, I expect with a little more research you could have found many more people in similar professions and put together an even more pointless list.

  73. Maybe we would stick to the point if you just stuck to the point and restricted this blog to your complaint regarding the fact you think we are not abiding by our rules. However, you are constantly calling us chiroquactors, you are saying our profession is dangerous and ineffective and you are making jokes about our earnings in response to other bloggers comments- again I assume you have spoken to a cross-population of chiropractors to substantiate this and compared salaries to GP's, consultants, osteopaths etc. What's with the personal attacks?
    I suppose you will just conveniently choose not to answer this as you pick and choose what you will reply to.

    There have been papers published with respect to infantile colic showing positive results and that is why we highlight those facts to patients – so I don't feel we have broken rules. it has only been recently that an individual has decided to challenge the strength of these trials- just because someone has decided to challenge these papers they have been published over a period of many years and we have not been attempting to fool the public or lie to them in any way.

  74. OK – so who decides what is good evidence? And what is good science? Do biased professors who make cherry picking research an artform (Ernst) or celebrity scientist/journalist with a book to sell (Singh)? Or maybe the Advertising Standards Authority's leading experts on infantile colic?

    Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is a double edged sword. Ask anyone involved with CLINICAL practice (medics, surgeons, physios, dentist and chiros) and they'll generally agree that EBM asks good questions and leads constructive research into new methods of treatment and their positive and negative effects. But whilst it asks good questions it rarely gives good answers. If we all stuck with EBM only we would save the NHS an awful lot of money. There would be little or no spinal fusions, knee arthroscopies, facet joint injections, cortisone injections for frozen shoulders, tennis elbows, etc etc. You could close most of the physiotherapist departments and sell the ultrasound and interferential machines. And I've only touched orthopaedics so far.

    EBF (Evidence Based Fascism) gets in the way of good clinical patient care. 'The good physician treats the disease, the great physician treats the patient who has the disease' Sir William Osler (1849-1919) ("the most influencial physician in history"). Unfortunately scientists have throughout history always had the extreme arrogance that science is so perfect that we can measure and prove/disprove everything. Maybe, the reason why some complementary medicines can't be proven is because science is simply not advanced enough to measure the changes or effects we see in clinical practice? Abscence of proof does not mean proof of abscence.
    There is a lot of decent research on chiropractic. It may not be great and it may not adhere to the gold standards laid down by the Evidence Based Fascists, but double-blind RCTs are by their very nature pretty difficult to do on spinal manipulation. Seen any double-blind RCTs on spinal fusion?

    Most chiropractors – and as with any profession there will be people practising on the fringe – spend 90% of their time treating musculoskeletal complaints with a whole toolbox of treatment options ranging from spinal manipulation to soft tissue work, stretching advice,ergonomic advice and spinal rehabilitation exercise. each patient gets a tailormade programme of treatments designed for their specific complaint.

    I treat children infrequently, but occasionally with amazing results. Parents may present with a child with bedwetting, ADHD, "colic", dyspraxia. My usual response is that we occasionally see improvements in these symptoms with chiropractic treatment. If I find spinal restriction at certain levels I suggest to the parent that we emabark on 3-4 treaments and monitor for changes. If no change has been seen by then I discharge as the spinal restrictions clearly had nothing to do with their symptoms. However, a recent 4 year old patient with a severely traumatic birth was diagnosed with ADHD and bedwetting. After treament he is a changed child for 4-6 weeks. Behaviour gets commented on by nursery workers and grand parents who do not know of his chiropractic care and he stays dry at night. After 4-6 weeks he slowly worsens until he gets treated again. We are gradually finding ways of stabilising him for longer. Have I got any evidence for this? Nothing that satisfies your gold standards. Can I prove the mechnisms of how it works? No- I have theories, but none that are proven. Are you suggesting I should tell that mother that I can't treat him anymore. Who are you protecting by doing that? Yes – it's anecdotal, but not for that patient and his family. The general link here, by the way, is the nervous system. You may have heard of it. You may also know that we generally understand very little about how it works.


  75. ok – so I need to go to bed, but I haven't quite finished. Your word count cut me out, so here's my closing remarks in a 2nd post:

    Your misguided attack on the chiropractic profession and your rationale for doing so could be easily transcribed to every clinical practise in the country. The GCC have powers to strike us off if what we do is not seen to be inthe best interest of the patient. You may be right on the technicalities of the Code of Conduct and the ASA, but your crusade will do very little to improve patient care.

