MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The purpose of this recently published survey was to obtain the demographic profile and educational background of chiropractors with paediatric patients on a multinational scale.

A multinational online cross-sectional demographic survey was conducted over a 15-day period in July 2010. The survey was electronically administered via chiropractic associations in 17 countries, using SurveyMonkey for data acquisition, transfer, and descriptive analysis.

The response rate was 10.1%, and 1498 responses were received from 17 countries on 6 continents. Of these, 90.4% accepted paediatric cases. The average practitioner was male (61.1%) and 41.4 years old, had 13.6 years in practice, and saw 107 patient visits per week. Regarding educational background, 63.4% had a bachelor’s degree or higher in addition to their chiropractic qualification, and 18.4% had a postgraduate certificate or higher in paediatric chiropractic.

The authors from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC), Bournemouth University, United Kingdom, drew the following conclusion: this is the first study about chiropractors who treat children from the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Japan, South Africa, and Spain. Although the response rate was low, the results of this multinational survey suggest that pediatric chiropractic care may be a common component of usual chiropractic practice on a multinational level for these respondents.

A survey with a response rate of 10%?

An investigation published 9 years after it has been conducted?

Who at the AECC is responsible for controlling the quality of the research output?

Or is this paper perhaps an attempt to get the AECC into the ‘Guinness Book of Records’ for outstanding research incompetence?

But let’s just for a minute pretend that this paper is of acceptable quality. If the finding that ~90% of chiropractors tread kids is approximately correct, one has to be very concerned indeed.

I am not aware of any good evidence that chiropractic care is effective for paediatric conditions. On the contrary, it can do quite a bit of direct harm! To this, we sadly also have to add the indirect harm many chiropractors cause, for instance, by advising parents against vaccinating their kids.

This clearly begs the question: is it not time to stop these charlatans?

What do you think?

11 Responses to Chiropractors treating children – is it not time to stop these charlatans?

  • Yes but I’d not single out chiropractic. I’ve long argued that quacks should not be permitted to treat children. Consent issues are a problem for one thing. Having looked at regulation in various different countries, I think a strong case can be made for legislative changes to protect children and other vulnerable groups from the potential harms of quackery. See https://ukhomeopathyregulation.blogspot.com/2018/11/possible-amendments-to-uk-legislation.html

    In UK law, there is no defined scope of practice for chiropractic unlike certain other regulated professions. A defined scope of practice might prevent some of the more outre activities of the the vitalists.

  • I think one has to be clear what one considers “chiropractic care” and for what conditions.

    Example…

    “To test whether different types of treatment offer dif- ferential benefits, we applied a multiple meta-regression model, whose results enabled us to confirm the initial hypothesis that there are differences in effectiveness between the treatments based on exercise, education, therapeutic physical conditioning and manual therapy, the combination of the latter two being the most prom- ising treatment.”

    https://bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1471-2474-14-55

    And if this stoppage crosses into other professions as well…or are there conditions when “chiropractic care” (manual therapy) is appropriate?

    Example…

    https://aaompt.org/aaompt_data/documents/2015sessions/Orthopedic_Manual_therapy.pdf

  • Another great and alarming post. Let’s speculate as to what the pseudo-intellectuals will argue: “Medicine and medical interventions are the real dangers to children…the placebo effects of chiroquackery reduce the risks associated with medications. And besides, I got a lifestyle to support”. Or some such rhetoric?

  • I just read your post on Chiropractic for kids.
    You header says “support it with evidence”.
    In your article, you give no evidence other than the statement, “I am not aware of any good evidence”.
    You also refer to Chiropractors as “Charlatans”.
    Name calling and lack of evidence is really not science my friend.
    You have a clear bias and an obvious need to spread your opinions around. Please don’t pass it off as documented facts.
    P.S. I can supply your with lots of evidence if you like.

    • “You header says “support it with evidence”.
      In your article, you give no evidence other than the statement, “I am not aware of any good evidence”.”
      well observed! The fact that there is no evidence is evidence, in this case.
      “You also refer to Chiropractors as “Charlatans”.
      Name calling and lack of evidence is really not science my friend.”
      1) I am not your friend
      2) a charlatan is defined as a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill. that’s exactly what chiros who treat kids do. so, it is factually correct and NOT ‘name calling’.
      PLEASE DO SUPPLY ME WITH ‘LOTS OF EVIDENCE’ and I might tell you how sound it is.

  • It’s kind of scary how chiropractors have been able to penetrate the mainstream, selling themselves as legitimate doctors. In the states, you can even get it covered through insurance (accupuncture too!)

  • Colin

    Does that imply the medical insurance companies that cover acupuncture and chiropractic services are QUACK companies, same question for FDA.

    Due to the Opioid crisis, both the FDA and government may have been under pressure to lower scientific standard ?

    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-the-fda-embracing-quackery-a-draft-proposal-revised-to-recommend-that-doctors-learn-about-acupuncture-and-chiropractic-for-pain-management/

    Kinda ironic, reach for unscientific means because scientific means are failing.

  • And contrary to some posters here who claim to know their “profession” is mainly filled with noble, austere, evidence-based healthcare practitioners…I enjoy quoting from the largest chiroquackery magazine articles, rightly assuming they (the mags) are actually representative of the majority e.g. American Chiroquacker Nov. 2019 (feature article):
    “Chiropractic does more than just eliminate the source-of-your pain, it supports other body systems, including your immune system”…”scientists have concluded that it may be possible for chiropractic care to extend your life”….”chiropractic can influence almost every aspect of your health far beyond relief of back pain…impacting at a cellular level for improving wellbeing that lasts”…..and on, and on the bullshit goes. This is why the elimination of any insurance coverage of the quacks needs to stop. This underlying theme is not in-the-past….it is alive and flourishing in the majority of clinics…and why these delusions can create such danger to children and their gullible parents.

    • It would seem a big part of the delusion is publishing the November 2019 issue of its magazine in July, 2019!

    • And to add a few further “nuggets” (or better described as floaters) from the Nov issue (getting ahead of the Thanksgiving busy season): “when the spine is misaligned it can interfere with the spinal cord and it’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body, which lowers the immune system”…”an experienced chiropractor can realign the spine and correct the nervous system…which can help ward off colds viruses and other diseases”….Wowza! Who knew? (Evidence is unnecessary when writing in their mags apparently).
      Another article: “Extremity adjusting in youth and adults: “Chiropractic is defined as a system of integrative medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of joints especially the spine which cause disorders affecting the nerves, muscles and ORGANS”….”Chiropractors are expert when it comes to being able to evaluate and assess the spine from occipital down to coccyx. That is the very fiber of who we are, dating back to when DD Palmer created our profession”….”patients are often surprised to learn an extremity misalignment has destabilized the spine”.
      The bottom line of course: Chiroquackers will say ANYTHING that sells someone treatments, and creates an appearance of being scientific. Their goal is always profit and self aggrandizement. If NOT THAT, what??

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