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.
Contents 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 Index