In recent weeks it has been much easier explaining to patients why I no longer call myself a chiropractor. The incompetent regulator, associations making claims about chiropractic which they have removed from their websites under challenge from chiropractic sceptics. I was so proud when I graduated as a chiropractor and still feel proud to be part of that profession when I am working in Ireland or Denmark. However recent events in the UK have embarrassed me because even though I make it clear I am no longer a chiropractor my patients still refer to me as their chiropractor; (Spinal health care practitioner” is a bit of a mouthful). While the GCC do not include me as part of the profession, the public see it differently and right now its embarrassing.
I was delight yesterday when I was contacted by some recent graduates from (what I consider the best chiropractic college in the world) The Anglo European College of Chiropractic who no longer wanted to take all this criticism from the sceptics lying down and would like to use this blog to respond. Jonathan Clarke DC sent me this below. Knowing as I do how sceptics react to this research and sart quoting Professor Ernst please read my posting about Ernsts lack of knowledge on clinical chiropractic. before you start and thanks to Jonathan for this great piece. Lets hope it gets the chiropractic suits off their arse.
Deepest darkest Cornwall here! Usually cut off from the wonderfully interactive world of chiropractic down this way, but suddenly glad not to be amongst what only appears to be the biggest game of Simon Says this country has seen! So sorry to see how the one thing we have absolute control over is being so beautifully played against us, Fear!
Professional, highly respectable, exceptionally trained, usually intelligent people, seem to have suddenly lost all faith in the great skill and gift they have. Everyday we have the privilege of welcoming new and current patients into our practices and hearing how they have spent years suffering with little support and help, being told the same, "there is nothing more that can be done!" when of course in fact they meant "There is nothing more that we can do!" .
Chiropractors, on a daily basis, see our patients, families and friends continue to go from strength to strength finding relief, a new found confidence and continued good health, simply through receiving life-enhancing chiropractic care.
To such an extent does this happen, that most of us take it for granted. We all have our wonderful stories of patients who have amazed even us with the results they have shown, reminding us to always remain humble to the immense power of healing the body has, aided by a chiropractic adjustment. Yet, despite this, those damn personal demons still exist. Fear!
Within three weeks 245 websites have deleted the suggestion that chiropractic might help children suffering with colic. Simon says it doesn’t work! delete!
Dr Jon says reinstate! There is good evidence that chiropractic helps young children.
The Short-term Effect of Spinal Manipulation in the treatment of Infantile Colic: A Randomised Controlled Trial with a Blinded Observer, Wiberg JMM, Nordsteen J, Nilsson N. JMPT. Oct 1999; Vol. 22, No 8, pp.517-522
Conclusion: spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic
Infantile colic and chiropractic. Nilsson N. Eur J Chiro 1985; 33 (4): 264-65
Infantile colic treated by chiropractors: a prospective study of 316 cases. Klougart N, Nilsson N and Jacobsen J (1989) J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1989 (Aug);12 (4): 281-288
Simon says chiropractic doesn’t help with ear infections! Delete!
Dr Jon says reinstate!
Ear Infection: A Retrospective Study Examining Improvement from Chiropractic Care and analyzing influencing factors. Froehle RM J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996 (Mar-Apr); 19 (3): 169-177
Diagnosis and treatment of TMJ, head, neck and asthmatic symptoms in children. Gillespie BR, Barnes JF, Cranio. 1990 (Oct); 8 (4): 342-349
- From the abstract: "Pathologic strain patterns in the soft tissues can be a primary cause of headaches, neck aches, throat infections, ear infections, sinus congestion, and asthma."
Simon says Asthma! Delete!
Treatment of visceral disorders by manipulative therapy. Miller WD. In: Goldstein M, Ed. The Research Status of Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Bethesda: Dept. HEW. 1975:295-301.
