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Ridiculous Warning from Chiropractors About Alleged Health Effects of Texting

Too Much Texting?

Too Much Texting?

The United Chiropractic Association has warned that using mobile phones for texting could cause poor posture that could shorten your life. They claim that poor posture is as big a health risk as obesity and that it increases the risk of an early death, especially in elderly people. Chiropractors have said a lot of silly things, but this ranks right up there among the silliest. They are just making stuff up and using scaremongering as a practice-building technique.

They say these claims are based on research studies. They aren’t. They are fanciful imaginings built around a tiny grain of truth that is just large enough to confuse a medically naive public. When people text, they usually bend their head forward; and if you hunch over for long periods, your back is likely to hurt. I have to keep reminding myself not to sit at the computer too long in one position.

But these chiropractors are not talking about temporary muscle discomfort. They say the posture assumed in texting will lead to hyperkyphosis. Kyphosis is an exaggeration of the natural curvature of the upper back. It can be a flexible increase in curvature (= a habit of slouching, the postural kyphosis that is common in teenage girls but that doesn’t impact their adult health) or it can be an inflexible bony deformity. When the curvature exceeds 45 degrees it is classified as hyperkyphosis. The Hunchback of Notre Dame had hyperkyphosis, but I don’t think he even owned a cellphone. Hyperkyphosis can be the result of vertebral fractures, congenital defects, infections like tuberculosis, or nutritional deficiencies like rickets. The “dowager’s hump” deformity in elderly women is usually due to “wedging,” a partial collapse of the anterior side of the spinal vertebrae from osteoporosis. They may be so bent over that they face the ground and can look ahead only with great difficulty. Not surprisingly, severe kyphosis scrunches the chest cavity. It can reduce breathing capacity; can lead to cardiac, neurologic, or digestive complications; and can reduce life expectancy.

Remember when Mom told you not to cross your eyes because they might get stuck and stay that way permanently? Of course that can’t really happen; and no amount of hunching over a cell phone is going to produce a permanent hyperkyphosis either. Chiropractors claim to know more about the musculoskeletal system than MDs; how can they not know this?

The United Chiropractic Association is based in the UK and has members in the US, Canada, and ten other countries. A perusal of its website rings alarm bells.

It includes a lot of informative (sarcasm intended) articles like “Detox with a Smoothie,” “Kids’ Spines Not Coping,” and “Usain Bolt Utilizes Chiropractic.” An article titled “Studies Prove Chiropractic Can Prevent Heart Disease” tells us that “adjustments of the atlas, or first cervical vertebra, may stop some heart attacks while they are occurring” – a ridiculous and dangerous claim based not on any study but merely on one chiropractor’s opinion. The article “Vaccine” informs us that “After receiving data regarding febrile seizure risk after MMRV [the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine], few physicians report they would recommend MMRV to a healthy 12-15-month-old child.” By the time I got to “Why Women in China Do Not Get Breast Cancer” my patience had run out. I couldn’t bring myself to read that one or any more of the articles.

On a webpage about “Why get adjusted?” they claim adjustments can improve vision, reading ability, memory, alertness, and energy; keep joints young and well-lubricated; improve overall health and reduce the incidence of disease; make muscles stronger; remove scar tissue and joint adhesions; improve eye-hand coordination; cure colic in babies; and make your teeth whiter. (OK, I made that last one up, but why not include it? There is just as much evidence for white teeth as for those other claims: exactly zero.)

They fully subscribe to chiropractic’s foundational myth, the subluxation, defining it as “a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.” That means whatever they want it to mean, and means exactly nothing to non-chiropractors.

Notice how they use the word “adjustment” as if they were doing something special and uniquely chiropractic, instead of the term “spinal manipulation therapy” that is used by physical therapists and others who perform the same maneuvers without imagining they are correcting subluxations.

They say chiropractic adjustments remove disruptions of the nervous system, the system that “controls and regulates every single function in your body.” Apparently they have never heard of hormones or autonomously beating heart muscle cells. Apparently they don’t know that cranial nerves, vision, hearing, the firing of brain neurons, and many other bodily functions are anatomically out of the reach of spinal adjustments. Apparently they don’t know that transplanted organs continue to function quite well when their nerve supply has been not just “disrupted” by a subluxation but completely severed. Apparently they have never heard about the useful bacteria that reside in the gut. Why weren’t they taught about such details of anatomy and physiology in chiropractic school?

They sell merchandise, too. You can buy Christmas cards, stickers with a whimsical pig and the slogan “Oink If You Love Chiropractic,” or a children’s book titled Bennie Gets Adjusted (With an accompanying activity book to reinforce the propaganda). They’re not selling Melanie’s Marvelous Measles, but that book would have felt right at home there.

Science and philosophy have moved beyond the outdated concept of vitalism, but it remains alive and well in the UCA:

We ascribe to the idea that all living organisms are sustained by an innate intelligence, which is both different from and greater than physical and chemical forces. Further, we believe innate intelligence is an expression of universal intelligence.

Where are the reformers we keep hearing about? The ones who are no longer taught the old chiropractic subluxation concept in their schools and who are only treating musculoskeletal problems with evidence-based methods? THIS appears to be the real face of modern chiropractic, at least in the UK, since “The UCA is the youngest chiropractic association in the UK with membership growing steadily since 2000.” The president’s name is Kevin Proudman. The man shouldn’t be proud of leading such an anachronistic, pseudoscientific organization.

Conclusion

Texting can definitely be hazardous to your health if you pay more attention to your phone than to traffic, but you needn’t worry about these inane warnings from time-travelling chiropractors who are still living in the 19th century world of chiropractic’s inventor D.D. Palmer. Palmer lived at a time when the germ theory of disease was not yet accepted and x-ray machines hadn’t been invented yet, and he had never studied medicine; yet he invented chiropractic all by himself (on a single day, September 18, 1895 – it says so on his monument). He based the whole edifice of chiropractic on his naïve misinterpretation of a single case. I guess the UCA chiropractors think he was some kind of infallible genius. He wasn’t; his thinking was obviously misguided. And the UCA’s warnings about texting are equally misguided. They would do well to learn some science and join the modern world.

Posted in: Chiropractic

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101 thoughts on “Ridiculous Warning from Chiropractors About Alleged Health Effects of Texting

  1. Jonathan says:

    I agree with the gist of your post but it does seem plausible that being hunched over for long periods of time leads to poor posture. I am thinking of the desk jockeys who spend a career at a pc and appear to end up having a rounded upper back due to slouching at the keyboard for too long.

    I admit this is just my observation and not the result of some massive epidemeological study but in the same way we know the body adapts to stresses in say the gym, why would we not think it would adapt to a lot of desk work or extreme overtexting, neck forward posture etc?

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Sure, that could lead to limited health risks enumerated by Dr. Hall.

      It won’t lead to imaginary subluxations that chiropractors froth about. They don’t exist and the UCA has no special insights to contribute to the discussion on the real health risks of chronic poor posture and low bone calcium.

    2. Harriet Hall says:

      @Jonathan,

      “plausible that being hunched over for long periods of time leads to poor posture”

      Being hunched over IS poor posture. Poor posture is a bad muscular habit, not a skeletal deformity.

