Archive for June, 2009
5 Jun 2009
Chiropractic is all about manipulating the spine to cure various ailments. It's all over the news at the moment because of something Simon Singh wrote in the Guardian last April:
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.
I can confidently label these treatments as bogus because I have co-authored a book about alternative medicine with the world's first professor of complementary medicine, Edzard Ernst. He learned chiropractic techniques himself and used them as a doctor. This is when he began to see the need for some critical evaluation. Among other projects, he examined the evidence from 70 trials exploring the benefits of chiropractic therapy in conditions unrelated to the back. He found no evidence to suggest that chiropractors could treat any such conditions.
In response to this, the British Chiropractic Association drew attention to the huge number of careful clinical trials that have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment has taken Simon Singh to court to sue him for libel. If you think this is a tad silly, click here to join the Sense About Science campaign.