Specific upper cervical chiropractic care and lung function. Kessinger, R CRJ 1997; 27/ Mantis ID 38010
The list could go on, but the research is out there, but of course, the more the better. For more references see www.icpa4kids.com or Koren Publications for a Manual full of trials, case studies and retrospective research in a whole host of different heath conditions. including…Allergies, Sinus Troubles, ADHD, Autism, Behavioural and learning disorders, Bed-wetting, Bladder and UTI’s, Blood pressure, Breast feeding difficulties, CTS, Shoulder/arm/hand complaints, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chrohn’s Down’s Syndrome, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Infertility…. to name but a few. These studies hopefully will drive other and bigger studies and produce more compelling evidence. Right now the studies a least justify giving chiropractic a try.There are more published case studies than is possible to post here but of course Dr Jon says reinstate. Suffice to say my website remains the same.
The cynical out there may say, "well, that’s all well and good but the research is old". Perspective: Pythagoras made his point 2500 years ago, he doesn’t need to keep proving it! it still works!
Chiropractic still works, even if Simon says different. Don’t forget, this and don’t fall prey to fear.
The most important point to remember is that as Chiropractors we should never claim to cure anything, we never have and never will! sorry ego! We can adjust, we can restore movement to a joint which has become restricted, we can poke/prod/activate/massage/strip/stretch/strap, we can offer hope/guidance/reassurance/encouragement/congratulation but we cannot heal. Neither can medical doctors by the way! The only person that can heal is the patient. 13 trillion nerve impulses per second is better than you or me so lets not say we cure anything. The fact the we can say people have seen to receive benefit from chiropractic care for a whole host of conditions, through either RCT’s, Case studies or previous experience simply reassures the general public that we offer hope, but recognise that healing takes place from within.
But what about the scientific method I hear him scream! Well it doesn’t apply to medicine so why insist it apply to us! Chemical A + Chemical B = Chemical C repeat and get the same reults for eternity. That’s the scientific method. Give 10 people with a headache an aspirin and sit back and watch the diversity! Replace aspirin with any drug, surgery or physical intervention the results will always be different because of the 1000’s of variables which make up the human bodily functions. RCT’s, statistics, P values they preach, can be manipulated to say whatever the financial backer wants them to say we point out. Safety the shout, iatrogenic death is now estimated as the third highest cause of death in the US.
Tell your patients the truth and they will tell others. moan amongst ourselves and just perpetuate the situation. Sadly, medicine is fear driven. par example: Swine Flu, the global health scare, lock up your daughters, stay in after dark sort of stuff, with 24 hour news coverage, accounted for only 1 recorded death in the UK, (recently discounted due to underlying health complaints of patient). In comparison death by regular, common or garden pneumonia on average accounts for 40,000 deaths a year! talk about fear tactics! Why, you ask! well, say, I don’t know, maybe vaccination! what an income boast during a recession that would have been!
To those of you who were worried about prospective new patients not ringing because of bad publicity, we had a patient ring up and say I just saw chiropractic on the news and never knew that chiropractors might help people with asthma, can I bring my daughter in! How many of the general public knew when Chiropractic Awareness Week was? or Back Care week? This is the best advertising we have had in a long time. Make the most of it. Awareness is key. Even if some guy says that we can’t the prospective patient hears that we might be able to! Reinforce this with patients. A colleague said to me recently I only ever see patients with elbow, shoulder or knee complaints, I asked if they told these patients what else chiropractic might benefit and they said no! so who do you think those patients with elbow, shoulder or knee complaints are going to refer in then! Spread your message to anyone who will listen, face down tends to be a good time! and enjoy reaping what you sow.
Chiropractic has been around a long time, we will continue to be around a long time. Have confidence in what you can do, remind your patients what you do and get out and tell your town or city. People in their clubs or schools will listen to what you have to say face to face, with far more interest than some guy on the TV.
Finally will any of what I’ve said change the course of the current situation, probably not, but will it lift your spirits and remind you how lucky you are to be in a profession that actually helps people and provides hope and confidence to thousands of patients everyday when they thought all hope was lost. We are there for the patient who has spent a lifetime suffering because they heard the immortal words "There is nothing more that can be done!" Don’t let that patients hope fade because of fear of standing up and saying actually chiropractic can change lives. Reinstate your websites and let them know.
May you continue to go from strength to strength and be the first port of call for genuine healthcare in your community.
In continued health and love (but seeing how much I’d just written, clearly need to get out more!)