Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chiropractic Is Bogus

I have no love for the alternative medicine. I think it is based on bogus evidence, or a complete lack of thereof, its various "branches" are mutually exclusive, it feeds on people fears and weaknesses, and it sucks up valuable resources (as in $$$) not only from our individual pockets, but also from larger public funds and governments.

Recent blog activities on the interwebs (some of this can be found here and here), reminded me of a case from a few years ago, in which chiropractic, a widely-accepted, "medical" practice, based on pretty much magic, was put to a test, not only by scientists (this has been settled long time ago), but in a court of law in Great Britain.
In this case, a British science writer, Simon Singh, was accused of libel by the British Chiropractic Association, after he had published an article in The Guardian, claiming that the practice of chiropractic is based on unscientific, unproven principles, and that promoting such practices equals false advertising. Even under the libel-friendly British law, the BSA was forced to withdraw the law suit, after it became evident that Singh was correct in his criticism. A side effect of the case was a magnified focus received by chiropractic and its principles, which boils down to a very simple thing: it is crap.

The problem is that a lot of insurance companies in the US will pay for chiropractic visits and that's the money that eventually comes out of our collective pockets. While I do realize that not all medical treatments are perfect (as all sciences are not perfect and definitive), when I'm paying for something, I would like to make sure that it has at least some validity. In the meantime, chiropractic is based on wishful, magical thinking and 100+ years of coming up with bs to justify charging people for a "fancy" massage. You'd be better off going to a real, licensed physical therapists. At least they get education and training in real medicine, and you get a real treatment.

If you want to find out more about chiropractic, The Skeptic Dictionary is a great place to start.

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