Field of Science

The quackery of chiropractic

Chiropractic, the "art" of treating a sleuth of medical conditions by manhandling the spine, is up there with homeopathy and reflexology. Except, to my surprise, it isn't innocuous at all. An article in the Skeptics Magazine details the dangers of this true branch of medicinal quackery: Fatal Adjustments: How Chiropractic Kills.
WHEN KRISTI BEDENBAUGH WANTED RELIEF FROM A BAD SINUS HEADACHE, the 24 year-old former beauty queen and medical office administrator made the mistake of consulting a chiropractor. An autopsy performed on Kristi revealed that the manipulation of her neck had split the inner walls of both vertebral arteries, resulting in a fatal stroke.
The chiropractor’s violent twisting of her neck caused the torn arterial walls to balloon and block the blood supply to the posterior portion of her brain. Studies confirmed that the blood clots formed on the two days she received her neck adjustments.
Kristi died in1993. Four years later, South Carolina’s State Board of Chiropractic Examiners fined the chiropractor $1000 and sentenced him to 12 hours of continuing medical education in the area of neurological disorders and emergency response.
This was news to me, but the fact that there is no science to support the practice wasn't. Chiropractic is bogus:
The public is led to believe that physicians disparage chiropractors out of some sort of professional jealousy. Yet there is only one reason that physicians judge chiropractors so harshly. Medicine is scientifically based, whereas chiropractic is not supported by a single legitimate scientific study.
The human urge to make an easy dollar is great, I suppose. Most of us have a deep aversion to cheating others out of their money, but I imagine that some finds it somewhat easier to get over the shame of scamming thy neighbor if they can make the patients believe they are being helped.

Which they aren't.


  1. For me the million dollar question is, "If a chiropractor truly believes what she is doing is helpful, then is she any less of the asshole I think she is?"

    or he.

  2. It's an eternal question: Is it worse to be stupid or evil?

  3. You have to differentiate between the different branches of chiropractics.

    I agree most of them are bullshit, but on the other hand, my last physiotherapist did a couple of osteopathy moves on my spine (which is also considered chiropractics) and I could run my second marathon...

    I totally depends on what the people do.

    Cheers Arend

  4. Let's not get away from the facts here. What kind of proof are you talking about? I believe that patients walking out of treatments saying they feel better is proof enough that it works just fine

  5. Clinical trials.

    Patients saying they feel better could be due to other things. Placebo. Human touch. Afraid to tell the truth. Inability to assess their own well-being correctly.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS