MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

There is much debate about the usefulness of chiropractic. Specifically, many people doubt that their chiropractic spinal manipulations generate more good than harm, particularly for conditions which are not related to the spine. But do chiropractors treat such conditions frequently and, if yes, what techniques do they employ?

This investigation was aimed at describing the clinical practices of chiropractors in Victoria, Australia. It was a cross-sectional survey of 180 chiropractors in active clinical practice in Victoria who had been randomly selected from the list of 1298 chiropractors registered on Chiropractors Registration Board of Victoria. Twenty-four chiropractors were ineligible, 72 agreed to participate, and 52 completed the study.

Each participating chiropractor documented encounters with up to 100 consecutive patients. For each chiropractor-patient encounter, information collected included patient health profile, patient reasons for encounter, problems and diagnoses, and chiropractic care.

Data were collected on 4464 chiropractor-patient encounters between 11 December 2010 and 28 September 2012. In most (71%) cases, patients were aged 25-64 years; 1% of encounters were with infants. Musculoskeletal reasons for the consultation were described by patients at a rate of 60 per 100 encounters, while maintenance and wellness or check-up reasons were described at a rate of 39 per 100 encounters. Back problems were managed at a rate of 62 per 100 encounters.

The most frequent care provided by the chiropractors was spinal manipulative therapy and massage. The table shows the precise conditions treated

Distribution of problems managed (20 most frequent problems), as reported  by chiropractors

Problem group No. (%) of recorded diagnoses* (n = 5985) Rate per 100 encounters (n = 4417) 95% CI ICC
Back problem 2757 (46.07%) 62.42 (55.24–70.53) 0.312
Neck problem 683 (11.41%) 15.46 (11.23–21.30) 0.233
Muscle problem 434 (7.25%) 9.83 (6.64–14.55) 0.207
Health maintenance or preventive care 254 (4.24%) 5.75 (3.24–10.22) 0.251
Back syndrome with radiating pain 215 (3.59%) 4.87 (2.91–8.14) 0.165
Musculoskeletal symptom or complaint, or other 219 (3.66%) 4.96 (2.39–10.28) 0.350
Headache 179 (2.99%) 4.05 (2.87–5.71) 0.053
Sprain or strain of joint 167 (2.79%) 3.78 (2.30–6.22) 0.115
Shoulder problem 87 (1.45%) 1.97 (1.37–2.83) 0.022
Nerve-related problem 62 (1.04%) 1.40 (0.72–2.75) 0.072
General symptom or complaint, other 51 (0.85%) 1.15 (0.22–6.06) 0.407
Bursitis, tendinitis or synovitis 47 (0.79%) 1.06 (0.71–1.60) 0.011
Kyphosis and scoliosis 47 (0.79%) 1.06 (0.65–1.75) 0.023
Foot or toe symptom or complaint 48 (0.80%) 1.09 (0.41–2.87) 0.123
Ankle problem 46 (0.77%) 1.04 (0.40–2.69) 0.112
Osteoarthrosis, other (not spine) 39 (0.65%) 0.88 (0.51–1.53) 0.023
Hip symptom or complaint 35 (0.58%) 0.79 (0.53–1.19) 0.006
Leg or thigh symptom or complaint 35 (0.58%) 0.79 (0.49–1.28) 0.012
Musculoskeletal injury 33 (0.55%) 0.75 (0.45–1.24) 0.013
Depression 29 (0.48%) 0.66 (0.10–4.23) 0.288

These findings are impressive in that they suggest that most Australian chiropractors treat non-spinal conditions for which there is no evidence that the most frequently used interventions are effective. The treatments employed are depicted in this graph:
Distribution of techniques and care provided by chiropractors, with 95% CI


[Activator = hand-held spring-loaded device that delivers an impulse to the spine. Drop piece = chiropractic treatment table with a segmented drop system which quickly lowers the section of the patient’s body corresponding with the spinal region being treated. Blocks = wedge-shaped blocks placed under the pelvis.

