Difference between chiropractic and medical approaches
Chiropractors focus on health and on helping an individual reach his or her potential in every area of life. Chiropractors do this by keeping the nerve system as clear of interference as possible so the body can work better, naturally. This approach seems more logical and is definitely more cost-effective than the treatment of disease; yet it has not gained widespread acceptance. Part of the reason is that it requires regular visits to the chiropractor.– Joseph B. Strauss, D.C., Levittown, Pennsylvania [Chiropractic for life (pamphlet). Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic Education. undated, distributed in 1998]
A subluxation-free world
The above seems to be a goal for the straight chiropractic profession. It is undoubtedly a very noble goal, for we know that an individual without vertebral subluxations functions better on every level. Further, there is nothing wrong with having lofty goals as long as they are reasonable. I am not quite sure that a subluxation-free world is a reasonable goal, especially from a philosophical viewpoint. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say our goal is a “regularly-checked and adjusted-when-necessary world.” After all, if we see the vertebral subluxation as a worldwide plight that occurs in all people of all ages as a result of the normal activities of life, we cannot expect to wipe it out as we would some medical plague.—Joseph B. Strauss, D.C. [Pivot Magazine 15(4), 1999].
Scope of chiropractic
Most people think of chiropractic physicians as treating mostly orthopedic problems, especially backaches, disc pains, sciatic problems, whiplash-related injuries and the like. In these cases one would try the chiropractic approach first, for the art of manipulation has proven beneficial in treating these conditions since the time of Hippocrates. Other disorders such as those which involve organs and internal glands of the body also often respond to chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic is based on the premise that every gland, organ and cell of the body needs a nerve supply to function properly. Therefore, it would seem logical that malfunctions in these areas would also respond to chiropractic adjustments. It is with this basic thought in mind that the answer to, “What can you treat, doctor?” could be as varied and vast as the nervous system itself.– Louis Sportelli, D.C. Palmerton, Pennsylvania [What conditions do chiropractors treat? Healthways, Oct 1976.] Healthways was a consumer magazine published by the American Chiropractic Association from 1947 through 1981. Dr. Sportelli later chaired the ACA’s board of governors.
It is high time we admit there is nothing conservative, holistic or natural about endless care, creating addiction to manipulation, or making unsubstantiated, cure-all claims. On the contrary, an excellent argument can be made that the variety of tricks, techniques and claims still used by a large percentage of our profession to keep fully functional, asymptomatic people returning for care is fraudulent. I wonder how long it will take for our profession to realize that overutilization not only damages our reputation, but also costs us millions of dollars of business per year in lost referrals.—G. Douglas Anderson, D.C., Brea, California [Food for thought, 1999. Dynamic Chiropractic 17(1):13,36, 1999].
Regarding chiropractic philosophy
Medicine is based on a deep religious conviction that believes ‘average is normal.’ It therefore concludes that if you are not average, you are not normal. This ab-average state is called a sign or symptom, and by themselves or put together with other signs or symptoms is called a disease, syndrome, condition or just plain sick. The medical objective is to get you back to average with such traditional methods as drugs and surgery or other ‘alternative’ methods. . . . Chiropractic is based on the premise that the body possesses an internal system that ‘strives for balance.’ This internal system is called your ‘innate intelligence.’ . . . The chiropractor checks your spine for vertebra that are positioned in such a way that it interferes with the nerve system. This is called a vertebral subluxation and if the body is subluxated it will not perform at its potential. The objective of chiropractic is to address this vertebra thus allowing the body a better circumstance to strive for balance.—Robert G. Berkowitz, D.C.
Chiropractors vary considerably
|For every chiropractor, there is an equal and opposite chiropractor.—Author unknown.
Many chiropractors practice rationally
Although every profession has its “lunatic fringe,” chiropractic has been extraordinarily blessed in this area. I cannot apologize for that over which I have no control. However, there are those among us who practice based on standards of care that are appropriate to goals of conservative musculoskeletal treatment.—Charles A. Bender, D.C.
Words of wisdom from a company marketing “Spine Align”
and other nutritional products to chiropractors
One person may respond to one specific nutrient; other people to something different; the next person to something entirely different. You have observed this in your practice. So if you use something that has many different nutrients, including some that are different than any other, it only makes sense that some people will respond better.—1994 catalog. Vita Herbs, St. Louis, Missouri
Lifetime chiropractic care
How many cars would continue to work right if the oil is not changed on a regular basis? How many of us would have teeth if they were not checked on a regular basis. Why brush your teeth after you have cavities? Why wait to have Chiropractic care when pain and symptoms arrise and when dysfunction has been present for so long that many times it is too late to rely on your bodies healing abilities. Maintain proper integrity within your nervous system by having a Chiropractor check your spine for “nerve interference” for a lifetime. . . . What is so “Quackery” about letting the body function the way it was designed to work. When the nervous system is free of interfence and able to communicate unhibitedly the possiblities are infinite. . . . Chiropractic is for everyone from the womb to the tomb.—Jeremy D. Maxwell, D.C. [Letter to Canoe.com, Dec 20, 1999]
How can you get a subluxation?
