Anonymous asked in HealthAlternative Medicine · 1 decade ago

are skepdog and rihanna right about chiropractic?

that they are nothing more than massage therapists?

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Which question is this referring to ?

    There is no GOOD evidence that chiropractic has any specific health benefits, it's never been convincingly demonstrated to alter the course of any specific disease entity. In fact, my understanding is that in the USA, they are not supposed to make claims that they can cure specific diseases - e.g asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc..

    Now....chiropractic may help mild lower back pain, in much the same way a good massage would. There's no good evidence it does much beyond this. answer to your question, given the lack of evidence for chiropractic, to use the analogy that they are nothing more than glorified massage therapists is fair comment.

    If you have robust evidence to the contrary, show us and we'll happily change our position. We are willing to accept any new data that has been objectively demonstrated in a robust manner.....even if it conflicts the currently established theories.


    Well whether it's in the UK or the US, there is no good evidence that they do much in the way of improving health. It does not matter how "qualified" they are or how many years they've spent studying.

    The British Chiropractic association is a bad odour since their libel claim against Dr. Singh.

    And that's joint locking flash, some people do suffer lower back pain as a result of locking of the sacroiliac joint. As I said, there may be an argument to say chiropractic helps with mild back pain if its the result of this problem. The problem is, anyone can do this manipulation once they are shown how- including the patient.

    The moment they start claiming to be able to do anything other than help musculoskeletal problems (in a limited way) is the moment one should avoid them. The is no evidence that routine back manipulation is beneficial for the back or over-all health......actually I know what question you're referring to now, KTT.

    I'd be happier to see an Osteopath to be honest....maybe even Lighty......


    @ Flashflood: There is no good evidence that they do anything more. Whether you find the analogy "glorified massage therapist" derogatory or inaccurate STILL does not change that fact.

    I'm sure your personal experiences with a chiropractor are essential to you, however the plural of anecdote is anecdote, not data. How can you be sure the symptoms improved because of the chiropractor you saw? There is no rational reason why chiropractic should help with colic. Most bouts of colic and "upset stomach" (which is a vague symptom!) clear up in spite of anything one does.

    Many chiropractors' practice ethically and stay within the recognised scope of their abilities, however many don't.

    Although chiro's use different techniques than what a massage therapist uses, the outcomes are arguably much the same. Both have evidence to suggest they may be as effective as exercises + NSAIDs with regards to back pain. Providing they stay within their realm of minor musculoskeletal symptoms, I have no issue with them. Chiropractors who make any claims beyond that are lying, dishonest, ignorant, or all three.

    At least massage therapists know the limit of their proffession...


    @ Flashflood: You said, "You are making pseudoskeptical arguments. Focusing only on one aspect (lower back pain) and totally ignoring that a chiropractor works on the ENTIRE spine. "

    My argument isn't pseudo-skeptical. I focused on the lower back and not the entire spine because there is only evidence to support chiropractic being beneficial for lower back ache NOT the upper back...or even the entire spine.

    The problem with you is that you've turned this into an argument of you nearly always do.

    You have destroyed your own argument. I have conceeded a possible use for chiropractic and all you have done is make it look even more unlikely and unscientific.

    I think I'm done here.

  • Karen
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Osteopathy if you can get in. The problem with PT and DC is that their scope doesn't allow prolotherapy injections which are needed to stabilize some unstable joints. Osteopaths are allowed to give them. There's also the advantage of being able to work in any field of medicine so you'll never get bored. However PT is much more than manipulation so that might be a good choice if you'd rather work in the rehabilitation field. Avoid chiropractic as its school default rates are hidden and are really much higher than disclosed. Two surveys have found that 50% of chiropractic graduates quit practice in five years and many make so little money they can't even pay their loans back. DC schools are very misleading and have been shown to lie to students to boost enrollments.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think you'll find that the statement was something like 'chiropractors are glorified massage therapists'. And I'll think you'll find that was not meant to be a literal claim - its an analogy to make a point.

    Anyway its possible that massage therapy is in fact better than chiropractic for many issues - it's certainly safer. Proper massage therapists aren't going to put you at risk of stroke, and they aren't going to make bogus claims that they can treat or cure childhood colic, asthma or ear infections.

    This is Simon Singh's statement that upset the BCA:

    "You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact they still possess some quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything. And even the more moderate chiropractors have ideas above their station. The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments."

    Sensibly, the BCA have now withdrawn their libel action against Simon. However the damage has been done, many chiros in the UK are under investigation, and now millions of people are rightly skeptical of chiropractic.

    And still, not one single shred of evidence exists to support these bogus claims. Instead UK chiros have scrambled to remove any such claims from websites or marketing literature. I wouldn't trust one as far as I could throw one. I certainly wouldn't take the risk that I 'might' be lucky and get a 'good' one (flashflood). I'd rather see an osteopath...