Chiro system = chiropractic system of care, eg, Applied Kinesiology, Sacro-Occipital Technique, Neuroemotional Technique. Flexion distraction = chiropractic treatment table that flexes in the middle to provide traction and mobilisation to the lumbar spine.]

There is no good evidence I know of demonstrating these techniques to be effective for the majority of the conditions listed in the above table.

A similar bone of contention is the frequent use of ‘maintenance’ and ‘wellness’ care. The authors of the article comment: The common use of maintenance and wellness-related terms reflects current debate in the chiropractic profession. “Chiropractic wellness care” is considered by an indeterminate proportion of the profession as an integral part of chiropractic practice, with the belief that regular chiropractic care may have value in maintaining and promoting health, as well as preventing disease. The definition of wellness chiropractic care is controversial, with some chiropractors promoting only spine care as a form of wellness, and others promoting evidence-based health promotion, eg, smoking cessation and weight reduction, alongside spine care. A 2011 consensus process in the chiropractic profession in the United States emphasised that wellness practice must include health promotion and education, and active strategies to foster positive changes in health behaviours. My own systematic review of regular chiropractic care, however, shows that the claimed effects are totally unproven.

One does not need to be overly critical to conclude from all this that the chiropractors surveyed in this investigation earn their daily bread mostly by being economical with the truth regarding the lack of evidence for their actions.

67 Responses to QUESTION: how do chiropractors earn their daily bread? ANSWER: all too often by being economical with the truth

  • Nothing new here for me, but my neighbor, even when exposed to this type of information, continues to see her chiro (ongoing for over ten years) because he “makes me feel better”. She is an alcoholic, so perhaps her thinking is irreversibly muddled.

  • It is good to see the chiropractic profession discussing these issues and having Prof Ernst quoting a chiropractor is refreshing. Simon French, Bruce Walker and Co, and the Journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies (C&MT) are asking the right questions, doing the right research and leading the chiropractic profession in the right direction.
    Interestingly, the COAST study is a good beginning, but it needs to be expanded to include a larger area than just urban Victoria and over a longer time frame like the BEACH study. They also discuss this in the paper.
    Another good paper by the above authors is http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229914000314
    Their findings match similar physio studies.
    A look at Bruce Walker in PubMed shows all the good research he is doing.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Walker%20BFAuthor&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=24237100
    And Simon French:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=French%20SDAuthor&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=24237100
    There needs to be a balance in any discussion on chiropractic. Pointing out the Woo and BS is fine but it needs to be balanced with support for the chiropractors that are doing the research and leading the profession in the right direction.

  • Odd the links to Bruce Walker and Simon French on PubMed seem to have gove haywire.
    Apologies , will resubmit:
    Bruce Walker: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Walker+bf
    Simon French: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=French+SD

  • @ Thinking_Chiro

    What you say is all very well, but is there enough scope for chiropractors to earn a living if they *all* practised ethically? For example, half a billion dollars a year are currently being wasted on chiropractic quackery in America:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2014/04/20/new-medicare-data-reveal-startling-496-million-wasted-on-chiropractors/

  • If you ask me what is the most unethical AltMed practice I can think of, I have a hard time choosing between cancer quacks like Burzinsky and Simoncini on one hand and this blatant but all too common chiropractic lie on the other:

    https://www.facebook.com/LandinChiropracticCare/posts/10151667894685239

    It is one of many commonly used marketing ploys by chiropractors, which says:” 95% of infants have misalignments after birth- chiropractic is shown to relax muscular tension, improve sleep, can reduce colic symptoms, and can improve breastfeeding outcomes in newborns.”

  • In reply to Blue Wode:
    Interesting article but it makes the common assumption that all chiro’s are subluxation based. The burden of back pain on the public health system is huge. In NSW (the state where I live) it is estimated at $800 million per year. One in seven patients seeing a GP is for back pain. Doctors don’t like seeing chronic backs, so marketing myself to doctors has worked. One GP alone has referred over 200 patients and I was invited to join a medical practice 5 years ago.
    As for being a “a lucrative business scheme that preys on the unwitting and the desperate”, I would have to say that my referring doctors are anything but unwitting. They hold me to account and we communicate constantly. As for the patients being desperate, I have to admit that the patients referred are chronic, have often seen everyone else and turn up with a large pile of CT’s, MRI’s and Xrays going back years. I am often the last resort and the patients referred by doctors are usually challenging!
    This is the future of chiropractic as cited by Bruce Walker and Simon French, and associations like COCA. They are pushing the reform, doing the research and deserve all our support to create the change we both want!
    Support the chiropractors that are on the same page as you, point people in the right direction!

    • Thinking_Chiro wrote: “Interesting article but it makes the common assumption that all chiro’s are subluxation based.”

      Most are, and therein lies the problem – i.e. how does the public – on a global level – distinguish between chiroquacks (the vast majority) and evidence based practitioners when there is no standardisation in any country?

      BTW, Thinking_Chiro, would you please answer the question in my previous tweet: is there enough scope for chiropractors to earn a living if they *all* practised ethically? Stephen Barrett, MD, (Quackwatch) sums up the ethical practice dilemma for chiropractors in the ‘Spine Salesmen’ chapter of the book, The Health Robbers: A Close Look At Quackery In America:

      Quote
      “If a chiropractor limited his practice to musculoskeletal conditions such as simple backaches, if he were able to determine which patients are appropriate for him to treat, if he consulted and referred to medical doctors when he couldn’t handle a problem, if he were not overly vigorous in his manipulations, if he minimized the use of x-rays, and if he encouraged the use of proven public health measures, his patients would be relatively safe. But he might not be able to earn a living.”

      The entire chapter is published here:
      http://www.chirobase.org/12Hx/hr76.html

      It’s well worth a read.

  • Is this the same Stephen Barrett who gave evidence in the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic and was described by the Chairman with the following words….
    13. We have considered material published over Dr Barrett’s name.
    The chapter on chiropractic in The Health Robbers (entitled “The Spine
    Salesmen”) was written by him. It is plainly propaganda. What we have
    seen of the rest of his writing on chiropractic has the same tone. Nothing
    he has written on chiropractic that we have considered can be relied on as
    balanced.

    I think this sums up the entirety of your argument, Blue Wode.

    • Gibley Gibley wrote: “I think this sums up the entirety of your argument, Blue Wode.”

      No, it doesn’t at all. Read from comment 38 onwards here:
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/mercury-must-be-bad-if-not-in-vaccines-in-teeth/

      Particularly interesting comment:

      http://www.chirobase.org/05RB/NZ/nzjarvis.html
      The three-person panel included a barrister, a chemistry professor, and a retired headmistress of a girls secondary school. Some of their recommendations were actually devastating for chiropractic.

      “What stands out in the report is its capriciousness. Part of the reason appears to lie in the Commission’s small size and domination by the chairman. This limited the Commission’s abilities, perspective, and judgment and did not allow for sufficient checks and balances upon individual biases.
      The Commission seemed guided more by its subjective judgment about personalities than the evidence individuals presented. They make repeated references to how different witnesses “impressed” them, were “regarded,” “won their respect,” or affected their personal opinion in some way. Sometimes they appear so arbitrary in this practice as to suggest that such judgment might be based upon whether or not the witness’s testimony lent support to their point of view.”

      • Well, I recall that Steven Barrett admitted under oath in a lawsuit that he lost that he had failed his psychiatry boards, yet continued to practice psychiatry and testify for payments as an expert witness for the state of Pennsylvania. Is that true, Blue Wode?

        • have you seen my post on ad hominem attacks?

          • SkepdicProf wrote: “Well, I recall that Steven Barrett admitted under oath in a lawsuit that he lost that he had failed his psychiatry boards, yet continued to practice psychiatry and testify for payments as an expert witness for the state of Pennsylvania. Is that true, Blue Wode?”

