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British Chiropractors Drop Case Against Simon Singh

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  • But the placebo effect is really great!
    • Not completely bogus (Score:5, Interesting)

      by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:10PM (#31860728) Journal

      They can make back pain marginally better. That's not bogus at all. They can not, however, fix much of anything else, which was Singh's complaint against them, because they claim they can fix everything from gout to cancer.

      • by NecroPuppy (222648) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:14PM (#31860788) Homepage

        The one that got me was their claims that they could cure colic.

        Back pain? Sure, no problem.
        Neck pain? Sometimes; depends on why the pain is there.
        Shoulder pain? I'll even buy that one.

        Colic? Often caused by gas, treated by moving the baby around. (Driving works, for some reason.)

        But [Eddie Izzard] cracking the bones [/Eddie Izzard]??? Not so much.

        I'm wondering how many chiropractically treated colic cases are going to wind up phsycially screwed up because of this... We won't know for another dozen years, tho.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by c++0xFF (1758032)

          When you have a baby with colic, you'll do just about whatever it takes to make that baby stop crying.

          Chiropractors who say they can fix it are capitalizing on the desperation of parents.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:19PM (#31861686)

            I'm a fan of whiskey and soundproofing. Doesn't matter who you use it on, the crying isn't so bad after.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by treeves (963993)
              Is the whiskey for you, the baby, or both?
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Zerth (26112)

                I'm a fan of whiskey and soundproofing. Doesn't matter who you use it on, the crying isn't so bad after.

                Is the whiskey for you, the baby, or both?

                I've bolded the answer for you:)

          • by olman (127310)

            In fact, there are drugs for colic. Well, at least for some of the cases. It's just the "common mom wisdom" that there's nothing that works and the doctors do not often bring it up unless directly asked. cf. infecting your children with horrible diseases instead of getting them shots..

        • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

          Hi. I'm one of those babies who was colicky, was taken to a chiropractor, and STFU because of it.

          I'll agree that it's not good for much else beyond back/neck/shoulder pain, and some chiropractors are lousy for even that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BikeHelmet (1437881)

          Colic? Often caused by gas, treated by moving the baby around.

          Hehe... I've seen a few babies that wouldn't stop screaming get better after an adjustment.

          Not Colic per se, but you can knock bones out of place at any age.

          The chiropractors I know do a lot of muscle work too, so they're more like Chiropractor-Physio hybrids. My favourite Chiropractor also knows a lot of nutritional stuff. She just radiates knowledge compared to my MD.

          But they are people. I'm sure there's quacks, or less educated members of the profession. That happens with every profession.

          • by anegg (1390659) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @04:32PM (#31863086)
            The fundamental theory of Chiropractic is quackery. The fact that the process of applying the theory is sometimes theraputic is not a good enough reason to excuse the basis for the practice. I believe that in some cases, where Dr.s of Chiropractic have repeatedly "manipulated" folks in an attempt to cure illness, people have become seriously injured or died. I wouldn't trust the scientific objectivity of nutritional advice from someone who believes in Chiropractic theory.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by dgatwood (11270)

              Whoa, there. There are two different schools of thought in Chiropractic care. It's important not to lump them together.

              The first school of thought, which Wikipedia refers to as "straight" chiropractors, is an untestable pile of gibberish in which the spine and nerves cause everything that's wrong with the human body. I wouldn't disagree with your description of that as quackery, but that's not an accurate description of what most chiropractors believe.

              The second school of thought (and the predominant the

              • by dgatwood (11270)

                Actually, I probably shouldn't say that misaligned spinal vertebrae cause the muscle tension; correlation is not causation, and it's equally possible that the muscle tension causes the misalignment. Either way, cracking the spine forces those muscles to relax.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by nido (102070)

                  I've read that Dr. Palmer (founder of chiropractic) was an early student at Dr. Still's school of Osteopathy. Palmer left after a year to found chiropractic.

                  I probably shouldn't say that misaligned spinal vertebrae cause the muscle tension; correlation is not causation, and it's equally possible that the muscle tension causes the misalignment.

                  Dr. Still's guiding philosophy was that muscles move bones, and nerves control muscles. His profession of doctors were fantastically successful before they got seduced by pharmaceutical-based medicine (look up the 1918 flu fatality rates for Osteopathic hospitals vs. M.D. hospitals - here's a pdf: Osteopathy and Influenza [osteopathi...osophy.com]).

