“I Don’t Believe in Chiropractic!”
Why We Ask You To Tell Your Family and Friends About Chiropractic!
When we began practice in Starkville in 1979 there were only a handful of clinical trials on spinal manipulation for back pain, and perhaps only one or two for neck pain. Questions were common. Was chiropractic effective? Was chiropractic safe?
You would hear people on the streets talk about chiropractic as if it were a faith walk rather than a clinical science: “I believe in Chiropractic,” one fellow would say, while his buddy across the table would counter, “I don’t believe in Chiropractic!”
Stories would follow. “I knew a man that died after chiropractic!” a man would faithfully report, whilst another retorted, “Well, if it hadn’t been for a chiropractor, my dad would have died of pneumonia!”
Amongst all the hoopla and hysteria, if not fed by it, was the 100 year war between organized medicine, primarily the American Medical Association (AMA), and chiropractors. In fact, some of the worst attacks by the AMA did not stop until the U.S. Supreme Court in December of 1991 refused to hear the AMA’s appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Susan Getzendanner’s decision several years earlier, slapping the AMA with a permanent injunction for what she described as its “lawless behavior” in trying to eliminate the chiropractic profession.
A generation after the AMA was forced to publish an apology in the Journal of the American Medical Association and clarify its policy to allow physicians to refer to chiropractors, medical referrals for chiropractic care are still uncommon (but thankfully, not rare).
To this day, Americans may still be waiting for their medical doctor to refer them to a chiropractor. Despite amazing scientific breakthroughs that are helping us solve some of the questions about the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic, we may be listening to our physician instead of the research:
1994 US Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research determined spinal manipulation was “safe and effective” for acute low back pain, (more effective than physical therapy, injections, and braces)
2008 large population based study confirms that stroke is no more prevalent after visiting a chiropractor than after visiting a physician (both may be missing prestroke symptoms and signs)
2009 Cochrane reviews of 27 trials (1522 subjects) reveal that spinal manipulation appears to be effective for neck pain and headache
So here’s our point. This month as we worship the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, search your heart and have faith that the hand of the Almighty, who set the galaxies in space and gave us all life, cares about your soul. But when it comes to chiropractic, forget about faith! If you care to read about research of chiropractic benefits, read the references below. Otherwise, just give chiropractic a try! Since physicians may not tell your family and friends about us, we ask you to tell them, so they too can enjoy better health through chiropractic!
Dr. Rob Leach
For a Wikipedia description of Wilk vs AMA and Judge Getzendanner’s ruling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilk_v._American_Medical_Association
For a systematic research review of spinal manipulation for acute and chronic neck pain and headache done by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration: http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004249.html
To read the 1994 US Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research findings about safety and effectiveness of spinal manipulation for acute low back pain: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bookshelf/br.fcgi?book=hsarchive&part=A34262#A34334
To read results of the largest population based study on whether chiropractic is associated with stroke, published in 2008 in Spine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18204390
To read my research published in January 2010 on stroke cases that presented to my office here in Starkville: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20114102