            I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but even if it did turn out to be true, is there any chiropractic article written by Stephen Barrett at Chirobase http://www.chirobase.org/ that you can show to be substantially wrong?

          • Well, first of all, this is not an attack. Just stating a fact. Why are you suddenly protective of him?

            Secondly, isn’t attacking, whether individuals or professions, a trademark of this “blog”?

            I also think Blue Wode is not being very forthcoming in his knowledge of this Mr. Barrett. Have you ever done work for him?

            All of the information on his “websites” are just chronicles of the things that he hates and then denigrates it. No problem with drug-based care. The psychiatric industry’s drugging of kids and adults by pathologizing all normal human behavior sits just fine with this ex-psychiatrist, and almost all members of the medical trades. I have yet to see EE have a cow about this, yet the rest of the world is in an uproar about it.

            BTW the websites that Blue Wode repeatedly refers to are all well-known ‘cloaked’ sites. Their names and websites sound legitimate and unbiased, but once you sniff around, it is easy to see are nothing more than fronts for people with extreme, hate-based fringe personal agendas. Those owned by Stephen Barrett are excellent examples of this and widely recognized as being unreliable sources of information.

          • you could have fooled me!

        • “isn’t attacking, whether individuals or professions, a trademark of this “blog”?”

          The point is that your attack is ad hominem and therefore fallacious. You might need to look that up.

  • In reply to Blue Wode:
    “is there enough scope for chiropractors to earn a living if they *all* practiced ethically?”
    In practice, 10% of your patients refer 90% of your new patients. On average they each refer approximately nine patients. My best referring doctor has referred 200+ patients. The chiropractic profession in Australia sees 8% of the population. Who ultimately sees 100%? There is huge scope here!
    There are positives and negatives to any relationship and working with doctors is no different. Doctors take time and effort to cultivate, if they were a girlfriend I would classify them as a high maintenance, silicon enhanced blonde! If they refer a patient I have to drop everything and roll out the red carpet, if they call I apologize to the patient I am with and answer straight away because if they are unhappy they would cut me off at the knees in a heart beat! They are a lot of work but it is worth the effort. The positives are many so in point form:
    * The patients have already been reassured before they come in.
    * In the eyes of the patient I must be good as the doctor referred them to me.
    * I have to market myself to less doctors to generate more referrals.
    * The doctors hold me accountable and we communicate constantly and coordinate our care.
    * I work in a team environment as part of a referring network. (Not in isolation)
    * The patients are usually challenging chronic backs that I enjoy helping.
    * My overheads are low and cash flow is up. Working with doctors is good business!
    * I am helping patients from 100% of the population, not competing with other chiro’s for the 8%, different referral base!
    * Doctors gossip like old women amongst themselves and I regularly get referrals from doctors that I have never heard from before, but they know all about me from my doctors and feedback from their patients who I already see.
    * I actively encourage my patients to talk to their doctor about what I am doing and when a new patient comes in, who is not a medical referral, I open lines of communication straight away with a letter and phone call.

    Medicine runs on referral networks, they are the doctors bread and butter. Getting into these networks is the future of chiropractic!

    “The entire chapter is published here: http://www.chirobase.org/12Hx/hr76.html It’s well worth a read.”
    That way of practicing has been illegal here for years.

    You have made a very good point about standardization. This is addressed by practice guidelines, legislation and education, but as in medicine there are the good, bad and ugly. Patients realize this when selecting a doctor and it is the same with chiropractors. This is one advantage of medical referrals, the patients are already reassured and confident before they come in, my doctors sell chiropractic for me!
    Does this mean that the full TIC and TOR subluxation chiro’s who are so vocal will change their ways, probably not, and you will have difficulty trying to bludgeon them into changing. If anything, they seem to be more vocal and entrenched the more threatened they become! You will achieve the positive change that you and I both want by supporting chiropractors like Bruce Walker, Simon French and Co, not by just carpet bombing the chiropractic profession!