      1. Jonathan says:

        I understand but I think the point being attacked in this article has some merit. Certain technologies or work practices encourage poor posture which over a lifetime lead to people who you may not say are skeletally deformed but clearly are stooped /shaped by a lifetime of poor habits. Look at photographs of old miners.. telling them to improve their posture at work would have met with a punch in the lip but telling people hunched over texting for hours per day seems sensible advice to me, or craning their necks looking at pc terminals for 9 hours a day whilst sat on their backside… to not think this will lead to some pretty permanent muscular skeletal adaptations over a lifetime is rather odd given we know we can improve ourselves with specific exercises, why would poor exercises so to speak not do the convers?

        1. Adam Rufa says:

          Jonathan,

          Your argument does “make sense” but it has born out in the literature. I would also argue that their is no convincing evidence that we can “improve ourselves with specific exercise”. Exercise is arguably the most powerful healthcare intervention there is, but it may not matter which type you do. As long as it is intense enough.

          1. Adam Rufa says:

            Sorry “not born out in the literature”

        2. Harriet Hall says:

          @Jonathan, ” I think the point being attacked in this article has some merit”

          The point being attacked was the idea that texting causes scoliosis and is a health danger comparable to obesity. I was certainly NOT attacking the idea that poor habits have consequences. In fact, I even mentioned that I have to keep reminding myself not to stay hunched over at the computer too long.

          Please specify what you meant by “improve ourselves with specific exercises.”

    3. Lost Marble says:

      It’s worth pointing out that this article is not attacking all of chiropractic for the comments of a single practitioner – this is an entire association of them suggesting it is the official stance of all of chiropractic. (Or at least a significant number)

      1. Lost Marble says:

        Whoops, comment went in wrong thread, was commenting on Jim.

  2. tgobbi says:

    “The United Chiropractic Association is based in the UK and has members in the US, Canada, and ten other countries.”

    A glance at their website shows that their only U.S. members practice in Georgia. ( I was wondering why I never heard of this group).

    “Chiropractors claim to know more about the musculoskeletal system than MDs”

    No kidding! I’ve been told this by chiropractors in the past. Delusional with a capital D!

  3. Windriven says:

    It is hard to believe that in the twenty-first century, a time when we have begun to decode the genetic recipe and bend it to our will, a time of rail guns and laser weapons, a time when almost anyone can command vast computing power from their desk, people still embrace the febrile imaginings of DD Palmer and his acolytes.

    I wonder if some of this is a mental crutch, a clinging to a simpler and more understandable past, and a luddite’s insistence that the old ways were better than the new?

  4. Jim says:

    well. i would have to say there are chiropractitioners and there are “chiropractitioners” 25 years ago i used to go to one in my youth. there were NEVER any claims of miracle cures etc. we went for spinal adjustments to avoid scoliosis(curvature of the spine) and any other muscle aches etc.

    they are specialists in muscle bone and skeletal systems and how they operate. if your chiro is telling you they can heal your cancer then YOU are the idiot for falling for a scam instead of looking for a medical professional.

    im in canada where medical is paid by taxes, so there isnt really the same medical competition for money from patients.

    the problem with chiropractic is outlined BY your article. when everyone stops painting entire fields with brushes we might get proper non financially driven healthcare. YOU are ready to throw out all chros with the bathwater instead of advising the reader in due dilligence to research any health care “professional” before enlisting their services.

    there are many “doctors” who claim things which are BS as well, like deepak chopra for example, so by your articles assumptions we should then not listen to any doctors because some people out there give bad advice with MD after their names.

    when someone makes ridiculous claims its your fault if you believe it, ex when the mechanic says polishing your car and topping up the fluids will fix the engine would you believe them? same with chiropractic. some unscrupulous people have used chiropractic to steal money from dummies, just like EVERY other field of study ever.

    i will gladly go to a chiro when my back is sore or muscles ache or other mechanical problems, if he says a massage will cure my allergies then i know its a scam and time to report them and move on.

    as for your assumption that ancient assumptions in medicine are all flawed, think upon this, leeches are back and have been for some time. thats right leeching. so one guy who got it wrong 2 centuries ago has spawned others to focus on the mechanics of the body. not fair to attack one group of people while saying phisyo rehab who do the exact same thing( without aforementioned scam artists involved) are ok. i guess my point is we should focus more on what treatemnts people recieve rather than the title of the person giving the treatments.

    you are quite right chiro wont cure cancer but it will help you not hurt when you move around if you have mobility issues from aches breaks etc.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Yeah, so will a physiotherapist, but the physio won’t try to sell you supplements, won’t claim to cure cancer, will have a limited scope of practice that is based on reality, and won’t have you coming in for “maintenance” adjustments.

      Leeches were used in the past to remove what was thought to be excess blood. Their few and limited uses today are linked to their ability to prevent clotting, not their ability to remove blood from the body. The uses of leeches in the past were flat-out wrong, based on an incorrect theory of how the body works. Their current uses are not an extension of their former uses, they are the result of separate investigations into the properties of leeches and their novel re-adaptation based on those properties. You don’t get to claim “ancient wisdom supports modern practice” for this any more than you can claim Kosher laws were about avoiding trichinosis. Kosher laws were about ritual purity, not infectious disease.

    2. windriven says:

      “as for your assumption that ancient assumptions in medicine are all flawed”

      No such assumption is made nor is one forwarded in this post. There are any number of current medical practices that are centuries old. The line is scientific validation. Chiropractic subluxation theory is not just mistaken, it is wholly and entirely bogus, made up, fantastical, delusional. Did I mention just plain wrong?

      “when everyone stops painting entire fields with brushes we might get proper non financially driven healthcare.”

      Like homeopathy? Astrology? Alchemy? You should quit before you embarrass yourself further. Medicine doesn’t work by guess and by golly. It doesn’t advance by wishes and hopes.

    3. Harriet Hall says:

      @Jim,

      “we went for spinal adjustments to avoid scoliosis”
      “when someone makes ridiculous claims its your fault if you believe it”

      Spinal adjustments don’t avoid scoliosis.

    4. Harriet Hall says:

      @Jim,

      “YOU are ready to throw out all chros with the bathwater ”

      No, I’m not. I respect chiropractors like Sam Homola, who wrote an article here last week. I would gladly refer patients to a chiropractor who practiced the way he did (short term treatment of musculoskeletal problems, no “maintenance” adjustments, woo-woo, or claims for benefits outside the musculoskeletal system).

    5. goodnightirene says:

      Jim, you have fallen prey to a couple of fallacies in your thinking.

      Yes, leeches have made a limited and specialized comeback, but they are not used as they were in the past. They are used for specific purposes to help re-establish a blood supply to a reattached bit of anatomy, not as a magical cure all for any disease imagined to be caused by evil humours/spirits.

      Second, if you think that seeing a chiro can prevent scoliosis, you have already fallen for some degree of their pseudoscientific prattle.

      William Shatner (or James T. Kirk for that matter) are not scientists, so maybe you need a new avatar, no?

      Welcome to the site, by the way, but take a peek through some of the archives on chiropractic before you venture too far into comments.

