I have almost got used to seeing that any health crisis brings the worst out of charlatans. In the present pandemic, this has been true for SCAM merchants such as the:


colloidal silver crooks,

TCM practitioners,

orthomolecular quacks,


and, of course, the chiropractors.

Perhaps one can even forgive such behaviour on an individual level – sadly, it seems to be a human trait to turn every misery into a business opportunity. But when professional organisations behave in this manner, I have less understanding.

In that context, this press release by the INTERNATIONAL CHIROPRACTORS ASSOCIATION seems revealing:

March 16, 2020 (Falls Church, VA) In these challenging times associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) is issuing a statement reaffirming chiropractic as an essential healthcare service. Everyone is under extraordinary levels of stress.

Chiropractic Services represent an essential and necessary component of the health care program of millions of patients of all ages and all walks of life in the United States and worldwide. Timely and consistent access to chiropractic care is essential to the maintenance of the health and wellbeing of this patient population, particularly during times of stress.

The association encourages jurisdictions at all levels to acknowledge and respect that chiropractic is an essential healthcare service even during a pandemic.

It is important to recognize that as of mid-March 2020, there are no recognized cures in conventional medicine or alternative health approaches for COVID-19. There are no vaccines, no drugs, no natural remedies, no alternative therapies that have been tested and the outcomes peer reviewed to meet any evidence-based standard. The public has the right to seek their own pathway to health and well-being. For millions of Americans, that pathway includes regular chiropractic care. For individuals such as those recovering from injury or suffering back pain, chiropractic care is essential on their road to recovery.

ICA President, Stephen P. Welsh, DC, FICA stated, “While Coronavirus-19 has everyone’s attention, it cannot be forgotten that health promotion and non-opioid pain management through chiropractic adjustments of the subluxation is essential and should not be curtailed or restricted because of this pandemic. With churches, schools, restaurants, museums being closed, the ICA reminds authorities that the offices of doctors of chiropractic should be treated no differently than the offices of medical doctors – as an essential health care service.”

Did I state that I have less understanding for this? To be honest, I feel slightly sick reading the press release!

The ICA state that one of their objectives is to ‘promote the highest professional, technical, and ethical standards for the doctor of chiropractic while safeguarding the professional welfare of its members and the public.’ I highly recommend that the ICA take a step back and inform themselves what professionalism and ethics really mean.

30 Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic: ‘Chiropractic Care is an Essential Healthcare Service’

  • Chiropractic has helped me tremendously over the years where western medicine was unable to help me without surgery. And yes, for me it could mean being unable to function for much of this pandemic if my chiropractic care is unavailable when I need it. Just because you think it is a SCAM, does not mean it is not essential for people.

  • Replace essential with optional or elective.

    PCP and ER don’t need to be burdened with nonspecific back pain patients during this time of viral pandemic. If ethical and evidence based chiropractors can help take some of the burden off of the MDs/medical system, it seems like a reasonable option.

  • The ICA explicate an important consideration: subluxations = money and subluxation = Chiroquackery.

  • I can understand where an adjustment would be very helpful in an emergency. Some years back I had to have a couple of visits to a chiropractor just to be able to stand up with my body in a straight line. Those kind of situations can relieve an ER staff. But the one in my business complex has yet to show any signs of limiting patients to emergency situations or the number of people in his office at any time. I see the same people going in that have been visiting him 3 times a week for several years. I would think he would at the very least wipe the door handles down after one leaves and the next one comes…And yes, I have shuttered my store for the safety of my customers, my family, and my community.

    • The question we are asking amongst ourselves is…what is it we (EBCs) can do to best help the medical profession?

      1. Perhaps closing down our clinics is the best.
      2. Perhaps triaging acute MSK injuries is the best.
      3. Perhaps volunteering to address MSK issues with overworked nurses, doctors and staff is the best.
      4. Perhaps addressing/stopping false claims of other chiropractors is the best.

      Despite what some here would have you think, some of us want to do what is best for the public and the medical profession during this pandemic.

  • @DC: “triaging” MSK symptoms of overworked medical professionals? What about hot tubs, massage, rest and a MyPillow bed topper instead? Inexpensive and not generally based on an entirely false premise, false hope and conniving wannabe doctors.
    Here’s a 3 step approach:
    1. Relinquish your quackery license
    2. Enroll in medical, PA or nursing school
    3. Quit blowing wind up the public’s arse.

  • Essential not!!! I work in a chiro office and they are still seeing 30 patients daily, some in for the 3rd time this week. Dr. sees them for maybe 45 seconds to adjust them stating it boosts the immune system and this virus is no worse than a cold and a government scam. Still putting groupon offers up for new patients for discounted adjustments (NOT ESSENTIAL) . waiting room chairs right next to each other. I can see if there was an emergency then the doc should be the only one servicing the patient, but no new patients as this time just to make $$$. My own family physician is not seeing patients in her office and if you need a note from her her staff will meet you at the door. This is an elective service if anything!!!