    • Thinking_Chiro wrote: “In practice, 10% of your patients refer 90% of your new patients.”

      So, it’s patients who are keeping chiropractors in business despite the ‘satisfaction’ experienced by those patients being likely, in many cases, to have nothing to do with experiencing specific effects of chiropractic treatment. To learn more, have a slow read through the late Barry Beyerstein’s classic essay, Social and Judgmental Biases That Seem to Make Inert Treatments Work. It’s a thorough analysis of alternative medicine and common errors of reasoning:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20050329093720/http://www.sram.org/0302/bias.html

      Thinking_Chiro wrote: “You have made a very good point about standardization. This is addressed by practice guidelines, legislation and education.”

      No, it’s not. Universally, chiropractors do not have a defined or limited scope of practice.

      Thinking_Chiro wrote: “Does this mean that the full TIC and TOR subluxation chiro’s who are so vocal will change their ways, probably not, and you will have difficulty trying to bludgeon them into changing. If anything, they seem to be more vocal and entrenched the more threatened they become!”

      And there’s your problem. Those chiropractors are the majority.

  • BW, is it true as you ascertain, that retired professors are no longer able to form logical and cogent conclusions. You maintain that in you ignorant comments about the NZ Commission. If you maintain that, then Prof. Ernst should dissolve this blog.

    • @ Gibley Gibley

      If this blog was dissolved, the lack of scientific evidence for chiropractic would still stand:

      QUOTE
      “This treatment carries the risk of stroke or death if spinal manipulation is applied to the neck. Elsewhere on the spine, chiropractic therapy is relatively safe. It has shown some evidence of benefit in the treatment of back pain, but conventional treatments are usually equally effective and much cheaper. In the treatment of all other conditions, chiropractic therapy is ineffective except that it might act as a placebo.”

      Ref. p.285 Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial, by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst.

      And the risks of chiropractic would continue to outweigh any benefits – e.g. reports of deaths after chiropractic treatment are “about three times the number of deaths from trovafloxacin, an excellent antibiotic abandoned in the U.S. as too dangerous”.
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/compare-and-contrast/

  • In reply to Blue Wode:
    “So, it’s patients who are keeping chiropractors in business despite the ‘satisfaction’ experienced by those patients being likely, in many cases, to have nothing to do with experiencing specific effects of chiropractic treatment.”
    Most of my new patients are medical referrals. Word of mouth, be it patient or doctor is everything in practice. That is my reputation and it is very important. Whether it is a patient or doctor who refers to me, there is a very interesting dynamic that occurs. If I do a good job, the patient is happy with the person who referred them to me, not me! If I stuff up, then they are unhappy with the person who referred them to me, not me! Doctors and patients do not refer lightly as it reflects straight back on them!
    As for “nothing to do with experiencing specific effects of chiropractic”, I test, examine and reassess constantly every patients. I use functional measures, tag tests, set treatment goals and time frames with every patient. I discuss these with every patient, as every treatment is a collaborative approach. If we do not meet these goals then I refer the patient on to another professional for a different approach. The way I practice is constantly changing and evolving as best evidence presents itself!

    “No, it’s not. Universally, chiropractors do not have a defined or limited scope of practice.”
    And therein lies your best approach to chiropractic. This must be a two step approach, which I have stated above!
    Step 1 – Point out whats wrong!
    Step 2 – Point out whats right and support it!
    You are very good at Step 1 and have it indexed and crossed referenced to a high degree and have been doing it for decades. Now it is time to adopt Step 2 and support those chiropractors who are on the same page as you. For the subluxationists to change and progress, you need to show them a better alternative.
    One of the greatest frustrations of being an evidence based chiropractor is having the vocal subluxation true believers on one side and the vocal critics on the other. Both are blinkered and resistant to changing their ways. Time for you to evolve and see that the cup is half full! There are chiropractors, institutions and association worthy of your support! There are the people who are actively making the changes!
    You never know, you may even enjoy it! ;-)

    • Thinking_Chiro wrote: “For the subluxationists to change and progress, you need to show them a better alternative.”