    6. Harriet Hall says:

      @Jim,

      “not fair to attack one group of people while saying phisyo rehab who do the exact same thing”

      Spinal manipulation therapy and the other modalities used by physiotherapists are legitimate options for low back pain, no matter who administers them. I only attack those who deceive patients by claiming they are adjusting imaginary subluxations and claiming to do things manipulation can’t do (like preventing scoliosis).

    7. Carl says:

      “im in canada where medical is paid by taxes, so there isnt really the same medical competition for money from patients.”

      Unless the government is willing to pay them a full salary no matter how few patients they bring in, the above statement is nonsense.

      1. Frederick says:

        Chiro are not covered buy health care, nor are PT, they are covered bu private insurance, like you have a work. Dentist are covered up to 18 years old.
        At least our public health care only pay for real doctors.

        1. delta-orion says:

          Actually, you can get PT covered in the public health system in Canada under certain circumstances, as well as various other legitimate allied health services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, and dietetics. Even as an outpatient, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for services needed as a result of a medical problem like a stroke. (As a speech therapist, I’ve seen lisps, stuttering, and vocal hyperfunction treated in adults in hospital settings, on the public dime.)

          I’m not, however, aware of any public sector institution that offers chiropractic, at least not in Quebec. I’d like to think that such a thing really doesn’t exist.

    8. steney01 says:

      ” if your chiro is telling you they can heal your cancer then YOU are the idiot for falling for a scam instead of looking for a medical professional.”

      But patients go to chiropractors because chiros are in a position of authority and presumably know how to help the patient with their ailment. We can’t expect the patients to know how to cure themselves. As mentioned above, almost all woo is based on some inkling of truth, past or present, and may make sense to a patient who is otherwise a reasonable person. We can’t just fault the patients; the onus is on the provider to practice actual medicine.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Agreed, like so many CAMs the problems are with informed consent and regulation. Government endorsement, even if it’s for things like record keeping and registration, give tacit endorsement to the practice. And true informed consent, universally applied, would have to admit that all these practices are based on antiquiated notions that have failed testing for centuries and ultimately show either no, or at best an extraordinarily narrow application.

        Though I wonder whether giving true informed consent (“these pills do nothing, they are pure placebo”) would even make a difference.

  5. Greg says:

    Didn’t read the article – the headline told me all I needed to know – but wanted to mention the worst health effect of testing is death – as in walking into traffic, off a cliff or a car accident. Maybe it’s symptomatic of the computer generation that people feel they can multitask all the time, but Iit is very dangerous to text while mobile – when you’re on the move you should be focussed on getting where you’re going; safely.

    1. Greg says:

      that should read “… the worst effect of texting…”

    2. Renate says:

      Reminds me that when I was still a child, I couldn’t wait reading my librarybooks till I got home, so I started reading while I was walking home, resulting in me walking into a tree or a lamppost.

      1. Roadstergal says:

        Okay, I’m glad I’m not the only kid who did that. My husband grouses about me staring at my Smartphone while reading a book on the Kindle app, but I just have to tell him that I look just as silly with my nose stuck in a regular print book…

        (I did learn, as I got older, to have the patience to wait for a safe time and place to read. I haven’t walked into a tree in decades.)

        1. Renate says:

          I don’t walk into trees anymore, but I might miss the point I have to leave public transport, because I’m to busy reading a book.

  6. KillCurve says:

    Absurdities like this are ubiquitious within the profession, which is more of a marketing machine and religion than anything else. If there is really a valid reformist movement we should expect to see wide condemnation of statements like these by other chiropractic associations or individual chiropractors. It won’t happen though, because chiropractic is still largely based on doctrine, not evidence.

    1. Frederick says:

      I agree and chiro Boards seem to be Wusses. Remember that cases when a women chiropractor broke a baby’s neck ( in Australia if i remember correctly) the Board, barely slap her hands, give her some more “formation” and that’s it. They don’t enforce any discipline or any real rules.

      So yeah they will let reformers reform there own clinic, and let wacko be wacko.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        For all those anglos out there, “formation” is French for training :)

        SBM has several articles on that topic:

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chiropractor-breaks-babys-neck-a-risk-vs-benefit-analysis/

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chiropractic-reform-myth-or-reality/

  7. Calli Arcale says:

    I think there really are genuine health concerns, other than the obvious perils of texting while walking around traffic or, worse, while driving. But it’s not gonna make you hunchbacked. That’s very hard for me to believe. There is evidence that the stress of being “constantly connected” is very exhausting and this may lead to the constellation of problems associated with stress. It would also be logical to conclude that those who text more are more sedentary*, and that’s of course associated with all kinds of health problems. And “tech neck” appears to be a real thing, where people hunched over their devices, using fixed focus in poor posture for prolonged periods, suffer more tension headaches. These tension headaches will cause them to be more sedentary as well and if nothing else, constitute a serious downturn in quality of life. That’s not a subluxation, of course, but muscle strain and eye strain. And texting in the evening can disrupt sleep patterns, especially if you find yourself doing it into the wee hours and then having to get up early for work; that’s not healthy.

    So seriously, chiropractors, why focus on an *imaginary* risk of texting while totally ignoring the *real* risks of texting? You do nothing to solve the problem that way, and in fact probably aggravate it by giving people a false sense of security. “Hey, I can text until 2AM; if I screw something up, I’ll just get my chiro to sort it out later.”

    *And if they’re not, are probably going to end up facing one of the more obvious perils of texting, like walking off the platform in front of a commuter rail train.

  8. Vicki says:

    Even if those who text more are more sedentary, is that cause or effect? Someone who is more sedentary for other reasons–including health issues that make them less able to go out and do stuff–is likely to spend more time texting, on email, and otherwise interacting with people from a distance.

    Similarly, if text chatting in the evening keeps me awake, doing it while looking straight at a computer screen instead of leaning over a phone isn’t going to change that. Nor is looking at the same screen to do crossword puzzles any better. (The main thing keeping me from late-night texting is time zone differences; the Guardian website is available around the clock.)

    1. Calli Arcale says:

      While I can buy that some people text because they are sedentary, I think it’s very likely that the whole range of things you can do on your smartphone contributes to sedentary lifestyles. I love my smartphone, and I think they are amazing tools to contribute to the progress of our civilization, but everything has its downside, and having more things you can do without getting up off the couch will logically contribute to sedentary lifestyles.

      “Similarly, if text chatting in the evening keeps me awake, doing it while looking straight at a computer screen instead of leaning over a phone isn’t going to change that.”

      I tend to think all electronic communication should be grouped together regardless of device used to transmit it. Whether you’re communicating via SMS, e-mail, blog comments, or even dinosaur methods like Usenet :-P, it’s all going to contribute. And as tablet PCs continue to rise in popularity, even those non-SMS electronic communication methods are moving off the desktop computer and onto something that people tend to hunch over.

      Besides, “tech neck” is known to happen even with desktop PCs. As a software engineer, I’m far too familiar with that. Prevention is simple in principal; you just need to take regular breaks. In practice, it can be tough to pull ourselves away regularly.

  9. Obviously there are some fundamental reasoning flaws by the United Chiropractic Association (One of the most dangerous words any can use is: “cause”). But as a Physical Therapist, I could see this “warning” being issued by someone in my profession as well. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that “poor static position posture” is truly that important or leads to any symptoms. Here are several quotes (of myself) from a literature review I performed on the subject from SportEx.

