MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

DOCTOR Jeffrey Collins, a chiropractor from the Chicago area, just sent me an email which, I think, is remarkable and hilarious - so much so that I want to share it with my readers. Here it is in its full length and beauty:

If you really think you can resolve all back pain syndromes with a pill then you are dumber than you look. I’ve been a chiropractor for 37 years and the primary difference between seeing me vs. an orthopedic surgeon for back pain is simple. When you have ANY fixation in the facet joint, the motor untitled is compromised. These are the load bearing joints in the spine and only an idiot would not realize they are the primary source of pain. The idea of giving facet blocks under fluoroscopy is so dark ages. Maybe you could return to blood letting. The fact that you attack chiropractors as being dangerous when EVERY DAY medical doctors kill people but that’s OK in the name of science. Remember Vioxx? Oh yeah that drug killed over 80,000 patients that they could find. It was likely double that. Oddly I have treated over 10,000 in my career and nobody died. Not one. I guess I was just lucky. I went to Palmer in Iowa. The best chiropractors come out of there. I should qualify that. The ones that have a skill adjusting the spine. 

I will leave you with this as a simple analogy most patients get. Anyone who has ever “cracked their knuckles” will tell you that they got immediate relief and joint function was restored instanter. That’s chiropractic in a nutshell. Not complicated and any chiropractor worth his salt can do that for 37 years without one adverse incident. A monkey could hand out pain pills and you know it. Only in America do you have to get a script to get to a drugstore so everybody gets a cut. What a joke. Somehow mitigating pain makes you feel better about yourselves when you are the real sham. Funny how chiropractors pay the LOWEST malpractice rates in the country. That must be luck as well. Where’s your science now? I would love to debate a guy like you face to face. If you ever come to Chicago email me and let’s meet. Then again guys like you never seem to like confrontation. 

I’ve enjoyed this and glad I found your site. Nobody reads the crap that you write and I found this by mistake. Keep the public in the dark as long as you can. It’s only a matter of time before it’s proven DRUGS ARE WORTHLESS.

I am pleased that DOCTOR Collins had fun. Now let me try to have some merriment as well.

This comment is a classic in several ways, for instance, it

  • starts with a frightfully primitive insult,
  • boasts of the author’s authority (37 years of experience) without mentioning anything that remotely resembles real evidence,
  • provides pseudoscientific explanations for quackery,
  • returns to insults (only an idiot return to blood letting),
  • uses classical fallacies (…medical doctors kill people),
  • returns to more boasting about authority (I went to Palmer in Iowa. The best chiropractors come out of there…),
  • injects a little conspiracy theory (…everybody gets a cut),
  • returns to insults (…you are the real sham… guys like you never seem to like confrontation.) 
  • and ends with an apocalyptic finish: It’s only a matter of time before it’s proven DRUGS ARE WORTHLESS.

I should not mock DOCTOR Collins, though; I should be thankful to him for at least two reasons. Firstly, he confirmed my theory that “Ad hominem attacks are signs of victories of reason over unreason“. Secondly, he made a major contribution to my enjoyment of this otherwise somewhat dreary bank holiday, and I hope the same goes for my readers.

22 Responses to How dull my days would be without the joy of the ‘fan-post’ by devoted chiropractors

  • … to dumb to be worth a fisking …

  • Referring to the letter, not your response.

    • “… to dumb to be worth a fisking …” Rich

      I think you meant to say, “TOO dumb…”

      Referring to your statement, of course.

      Just sayin’.

  • You forgot to add this to the list:
    * “facets are the load bearing joints in the spine”, well actually it the discs that do that, the facets primary role is to guide movement!
    He is currently in Anger and Denial. Hopefully this will leed to critical reflection, acceptance and finally change.
    Been there, done that!
    I am the eternal optimist! ;-)

  • What really amused me was the childish petulance of this one:

    Nobody reads the crap that you write and I found this by mistake.

    • The one that leaps out at me is:

      “I have treated over 10,000 in my career and nobody died. Not one.”

      He really can’t know that for sure. Strokes resulting from chiropractic treatment can be delayed and may not be attributed to being caused by, or exacerbated by, chiropractic manipulations when they are known to have occurred (especially in an elderly population).

  • In all likelihood he is probably genuinely honest, caring and capeable, and bewilderingly indoctrinated.

  • …speaking about the PALMER COLLEGE, I found this here [http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/tens-of-millions-for-cam-research-and-its-all-on-your-dime/]:
    One of the primary benefactors of government monies is Palmer Chiropractic College, which received $14 million from the NIH and the Department of HHS Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as the military. These monies have gone toward the establishment of, and research conducted by, the Palmer Research Center. We’ve mentioned the Center before, in its conduct of a study which didn’t seem to produce much of anything in the way of useful results. (See Orac’s dissection here.) That didn’t stop another $7 million plus from going to the RAND Corporation, which will, with the help of the Research Center and the Samueli Institute, conduct an even larger study of standard medical care alone plus standard medical care and “chiropractic care.” One wonders why not just spinal manipulative therapy, not “chiropractic care?” At least that would help isolate the variable that may produce an effect. Or why not medical care and physical therapy?

