As I read this advice to United Chiropractic Association members, perhaps someone could explain what the purpose of the UCA is.

May 9, 2012

This “advice”was posted by chiropractic skeptic Blue Wode on Twitter this evening. Its from the UCA to its members. As one of the founder members of the UCA, I am curious how they square this advice with the original  UCA core values and mission statement which I still subscribe to in practice and on my website. I practice traditional chiropractic, perhaps I the best and last of a dying breed in the UK. If the UCA is going  ignore its core values, surely the chiropractic profession is better served having one chiropractic  association singing from the GCC Hymm sheet, the GCC have articulated UK chiropractic practice and all registered chiropractors have signed up to it. Surely one chiropractic association would be a lot more beneficial to the public, than this divided profession hiding in their clinics, sending out confused messages through their representatives.

As so  few traditional subluxation chiropractors in the UK have the courage of their convictions, why continue to “talk the talk”  when you are only going to do it in the company of like minded chiropractors and you have no intention of standing up for what you claim to believe in.

Is it any wonder the skeptic community are laughing at chiropractors when after all thats happened, a chiropractic associations still  has to advise its members ; “The use of the term subluxation is acceptable as long as you do not link it to the cause of disease “then they provide members as the BCA have done with a  a list of conditions UK chiropractors can claim to treat. And then  my favourite: “do not make claims to treat such conditions as cancer”.

Skeptics are always tweeting that chiropractors are making these sort of claims and I have always stated its not true. However one would have to ask oneself, why then is an association giving this advice to its members.  Even the BCA woulf not be that stupid. Obviously the message of “dont mention children” has sunk in because there is no mention of infants, despite the fact, I have no doubt that chiropractic care helps infants with colic and otitis media.  Soon chiropractors are going to be walking around their clinics like Basil Fawlty, in the German episode ” dont mention children”. The ASA can write to me any time they like and until they tell me who their chiropractic experts are, I wont pay a blind bit of attention to any of their decisions, thats all they can do is write nasty letters  to people. Trust me chiropractics biggest problem are not skeptics and the ASA, I would have them all for light entertainment, as I recuperate from chemotherapy.
April 2012
We would like to remind our members to still be mindful of their obligations regarding
advertising. While the “mass complaints” regarding claims made have been
processed by the GCC and fortunately all cases against UCA members have been
found “no case to answer”, there have still been complaints made recently
regarding advertising and we would advise all chiropractors to regularly review their
advertising practices.
We unfortunately do not feel that this is the last of the attacks on Chiropractic from
an increasingly organised “sceptic” community. It is important that you remain
vigilant and do not give ammunition to critics of our profession. We recommend
that you exercise caution if advertising the benefits of “condition” based care. The
use of the term subluxation is acceptable as long as you do not link it to the cause of
Be mindful that criticism of the profession may not be limited to advertising alone It is
also important to ensure that your staff are properly briefed and do not make claims
either over the telephone or to patients that cannot be supported by acceptable
There have been instances of patients recording conversations as part of GCC
complaints and of “mystery shopper” like visits for media investigation. Thus it is
advisable to focus on the goals of your care and the theory behind it rather than
making claims to treating particular conditions and certainly do not make claims to
treat such conditions as cancer. While you may care for such individuals, claiming to
treat the condition is not appropriate.
You should not only review your website but also any advertising on social media
sites such as Facebook or twitter. Whilst ‘You Tube’ is a great advertising ‘tool’ it is still
within the remit of the ASA’s CAP Copy Team and you should be mindful of this.
The following list of conditions have been accepted as having ‘moderate positive’
evidence of efficacy which you can claim to treat in advertising media:
• Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to
core OA treatments and exercise
• Chiropractors may also refer to general aches and pains including those of
joints, muscle spasms and cramp
• General, acute and chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or
accident), including Lumbago
• Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following
injury e.g. whiplash)
• Headache arising from the neck (i.e. cervicogenic)

31 Responses to As I read this advice to United Chiropractic Association members, perhaps someone could explain what the purpose of the UCA is.