Subluxation can occur anytime there is a physical, chemical or emotional stress which overwhelms the body’s ability to heal. Some examples are . . .
- Physical: car accident, fall, lifting injury, poor posture, repeated physical movements or stress, poor workstation position, sitting improperly, tumbles and falls as well as the first subluxation…BEING BORN!!! (see children’s page).
- Chemical: poor nutrition, drug use (prescription included), hormonal problems, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
- Emotional: stress, upsets, moods, traumas
Who should be checked? Anyone with a spine?—Jay Yuhas, D.C. [Web site, accessed 2/25/00]
The most common cause of subluxation is just being born! Pregnancy and the birthing process cause the spine to be twisted, tugged and stretched. In the 14 years that I’ve been in practice, Dr. Pierce has only seen 2 patients that were not subluxated at the Atlas (top bone of the spine) level, and they were both C-Section babies. Other causes include a sudden jar, trauma, poor posture, occupational hazards, incorrect lifting, lack of rest and exercise, poor sleeping habits, and stress. In short, for most of us, everyday life can cause subluxations!—Mark Pierce, D.C.: ” [Web site, accessed 2/14/05]
Simple and Lucrative
Boring case histories and exams are a thing of the past when you focus on accumulated spinal injuries. Mothers and fathers want the best for the entire family. Communicate to them spinal injuries known as vertebral subluxation complex and you’ll have a family who stays, pays, and refers. Kevin Pallis, D.C. and Ed Plentz, D.C. —[Say goodbye to boring case histories and exams. Dynamic chiroprctic March 2003, p 5]
Conspiracy of Silence
Are we not ultimately responsible, by our silence and tolerance (grudging though it may be), for the outrageous claims and practices in our midst? At one time or another I have seen on chiropractic college campuses all of the methods and heard all the gooney rhetoric aired on ABC’s recent program. And this sort of stuff usually goes unchallenged at our schools! Indeed, unsubstantiated claims for chiropractic care and uncritical attitudes toward practice standards are actively encouraged at some of our institutions of “higher learning.” It wasn’t so long ago that a college president suggested, “Rigor mortis is the only thing we can’t help!” But I can recall no great outcry nor objection from the ranks nor the leadership in the profession.—Joseph J. Keating, Ph.D. [20/20 exposé. Dynamic Chiropractic March 11, 1994]
Science or Religion?
Medical doctors—real doctors—know that what they do is frequently dangerous. Surgery, for example, has real and known risks. Doctors are constantly working to reduce those risks. I know that in the past, there was a lot of opposition to groundbreaking work that reduced the risk of infection following surgery; the ideas of Lister, Semmelweis, and others were not immediately adopted. But science is self-correcting. For example, when the new sterilizing hand lotions—waterless soaps—were introduced, and it was determined that making them available cut infection in hospitals, many hospitals began to place bottles of the stuff bedside for the physicians on rounds and nurses on duty to use before and after touching the patients. Assuming for the moment that chiropractic is a valid therapy with real uses, why wouldn’t chiropractors be seriously concerned about the potential for a portion of their practice to cause injury and work to eliminate that particular treatment unless it was truly necessary and of significant benefit in a particular instance? Physicians do not routinely remove tonsils the way they used to. Cancer specialists compare the benefits of a lumpectomy to a mastectomy and determine whether the more serious procedure is required or more desirable in a particular case. But most chiropractors have a blind devotion to such things as neck manipulation and are unwilling to acknowledge its risks. This, to my mind, is evidence that chiropractic is largely a religion.—Lauren Eve Pomerantz, Programs Coordinator, California Space & Science Center, newsgroup posting, May 10, 2001.
Where Would Chiropractors Be Without Their “Subluxations”?
Yale anatomy professor Edmund S. Crelin, Ph.D., D.Sc., tested chiropractic’s basic subluxation theory in 1973. He subjected the spines of six human cadavers to a series of mechanical forces and measured the effects of these forces on the sizes and shapes of the intervertebral foramina—the openings through which spinal nerves pass and where, according to chiropractic theory, vertebral subluxations induce the pinching of nerves and thereby destabilize the flow of Innate Intelligence. Crelin found that no force short of that which broke the spine deformed the openings so that their walls contacted the nerves. Publication of his findings cast enormous doubt on chiropractic’s “pinched nerve” theory. Crelin showed that one of the bedrock principles of chiropractic—the hypothesis that the vertebral pinching of spinal nerves impairs nerve functioning—is almost certainly invalid. Chiropractic without this principle is analogous to meridianless acupuncture.—Craig Nelson, D.C. [Priorities for Health 11(2), 1999]
It is a little too convenient that while chiropractors believe the body has the innate ability to heal itself, that gift doesn’t extend to the backbone. For many chiropractors, it takes God to heal the body, but chiropractic to heal the spine.—Source unknown.
“Board Certified” in Salesmanship
Christina Alexander is a Professional Chiropractic Assistant and a 9th degree black belt in the art and practice of educating people on the need for chiropractic care and closing people to pre-pay for corrective treatment plans of 75 visits or more.—Speaker list for Parker Seminar, January 2004.
This page was revised on December 5, 2006.