    You claim yourself to be a humanist. According to your website, the Golden Rule is tolerance, consideration and compassion. I see little of this in your blogs. Humanists are agnostic you say. At the moment you and your 'clan' believe that you are 'right' and we are 'wrong'. You believe the world should be saved from us and that everyone shuld hear your plight and convert to your belief. You ridicule us with words such as chiroqucktor and you believe that 'science' (as YOU see it) is the only answer.

    Smells like religion to me……..

  76. BCA Chiro – thumbs up
    and sarah r, my point exactly
    zeno most of time the subject has changed it has been instigated by you or someone who agrees with you saying things like, 'oh yeah, maintenance check ups, keeps chiroprators from getting poor', but as soon as someone rebuts this, the idea of dentists making us have regular check ups in this example, you hurry to say, 'stick to the issues', and 'thats not the problem at hand'. Its becoming apparent to me you either have very little reason for saying these things, or some sort of vendetta…

  77. I completely agree with shorts, bca chiro etc. If you do genuinely have this vested interest in protecting the public – and you want to investigate the issue of health care professionals advertising treatments that you feel have inadequate research then do it in a professional manner. If you are truly so worried about the public, why haven't you sent a duplicate of the letter you sent to the GCC to the general osteopathic council as osteopaths are also advertising similar things. You haven't just stuck to the ASA issue but you are making fun of chiropractors and making derogatory comments about them this blog. You choose to stay anonymous but you had no problem in downloading a list of the 523 chiropractors you feel should be named and shame. Instead of sticking to the issue of your original complaint and keeping it professional, it has turned into personal attacks and defamation of 523 individual's professional qualifications which can be construed as slander to each and everyone of those chiropractors. Again, how come you are not concerned about osteopathic treatment when they claim to help with the same conditions as us? I would love to hear your answer and saying you don't hve time is not acceptable as I then can't buy into the notion that you are truly concerned about public safety.

    Are you aware that the cause of colic is still unknown? Science hasn't yet be able to understand its cause, so how can you rule out the benefits of our treatment when we are having positive effects and have started carrying out research. We are a relatively young profession, our training involves being taught by GP's and doctors (so should they also be brought into disrepute for daring to teach us) and we are investing more time and money into research to provide evidence for our work. As mentioned above, papers have been published that have begun to show benefits of paediatric chiropractic treatment in helping with symptoms of colic etc.

    There is aso a huge amount of anectdotal evidence which highlights the benefits babies are recieving from chiro's, osteo's and craniopaths and I would love to know what the reaction all the parents whose children have benefitted from us, would be if they knew how you were going about expressing your concerns.

    As mentioned from BCA chiro, we explain that we may or may not be able to help, explain our findings and then it is the parent that chooses wether they want to embark on the sessions. We can tell pretty quickly if we are going to have a positive effect and our patients are very satisfied.

  78. Just to continue my post from above, i understand that you have an issue with the fact that you don't believe the papers that have published regarding the efficiency of chiropractic in treating colic- but it is a starting point to a condition where not much is known and as i mentioned above, there is such a high percentage of anectodal evidence that it just can't be ignored. These papers have not been challenged before so when chiropractors were advertising help iwith treating/managing colic they are doing so in good faith and with a record of helping others – so to call us liars and make us out as evil, money-grabbing individuals is extremely harsh.

  79. there is a difference between raising concerns and presenting factual information and engaging yourself in a personal vendetta which includes name-calling and making fun of people (particularly whe you choose to list names whilst remaining anonymous. This raises questions regarding where your interest actually lie. Chiropractors are just as interested in research and developing their profession. We are open to questions and debate but not when it is directed in a fashion which is spiteful. For many years, we have been subjected to numerous newspaper articles and publications which rather than publishing factual information or scientific opinions – it is usually accompanied with sensationalist headlines involving words like Bogus etc.

    I feel that is why chiropractors feel and probably why the BCA may have instigated their court case against the manner in which Simon SIngh expressed his views. In all the years that Edzard Ernst has written about the adverse effects of manipulation, he is quick to headline chiropractors – osteopaths and physios who manipulate are rarely if ever mentioned – it is extremely frustrating and definately feelslike a vendetta rather than for the scientific good.

    I am all for debate and opinions on research and evidence within the science/medical profession but keep the manner in which it is done professional.