                  While there is a time and a pl

            • I believe that in some cases, where Dr.s of Chiropractic have repeatedly "manipulated" folks in an attempt to cure illness, people have become seriously injured or died.

              That's possible - but you're no better off with other healthcare providers. Have you seen the stats on GPs prescribing the wrong drugs, resulting in death or serious illness?

              There's quacks and morons in every field.

              I wouldn't trust the scientific objectivity of nutritional advice from someone who believes in Chiropractic theory.

              I'll listen to it from anyone that's taken enough courses, then cross-check what they say online.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)
          Chiropractors used to be pretty controversial a long time ago, because if these claims that most illnesses derive from spinal misalignment. Ie, good old fashioned quackery. Then along the way it suddenly became more mainstream and acceptable. I think most people just think of chiropractors as just a cheaper form of orthopedics or relief of back pain.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by John Hasler (414242)

        > They can make back pain marginally better.

        Massage can make back pain a bit better. Since some of what chiropractors do resembles massage, they can sometimes improve it. The theory under which they operate, however, is completely bogus. If you want a massage see a massage therapist, not a quack.

        • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:01PM (#31861438) Journal
          My health insurance covers a chiropractor, and not a massage. I'll see the cheaper (for me) quack and just schedule a massage there.
          • > My health insurance covers a chiropractor, and not a massage.

            Probably because your state law requires that it do so.

        • by backdoc (416006) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:10PM (#31861576)

          I had a bad experience with a plumber one time. Should I say the entire profession is bad?

          I am a chiropractor. I no longer practice though. Why? Because I never subscribed to the chiropractic philosophy. I don't agree with the philosophical principles that chiropractic is founded on. But, that doesn't mean that it doesn't benefit millions of people beyond what any other health care profession can provide. Chiropractic provides more than symptomatic relief. It restores normal mobility to the joints. And, this is what I believe provides relief. I guess an Osteopath could provide that service, too.

          The problem I've seen is that percentage wise, only a small number of people seek Chiropractic care. So, to make a living, that forces the unscrupulous chiropractor to treat conditions outside of their scope or keep the patient coming in longer than necessary, under false information. I could never do either. So, I went back to school and got a degree in CS. I'm much happier.

          But, I want to correct you. Although my personality conflicts with the principles of the profession, Chiropractic does not resemble massage. It is not quackery.

          I am fully convinced that Chiropractors prevent thousands of unnecessary surgeries every year. When it comes to neuromusculoskeletal conditions, I don't think other health care providers can make that claim.

          I think the key is to find a Chiropractor by referral. If you they are helping you (give it a couple of weeks), then good for you. Otherwise, try something else.

          • by wjousts (1529427)

            I had a bad experience with a plumber one time. Should I say the entire profession is bad?

            But this isn't one chiropractor, this is the British Chiropractic Association that claims to represent some (presumably large) portion of British Chiropractors. So no, one bad plumber doesn't reflect badly on all plumbers, but if a large plumbing association is behaving badly, it does reflect on all their members.

          • by rikkards (98006) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @04:05PM (#31862540) Journal

            I appreciate your honesty. My wife experienced a mild stroke in 2004 due to an upper neck adjustment that ended up bounding back a couple days later and pinched a blood vessel. She has experienced vertigo since which is finally subsiding. She also was seeing a chiro for years before that happened. She ended up seeing a physio therapist afterwards and since then has had a lot of the initial problems dealt with.

          • I had a bad experience with a plumber one time. Should I say the entire profession is bad?

            That depends - did the plumber spout a load of trivially disprovable pseudoscientific nonsense about water and pipework that appears to be shared by the rest of his profession and supported by his professional organisation?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by adelord (816991)
            "I am fully convinced that Chiropractors prevent thousands of unnecessary surgeries every year. When it comes to neuromusculoskeletal conditions, I don't think other health care providers can make that claim." I am fully convinced that Yoga Therapists with training in Western Physical Therapy do the same, and with less risk to the patient. The hybrid vigor between those two disciplines is tremendous.
        • by Locke2005 (849178)
          I believe Chiropractors may also be good for fixing pinched nerves (anecdotal evidence from my father). However, I think Chiropractors grossly overstate the number of conditions that can be helped by spinal manipulation, and that telling the truth was an affirmative defense against slander claims in this case.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        They can make back pain marginally better.