    “A 2010 systematic review assessing the relationship between awkward occupational postures and low back pain found that there is strong evidence to support there is no relationship between the two. This article included the review of eight high-quality studies that assessed individuals who worked in professions that forced them to assume prolonged, static postures. These professions included scaffolding, nursing, retail sales, podiatry, firefighting, etc. It would be expected that individuals with these professions would have higher incidences of low back pain but statistically , they did not.”

    “A 2007 article published in Manual Therapy assessed the relationship between sustained static posturing and postural neck pain. Similar to the systematic review, the authors found that neck pain was not associated with the individuals habitual postures or kinesthetic sensibility. The study came to this conclusion after assessing the habitual sitting posture, perception of good posture and postural repositioning error in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.”

    “Another article published in 2000, challenged the concept of lumbopelvic imbalances and pain. Many Physical Therapists believe that excessive lumbar lordosis is due to weak abdominal muscles in combination with shortened lumbar extensor and hip flexors muscles, which in turn leads to pain. This positional fault leads to an anterior pelvic tilt which should be addressed through abdominal stabilization (often utilizing the infamous posterior pelvic tilt). The article assessed 30 men and women who had chronic low back pain (CLBP). It assessed the location of pelvic inclination and magnitude of lordosis and found that in individuals with CLBP, there was no more standing lumbar lordosis or pelvic inclination than their counterparts with healthy backs. In patients with CLBP, the magnitude of the lumbar lordosis and pelvic inclination in standing was not associated with the force production of the abdominal muscles. The authors go as far as concluding,
    “Abdominal muscle strengthening exercises are routinely recommended by physical therapists to correct faulty standing posture in patients with CLBP. These recommendations are often based on assessment of standing posture. We urge physical therapists to avoid prescribing therapeutic exercise programs of muscle strengthening of abdominal muscles in patients with CLBP based solely on assessment of relaxed standing posture.””

    Here are the citations:
    •Roffey DM, Wai EK, Bishop P. Causal assessment of awkward occupational postures and low back pain: results of a systematic review. The Spine Journal 2010: 10; 89-99.
    •Edmondston SJ, Chan HY, Ngai GC, et al. Postural neck pain: An investigation of habitual sitting posture, perception of ‘good’ posture, and cervicothoracic kinaesthesia. Manual Therapy 2007: 12; 363-371.
    • Youdas JW, Garrett TR, Egan KS, et al. Lumbar Lordosis and Pelvic Inclination in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain. Physical Therapy2000: 80; 261-275.

  10. Nathan C says:

    Where are the reformers we keep hearing about? The ones who are no longer taught the old chiropractic subluxation concept in their schools and who are only treating musculoskeletal problems with evidence-based methods?”

    Ooh, ooh, here I am!! Hey, look, down here!

    Glad you asked this question. I’m currently in chiropractic school and can say there are quite a lot of us who don’t subscribe to the subluxation theory – in fact, we subtly make fun of it all the time.

    It would be great if your future articles were a bit more focused on that faction of chiropractic that still holds to the old theories of D.D. and B.J. rather than attack the profession as a whole. Though, I understand that it’s difficult to be aware of those who profess to be evidence-based (and even more, those who actually are); they seem to remain very quiet while the philosophy based chiropractors are so vocal.

    I see little difference between what I want to do and what a well trained physiotherapist does, other than I will be licensed to practice on my own without needing referral from an MD and will receive much more training in manual spinal and extremity manipulations.

    Is the only concern with chiropractors who believe crazy things? If so, I feel much better about my choice and welcome the continued prodding to self check what I’m learning and planning to practice.

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      “Is the only concern with chiropractors who believe crazy things? If so, I feel much better about my choice and welcome the continued prodding to self check what I’m learning and planning to practice.”

      Good for you for rejecting the dogma. Unfortunately, there is no way for the public to tell which chiropractor is which, except perhaps with an individual interview with each one. Who is going to do that? Once you get out into practice, you are going to be lumped in the public’s mind, and in the minds of other health care professionals, with the subluxation-based chiros. And those are not your only image problem. There are also the chiros who want to be primary care physicians and prescribe drugs. And your professional organizations, the ACA and the ICA (if you are in the U.S.), the public and lobbying face of chiropractic, certainly aren’t improving your image. There is also your reputation for being anti-vaccination to deal with.

      Until you and like-minded chiropractors and students make a public break with the others and form your own organization, you will all be painted with the same broad brush. Perhaps it’s unfair, but it is up to you guys to reform your profession.

      1. Nathan C says:

        I am fully aware of the public and professional perception of chiropractors, and it does worry me.
        I suppose I’m not too worried though, because I’ve met enough D.C.s who run an evidence-based practice and are well respected and successful despite that unfortunate image.

    2. Joe Brence says:

      Nathan,
      Just to clarify, Physical Therapists can practice in most states autonomously without a medical referral (depends on state regulatory boards). I do agree that you will likely receive more training in spinal manipulation. That stated, as a Fellow of AAOMPT, I am not convinced spinal manipulation is that difficult to learn. In addition, research is demonstrating that an “an input is likely just an input”, and whether you manipulate or mobilize (non-thrust techniques), the outcome is dependent on a multitude of variables, not simply the manual intervention employed.

      I do appreciate your move towards a more plausable model of practice, but am interested why you chose “chiropractic” (especially when you state that you make fun of its foundation)? Why didn’t you chose medical school or physical therapy school?

      1. Nathan C says:

        Joe, from what I understand from conversations with PTs, only DPTs can practice without medical referral. Even then, I’ve been told that duration of care is greatly limited.

        Is that correct?

        1. Nathan C says:

          Oh, and PTs aren’t licensed to make diagnoses while chiropractors are.

          Is that accurate?

          1. Joe Brence says:

            “only DPTs can practice without medical referral.”

            This is actually incorrect. Any licensed Physical Therapist can practice via Direct Access without a medical referral, as long as they comply with their state regulatory/licensing guidelines. For example, Physical Therapists in Pennsylvania (the state where I practice), must complete two years of practice and have a certain number of continuing education credits in differential diagnosis and medical screening, prior to being awarded a Direct Access license (this is license separate from our standard professional license). If you choose to carry this license, you are required to carry personal liability insurance (believe it or not, some PTs do not carry this). According to a 2010 internal professional study, 81% of outpatient PTs were treating patient’s under this licensure.

            We are also licensed and required to give a diagnosis. Here is our national associations guidelines for our ability to diagnose: http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/About_Us/Policies/Practice/Diagnosis.pdf#search=%22diagnosis%22

            Thanks for the questions, Nathan. I wish you the best of luck in your education and hope others in your profession will take the initiative that you are taking (in understanding and critiquing the scientific validity of your own profession—I do it myself daily at http://www.forwardthinkingpt.com )

      2. Nathan C says:

        I completely agree with you on learning manipulation. The best adjustments I’ve received were from an athletic trainer, not a DC.

        I stuck with chiropractic mostly out of familiarity and scope of practice, I suppose. It still seems that chiropractors are able to utilize a wider variety of modalities and specialize more easily. Though chiropractic and PT seem to be converging in scope, I have yet to meet an autonomous PT who runs a clinic in the way I would like to. That certainly could be due to chance or me not knowing where to look.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I would suggest that it’s more the training, licensing and certification requirements for a chiropractor to claim competency are lower.

