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

Chiropractors often claim that they are working tirelessly towards increasing public health. But how seriously should we take such claims?

The purpose of this study was to investigate weight-loss interventions offered by Canadian chiropractors. It is a secondary analysis of data from the Ontario Chiropractic Observation and Analysis STudy (Nc = 42 chiropractors, Np = 2162 patient encounters). Its results show that around two-thirds (61.3%) of patients who sought chiropractic care were either overweight or had obesity. Very few patients had weight loss managed by their chiropractor. Among patients with body mass index equal to or greater than 18.5 kg/m2, guideline recommended weight management was initiated or continued by Ontario chiropractors in only 5.4% of encounters. Chiropractors did not offer weight management interventions at different rates among patients who were of normal weight, overweight, or obese (P value = 0.23). Chiropractors who graduated after 2005 who may have been exposed to reforms in chiropractic education to include public health were significantly more likely to offer weight management than chiropractors who graduated between 1995 and 2005.

The authors concluded that the prevalence of weight management interventions offered to patients by Canadian chiropractors in Ontario was low. Health care policy and continued chiropractic educational reforms may provide further direction to improve weight-loss interventions offered by doctors of chiropractic to their patients.

This paper seems to confirm my suspicion that the claim of chiropractors working for public heath is little more than an advertising gimmick. If we also consider the often negative attitude of chiropractors towards vaccination, the claim even deteriorates into a sick joke. Chiropractors, I have previously argued, are undermining public health and are being educated to become a danger to public health.

24 Responses to Chiropractors’ lip service to public health

  • “This paper seems to confirm my suspicion that the claim of chiropractors working for public heath is little more than an advertising gimmick… Chiropractors, I have previously argued, are undermining public health and are being educated to become a danger to public health”

    I wonder how many of my fellow spine surgeons provide weight loss interventions to their patients? Are they also a “danger to public health” for not doing so ???

    I don’t provide weight loss plans or follow ups. That is not my area of expertise. I will tell my patients they need to loss weight and they should see a dietician for that. Am I also a danger to my patients?

    • “I wonder how many of my fellow spine surgeons provide weight loss interventions to their patients? Are they also a “danger to public health” for not doing so ???”
      if they, at the same time trumpet that they focus on public health, they’d be charlatans

  • “.. had obesity”
    Is that even German?

    I suspect the definition of obesity is set in such a way to make a profit, rather than to support health.

  • Promoting public health does not mean turning to a one stop shop for everything…we don’t run hypertension management classes nor do we manage type 2 NIDDM… we recognize, alert and refer to the specialized clinician… I think that is OK.

    If anything, when I am targeted by adverts to start weight management programs for my patients… telling me how lucrative this is I find it appalling.

    • are you a bit slow?
      I am not blogging about you, I am blogging about the fact that the chiropractic profession is endlessly going on about what they do for public health, but in fact doing very little and even working against it.

      • Are you always so self-righteous and ignorant? I guess the hard-core ‘anti’ zealots should be taken at face value and everyone should just blindly defer to your wisdom. I know who’s dangerous and it’s not chiropractors

        • what precisely do you find self-righteous and ignorant in this post?
          and what is factually incorrect?

          • I bet he doesn’t tell us what is incorrect…

          • EE….If we also consider the often negative attitude of **** chiropractors towards vaccination, the claim even deteriorates into a sick joke. **** Chiropractors, I have previously argued, are undermining public health and are being educated to become a danger to public health.

            it should read…**** some chiropractors.

            (or put a percentage)

        • Indeed it is the chiroquacker supports who pose the greatest danger.

  • OMG, it’s been just a little over a year and no significant changes have occurred in clinical practices.

    14 February 2018: New Public Health Initative
    The Royal College of Chiropractors is developing a range of initiatives designed to help chiropractors actively engage with health promotion, with a particular focus on key areas of public health including physical activity, obesity and mental wellbeing.