        Not just back pain, and not just marginally. My dad hurt his back on the job, and the MDs could do nothing for him except give him drugs and offer surgery that could even make the situation worse. A Chiropractor cured him completely.

        But no, it won't help gout or cancer, but giving up alcohol and beans will alleviate gout.

        • I have my own anecdote [slashdot.org]. It wasn't "just" physical therapy, except in the sense that it was physical manipulation and that it was therapeutic. I'll go to a chiropractor for back pain any day. Cancer or appendicitis? Not likely.

      • I went to a Chiropractor about 2 years ago because I realised that my back was getting stiffer and less flexible - not surprising as I had just hit 50, and have a fairly sedentary job. Has my back improved - yes .... Placebo effect? who knows. But what I can say is that the incidence of migraines has improved from 3 a week to one a month over the last 2 years. Coincidence? Maybe but it was never suggested to me that that was even possible, and it was not what I went for. So does Chiropractic work? Hell y
        • by spun (1352)

          Migraines tend to diminish in intensity with old age. And I said that chiro works for back pain. But it still won't cure gout or cancer.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          That's actually quite common. The suboccipital muscles (the ones that attach across the base of your skull along the back of your head) are frequently the cause of headaches. I'm not certain why this is the case, but I think it's probably because the nerves for your head come out near the top of the spine, passing very close to these muscles, so any muscle knots could potentially apply pressure to the facial nerves and other cranial nerves.

          Either way, massaging the suboccipital muscles can often relieve

      • by gravis777 (123605)

        I have stopped going to chiropracters myself and am looking for an alternative. I used to be able to go once every couple of years, get my back popped, come back in a week or two for followup, then go on my way, feeling great. Chiropracters nowdays want to slightly adjust you over 20-30 treatments, and give you shock treatments and roll out your back. These feel great while you are having them and for about 15 minutes after the treatment is over, then I start feeling like crap all over again - manytimes fee

        • by spun (1352)

          Massage has always worked better for me than chiropractic. Start going to a good masseuse or masseur. Not the 'happy ending' kind, a legitimate one. Or Yoga, that's the best if you have the self discipline needed.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:20PM (#31860866) Journal

      But the placebo effect is really great!

      Let's hope they offer him more than a placebo for his accumulated legal costs.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:07PM (#31860674)

    I was truly surprised that Singh was sued in the first place for seemingly innocuous remarks about chiropractors. Yes, his comments basically called them to task for their industry group's assertion that chiropractic could basically cure all sorts of illnesses.

    Hopefully this serves as a warning to other "slandered" groups that they had better have something more substantial than hurt feelings if they want to abridge someone's freedom of speech.

    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:14PM (#31860790)

      The BCA still ruined his life for a good year or two. That's a wonderful deterrant against people with smaller bankrolls.

    • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:23PM (#31860938)

      Hopefully this serves as a warning to other "slandered" groups that they had better have something more substantial than hurt feelings if they want to abridge someone's freedom of speech.

      In what way did the BCA not get what they wanted? Singh's attitude went from 'you are ripoff artists' to 'please dont sue me'. The courts sided with the BCA. The eventual dropping of the case won't hurt them much, as far as I can tell. The chilling effect on critics, however, is more pronounced. Singh himself will likely not attempt this again without a legally obvious amount of evidence, which by the way, is impossible to ethically gather.

      • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:44PM (#31861196)

        Singh might go after them for his legal fees [badscience.net]. That would be about a £100,000 loss to the BCA (not to mention what they spent already). It doesn't make it better for Singh, but it's still a victory for everybody else. And this might spark a reform in the libel law, which is another win for everybody else.

        So far, Singh has been hit the hardest, but the fight isn't over yet. I don't know if we can make things easier on him directly, but maybe the other side can still be hit hard.

      • In what way did the BCA not get what they wanted? Singh's attitude went from 'you are ripoff artists' to 'please dont sue me'. The courts sided with the BCA.

        Simple solution - don't slander without factual proof. Even if you strongly believe something, or know it to be true, don't say it unless you have actual evidence, because if you don't (and can't provide some), it's slander.