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  15. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on July 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Although I agree with Paul that dentists are in the UK allowed to (and do) use the courtesy title of Dr (as are chiropractors and GP’s) I have noticed only few actually use it. Lots of GP’s use it and a fair few chiropractors, alongside a few osteopaths use it. Why? I don’t know, I think it seems (and this proposition is just gut instinct) to be that historically speaking, the dental profession relates conceptually to “the dental surgeon” who would traditionally use the term “Mr” as is classically appropriate for the surgical professions. This is not a “down-grading” from “Dr”, but an upgrade-ironically- to “not just a doctor but an actual surgeon”) Whereas the other group (GP’s, Osteopaths and Chiropractors) consider themselves to be more affiliated to the profession of educator/teacher (usually of self-knowledge and for those interested relating back to the intricacies of the Hippocratic oath~QUI DOCET DISCIT). I think it is perfectly appropriate for osteopaths, chiropractors and GP’s to use the courtesy title “Dr” and that it is perfectly appropriate to point out to the general public(and the so-called sceptics) that the former two are not trying to be “medical doctors” nor are trying to “fool the public into believing” that they are medical doctors, but that they are reclaiming the appropriate use of the term in its true and original meaning of Doctor (teacher).
    Most importantly these proffesions through their hard work and delivery of results must aim to get the public to demand a bit more educating from their Gp’s and a bit less pill pushing if they wish to retain their freedom to use this courtesy title.
    The fundamental of it is that Osteopaths and Chiropractors (unless challenged on their abilities as teachers and educators) are not the ones who ought to be challenged on their ability to perform as and use the title of “Dr” just because GP’s have traditionally been using it and managed to hijack it on grounds of the argument that “the rest is quackery”. It may well be quackery…. but that is irrelevant to the appropriateness of the use of the title “Dr” and should be kept away from that debate and it is up to the public and/or science to decide whether doctors of chiropractic or osteopathy have anything worthwhile to bring to the market place.
    In my opinion :)
    This is only the beginning

  16. Paul on June 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Yes Dentists do use the Dr Title you brainless posturing cock!

  17. Bilbo Baggins on August 31, 2012 at 8:21 am

    @ concerned chiro
    Dentists, via a ruling by the General Dental Council in the late 90′s Dentists DO have the RIGHT to use the title Dr. I personally know of some who do. In fact there was an ASA ruling a few years back relating to advertising by Dentists not dissimilar to ours. The use of the title by non medics has never been tested in court and is NOT Illegal, but I think you are all missing the point. The chiropractiic profession will continually be attacked by skeptics, in part for silly claims, but mainly because there is a body of opinion within these people that Chiropractic needs to be destroyed, whatever the cost. Dr or no Dr, it is all an attempt to erode the chiropractic profession in scope and position, but as chiros do a good job in the main, it will be a difficult flame to extinguish.

    On a side issue, there has been quite a few votes by the osteopaths over the years on whether or not to use the title Dr, but they have been refused that right, in the latter stages by the General Osteopathic Council, so it’s not that some don’t want to, its simply because they are not allowed to.

  18. laugh your sox off on August 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Does this apply to people who are not chiropractors-pretending to be chiropractors? Sort of strange I know! Still no stranger than the Executive Officer Regulation getting reported to the police by the Registrar for pretending to be a Doctor( of chiropractic) Both of them leaving and getting a job at another quango. Quango land where normal rules do not apply, only non doctors need apply, or rabbits

  19. Colin Jenkins on August 13, 2012 at 9:10 am

    As a member of the public, I don’t really understand why a chiropractor would want to call themselves a doctor unless they had a Ph.D.  Surely the whole point of chiropractic is that it is *different* to what doctors do; similarly for dentists and osteopaths.  I will probably take some stick for this but when I see a chiropractor calling them selves a doctor (without a clear and qualifying “of chiropractic”) I think ‘wanabee doctor’ and I know I am not alone and it does not help the image imo, which as RL says needs some serious manipulation internationally.

  20. Fedup on August 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    From wiki.
    In the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other areas whose cultures were recently linked to the UK, the title Doctor generally applies in both the academic and clinical fields. “Registered medical practitioners” hold the degree of Bachelor of Medicine (usually also with surgery). Cultural conventions exist, clinicians who are Members or Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons are an exception. As a homage to their predecessors, the barber surgeons, they prefer to be addressed as Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss, even if they do hold a medical degree. When a medical doctor passes the examinations which enable them to become a member of one or more of the Royal Surgical Colleges and become “MRCS”, it is customary for them to drop the “Doctor” prefix and take up “Miss”, “Mister”, or and so on. This rule applies to any doctor of any grade who has passed the appropriate exams, and is not the exclusive province of consultant-level surgeons. In recent times, other surgically orientated specialists, such as gynaecologists, have also adopted these prefixes. A surgeon who is also a professor is usually known as “Professor” and, similarly, a surgeon who has been ennobled, knighted, created a baronet or appointed a dame uses the corresponding title (Lord, Sir, Dame). Physicians, on the other hand, when they pass their “MRCP” examinations, which enable them to become members of the Royal College of Physicians, do not drop the “Doctor” prefix and remain Doctor, even when they are consultants. In the United Kingdom the status and rank of consultant surgeons with the FRCS, titled “Mister”, etc., and consultant physicians with the MRCP, titled “Doctor”, is identical. The MRCS also gives a “Mister” title, but the Doctor cannot become a consultant with an MRCS alone. Surgeons in the USA and elsewhere continue to use the title “Doctor”, although New Zealand uses the titles of Mr and Doctor, in the same way as the United Kingdom.