      I suspect they know the alternative, but such “change and progress” wouldn’t be nearly so lucrative for them.

  • @ SkepdicProf

    No, I have never done any work for Dr Barrett, and I can only conclude from your response above (24 April 2014 at 03:02) that you are unable to find a chiropractic article written by Stephen Barrett at Chirobase http://www.chirobase.org/ that you can show to be substantially wrong.

    • BW, “substantially wrong” is a very interesting quote. The NZ Commission of Inquiry, made up of a retired university professor (similar to Edzard Ernst) et al. said that the writings of Stephen Barrett were “propaganda”. That is a very strong criticism and is reserved for people with very unethical standards. It makes all of Barretts subsequent writings to be “questionable”. For you to use Barrett as a legitimate reference, makes all of your comments to be just as questionable. I restrain myself from using the word “propaganda” to describe your writings, but the word seems to be very appropriate at times, especially when you quote Barrett.

      • Gibley Gibley wrote:”…“substantially wrong” is a very interesting quote. The NZ Commission of Inquiry, made up of a retired university professor (similar to Edzard Ernst) et al. said that the writings of Stephen Barrett were “propaganda”. That is a very strong criticism and is reserved for people with very unethical standards. It makes all of Barretts subsequent writings to be “questionable”…”

        I take that to mean that you, too, are unable to find a chiropractic article written by Stephen Barrett at Chirobase http://www.chirobase.org/ that you can show to be substantially wrong.

  • Blue Wode wrote: “No, I have never done any work for Dr Barrett”

    My apologies. I thought he had a physio employed as his webmaster a while back before he moved out of Pennsylvania.

    Everything on chirobase is substantially wrong. It all amounts to a diary of a mad psychiatrist, filled with emotional short-circuits. All of the titles and articles are intentionally severely biased and meant to inflame just by the wording. I think this may be in response to Dr. Barrett’s losing many big lawsuits. I believe there have been judgments against him including monetary awards, not just in favor of chiropractic doctors but members of the medical trades, too. A simple search will give you plenty of reading.

    Again, I am not here to bash anyone. I am just replying to your statements. You seem to leave out important facts for the readers. Sorry.

    • SkepdicProf wrote: “I am not here to bash anyone”

      Why are you here then? It’s certainly not to present any good evidence for chiropractic.

      • Yes, Blue, it’s true that there needs to be more evidence as to why chiropractic health care is so effective and helps millions of people of all ages every day throughout the world. Many of these are medical failures or have become narcotic addicted from the over-prescribing of dubious medications. Sadly, I see this every day. Many are referred by members of the medical trades or come because they don’t know where else to turn.

        Fortunately, they find out, before it is too late, that they can recover their health with the help of drug-free approaches like chiropractic health care, the largest recognized and licensed health care profession that uses drug-free approaches.

        • SkepdicProf wrote: “Many are referred by members of the medical trades…”

          That could quite easily be a case of MDs unloading intractable, self-limiting cases on chiropractors for placebo treatments. If so, then that’s not so much an endorsement of chiropractic, but rather an acknowledgment that chiropractic clinics are repositories for people who really need no treatment (with the hope they will not be harmed).

          • And of course the MD would let the patient know they really didn’t need any treatment, and were being unloaded for placebo treatments with a chiro. Professional ethics and informed consent and all.

          • No, that’s not it, Blue. It is the kindly MD knowing that by sending the patient away s/he is probably saving the life of the patient by not subjecting them to dangerous, useless and unnecessary surgical procedures or addicting and life-destroying medications which occur millions of times each year in the U.S.