  • I refer to and work with orthopods – Charlatans?
    I refer to and work with neurosurgeons – Charlatans?
    I refer to and work with physio’s – Charlatans?
    I refer to and work with exercise physiologists – Charlatans?
    I refer to and work with dietitians – Charlatans?
    I work in a medical centre with GP’s – Charlatans?
    I also get referrals from all of the above. Health professionals who are “undermining public health” and “a danger to public health” by referring to a chiropractor. Charlatans.

  • If they work with you, a charlatan by definition, then it makes them complicit and lacking in observational clarity. I’d imagine they occasionally recommend vitamin supplements, prayer or other hokum. A DC degree is a scam, an MD or PhD who may work with one simply diminishes their professionalism…in my estimation it doesn’t enhance yours. Though it appears to enlarge your hubris….if that’s possible.

    • “Approximately 65% of DO’s and MD’s had recommended that their patients consult a chiropractor.”

      Referral patterns and attitudes of Primary Care Physicians towards chiropractors

      Barry R Greene, Monica Smith, Veerasathpurush Allareddy & Mitchell Haas. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine volume 6, Article number: 5 (2006)

      • “Approximately half of respondents referred patients for chiropractic care each year, mainly due to patient request.The majority of surgeons believed that chi- ropractors provide effective therapy for some musculoskel- etal complaints (81.8%)…”

        Attitudes Toward Chiropractic A Survey of North American Orthopedic Surgeons

        Spine • Volume 34 • Number 25 • 2009

  • @MK
    Indeed.
    The neuro’s, ortho’s, physio’s, Ex Phys, dietitians, GP’s lack professionalism?
    You are monumentally naive and ignorant of just what a referral relationship entails and the degree of accountability, communication and oversight that is built in to it.
    No one refers lightly as it reflects straight back on them. If a GP refers to me and I do a good job, the patient is happy with the GP. If I stuff up the patient is pissed off with the GP. Not me and the GP would then cut me off in a heart beat.
    “it makes them complicit and lacking in observational clarity”
    “I’d imagine they occasionally recommend vitamin supplements, prayer or other hokum.”
    Really?
    Ring the chiropractic bell and your unprofessional drooling flows.

    • Cc you are truly full-of-yourself! Financial remuneration will often do that. Entrepreneurial theatrics masquerading as healthcare!
      My ten-year experience with chiroquackery “Referrals” (undoubtedly diametric to yours….at least in a public discussion) was that the vast majority had sub-par or exhausted insurance coverage or Medicaid/public assistance and/or there was a decided mental-component to the underlying symptoms. And of course the vast majority of patients had the traditional nebulous back-symptoms (likely the manifestation of a subluxation?) and invariably queried the MD as to whether a chiroquacker “might help”. “Oh yes, you should try one….but don’t let them crank your neck…or stick anything up your backside” would be the response. There are REAL and well educated experts in the medical realm dealing with MSK problems; biomechanists, kinesiologists, orthopedists, DPTs, exercise physiologists and sports-focused psychologists……only the arrogance of a self aggrandizing quack could place themselves in that mix and claim (AND in full denial of their educational foundation: SUBLUXATION elimination) that THEY offer something of distinct value and scientific merit to patient care, other than coddling, pandering and placebo-ing. Congratulations on getting a sub-par, quack-education but somehow infiltrating the world of reputable healthcare.

      • @MK
        “(AND in full denial of their educational foundation: SUBLUXATION elimination)”.
        You are stuck in the past with your beliefs.

        Your past comments would indicate that you are a physiotherapist who was married to a chiropractor.
        As a member of a “reputable healthcare” profession are you aware of your professional code of conduct?
        Are you aware of the lack of professionalism that your posts above and previous posts demonstrate?

  • “…58% found chiropractic useful or very useful and 43% believed that chiropractic is efficacious for neck and back problems.”

    Physicians perspectives on chiropractic treatment

    J Can Chiro Assoc 1996; 40(4)

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