    In the UK, an equivalent formation to a doctorate is the NVQ 5 or QCF 8.[25] However, an NVQ 5 is less work than a doctorate and such a person is not allowed to use the prefix “Dr.”

  21. Richard on August 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Paul I do believe when members of the public hear doctor they think you are medically trained. I used the title when I first graduated and got tired of being asked are you a “real doctor”? I never felt like a fake doctor, which is where the quack term comes from and stopped using the title. According to the GCC the chiropractic profession has grown little the last five years, in fact in 2011 there were 42 less on the register than in 2010. Osteopathy on the other hand is growing.  The chiropractic profession needs a lot of work on its image and focusing on calling ourselves DCs might be a start.

  22. concerned chiro on August 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    i love that you feel the need to be petty and bitter while feeling that you have ”
    got better things to do than sit around making polite small talk with either of you two characters”.  

    I will state again, in the UK were this site is based and were i practice as a chiropractor, DENTISTS do not use the Dr title.  

    I do not see that i was arguing with you either, if it does you some benefit to call yourself doctor then good luck to you, i describe myself as a CHIROPRACTOR not a DOCTOR.  The ego of some people is the biggest issue our profession has i am afraid.  I always remember one of my tutors at college stating that the biggest worry for chiropractic is from WITHIN and that it was will destroy the profession if it is allowed.

    can i ask one question, does ANYBODY believe that our profession would change AT ALL if we were like all the other professions who DO NOT use the Dr title?  i for one do not!

  23. Paul-glazer on August 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Concerned Chiro, You seem…. how shall I put it ….confused; lets look at what you wrote for a moment shall we:

      I know of very few non medical doctors who use the doctor title (except of course the only people who have genually earned the doctor title which are PhDs) 

    I don’t know if anyone else finds this statement contradictory but what you have just effectively written implies that the people who you say should not use the title are in fact Doctors.  Also the last time  checked Med school wasn’t a PhD course; does this mean Medics shouldn’t use the title either? 

    The reality is the members of the public are not confused by practitioners using titles such as Dr J bloggs Dental Surgeon or Dr Hans Only Chiropractor. 

     I personally doubt that either you or your sidekick concerned Osteopath are even in the profession that you purport to be in such is the manner in which you couch your thinly veiled arguements.  

    Now I’ve got better things to do than sit around making polite small talk with either of you two characters so goodbye!

  24. Richard Lanigan on July 31, 2012 at 10:22 am


  25. concerned chiro on July 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks for your comments and i agree!

  26. concerned chiro! on July 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I am also a registed chiropractor and i DO NOT use the Dr title.  I disagree with most of what Paul-Glazer says.  I know of very few non medical doctors who use the doctor title (except of course the only people who have genually earned the doctor title which are PhDs!).  In the UK Vets, opticians, dentists, podiatrists, physios and osteos DONT use the Dr Title! 

    The chiropractic degree is difficult, it is very technical BUT it is an undergraduate degree. 

    I for one think that our profession gains little from it and would do no harm for us to stop using it.  It only complicates our role and position, with the public often being mislead (whether acidentally of not)

    Many thanks to concerned osteopath for your comments!

  27. Paul-glazer on July 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Your entitled to your opinion but as you well know lots of non medical professionals use the title Dr and they dont seem to ruffle feathers so why should Chiropractors.  With regard to education Chiropractors undergo vastly superior training with regard to their target subjects then those attending med school.  I don’t know what the standard of Osteopathic traning is but maybe you feel it is less and thus conflate it with that of Chiropractic.  You sound a bit like the ex regulatory officer greg price who did nothing but bang on about this particular subject which reality only zealots care about, not the public.   

  28. Concerned Osteopath on July 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    As a Registered Osteopath I would not dare to use Dr. before my name. My father was a GP and earned this title, I have not, nor have Chiropractors who have only an undergraduate qualification.
    I do not support the recent hate campaign against your profession, but think some of your members are misleading the public and that this will lead to more scrutiny from the ASA and the press.

  29. Liam on July 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Off topic but good story.

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