          If the professions are converging, they are doing so slooooooowwwwwwwlly.

  11. Joe Brence says:

    Nathan,
    Just to clarify, Physical Therapists can practice in most states autonomously without a medical referral (depends on state regulatory boards). I do agree that you will likely receive more training in spinal manipulation. That stated, as a Fellow of AAOMPT, I am not convinced spinal manipulation is that difficult to learn. In addition, research is demonstrating that an “an input is likely just an input”, and whether you manipulate or mobilize (non-thrust techniques), the outcome is dependent on a multitude of variables, independent of the intervention employed.

    I do appreciate your move towards a more plausable model of practice, but am interested why you chose “chiropractic” (especially when you state that you make fun of its foundation)? Why didn’t you chose medical school or physical therapy school?

    1. lilady says:

      “Just to clarify, Physical Therapists can practice in most states autonomously without a medical referral (depends on state regulatory boards)”

      I wonder why anyone who has medical insurance, would go to a physical therapist without a medical referral. I’ve always had health care insurance and every one of those carriers require a referral from a physician, along with a specific diagnosis, in order for my carriers to pay for the majority of each PT session. And, the number of sessions are limited. Presently my co-pay is $20 per doctors’ visit and $20 per PT session, with the remainder paid for by medical insurance carrier.

      1. Hey LilLady,
        To address your concerns: The majority of insurances in the US allow you to see a PT, via direct access, without a medical referral. Your benefits do not change if you decide to approach care in this manner and reimbursement to the clinician is the same (ie. You would likely still have a $20 copay). To find out more: http://www.apta.org/DirectAccess/

        All of this stated, Physical Therapists do not replace Medical Physicians and we recommend you seek our services directly if you truly suspect you have a musculoskeletal disorder (ie. You reached down to lift something heavy, and pulled something in your back). Physical Therapists are trained to medically screen and refer out to a physician, if you present with signs and/or symptoms that are outside our niche of expertise. We are required to give a diagnosis, prognosis and develop a plan of care based upon your individual presentation within our facility (this is done when you come direct access and when you come via referral—so the specific diagnosis, billed to your insurance by the PT, may or may not be the same diagnosis the physician gave upon referral—the same goes with the prescribed POC—the PT will often make their own clinical decision which may or may not directly match the referral).

        1. lilady says:

          Thank you for the link. I cannot access the Medicare regulations on that link, which states:

          “Direct Access at the Federal Level

          Currently, 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) allow physical therapists to evaluate patients without a prior physician’s referral and 48 states and DC improve accessibility further by allowing physical therapists to evaluate and treat, under certain conditions, patients without a referral from a physician. Since 2005, important gains have been made under Medicare for patients to see their physical therapist without a referral. This page will be updated with information and resources on additional federal efforts relating to direct access in the 112th Congress. If you’d like additional updates on this and other legislative issues, join PTeam today!”

          I reside in New York State and there are restrictions imposed by (some?) medical insurance companies:

          “Treatment can be rendered by a Licensed PT without a referral
          for 10 visits or 30 days, whichever comes first.

          Licensed PT must have practiced PT on a full-time basis for no
          less than three years; be of at least twenty-one years of age.

          PT must provide written notification that services without a referral
          might not be covered by the patient’s health plan or insurer;
          notification must state that said services might be covered by
          health plan or insurer with a referral. Must keep a copy of the
          written notification in the patient’s file.”

  12. Scubadoc says:

    I’m not sure if it was coincidence or a world-wide drive by the Chiropractic profession, but a few days ago here in New Zealand, one of the morning breakfast TV channels was interviewing a young and deperately keen chiropractor. She was talking about her concerns re bad posture – “so go along to your chiropractor and get it checked out.” It seemed to be an unpaid advertisement, and the TV presenters certainly were happy to let everything she said go unchallenged. Rather uncharitably I kept wondering why one of her colleagues couldn’t adjust her spine and cure her lisp!

  13. Stephen H says:

    “We ascribe to the idea that all living organisms are sustained by an innate intelligence, which is both different from and greater than physical and chemical forces. Further, we believe innate intelligence is an expression of universal intelligence.”

    So basically, they’re a religion. It’s good of the Association to clear that up.

    1. Nathan C says:

      It’s amazing how close to religion it was in the early years. Did you know D.D. Palmer received “knowledge and philosophy” from a dead medical doctor?
      “The method by which I obtained an explanation of certain physical phenomena, from an intelligence in the spiritual world, is known in biblical language as inspiration.” (Palmer, D.D. (2007-09-03). The Chiropractor (p. 5).)

      Appealing to the ‘religious duty of chiropractors’ was how they avoided (or, at least, tried to avoid) being sued for practicing without a license.

  14. Blargh says:

    “The article “Vaccine” informs us that “After receiving data regarding febrile seizure risk after MMRV [the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine], few physicians report they would recommend MMRV to a healthy 12-15-month-old child.””

    Err, that bit they actually got right – MMRV isn’t “Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine”, it’s the “Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella” vaccine. Where, indeed, the combination vaccine carries an increased risk of febrile seizures compared to separate MMR and varicella vaccinations. And so few physicians would recommend it.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      No, sorry, they didn’t get that right. They specifically said MMRV was “the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine.”

      1. Blargh says:

        Can you point me to where they say this, please?

        The only matching item I can find on their site (by looking manually for anything vaccine-related as well as by searching with “site:united-chiropractic.org” on Google) is the PDF document labeled “Vaccine” (Vaccine.pdf) under “Editorials & News” – and it’s simply a garishly colored version of the abstract for DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.08.075 , quote included. And it never conflates the two.

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          I stand corrected. They did distinguish between the two. I read too hastily.
          But their coverage of vaccines is clearly slanted. In addition to this article questioning the safety of a vaccine, the only other two articles that mention vaccines question their efficacy.

          A responsible organization would stress the importance of vaccination rather than selectively reporting criticisms and would also stress the real risk of texting: accidents while distracted.

  15. oldmanjenkins says:

    I long for the day when chiropractors can no longer be called doctors. I wont see it in my life time. They just don’t get correlation/causation. They presume the antecedent and use both words interchangeably. By their logic:

    As ice cream consumption increases so does incidents of drownings. Therefore ice cream consumption “cause” drownings.

    Now there is a correlation in there; it’s increased temperature (spring/summer). When the temp goes up people are more likely to swim. When the temp goes up people consume more things that are cold (ice cream).

    What Dunning-Kruger’s they are.

  16. Marion says:

    Physical therapy is just as much a useless moneymaking scam as chiropracty is, even after you remove all the silly debunked subluxation woo crap. You (an outside person) cannot do anything of value to another person – you cannot move or bend their muscles or bones or joints any further than the person themselves is willing to go. It’s simply not physically possible.

    I’ve had many surgeries for myself: total knee replacement, multiple toe and elbow and wrist surgeries. All that post-surgical physical therapy did nothing of value to me.
    And I am proud to have pissed off several PTers by telling them to their face that their job is worthless, requires no knowledge or skill, that anyone can do it, and told them to get a real job.