    The study’s title reveals a curious mixture of subjects: “Assessment of Chiropractic Treatment for Low Back Pain, Military Readiness, and Smoking Cessation in Military Active Duty Personnel.” Smoking cessation, by the way, will not be a part of standard medical care – only the chiropractors will get to do that. Let’s just imagine what the results will be: patients who get the extra time and attention beyond standard medical care will do better and this study won’t tell us why, including whether it was simply the extra attention.

    But the problems with giving Palmer College all this money go beyond the questionable utility of spending millions of dollars on this study. Palmer is firmly rooted in the non-existent subluxation and its students are required to be proficient in its “detection” and “correction.” As befitting a school loyal to the subluxation, it teaches quack diagnostic and treatment methods like the NUCCA technique and the Atlas Orthogonal Technique. And although the Palmer College website is suspiciously silent on immunizations, chiropractic opposition to vaccination is well-known and one doubts that students are taught objective, evidence-based guidelines for immunizations.

    The Center has also participated in other sketchy government-funded research, including the TACT trial. This year, a study was conducted on “Effect of Lumbar Hypo & Hypermobility on Sensory Responses to Spinal Manipulation.” Let’s decode this title. Hypo/hypermobility of the vertebrae is of legitimate concern to manual therapists, but to some chiropractors this hypo/hypermobility is an indication of the presence of a “subluxation.” In other words, it appears Palmer researchers are continuing to look for evidence that the elusive subluxation actually exists.

    Why do I think this is a reasonable suspicion? One, as discussed, Palmer College is loyal to the subluxation as a viable “theory” and teaches the concept and its clinical application to students. Two, although the page was removed after I mentioned it in a post last year, as of July, 2013, the Center was telling the public that one of its three areas of research was “mechanisms of care, which encompass normative data, spine lesions (e.g. vertebral subluxation complex) and spinal manipulation/adjustment.”

    Contrast the school’s credulous acceptance of a pseudo-scientific concept with the Palmer Research Center director’s taking the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association “to task” over their warning that stroke may be associated with cervical manipulation. Here’s what Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, had to say about that:

    “The facts are that VADs are very, very rare events, and there’s absolutely no research that shows a cause-and-effect relationship between chiropractic care and stroke,” said Dr. Goertz. “Doctors need to be careful about how they counsel patients based on misleading statements, like this one from the American Heart Association.”

    (Note the euphemistic “chiropractic care” used as a substitute for neck manipulation.)

    In sum, looking for evidence of the non-existent chiropractic subluxation is perfectly reasonable, but we need research “that shows a cause-and-effect relationship between chiropractic care and stroke” to conclude that stroke may be associated with cervical manipulation.

  • Research to show cause and effect between cervical spine manipulation and stroke would be challenging due to it being a rare event. This is a very interesting topic. Most past studies have been retrospective case controls that are good for researching rare diseases but do not show a causual relationship . Prof Ernst, how would you design a RCT that has a sufficiently large sample group, blinded, preferably double blinded and still be affordable?

    Like you, I assumed that Palmer was a temple to the subluxation run by hard core outdated chiropractors, but the research seems to say differently. It looks like they have a research department that is pushing evidence based chiropractic while still embracing subluxation in their teaching department. These conflicting signals is whats at the core of the problems within the chiropractic profession. Once they consign the subluxation to the history departments museum, then they will have solved the problem!
    Interesting, the problem and the solution all under one roof!
    Chiropractic in a nutshell!

  • Edzard,

    Don’t you have anything better than write imaginery e-mails for yourself and then post it on your blog?

    Pharmacy companies pay you well my friend.

    ❤ Edzard ❤ Imaginery Jeffrey

    • my imagination is not as sick as to write such stuff!
      but you can click on the link and ask Jeffrey Collins himself whether he is the author of this email.

      • Edzard said:

        you can click on the link and ask Jeffrey Collins himself whether he is the author of this email.

        I await with bated breath for Jorma Kärtsy to let us know what Collins says.

      • He replied he is not. Sorry.

        • I have his email to show to anyone who wants to see it

          • He emailed me, he didn’t written for you Edzard but he is writing here regularly with name Thinking_Chiro.

            I must be VeryThinking_Chiro to figure this out ;-)

          • as some people seem to think that I write hate mail to myself, here is the start of original copied and pasted with the sender’s address:
            From: Jeffrey Collins
            Subject: Back pain

            Message Body:
            If you really think you can resolve all back pain syndromes with a pill then you are dumber than you look. I’ve been a chiropractor for 37 years and the primary difference between seeing me vs. an orthopedic surgeon for back pain is simple…..

  • Three guesses on which on is Jorma Kärtsy and which one is Edzard! ;-)

  • Science: If you ain’t pissin’ people off, you ain’t doin’ it right.

  • @ Thinking_Chiro AKA Jeffrey Collins

    Please, confirm your name for Edzard.

  • I confirm Jorma Kärtsy that I am indeed Thinking_Chiro!

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