Inside Chiropractic: A Patient’s Guide

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Chiropractic, which celebrated its centennial in 1995, is a curious mixture of science and pseudoscience, sense and nonsense. Much of it is based on the theory that misaligned spinal bones produce nerve interference that causes disease. Many chiropractors claim that correcting these misalignments (“subluxations”) can restore health and that regular spinal adjustments are essential to maintain it.

Neither logic nor scientific evidence supports such a belief. Although spinal manipulation can relieve certain types of back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal symptoms, there is no scientific evidence that it can restore or maintain health. As a result of expressing my opinion on this subject, I have been called a chiropractic heretic.

The chiropractic profession has little tolerance for dissension. Its nonsense remains unchallenged by its leaders and has not been denounced in its journals. In fact, many chiropractic journals continue to publish articles that attempt to justify subluxation theory. Although progress has been made, the profession still has one foot lightly planted in science and the other firmly rooted in cultism. Without appropriate criticism, the good in chiropractic will never be sifted out, and competent chiropractors will not receive the recognition they deserve.

This book denounces the cultism in chiropractic but supports the appropriate use of spinal manipulation and the research efforts required to solidify its scientific basis. If you are contemplating or receiving chiropractic care, it might help protect both your pocketbook and your health.

Chapter 1  My Personal Story
Chapter 2  From Bonesetting to “The Big Idea”
Chapter 3  From Cult to Profession
Chapter 4  The “Subluxation” Issue
Chapter 5  How Good Is Chiropractic Education?
Chapter 6  The ABCs of Back Pain
Chapter 7  Neck and Head Problems
Chapter 8  Questionable Marketing Strategies
Chapter 9  Nutrition Nonsense
Chapter 10  Gadgets and Gimmicks
Chapter 11  A Surfeit of Techniques
Chapter 12  Homeopathy, Chinese Medicine, and Herbs
Chapter 13  What a Rational Chiropractor Can Do for You
Chapter 14  Chiropractic Responses to My Criticisms
Chapter 15  Is Reform Likely?
Appendix A  A Scientific Brief Against Chiropractic (1963)
Appendix B  A Scientific Test of the Chiropractic Theory (1973)
Appendix C  AHCPR Guidelines for Low Back Pain
Appendix D  Glossary
Appendix E  References