  80. Shorts

    I may look at other professions, but as I've already said: one at a time. Perhaps you could tell us why you think trying to ensure chiropractors abide by their own CoP — which is there to protect the public — is pointless? Don't you care that people may be being misled?

    sarah r

    I am free to talk about and comment on whatsoever I want — it's my blog! However, you will note that I have used the word 'chiroquactic' a lot less recently.

    There are several websites that promote what — in my opinion at least — appears to be an over-reliance on chiropractic to maintain on-going health. I am not aware of any evidence that this works or is necessary. Indeed, such advice may be in contravention of paragraph C1.3 of the GCC's CoP.

    Having read and read about the evidence that the BCA and others have cited, it doesn't seem to me to be any sort of a foundation for the efficacy of chiropractic for these conditions. But that matters not one jot. The rules already exist and if the GCC think a particular chiropractor has substantiated their claims to the required level, they they will be admonished. If they find that a chiropractor cannot substantiate their claims, then they will presumably impose sanctions against that chiropractor. Isn't that what you think should happen? Or perhaps you don't have any faith in the GCC?

    BCA Chiro

    If you have a problem with the CoP you signed up to, you should be taking that to the BCA and/or the GCC. I didn't write the GCC CoP. The current requirements for evidence of claims has been in place for many years, yet no one seems to be taking heed of them. That's not professional, nor is it protecting the public. If it is not being enforced and upheld, then it is worthless.

    Again, I became interested in chiropractic because the BCA highlighted the profession (yes, they were the catalyst) and when I looked into it, it appeared to me that chiropractors were making claims that I don't think can be substantiated to the required level. But it's not me who decides whether any particular chiropractor is or isn't in breach of their CoP, therefore what I think of the evidence base doesn't matter.

    Yes I could look at other areas (whether that's osteopathy or the mpg claims of car manufacturers as someone else suggested), and I may well do. If I do, I'll be posting progress here.

    Caring for others is a main focus for Humanists — but that does not mean ignoring the plight of some just in case you might offend someone else.


  81. Continued…

    I am entitled to my opinion about chiropractic, but the only opinions I expressed in my complaint — which is what matters — were:

    "I believe that some or all of the claims (whether specified by the ASA or not) made by those on the attached list are not capable of being substantiated to the ASA’s standard and therefore should not be claimed by any chiropractor under the GCC CoP."

    "I believe this contravenes paragraph C1.8 of your CoP, the ASA’s guidance in AdviceOnline: Use of the Term "Dr" and various ASA adjudications including Wigan Family Chiropractic Clinic, 25 February 2009."

    "I believe that the public are currently not being protected and indeed may be exposed to harm by the claims being made by GCC registered chiropractors and I understand that it is the responsibility of the GCC to ensure that this situation is remedied and controls put in place to ensure the public are fully protected in future."

    I've raised concerns that some chiropractors may be in contravention of their CoP. As I've now said several times: if the GCC are furnished with the relevant level of substantiation for the claims made, the chiropractor would be admonished. If they cannot meet the requirements of the CoP, then sanctions have to be considered. Don't you think that's right?

    If you want to discuss the detail of particular research into chiropractic, many papers (including what is presumably the best teh BCA can muster) have been analysed on other websites. I suggest you read what they have to say and try to counter their arguments and conclusion. There is a fairly comprehensive list here.

    There has been much talk of what — or your trade organisations — were sleeping when this slipped through, then you need to be directing your attention elsewhere.

  82. Oh dear "Zeno", it seems many more people are against you than are with you now! I guess you've stirred the witches that you have been hunting, and unfortunately for you they are all a hell of a lot more intelligent and well-informed than you will ever be. Ha ha.

  83. I'd just like to correct the description of visiting a GP with high blood pressure according to my experience…


    "GP measures blood pressure
    Gets a high reading
    Prescribes a drug to lower it"

    "GP measures blood pressure
    Gets a high reading
    Takes blood pressure twice more in two week intervals.
    Arranges for 24 hour monitoring on device attached to patient.
    Gets sent to see specialist
    Specialist discusses life style and recommends changes to said life style
    Prescribes drugs
    (followed by further monitoring, change of drugs etc etc)

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  85. Chiropractic are having a lot of claims in terms of cure in different ailment.. If it isn’t true, why is it there’s a lot of research about it? confusing…

  86. Your article was very interesting. It gives information that many didn’t know. Reading this article will give you additional knowledge about chiropractic treatment.

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