    EDIT: flashflood , you seem quite good at back peddling yourself. But no, the fact that SOME of their claims MAY have merit, either real or perceived, does not validate quack claims that chiropractic can cure childhood colic, asthma or ear infections.

    Tell me how such extravagant claims, and notions like 'life forces', or innate energies, and a complete disregard of the role of microbes in infection, advance their profession or medicine in general? Why should the public trust chiropractic?


    EDIT: I just wanted to add quack devices to my last paragraph:;_ylt=Ah5Gw...

  • 1 decade ago

    Gee whilikers, Mr TKC, er KTT..(its' hard to keep track of all your accounts) .I don't know who this skepdog person is, and there has been a fake Rihanna who knows.

    However, in MY opinion, chiropractors are little more than glorified massage therapists. Their "training" is longer, and they like to call themselves doctor, but when it comes to treating low back pain, they don't do anything much different from what an MT does. Low back pain is about the ONLY thing that chiropractors may validly claim to be of any help with, though their results are no better than other modalities.

    Chiropractic...the "adjustment" of "subluxations" to release the flow of "innate energy" does nothing at all for back pain. It does nothing, period. It is a facade, an illusion. It doesn't exist. Even chiropractors themselves have finally 'fessed up that subluxations....the fundamental founding principal of chiropractic, and the basis for EVERYTHING in their philosophy....don't exist.

    What actually WORKS for common low back pain, of a muskulo-tendinous origin, is physical therapy or spinal manipulative therapy. That is performed by chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, sports trainers, and medical rehabilition doctors. Heat, stretching and pain relieving medications also work for LBP. In fact, they are all about equally effective, though some people respond better to one thing better than others. Its' all good.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Don't forget about the British Chiropractic Association is in hoc to the tune of an estimated £300,000 to Simon Singh when it tried to challenge his assertion that they peddled sham treatments for which there is not a jot of evidence for their efficacy.

    Some 25% of the members of the BSA are (or have been) under investigation by the ASA and Trading Standards for false advertising and collectively they have brought the entire outfit into disrepute. Hopefully now people will see them for what they are. Peddlers of quackery and snake oil.

  • Sammy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    That claim would indicate a complete lack of knowledge about chiropractors. I've had plenty of massages, but never from a chiropractor. I can't even fathom how anyone who has been to see a chiropractor would describe it as a massage. Possibly someone who is equally clueless about massage.

    The claim is really just an attempt to discredit chiropractors, by demeaning what they do without any evidence to back it up. It speaks loudly about those who make the claim.

  • Mr E
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    no, and their ignorance is apparently willful, given as many times as i have stated what it is in fact. though it is true many use non-corrective therapeutics, this is not what chiropractic is. it is about one thing, correction of the cause of nerve interference. massage, nor any other form of therapeutics accomplish this. of course, the use of therapies by some gives them a convenient straw man to attack, while evading the truth of genuine chiropractic's real purpose and the means by which it achieves it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Do you mean they are the final authorities on anything and everything. Don't waste your time

    on them and move on sir, it is not worth it. Let them bark, the elephant moves on. They all

    suffer from one common sickness and that is Veritaphobia. Remember the nurses job is to

    change bed-pan in which the patient has urinated and defecated so do we label them as

    scavengers, NO, but they label others that does not mean we have to stoop low to their level.

    Move on, up!

    Edit: The trolls are cowards, they had my answer removed and when it reappeared, they gave thumbs down,

    truely a case of mass VERITAPHOBIA.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well when you have a chiro posting over and over again that just about anything that can possibly go wrong with the human body is cause by"nerve interfence" AND can only be fixed by a hio (hole in one) chiro....what do YOU think? And please don' put chiropractors and hard working,honest massage therapists in the same category.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nitram....Don't forget that Simon Singh had to back peddle to convince the courts that he was only expressing an OPINION since he could not prove his negative claims against Chiropractic.

    That might be a good thing to remember......

    In answer to the question, I have never had a massage therapist "crack" my spinal column. I've never had a Chiropractor give anymore than a minute's massage (to increase circulation before doing an adjustment). In fact, massage therapists and physical therapists are PROHIBITED BY LAW to make spinal adjustments. I don't know what kinda of sad chiropractors or mad massage therapists there are in the UK....but that is NOT the case in the US.

    Further, there is about a 4 - 6 year difference in education required. And the licensing is different.

    They are not the same.

    What it boils down to, is that the "skeptics" are taking their opinion and wording it so that makes it sound like more than it is or something it is not.

    Edit: If the Chiropractic Association in the UK is a bad "odor", that is an opinion. I'm sure others still appreciate their chiropractor. It also doesn't change the fact that Singh would have had to prove his accusations which is why he convinced everyone it was just an opinion. Fine if you want to say that is YOUR opinion that you THINK of chiropractors as glorified massage therapists. Technically you are wrong, but it fits with your opinion and you should be careful as to state it as such.