            So it is a humane act to refer for natural, non-drug approaches like chiropractic health care from a chiropractic doctor, that at the minimum, won’t harm the patient and will likely help in some way. Even if it is all a placebo and the patient improves and feels better, well, so what’s wrong with placebo? It is better than being subjected to questionable surgery for a big payday (see link from Jorma ( http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tapping-into-controversial-back-surgeries/ ) that results in needless suffering, addiction and/or death.

            Oh, yes, and the MD will also be happy to refund the patient’s money that is received from the insurance company for doing nothing for the patient from the useless treatments and surgeries along with an apology letter.

            Right, Woe?

  • SkepdicProf said:

    Everything on chirobase is substantially wrong. It all amounts to a diary of a mad psychiatrist, filled with emotional short-circuits. All of the titles and articles are intentionally severely biased and meant to inflame just by the wording. I think this may be in response to Dr. Barrett’s losing many big lawsuits. I believe there have been judgments against him including monetary awards, not just in favor of chiropractic doctors but members of the medical trades, too. A simple search will give you plenty of reading.

    Those are rather defamatory words, don’t you think?

    Again, I am not here to bash anyone.

    Really?

    • Alan Henness says: “Those are rather defamatory words, don’t you think?”

      I don’t think that anything I wrote is defamatory to your elder hatesman, Dr. Barrett. I think what I wrote seems to be common knowledge about these dubious sites. That’s why many are skeptical about their reliability.

    • Yes, Jorma, I was drinking a super-antioxidant smoothie just after exercising, when I saw this on the morning national news with Charlie Rose and that gorgeous Nora (forgot her last name).

      It is a crime but another one of many examples of the medical trades putting their financial health ahead of the public’s health that we hear about almost daily in the news. 500,000 spinal fusions, many of which are unnecessary, causing physical and emotional disabilities costing hundreds of billions of dollars!

      Each year, 800,000 to 1 million Americans are killed from unnecessary medical procedures and errors. More than any other cause, ahead of heart attacks, cancer and strokes. Medical care is the number one killer here in the U.S., as I have said before. Likely number one in the U.K., too, EE. Not to mention costing trillions of dollars.

      Can you imagine? Bilking the public funds and insurance for personal profit — who would have thought!!

      Everyone should watch this video. It has already been seen by millions. Problem is, when medical doctors who are not cashing in, see this, they, too will likely jump onto the gravy train. A shame really.

      • Each year, 800,000 to 1 million Americans are killed from unnecessary medical procedures and errors. More than any other cause, ahead of heart attacks, cancer and strokes.

        @SkepdicProf
        You may want to contact the people at Bloomberg and try to tell them that their information is all wrong:
        http://www.bloomberg.com/dataview/2014-04-17/how-americans-die.html

        And while you’re at it you may as well tell the people at CDC that they don’t know how to count.
        http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

        I do not think these people will bother answering you but they will be thinking something on the lines of: “This one really needs help” and then go and get another cup of coffee.

        PS.
        I have written what I think will be the gist of your response to this advice and sealed it in an envelope. I will allow myself a vanilla-cream filled doughnut if I am right. Well, it’s not so hard. You are getting boringly dependable ;)

        • Well, of course, Bjorn, you have seen this information before. Why don’t you contact this group of researchers who have taken the facts from public records. Yes, I know that Stephen Barrett doesn’t like Gary Null and the others from the medical trades, among many others, but he is only reporting on the stats from reliably cited sources.

          http://www.whale.to/a/null9.html

          Not sure how you are going to swallow the envelope, but I would love to know the end result!

          • Scopie’s Law! You lose.

          • SkepdicProf provides us with further evidence of his cognitive disabilities. He even has problems with comprehending plain english.

            I am trying to loose some weight but now I have a good excuse to buy a vanilla donut for a sunday treat. Just don’t tell my wife ;)

            To you whoever is hiding behind that infantile tag.
            Has it never occurred to you that this information about the “terrible perils of modern medicine” might be seriously exaggerated? The information on the CDC site IS from the public record! Your favourite version of it is not. I see that Alan H. called Scopie’s law on you. I hope you manage to grasp the meaning of it. You can look it up on rationalWiki. The explanation there is in easy English. Then go and try to make yourself useful around the house or something and stop meddling in matters you don’t understand.