    It’s inevitable that I and other SBM-advocates are not going to agree on every single issue. Obviously, the surgeons – who did EXCELLENT jobs on me, each time, by the way – who sent me to these PTers afterwards would disagree with me.

    On a completely unrelated topic: I was disgusted to see in a recent mailing from the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey that they had a section advocating pure woo: sharkras (I’m not from NJ, but a friend forwarded it to me.)

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      So…because PTs didn’t work for you, they are all useless? Andrey Pavlov had PTs help him immensely. I’ve also worked with a PT whose efforts appear to have resolved an otherwise intractable issue (actually a set of issues).

      I will agree that PTs could stand further improvement in the scientific basis for their practices, though the research would be fraught with difficulties similar to those found amongst surgeons. But your personal experience doesn’t invalidate the entire profession any more than Stan Burzynski’s lone survivors validates his piss extracts.

    2. Nathan C says:

      “you cannot move or bend their muscles or bones or joints any further than the person themselves is willing to go”

      That’s demonstrably incorrect. Look up passive range of motion vs. active range of motion. e.g. while laying face down, I can flex my knee to a certain point, but if a PT or anyone else applies pressure, it will move further.

    3. Joe Brence says:

      I appreciate your comments Marion, and as a Physical Therapist, I am sorry you had the experiences you did.

      There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest Physical Therapy is very beneficial, in the rehabilitation of many disorders. I would be interested in how you would approach the following situations (considering your statement: “job is worthless, requires no knowledge or skill, that anyone can do it, and told them to get a real job.”)

      Scenario 1: A 25 year old patient presents to you 3 weeks following a C6 spinal cord injury. He was severely injured after an IED explosion while in combat. The patient asks you, “will I ever be able to sit up on the edge of their bed again, and if so, what is the best approach in transferring from a supine to seated position?” Further, the patient reports they want to utilize a manual wheelchair, but aren’t sure if they have (or ever will have) the motor capabilities of utilizing one. How would you answer this patients questions and how would you begin treatment?

      Scenario 2: An 84 year old patient presents to you 3 days following a L total hip arthroplasty. The first day post-surgery, she fell while attempting to get herself out of bed, fracturing her R humeral head. The surgeon does not believe it needs fixated but has her on a non-weightbearing restriction through her R UE. She reports she lives by herself and is very anxious to return to her two-story home. She is not sure if she will be able to return home and the physician wants your opinion of her physical cabilities (she has not gotten out of bed since her fall). What do you say? What type of assistive device should she use? How should she use it? What contraindications does she have? Oh. Btw, the social worker informs you the decision must be made today of where she will continue care and the decision needs to be made today.

  17. Chris Hickie says:

    Here’s a person who was lucky not to need to see a real doctor in the ER due to texting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg11glsBW4Y

  18. Vicki says:

    There are a number of things a physical therapist did for me that I couldn’t do for myself, including: (1) they used an ultrasound machine to help me heal (and even if I had owned one, I would have needed another person to position and move it appropriately; (2) they taught me a range of exercises; (3) they gave me therapeutic massage (arguing that another trained massage therapist could have done that is missing the point); (4) they used a TENS unit, which required owning the hardware, and knowing where to apply it. After this many years, I don’t remember the details well enough to know whether I could have applied it to my own arm in order to treat my shoulder injury. But again, that’s hardware most people don’t own, and knowledge that we don’t just soak up from the culture.

    All that is in addition to the active/passive range of motion issue, and the point that a PT may have a better idea than the patient of how far it makes sense to push at a given time. “It hurts, I’m not going to do it” can be a mistake in this context, but so can “I don’t care if it hurts, I should be able to do this.”

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      My understanding is that ultrasound hasn’t lived up to it’s potential and is being abandoned by responsible, science-based PTs. Just a minor note, the rest makes sense.

  19. Joel Dykstra PT, Cert MDT says:

    Ultrasound will be in the APTA’s list of five things that should be questioned, in the ABIM “Choosing Wisely” campaign.

  20. Max says:

    “no amount of hunching over a cell phone is going to produce a permanent hyperkyphosis either. ”

    I agree with your thoughts in regards to the dreadfully inaccurate statements (which are obviously marketing attempts to convince patients to receive unnecessary treatments) laid out by some chiros, but I’d have to question your sources on that concept…

    After all, when the spine isn’t in a neutral position, the ligaments take the load to hold the structures in check. Ligaments aren’t rubber that just bounce back, when loaded for a considerable time. It would seem that a lifestyle consisting of a constantly flexed back would only further propel the laxity and load… Thus making it more and more difficult to correct with increasing time spent in that hyperflexed position. Additionally, discs shrink throughout life, ligaments calcify, muscles atrophy, and vertebrae can even fuse with normal aging. If these processes occur while the spine is constantly in that flexed position, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility to cause permanent hyperkyphosis at some point. True, it’s not causing a collapsed vertebra, but still can directly contribute to a hyperkyphosis… Especially if the person is sleeping in side-posture as well and never bringing the spine into extension or even back to neutral.

    Is there some sort of benefit to encouraging people that prolonged poor posture will never have any ill effects on resting posture or were you just looking for an opportunity to critique the somewhat unifying advice of a very diverse and inconsistent profession? There are no doubt PLENTY of other things to criticize in chiropractic claims than the recommendations to avoid hyperflexion of the spine for prolonged periods. This is actually advice I would consider beneficial to most.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      You have presented a hypothesis. It may be right; it may not be. Do you know of any actual evidence that poor posture results in irreversible hyperkyphosis? Whether or not it does, there are other reasons to avoid poor posture, as I mentioned.

      1. pacopicopiedra says:

        If you’ve got an acute vertebral fracture and have poor posture while it is healing it can result in a more kyphotic deformity than if you spent all that time in neutral or slight extension, but that is not what they are talking about. I agree with your article completely, but that’s the answer to your question. Sorry, I have no reference to provide.

  21. The beauty of chiropractic is in it’s simplicity. Have you seen kids from as early as the age of 7 or 8. Head down and neck kyphotic. The purpose of a lordotic(normal) neck is to work as a shock absorber. It”s why we crawl. We form our curves.
    What part of that doesn’t make sense. Look if chiropractic didn’t work. They would be long gone. Look up Supreme Court ruling Wilk vs AMA. The medical profession as you will read int hat court hearing. The AMA had a systematic approach to eliminate them. Now there the number one specialist .Patients treated per day. Who’s the a;alternative. Look this probably won’t even make it on this board but at least the site holder will read it. Chiro’s proved they are never going away and just getting bigger.I’ll say this and if you don’t agree something is wrong. Why are there ergo-metric workstations? Same reason looking down or being in hyper flex ion is bad for you. Yet not a word about that multi billion dollar business. Why is that not just as wrong. Who cares anyway. There not going anywhere. Thanks for the advertisement. I love my chiro. This like all the other negative false things in past written have only made them bigger. My 16 year old is hyper flexed all day because of that phone she has. What part of that doesn’t seem harmful. PA 5000 chiro;s averaging 45 patients a day. No go take a percocet (spelling) or vicoden. You are fine and the pain killers will fix everything.See ya in rehab.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      1. That’s not why we crawl. And there are children who never crawl.
      2. The Wilk trial was an anti-trust suit; it was not about the efficacy of chiropractic, and the judge even said she understood that doctors objected to chiropractic because it was unscientific, and they were only trying to protect patients, but they had gone about it in the wrong way.
      3. Astrology doesn’t work and it isn’t “long gone.” Chiropractic persists because of good marketing, non-specific effects of the therapeutic ritual, public ignorance of science, and because, like PTs and others who offer spinal manipulation, chiropractors do offer one thing that helps people with a common and frustrating problem: low back pain.
      4. The question is not whether hyperflexion is harmful. I even said that it was. But it doesn’t cause permanent hyperkyphosis, it isn’t as great a health risk as obesity, and it doesn’t shorten lifespan.
      5. Percocet and Vicodin are seldom prescribed for people with the conditions chiropractors treat. There are more options than just chiropractic or narcotics.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      That’s a whole lot of argument from popularity. Bloodletting was quite popular, for far longer than chiropractic. If it didn’t work, wouldn’t it have been long gone more than a thousand years ago?