    After two car accidents, my C1 and C2 and CT junction can go out of place and it usually takes a chiropractor to put them back into place. It isn't simply a 'lock', it is an actual slide and turn.

    A few years back I hurt me lower "back". I just KNEW it actually was my SI joint, but the medical doctor wouldn't listen to me. He just wanted to throw pain killers at me. Another chiropractor (a Palmer grad) who is kinda wimpy so never really helped with other things much....did do some traction on my lower back and hips and that helped some. Then the MD sent me to a neurosurgeon who suggested surgery...which "could make it worse" for something that wasn't even clearly evident on the MRI in the lumbars. NO attention to the SI joint despite my repeated requests.

    As far as other claims....if anyone has ever paid attention, I have always said that if you find a chiropractor who takes a lot of X-rays, has lots of machines and equipment, and ropes you into coming for numerous visits....that chiropractor is in it for the money and go find someone else. I agree that some chiropractors make some extraordinary claims. Some things are an irritated nerve in the throracic level contributing to stomach upset (been there done that) .....but some other things....I have to question. Most of the chiropractors that go overboard here in the US are Palmer graduates and they also typically are the ones taking a lot of X Rays, having lots of gadgets, etc. I tend to stay away from them (there are a couple good ones but National grads are far better).

    Any of you ever been to a GOOD chiropractor? Or any at all? Just curious.

    Edit: Yes, the way you word it is making a judgement especially when your comparison is inaccurate. Calling chiropractors glorified massage therapists is derogatory (aside from inaccurate) and reflects an opinion not a fact.

    I thought you didn't want to be labeled a pseudoskeptic.

    Edit @ Rhianna and Gary: I guess I was lucky that the first chiropractor I ever went to was an excellent one. That may have made me more aware of what to look for. I've been to 5-6 other ones in my life since then (the first one I went to eventually retired so I had to look around). In my search, I ran across one that had only a few things to say about all the possible ailments that chiropractic could fix but he didn't push it. 3 of the others did the gizmo and/or numerous visits things (but no claims). Another one was decent but not very effective because he was a slight man and couldn't or wouldn't put all the vertebrae back in line like they needed. The one I go to now is the woman that took over the great chiropractor's office and went to the same school he went to. Speaking of him...he DID help my son's colic! But he didn't advertise that fact, it was my friend who referred me to him because he took care of HER son's colic. Also, a couple times when I've been having general stomach upset myself, my current chiropractor will find I have one of the thoracic vertebrae out and after the adjustment, the stomach upset will be gone. (So Gary, SOME of those claims may have some merit).

    I understand that you are spinning an analogy based on lower back pain relief results. But that IS a thin analogy given all the other differences in actual spinal manipulation (including cervical such as what I need), education, licensing and the fact that a massage therapist is restricted by law to do those things. That would be like saying a surgeon is a glorified nurse or that an accountant is a glorified cashier. (Dave gives the chiropractor insult all the time and DOES use the words..."nothing more than...." in his claim).

    Can you see the unjustified judgement and insult regardless of whether or not it contains the words - 'nothing more than..' ?

    I'd still see a chiropractor over an Osteopath the US, because here, Osteopaths have the same qualifications as MD's (except with education regarding spinal manipulation) and they SELDOM ever do adjustments. Too seldom IMO to risk that they'd remember how to do it correctly. Or waste the money (been there done that too) in hopes that they'd do an adjustment and instead got medicine. Mostly, they pursue their practice exactly like MDs here.

    Edit: Gary, how am I back peddling by telling my experiences? I am verifying what I've always said.

    (and Gary, no amount of heat, stretching, and pain pills will put a vertebrae that has slid or rotated back into place.)

    Edit: @ Rhianna. Well, excuse me for trying to have a polite, conversational type reply to you. Therein lies any error. I will correct this and treat you as you want to be treated.

    You are making pseudoskeptical arguments. Focusing only on one aspect (lower back pain) and totally ignoring that a chiropractor works on the ENTIRE spine. Your analogy (which it is NOT worded as such) IS faulty and inaccurate AND from your OWN emotional response. Using your fallacious logic and cherry picking of solitary effects/outcomes...then you are nothing more than a gloried nurse's aide because both you and a nurse's aid provide comfort measures to a patient by changing their bed pans, helping them with a bath, or adjusting their bedding. If you don't do any of those things because of the policies in your hospital, you should know that MANY hospitals, nurses ARE required to do those things. Therefore, using that prejudicial broad brush claim entitles me to foist that description on you as well (by your own logic).

    Edit: If you think so. You are entitled to your opinion. My comments stand.

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