Another Chiropractic Smear

One has to question the timing. Today Medscape.com, which I use regularly and respect, posted a medical news article about the dangers of chiropractic manual manipulation of the neck. Of course the study has to focus on “Chiropractic” manipulation. Osteopaths use the same techniques. Why not lump them in the pot too? Or better yet, just call it “spinal manipulation” and leave the chiropractic part out.

A key link on the webpage directs us to an article from August of last year. The study being quoted shows that there were 26 deaths attributed to chiropractors since 1934. Since 1934? Are you kidding me? 26 deaths in 77 years? And someone is worried about that? Of course that important data was buried deep in the article. People only read the headline of how unsafe chiropractic care is. Who are those people? Medical Doctors. I spend a lot of time building relationships of trust with MDs, in order to overcome unfounded biases against the chiropractic profession. Then some yahoo has to post a clear piece of yellow journalism to undermine the chiropractic profession.

This article is posted right when four federal bills are submitted to to the House of Reps which increase chiropractic coverage for the military and VA.

  • HR 329, the Chiropractic Care to All Veterans Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), would require the VA to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major VA medical facilities by 2014. It would also amend the current statute, the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001, ensuring that chiropractic benefits are included in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and therefore, cannot be denied. Read more here
  • HR 409, the Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), would require the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to allow any beneficiary covered under TRICARE to select and have direct access to a chiropractic physician. The plan deadline is Aug. 31, 2011. Currently, only active duty members are afforded the chiropractic benefit. Read more here.
  • HR 531, the Access to Frontline Health Care Act, introduced by Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), would establish a new program that would help chiropractic physicians and other select health care providers repay their student loans if, in exchange, the providers establish and maintain practices in medically underserved areas. Read more here.
  • HR 664, the Chiropractic Membership in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Act. introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), would also benefit the public and the profession by requiring the inclusion of chiropractic physicians in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. The Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,000 well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Read more here.

I am not anti-medical lobby at all. (I might be a little bit anti-big pharma though. Especially when drug reps are buying lunch for everyone in the MD office each week.) But really now. That is a pretty lame shot. Is the big pharma lobby so worried about some competition that they need to pull this type of stunt? I have lots of friends who are MDs and I receive referrals from MD’s occasionally. This type of biased article selection hurts both professions. and more importantly, it hurts the patients who otherwise would have been referred to a chiropractor by the MD.

Let’s talk about how many people die from using Ibuprofen, or die getting hooked on hydrocodone.. That number is way larger than 26 people in 77 years. Its probably 26 per month. I have help many people reduce their use of pain drugs by appropriate, and safe use of manipulation techniques.

For all my MD contacts out there who read the Medscape article headline, please read the whole article. Especially, read the part that pointed out 26 deaths in 77 years. Look at it objectively and scientifically. Chiropractic is safe, its effective, its complimentary to medical care. We don’t replace you. We can reduce the use of pain meds thereby saving money and complications which invariably arise with the use of drugs.

Smearing is a mess

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