      Can you show me the studies in chiropractic journals that provide evidence that ergonomic workstations improve pain? Because if chiropractors are not contributing to that particular body of knowledge, they would appear to be parasitic on it. And do they seriously get a cookie for having a single item with which they agree with physiotherapists? Does that excuse them believing that chiropractic care can cure cancer and asthma?

  22. Louise says:

    I agree that being hunched over for long periods of time could lead to bad posture, but texting doesn’t have to involve being hunched over! Plus, many years ago when people used to write letters they would be hunched over a desk and writing, so how is it any different. Also, surely the amount you exercise will have an effect on posture too. If you go out walking as well as text a lot your posture could be absolutely fine. I think it’s a stretch too far to blame bad posture on texting.

  23. D.D. Palmer is an icon of a practitioner whose work should be continued and clarified.
    He was or is not the problem!

    What is in the way? Modern dogmatic mechanistic, materialistic oriented scientist who only look at words and numbers and think one size fits all.

    The used of deception and incomplete information is in traditional and alternative medicine. Plus politics and even in the research community.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/08/298335701/how-mouse-studies-lead-medical-research-down-dead-ends

    1. Windriven says:

      “What is in the way? Modern dogmatic mechanistic, materialistic oriented scientist who only look at words and numbers and think one size fits all.”

      Yes, the scientists who brought you everything from the microwave you pop corn in to the 60″ television that you watch the game on, the internet over which you spout your nonsense, the computer that you compose it on, the airplane that will carry you at 500 mph to vacation in Hawaii.

      Medical scientists use the same science those other scientists use. None of those other advances were brought to you by someone who had a vision from Jesus or who believed in alternative physics. Goddamit Steve, you really need to give your head a shake and take a look around you.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Steve, icon or not – Palmer was wrong. Testing shows spinal manipulation works for acute low back pain and nothing else. Palmer thought it worked for everything. Perhaps you’re giving him too much credit? His work shouldn’t be continued and clarified, it should be abandoned in the absence of meaningful evidence.

      The used of deception and incomplete information is in traditional and alternative medicine. Plus politics and even in the research community.

      What’s your point? Because medical research has flaws, that means chiropractic works? That’s just stupid, either chiropractic care works, or it doesn’t, and corruption in medical research is irrelevant (except for chiropractors who might fake positive results).

      The real problem with chiropractic research is that it’s so shoddy – case studies, patient satisfaction surveys, uncontrolled trials, all guaranteed to tell you exactly nothing about whether there is a non-placebo benefit to spinal manipulation.

      1. What’s your point? Because medical research has flaws, that means chiropractic works?”
        Bizarre argument!!! Both are flawed which is why we need research that is not shoddy

        “That’s just stupid, either chiropractic care works, or it doesn’t”
        This concept is not even close to being scienticid more like a playground tactic you would use to defend whether you would die if you ate a grasshopper.

        “corruption in medical research is irrelevant (except for chiropractors who might fake positive results).”
        Have you lost your mind!!!!!!!!!!! Corruption is rampant everywhere! Mr nieve did someone pay you to say that because a logic reasonable mind would not.

        The real problem with ALL research is the human element!!! Dummies, idiots and crooks.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Bizarre argument!!! Both are flawed which is why we need research that is not shoddy

          Yeah, I know, that’s the point I was making – chiropractic and medical research are separate, you can’t improve one by criticizing the other. That’s why I keep pointing out your justification of your own practices by criticizing medical research is stupid.

          “That’s just stupid, either chiropractic care works, or it doesn’t”
          This concept is not even close to being scienticid more like a playground tactic you would use to defend whether you would die if you ate a grasshopper.

          What’s stupid about saying “chiropractic care works or doesn’t, independent of flaws in real medicine”? Because the point you are disagreeing with here you agreed with in your previous sentence.

          Corruption is rampant everywhere! Mr nieve did someone pay you to say that because a logic reasonable mind would not.

          Yes, corruption is everywhere (including chiropractic care). But corruption in one field doesn’t justify corruption in another, the two ideas and issues are separate.

          The real problem with ALL research is the human element!!! Dummies, idiots and crooks.

          Yes, that’s why medical research is a public enterprise, and attempts to build on past success. Chiropractic, and all CAM, has an extra layer of idiocy and corruption applied in that they are inherently implausible, and are largely “grandfathered” into the US medical system, meaning that unlike real medicine they have never been required to prove that they work.

          But you don’t seem to grasp this fact.

  24. Windriven says:

    “D.D. Palmer is an icon of a practitioner whose work should be continued and clarified.”

    D.D. Palmer was a delusional religious nut. His subluxation theory was invented; made up front to back. Chiropractic has been studied up one side and down the other. It is a hoax, a fraud, a delusion, except for the specific case of LBP and even there it is about as useful as anything else – which is to say not particularly useful.

    1. Most renowned scientist are/were somewhat off center, that is the beauty Darwinism it gifts us with creative minds. (weird yes but a definite advantage to society)

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        You seem to have this misconception that science advances on the basis of single, brilliant practitioners. It doesn’t. It advances through novel data, interpretations of that data, and carefully designed research protocols. It’s a collective, collaborative enterprise, and lone practitioners often get it wrong when they become convinced of their own genius. Linus Pauling did, as did Jonas Salk, and Luc Montagnier.

  25. Chris says:

    Hmmm, I wonder what a chiro would say over me being hunched over a serger and sewing machine the other week as I hemmed yards upon yards of sheer polyester for curtains.

    Hmmm, I wonder if they finished servicing my serger. It was full of lots and lots of polyester bits, which probably was a greater health hazard to my lungs.

    1. Windriven says:

      You should have asked Steve to service your sewing machine – he’s good with needles :-)

      1. I have to say YES after 10 yrs! And I have to say anyone can be if they just practice.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          How much practice had Kim Ribble-Orr’s massage therapist have? Was it enough? Particularly given the distinct lack of good-quality evidence for acupuncture?

    2. mouse says:

      Oy tell me about it. Some activities you just can’t do with the best posture. My work requires a good amount of stand or sitting over something looking down and working with my hands (kinda like texting). I find myself contorted into all sort of positions so I can see something or get at some bit or piece. I can not hold my work at eye level and build, it would all fall apart.

      They say take lots of breaks and my PT gave me various exercises. That helps somewhat.

    3. Angora Rabbit says:

      Best thing I ever did was put my fabric cutting table onto those bed risers. What a reduction in back pain when sewing! Now I need to figure out a better table for the sewing machine. I priced out those Koala cabinets and just about needed chiropractic adjustment from the whiplash sticker shock. Serger? I’m envious.

      Beer, scotch, and sewing, all in one week. Trifecta!

      1. Chris says:

        Dear hubby made me a raised counter for cutting, so that is really not an issue. I took a piece of plywood and covered it with a shrunken wool blanket, and then some fabric for an ironing surface. When I cut I put the plastic cutting board that lives behind the futon (this is in our basement).

        I have a four by six foot “sewing closet”, but the table is an old (1980s) computer table with adjustable legs from Costco that is put at just the height where I do not need to hunch over. It has everything within arm’s reach. Sewing machine in front, serger to the right, and an ironing surface on the left, with several shelves above with everything. I can reach up to get elastic, thread, tube turners, etc. The cutting counter with more storage is just behind it (separated by the hallway from garage to stairs up to the first floor).

        I had to move the serger from there to the dining room because of all of the polyester dust created by its cutter. I could feel the congestion in my throat. I had to move somewhere with better ventilation. So I went to the dining room where the effect of teeny tiny bits of polyester was not so prevalent. Hence I preferred being hunched over if I could be somewhere that had more ventilation.

        (the narrow multi-colored panels of sheer polyester are for a kid’s bedroom… they are going to be randomly layered to provide different colors and shapes during breezy days, especially the bit that acts as a privacy screen on the door during summer)

        1. Chris says:

          I uploaded a picture: . The bit to the right is actually something to do with the high school Dr. Hall attended (old marching band uniforms being turned into banners as a fund raiser).

          1. mouse says:

            @Chris I was hoping for a picture of the curtains. They sound lovely.

            Your set up looks similar to my computer set up in my studio. It’s also in a closet. I’ve place heavy duty track shelving on the back wall of the closet. Heavy duty bracket support a desk surface. The tracking means that I can have the desk at my preferred height, rather than a preset desk height. You can also add shelves above for storage (like you have)

            Maybe something like that would work for you Angora Rabbit. It wasn’t horribly expensive…can get the stuff at Home Depot. But you need a wall you don’t mind screwing mollies into.

            it’s kinda like this, (only mine is not so tidy and lovely)
            http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/roundup-ten-best-looking-elfa-77706

    4. In a well balanced life, these stressed muscles will dissipate the tension and restore with a good nights sleep and wellness. Read your body!!

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Sounds like you’re blaming the victim. Pain that isn’t going away? It’s your fault, you just can’t relax enough.

  26. David Shmukler says:

    “Apparently they don’t know that cranial nerves, vision, hearing, the firing of brain neurons, and many other bodily functions are anatomically out of the reach of spinal adjustments” That is your quote in this article. That makes no sense.
    I think you are guilty of Cartesian Dualism with this statement. We know the nervous system is integrated and the brain does not exist in a vacuum. Somatosensory afferents have great effects on the brain, including those coming from spinal joints and muscles. You state that spinal manipulation is an evidenced based treatment for lower back pain. Pain by definition is always a brain experience. The definition I am familiar with is “pain is an emotional response to tissue damage or potential tissue damage.” The latest pain models based on 21st century neuroscience is that spinal manipulation works by affecting large diameter fibers that affect central neurons through reflexogenic effects. If this is true and pain is always a brain experience than spinal manipulation is affecting “brain neurons.” If patients are having pain relief from spinal manipulation it has to change the firing of brain neurons.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      @ David Shmukler,

      Congratulations! You are the first person to ever accuse me of Cartesian Dualism. I vehemently deny the charge. I am well aware that the brain doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but that doesn’t mean that the chiropractors were right to claim that the nervous system is the system that “controls and regulates every single function in your body.”

      I said, “Apparently they have never heard of hormones or autonomously beating heart muscle cells. Apparently they don’t know that cranial nerves, vision, hearing, the firing of brain neurons, and many other bodily functions are anatomically out of the reach of spinal adjustments. Apparently they don’t know that transplanted organs continue to function quite well when their nerve supply has been not just “disrupted” by a subluxation but completely severed. Apparently they have never heard about the useful bacteria that reside in the gut.”

      Please provide any evidence you have that spinal manipulation has any significant clinical effect on hormones, heart muscle cell rhythms, vision, hearing, the activity of brain neurons, the functioning of transplanted organs, or the bacteria in the gut. And please explain how an emotional response to tissue damage or potential tissue damage is physiologically altered by putting bones in the spine through a range of motion, any more than it would be by providing other afferent input like stroking the toenails or playing loud music.

      1. It so easy to ask for the data that YOU need to research to expand your knowledge base. This tactic is to make the original statement less correct to people with a narrow view.

        The proper question would be why does Chiro work and why does it fail. NOT illogically, since we can’t figure it out so lets trash the entire concept.

        Gee there are human or animal physiology that we do not understand today, that is for future scientist to uncover.

        manipulation does something!!! We need to use observation and science with an open mind to piece these puzzles together.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          The correct question is “does chiropractic work”. And the answer is “for acute back pain, yes; for nothing else though”. This is shameful for two reasons:

          1) If the damned chiropractors had bothered doing the research, we could have had it as a routine treatment for back pain for over a century now.

          2) If the damned chiropractors were responsible as a profession, they would have abandoned the notion that all human health is locked up in the spine and abandoned the concept of subluxation entirely.

        2. Harriet Hall says:

          No, the question was whether “the chiropractors were right to claim that the nervous system is the system that “controls and regulates every single function in your body.”
          And I never said manipulation doesn’t do something. It does, but that is entirely separate from the question under discussion.

        3. weing says:

          “The proper question would be why does Chiro work and why does it fail. NOT illogically, since we can’t figure it out so lets trash the entire concept.”

          So, you would have asked why do a witches’ spells work and why they don’t? Why does burning a witch fail to get rid of the plague and why does it work? Now that’s bizarre. I’m sorry, but science has gone beyond requiring a better theory of witchcraft to explain diseases. Same with Chiros, needling, cupping, reiki, etc. Obviously you, and others like you, are still stuck in the paradigms of the pre-scientific past.

  27. Josh says:

    This seems like flawed rationale to me to say “hours of looking down leads to kyphosis, an HVLA thrust that lasts a SECOND will correct it.” Why don’t I just look up for a second every hour and call it good?

    Manipulation provides nuerophysiologic input to the nervous system, thats it. Pain that is reduced is through descending modulation. Guess what, if your patient expects to get relief from a manipulation they report greater decreases in pain with a manipulation…shocking I know.

    As a PT, I use this for acute back pain if the patient expects it will help, but it is followed up with science based education, reassurance, and graded movements.

    I also find it funny and a bit annoying to hear that current chiros are like PTs, oh and I forgot they a like MDs, radiologists, dieticians, neurologists….. In regards to the PT claim, I have yet to see a chiro provide neuro rehab to a patient with a stroke or SCI in acute rehab, selective debridement of a wound, prosthetic training, inpatient therapy to TKA/THA, I could continue…

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