  • I am not a doctor, but work in legitimate health care. Its funny to see how many chiropractors we see(via back door entrance) when their health(or family’s health) goes south. Rabies exposure?, step on a nail? aaahh, now the vaccines work. Child with a ruptured appendix?….aaahh now the surgeon, pain meds and antibiotics work. You have prostate cancer? Hmmm just cant adjust that away can you. Oh yes, and don’t forget the $90 bottle of bowel cleanser/detoxifier that flushes out all the “toxins”(which contains a laxative available from Dollar General). All legitimate, non sponsored studies prove issues heal quicker with traditional medicine, followed by rest/time OR chiropractic care…which, ironically coincides with time(and money handed to your chiropractor). Every acquaintance I know who sees chiropractor, is gullible. Most also believe in bigfoot and conspiracies. Ever notice how mentioning a conspiracy to someone gives them the excuse to forgo common sense? “Take $100 bottle of supplement, it will heal you, but the manufacturers wont produce it because they want to keep you sick” sorta thing. Simple minds are easy to manipulate….and milk out of money. Preying on the vulnerable is inexcusable. I am selling nothing chiropractors….how about you?

    • A chiropractor in town told a relative not to immunize her kids, so they didn’t and all her kids spent a week+ in the hospital with whooping cough-one almost died from lung complications-and now uses in hailers no other immunized kids in their class got sick-they are embarrassed they fell for the speal and immunize now. Another chiropractor told my co- worker to stop his Coumadin because it was poison, and had bad side effects-he did- 2 weeks later he had a stroke due to a blood clot that Coumadin would have prevented. His MD was furious. He is only 54, now disabled with a wife and 3 kids. We had a fund raiser for him. From what I understand the chiropractor Giving advice about legitimate medicine any more at the advice of his lawyer. It’s one thing to brainwash but to harm folks is another. I hope some day the government takes this non-sense more seriously and takes action. What I find wierd is that they actually think they are doctors of something.

  • @dm

    Perhaps you could define “legitimate healthcare” … a bit more.

    Just what is legitimate healthcare anyway ?

    A system of educated rich boys that must obey the AMA to the letter of the law to prevent themselves being taken to court ?
    A system where the Pharma Corp’s funnel money to the FDA to obtain permission to peddle their inefficient “cures” that are loaded with disease promoting side effects.
    A system of healthcare that nobody really knows what anything cost…. nor the cost of toxic meds they are advised to consume…. that have little to no effect. Or should I say no certainly no effect if you stop paying for them and taking them…. hmmm.

    This legitimate healthcare you speak of is a big business…. just like chiropractic is. The difference is chiropractic doesn’t come with the side effects that turn into additional chronic illnesses.

    No thanks.
    But you are correct. When I need acute care, blood work, radiology, or a necessary procedure or surgery I’m seeing an MD…. and that will remain MY option.

    • nice try-Hiding behind wording details doesn’t change the profession. So vascular dissection is not a possible side effect???There is no magic bullet. Drinking too much water can cause side effects. No possible side effects=no possible benefit. Its proven in legitimate healthcare.
      Don’t drink water, take tylenol or caffeine, there are possible side effects. We wouldn’t wanna help big business.

  • @dm

    You still haven’t defined legitimate healthcare

  • non-chiropractic

  • WHY am I NOT surprised. The ICA and/or ANY chiropractor or organization that supports chiropractic as cure all to have the AUDACITY to state it as an “essential healthcare” asset. Chiropractic is basically……and i say basically (95%) useful ONLY for musculoskelatal issues. The other fanatics that rant about ADHD, heart disease, MS or ANY other human disease/malady is just BS….To expound it’s use NOW ….during this COVID 19 pandemic speaks volumes about them. It’s all about the money……..Beware.
    EX Chiropractor…….left YEARS ago. Most are just brainwashing Scientologists. I could write a book regarding the FRAUD in the so called “profession”…….Stay well folks.

  • My sister’s chiropractor told her not to get her children immunized because he could keep them healthy, all 3 children got whooping cough and ended up in the hospital for 13 day. One was in icu and may have permanent lung damage which they are treating with inhalers. They were the only unvaccinated children in the school and the only children that got sick. She now regrets what she calls and “embarrassing mistake” and hasent talked to the chiropractor since. an acquaintance was told by his chiropractor to stop his warfarin because it was “rat poison” I told him that didn’t sound like a rational idea, but he did anyway and he had a stroke a few weeks later. We had a fund raiser for him and his 3 children because he can no longer work. I went to one a few times for my back, but I didn’t have much luck, I found aleve to work better. I no longer go, I don’t want to risk it.

  • @EE

    Curious professor.

    Normally, you poo-poo any such anecdotes folks post. However, I see that you are so willing to accept an anecdote when it fits your agenda.

  • exdc, how right you are. There are 2 camps – the subluxation based Chiropractors (who haven’t proven that subluxations even exist – these are the ones telling people that adjustments will boost their immune system by removing ‘interference’ and ‘spinal misalignments’) AND camp 2 includes Chiropractors who deals with musculoskeletal issues and wants to do away with camp 1 for giving the profession a bad name.

    I work for camp 1…and was laid off in late March. My employer continued to see people for emergency visits only. Well, what constitutes an ’emergency’? Because I know what camp he belongs to, the definition of emergency becomes somewhat blurred – when it shouldn’t.

    He called me the other day making plans about what things will look like upon my return. I worked as a receptionist/chiropractic assistant for the last 15 years! And I have scratched my head many times wondering what I’m doing there. My employer has got passion, I’ll give him that. But sense and logic, during a time it’s needed the most, not much. He doesn’t buy into the seriousness of this virus the way I, as an employee, need him to.

    So, I don’t believe I’ll be returning to work next month. Sure, I’ll have to find a way to make ends meet. But the idea of sitting behind a desk in an establishment I don’t believe is ‘essential’ – not in this case – makes me feel unwell and anxious.

    Take care, everyone.

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