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Chiropractic Destroyed from Within

Summary #

Chiropractors make numerous claims about their ability to treat symptoms by a method called chiropractic subluxation (not to be confused with medical subluxation which is visible in x-rays). A group of chiropractors has shown that the work of chiropractors provides no benefit over physical therapy.

German physical therapy

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Commentary #

Like homeopathic remedies (a rant for another day), many have suggested that subluxation is ineffective. Simon Singh was sued for libel for writing an article highlighting the ineffectiveness of chiropractors (the UK has "interesting" libel laws).

However, Harriet Hall, of the Science-Based Medicine blog, suggests that the "death knell" of chiropractic may have been rung. It is one thing for members of a profession to be introspective; it is another for them systematically refute the entire basis of their own profession. In the study they published, the chiropractors used a standard method for establishing causation known as Hill's Criteria. The criteria show the possibility of a causal relationship; not that it definitely exists. Yet, subluxation fails to satisfy any of the criteria. Sounds pretty bad for a field that's existed for 114 years.

Meta #

What other professions should apply similar systematic rigor to their claims?

See Also #

Updates #

2012-12-05 #