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          I do wonder if he could have simply added a legal 'IMHO' and avoided the entire mess.

          "I just don't see any compelling evidence" or "I am unconvinced by their argument" for example.

        • by jimicus (737525)

          You are aware that if you demand solid 100% unimpeachable proof, most investigative journalism (by which I mean real journalism, not repeating press releases) and whistleblowing would never get off the ground?

        • by Darinbob (1142669)
          But since you can't prove anything at all conclusively, you're just not allowed to say negative things at all. Any new quack medicine has to be kept hands off or else you're sued into oblivion. It's now up to you to prove an alternative medicine is ineffective, using your own money, not the person selling the bogus goods. That's messed up.

          Of course, you can take the high road and be willing to go bankrupt in order to stop a dangerous or manipulative practice. Or move to a more enlightened country where l
          • But since you can't prove anything at all conclusively, you're just not allowed to say negative things at all. Any new quack medicine has to be kept hands off or else you're sued into oblivion. It's now up to you to prove an alternative medicine is ineffective, using your own money, not the person selling the bogus goods. That's messed up.

            Medical Doctors. Pharmaceuticals. There's plenty of very rich associations and companies that would be happy to discredit Chiropractors making such outlandish claims. You don't have to do anything.

            Any potentially hazardous product or practice needs to be allowed to be criticized, and the producers and sellers need to be the ones to prove that it's safe. This includes medicines, treatments, British made dowsing equipment relabeled as bomb detectors, etc.

            Yes. But this isn't exactly "hazardous". It may not cure you, but unlike many medicines, it won't actively kill you either. (Many medicines have severe long-term side effects on various organs)

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Millions of people who would have never heard what Singh said now have.

        Singh has lost more than them, but the BCA would have been better off doing nothing.

    • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:00PM (#31861414) Homepage

      It was more than just an innocuous remark. He co-authored a book explaining why it was bogus [amazon.com]. They did this to discredit him.

      Now, I'm going to buy the book.

  • by bugeaterr (836984) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:08PM (#31860686)

    What a pain in the neck! (At least proctology is based on peer-reviewed science)

  • by el_flynn (1279) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:15PM (#31860796) Homepage

    I used to work as a helpdesk consultant -- this was waay back 13 years ago -- and part of my duties was to lug bigass monitors for the company from one workstation to another (they were a publishing house with a lot of DTP guys). One day I lifted a monitor the wrong way, and long story short -- the back pain stayed with me right up until a couple of months ago.

    Used to be I couldn't lie face-down for more than 10 minutes before my back would start hurting. And I couldn't carry my kids much. One day the pain got so bad I went to a chiro, and the guy did manage to straighten out my back. Hurt like heck when he "realigned" my spine, but that 13-year-injury is no longer there.

    So yeah, I used to think they're bogus. But now I dont. YMMV.

    • by John Hasler (414242) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:20PM (#31860856) Homepage

      > So yeah, I used to think they're bogus.

      They are. A massage therapist could helped you more and with less hocus-pocus.

      • by catmistake (814204) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:51PM (#31861270) Journal

        Probably not. Massage therapists work on muscles; I've never heard of one doing a spine adjustment. I, too, firmly believe 99% of chiroprators are full of shit, but the one thing they seem to do well is straighten the back... mostly they treat the symptom of back pain. But if the adjustment permanently removes the pain, I call that a cure, regardless of the quackery behind their methods.

        I'd never go to a chiropractor, ever. I'd go to an orthopedic specialist that's a doctor of osteopathic medicene, though... but of course, their science IS science. There are many D.O. chief of surgeons and D.O.'s that run hospitals. I'd even go so far to say the D.O. is better than the M.D., as far as the skill of the healer is concerned... just not as popular.

      • by abdulwahid (214915) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:52PM (#31861284) Homepage

        > So yeah, I used to think they're bogus.

        They are. A massage therapist could helped you more and with less hocus-pocus.

        I had a bad back problem a few years ago after doing martial arts. The regular doctor told me I would never be able to do sports again, gave me some drugs for the pain and I was given some massage session. One year later, I was still in pain. Although it did come and go but at the worst points I couldn't do simple things like lift the kids into the car or push a shopping trolley. I used to take pain killers and tried various different massage techniques.

        I went to two chiros. The first was bogus. He pulled and pushed me around and I didn't feel any better afterwards. A few months later I went to a second one at had a greatly different experience. He was very methodical and explained exactly what he was doing and where the problems in my body where. Many clicks later and a few sesssions later I felt much better. I could stand straight again with ease - no pulling pain sensation like before.

        Now it has been a good few years and I have no back problems anymore. I even play sport again normally.

        My conclusion was that there are a lot of bogus people out their practising these types of techniques but perhaps with a really skilled person and with very specific problems in the back, their techniques really can help.

        • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:12PM (#31861608)

          My conclusion was that there are a lot of bogus people out their practising these types of techniques but perhaps with a really skilled person and with very specific problems in the back, their techniques really can help.

          I currently have some (not too bad) back pain from several years ago. It comes and goes, but I can live with it.

          Every time I hurt, my wife suggests I go to a chiropractor. But I don't -- because I don't know who I can trust. How do I know it's not some quack? How do you find that "really skilled person" and know you have one of those "very specific problems in the back?"

          My current theory is to ask them what they can cure. If they say suggest wacko things like cancer and ear aches, I'll go somewhere else. You'd think there would be a better way, though, wouldn't you?

          • by yuna49 (905461)

            How do I know it's not some quack? How do you find that "really skilled person" and know you have one of those "very specific problems in the back?"

            In my case the chiropractor was affiliated with the physical therapy provider my back doctor recommend I use. I did a combination of standard PT with a chiro session once every other week. It was hard to know which of these made the greater difference, though my back was much better afterwards.

          • Every time I hurt, my wife suggests I go to a chiropractor. But I don't -- because I don't know who I can trust. How do I know it's not some quack? How do you find that "really skilled person" and know you have one of those "very specific problems in the back?"

            For me it was a case of some good personal recommendations. I found people were travelling hundreds of miles to see this particular guy and although he was a bit expensive in the end in my desperation I gave it a go. It is a problem though...how to find someone who is not a total quack.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by nido (102070)

            Every time I hurt, my wife suggests I go to a chiropractor. But I don't -- because I don't know who I can trust.

            I hurt for a long time. It started when I was in college, so I went to the campus health center. The Physician's Assistant said I didn't have carpal tunnel syndrome, gave me double-strength ibuprofen, and said to exercise. A few weeks later I went back to see the M.D., who said there was nothing wrong with me that a little exercise wouldn't fix, and offered to write a prescription for occupational therapy (to evaluate my posture while using teh computer, I think).

            While I was very thin, I was hardly sedate.

          • If you hear the word "subluxation" at any time while talking to the Chiropractor or his staff, calmly ask them to stop the treatment (if in progress), and leave.

            That's a great bullshit keyword - what it's telling you is that this particular Chiropractor is of the "I can cure disease" variety. These are the ones who don't believe in Germ Theory.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              If you don't hear the word subluxation, you're not dealing with a chiropractor. The entire point of chiropractic care is to adjust the position of spinal vertebrae, which is what subluxation refers to. That said, if they throw the word around a lot, that may well be a clue that they are abusing the term.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by dgatwood (11270)

            Ear aches are actually a really bad example. A lot of ear aches are really muscle knots in the SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscle.

            And even when you have a real ear ache with a bacterial causes, chronic ear aches can be the result of excessive tension in certain neck muscles causing insufficient eustachian tube drainage. When the ears don't drain properly, they are more prone to infection. That's not saying chiropractic care can fix the infection, but it can reduce the incidence of it.

      • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:03PM (#31861466) Homepage

        Mr. Singh didn't say that all Chiropractic procedures are bogus. It's the stuff about curing allergies and diabetes and stuff - that is the bogus part. But don't take this to mean that a good chiropractor can't work wonders if you have disc problems.

        • > Mr. Singh didn't say that all Chiropractic procedures are bogus. It's the
          > stuff about curing allergies and diabetes and stuff - that is the bogus part.

          But that is an essential part of the theory: that all illness is the result of spinal "subluxations".

          • by MobyDisk (75490)

            True.

            However, in the context of the discussion, we were talking about someone who harmed their back through physical trauma. I don't think that a Chiropractor would call that a subluxation. Yet a Chiropractor could legitimately help with that kind of pain. And I don't think that Dr. Singh argued against that use of Chiropractic care (Although I have not read the book).