          • He he, Scopie’s Law.
            I must admit it, i didn’t know of this law, but as the self professed independent adjudicator on this topic thread! Scopies law wins.

            Well played Alan, well played.

          • You got me! I had never heard of Scopie’s Law or, for that matter, whale.to either. I just Googled “Death by Medicine” and picked one of the loads of sites that came up. I happened to pick the whale.to reference. My bad.

            Sorry, Bjorn. It is all cited as to where and what public records they’ve gotten the information from. If it is not accurate, then how many are victims who are killed by preventable errors each year from the medical trades?

            Bjorn wrote: “To you whoever is hiding behind that infantile tag.”

            Hey, now wait a minute. What’s so great about the ridiculous tag that you have chosen to hide behind? Bjorn Geir? Hah! You could have chosen any name from the Star Wars films, yet you picked “Bjorn Geir” of all names. Crazy. You could have at least chosen one that is pronounceable by earthlings.

          • you are doing a good job at defaming yourself.

  • Truly an interesting article in many ways Jorma. This article throws a bright light on the state of US healthcare and its many inherent problems. But it does not tell us anything much about the matter at hand in this blog-thread, the honesty and wisdom of chiropractitioners. Or perhaps it does?… It certainly reminds us that the “art” of chiropractic has failed miserably to do much of worth about the prevalent problem of chronic back pain. In one of the case-stories it even says that chiropractic care had not helped.
    If chiropractics had lived up to their self-reported reputation, people would not have to resort to more drastic and incertain methods, chiropractics would be a truly valuable part of normal healthcare. But alas for the sufferers of back pain, it is not.

  • jm wrote: “And of course the MD would let the patient know they really didn’t need any treatment, and were being unloaded for placebo treatments with a chiro. Professional ethics and informed consent and all.”

    In which case the chiropractor will refer the patient straight back to the doctor saying that no treatment is required. Is that correct?

  • SkepdicProf wrote on 26 April 2014 at 03:46:39 : “…dangerous, useless and unnecessary surgical procedures or addicting and life-destroying medications which occur millions of times each year in the U.S.”

    See http://edzardernst.com/2014/03/chiropractors-continue-to-burry-their-heads-in-the-sand/#comment-55498

    SkepdicProf wrote: “Even if it is all a placebo and the patient improves and feels better, well, so what’s wrong with placebo?”

    Here’s what’s wrong with it:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20100103080345/http://www.arc.org.uk/news/arthritistoday/131_1.asp

    • Well, Woe, the 800,000 American victims who are dead each year from mishaps and bloopers by the medical trades that could have been prevented would have been very happy, I am sure, to be living ‘victims’ of the placebo effect. Just sayin’.

        • Your repetitive responses wherever I post are almost like cyber-stalking. You seem to be obsessed with protectionism of the medical trades. Why, Woe? I am certain that your repetitive behavior and social interaction difficulties are an indication of some deeper issues.

          You can likely benefit from interventions, or therapies, that can reduce symptoms and increase skills and abilities. Although it is best to begin intervention at a young age and as soon as possible, it may not be too late and the benefits of therapy can continue throughout life.

          I hope this is helpful.

          • such wonderful humour!

          • @DICKS (Skepdicprof),
            how clever am I!? i managed to not get your name right on purpose, and use some of the letters in your chosen name to make what i believe to be a more appropriate name for you.

            If i could be bothered i would concoct some make believe story about your repetitive behavior to divert myself from the fact that I am not engaging in a debate rather than thinly veiled sarcasm.

            I decided to be openly disrespectful to avoid any confusion.

          • Neil wrote:@DICKS (Skepdicprof), how clever am I!?

            OMG, how clever you are, Neil! It is so…High School! @Dicks. Good one.

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