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            No, it's not an essential part of the theory. Some chiropractors believe that, but AFAIK, most do not....

      • They are. A massage therapist could helped you more and with less hocus-pocus.

        You've got your head in the sand. There are injuries where bones need to be realigned. This sounds like one of them.

        • There are injuries where bones need to be realigned.

          The real defect in chiropractic education is that it focuses on bones. But muscles move bones, nerves control muscles, and consciousness influences nerves. There's a huge difference between putting a vertebrae back in place and calming the nerve that controls a muscle that's spasming and pulling the vertebrae out of position.

          With that said, some chiropractors move beyond what they learn in school, and really do help a lot of people. Some interesting forks of chiropractic philosophy include Craniopathy and N

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        That's the key. Most people see chiropractors as people who treat back pain. But the theory used by chiropractors is that all illness derives from spinal misalignment. Maybe some chiropractors don't believe this, but it is the basis of the field.
    • by The Yuckinator (898499) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:20PM (#31860858)

      Did the chiro also offer to cure your diabetes? Cancer? Emphysema? Bad skin? This is what Singh was commenting on - the widespread, and supported-by-the-association claims to actually cure disease via Chiropractic Manipulation.

      Bogus, indeed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BikeHelmet (1437881)

        I've never heard of Chiropractors curing cancer. Heh - when my chiropractor got a malignant melanoma, she got it cut out before it could spread. :P

        But I have heard the theories that proper alignment can help your body heal itself. I'd be interested in statistics (one way or the other) showing cancer rates in people that regularly have chiropractic adjustments, vs those that don't. Is anyone aware of such statistics?

    • by T Murphy (1054674)

      So yeah, I used to think they're bogus. But now I dont.

      ...When they treat back pain.

      The main concern here is how many chiropractors claim to cure things like diabetes- not only having nothing to do with the spine, but often making people think they don't need the real treatment.

    • That may be true, but you also don't put a bandage on your knee to cure acid reflux.

      The point behind Singh's comments wasn't whether chiropracticy worked at all, it was if it worked for (in a sense) all ailments.

    • by Rantastic (583764) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:28PM (#31861004) Journal

      Used to be I couldn't lie face-down for more than 10 minutes before my back would start hurting. And I couldn't carry my kids much. One day the pain got so bad I went to a chiro, and the guy did manage to straighten out my back. Hurt like heck when he "realigned" my spine, but that 13-year-injury is no longer there. So yeah, I used to think they're bogus. But now I dont.

      Except that while you may have seen a Chiropractor, I am willing to bet that he was also a licensed physical therapist. What you have described is a physical therapy treatment, not a chiropractic treatment.

      This is the reason that a lot of people think that chiropractic treatments are legitimate: They are receiving physical therapy treatments from so called "mixed" chiropractors.

      Strict, or so called "straight" chiropractors claim they can fix any problem in the body (heart disease, cancer, whatever) by manipulating your bones and muscles. That kind of nonsense is right up there with balancing the humors to restore the body's vitality.

    • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:33PM (#31861048) Homepage

      Chiropractic treatment (massage therapy and physical therapy) has been well established as an effective treatment for back pain, and many "chiropractors" end both their claims and treatments there.

      The problem is, true Chiropractic goes much further, claiming that a wide variety of diseases are caused by "misalignments" of the spine, other joints, and soft tissue. "Traditional chiropractic assumes that a vertebral subluxation or spinal joint dysfunction interferes with the body's function and its innate intelligence." In many cases, these claims are demonstrably false.

      "Chiropractic is often described as two professions masquerading as one. Unlike the distinction between podiatry (a science-based profession for foot disorders) and foot reflexology (an unscientific philosophy which posits that many disorders arise from the feet), in chiropractic the two professions attempt to live under one roof, albeit with much tension between them."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic [wikipedia.org]

      • "Chiropractic is often described as two professions masquerading as one. Unlike the distinction between podiatry (a science-based profession for foot disorders) and foot reflexology (an unscientific philosophy which posits that many disorders arise from the feet), in chiropractic the two professions attempt to live under one roof, albeit with much tension between them."

        My wife's a podiatrist and sometimes deals with that. She went through pre-med undergrad, 4 years of med school, and 2 years of surgical residency. She has no belief in "alternative medicine" whatsoever, but she'll be more than happy to reconstruct your foot if you need it. Still, she has a surprising number of requests for non-medical treatment.

    • All you know is that the chiro likely did something that stopped the pain. It doesn't mean that what he thought he was doing is what helped.

      For example, he might have done X, Y, and Z to your back, X and Y being what he considers chiropractice, and Z something that he happens to do but wasn't intentional. It might have been Z that helped, not necessarily X and Y. You might have gotten similar relief from a masseuse. Or not.

      Just noting that your experience doesn't prove that chiropractors aren't quacks w

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      I want to know where this chiropracter is at, because he is obviously an old-school chiropracter that ACTUALLY DOES REALIGNMENTS. The modern thing for chiropractors is to slightly adjust you over 30 visits, give you electrical shock therapy, and try to tell you they can cure any medical condition you throw at them.

      Long story short, an old fashioned chiropracter CAN cure back pain. A modern chiropractor is a quack.

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      I went to several chiropractors and osteopaths, and the best I ever encountered was a cranial osteopath, who was able to realign my skull (I did not think it was even possible !). When he manipulated me, I didn't sense anything, but I did some meditation this night, and suffered like hell. A few days after, I noticed that my glasses were properly aligned. I had an accident 15 years ago, resulting in cranial trauma, and he was able to readjust my whole bones structure (although he was unable to detect my fla

      • Listen, if anyone was able to "realign your skull" you should either sue them for fraud, or have them arrested for assault. Go to one of the many anatomy websites and look at the structures connected to and underlying your skull. A skilled neurosurgeon could operate on the bones of your skull under strict radiological guidance, taking care not to cause damage to the blood vessels and underlying neural tissue. If someone really did manage to move your skull bones outside of an operating theatre then they
  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:17PM (#31860812) Journal
    "British Chiropractors Drop Case Against Simon Singh" -newspapers
    "Well that's a load off my back" -Singh
    "See! Our treatment works!" -chiropracters
  • They dropped it out of fear they'd lose it, customers and £30million just like McDonald's did with their libel case. This is rather encouraging to see. Perhaps a few small voices can make a difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SargentDU (1161355)
      A few small, rich voices can make a difference!
      Part of his complaint with regard to the lawsuit was that the Chiropractors' Association that sued him also sue poor people who should have free speech rights that are socked with having to settle because they can't afford the legal costs.
  • unwittingly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:25PM (#31860960)

    Several sources are reporting that the British Chiropractic Association has dropped its lawsuit against famed writer Simon Singh.

    Now they've unwittingly made this the even more famed writer Simon Singh. Before this, I hadn't even heard of him. Sometimes it's smarter to let the writer write what he will then to have a high court make him look even better. Now their illusionary world looks even more like it is.

  • Boycott? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @02:33PM (#31861056) Homepage
    I propose that anyone living in Britain who was seriously considering seeing a chiropractor- and still is- avoid any members of the British Chiropractors' Association, and lets them know exactly why.

    Though I suspect most people who would be willing to support this boycott wouldn't be planning on seeing a chiropractor now, if they ever were.
  • At last! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuasiRob (134012) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:08PM (#31861544)

    Thats put those stupid Quacks in their place. Glad it's over, it was distracting me from ridiculing homeopathy. http://www.1023.org.uk/

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @03:57PM (#31862394)
    For all those considering seeing a Chiropractor, consider seeing a Physiatrist [wikipedia.org] instead. This is a MD specializing in restoring optimal function to people with injuries to the muscles, bones, tissues, and nervous system. Quite often they have Chiropractic training (or the equivalent) as well. They know when to stop "cracking the bones" and start doing medicine and have the MD to do so. They also don't seem to want the "maintenance" income - I mean - visits that Chiropractors seem to want...

    Personal example. My wife injured her neck hiking. The Chiropractor did one x-ray and wanted to start her on routine (weekly) manipulations to get and keep things "aligned". The Physiatrist did several x-rays, took a complete medical history, did one manipulation and a gave shot of cortisone into the controlling neck muscle and told her she only had to return if she re-injured it. She never needed any further treatment.

    Another example. A friend hurt her foot, but was actually dating a Chiropractor. He said he could fix her foot with manipulation and massage. After a week of pain, he took her to his office for an x-ray - that revealed her foot was actually broken.

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