Millions of patients love their chiropractor and appreciate our unique and safe approach to recovery from pain. Significant research suggests that chiropractic is the safest approach available for relief from neck pain, back pain, headaches and other “musculo–skeletal” complaints. Lets review that research, and discuss how modern medicine has contributed to the Myth that chiropractic care is dangerous.
In the early 1960's, the American Medical Association (AMA) decided to try to contain and eliminate Chiropractic as a profession.  The AMA's purpose was to prevent medical physicians from referring patients to Chiropractors, as well as preventing them from accepting referrals from Chiropractors; to prevent Chiropractors from obtaining access to hospital diagnostic and radiology services; to prevent medical physicians from teaching at chiropractic colleges, or engaging in any joint research; and, to stifle any other form of cooperation between the two professions. The AMA also told its membership, medical students, insurance companies, and the general public that Chiropractic was an “unscientific cult”.
In 1976, five Chiropractors filed a lawsuit against the AMA (and other named entities) for violation of the Sherman Anti-trust Laws. After 15 years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals stated that the AMA intended to “destroy a competitor,” and that there was evidence “showing that the AMA was motivated by economic concerns”. The court found that the AMA had concealed evidence showing it's guilt, and was caught “doctoring” documents. The AMA was also “guilty of systematic, long term wrong doing and has not acknowledged its lawlessness”. 
Following the Court enforced reversal of AMA's policy, tiny splinter groups formed, with the intention of labeling chiropractic as a quackish cult. Their methods mimicked the earlier AMA suppression tactics: Create doubt about the quality of chiropractic education, and mislead the public into believing that chiropractic claims ALL disease is caused by subluxations. Although these groups hide behind the noble claim that they wish to protect the public from unscientific practices, their true motives are transparent. Their sole intention is to suggest that only allopathic medicine is well supported by scientific research. However, that is just not true!
In an editorial in the highly esteemed British Medical Journal, titled Where is the Wisdom? The Poverty of Medical Evidence, BMJ's editor Dr. Richard Smith recounts a lecture he attended with renowned health policy consultant Dr. David Eddy. Eddy found, after doing significant research, that only about 13% of medical interventions are supported by, solid scientific evidence and that only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound.Why is that? Because most of those articles quote from other articles which make unsupported and unfounded claims.
The Increasing Popularity of Alternative Medicine
After publication of David M. Eisenberg's 1993 New England Journal of Medicine article (Unconventional Medicine in the United States), various factions of modern medicine became increasingly anxious and aggressive in their accusations that alternative approaches to medical healthcare were not supported by research.  This same group was NOT forthcoming in mentioning the small fraction of established medical practices that have ever met these same stringent requirements. They certainly never mention the low level of success which medicine delivers for the same health complaints that chiropractic is so famous for.
Scientific heavyweights deplore the NHS money wasted on “unproved and disproved” treatments used by practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), [1 2] but Lewith, a CAM proponent (see previous letter), is cited elsewhere as saying that the BMJ reckons that 50% of the treatments used in general practice aren’t proved, and 5% are pretty harmful but still being used. 
His data were taken from the BMJ Clinical Evidence website. A pie chart (see it below in the Evidence-based Practice posting) indicates that, of about 2500 treatments supported by good evidence, only 15% of treatments were rated as beneficial, 22% as likely to be beneficial, 7% part beneficial and part harmful, 5% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and in the remaining 47% the effect of the treatment was “unknown.”
The text says, “The figures suggest that the research community has a large task ahead and that most decisions about treatments still rest on the individual judgements of clinicians and patients.” On 9 October 2007 the situation had changed—but not for the better. Treatments rated “beneficial” had decreased from 15% to 13%.
1. Kamerow D. Wham, bang, thank you CAM. British Medical Journal 2007 (Sep 29); 335: 647
2. Colquhoun D. What to do about CAM? British Medical Journal 2007 (Oct 13); 335: 736
3. Cope J. The great debate. Healthwriter 2007 (Apr): 1-3.
This comprehensive study reviewed all the published literature on low back pain and made some astounding suggestions. In a nutshell, it concluded that: chiropractic should be the treatment of choice for low back pain – excluding traditional medical care altogether!
The specific Findings of the report were:
There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low-back pain is more cost-effective than medical management
Many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate
There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic complications for LBP patients.
Chiropractic is more cost-effective. There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of LBP was transferred from medical physicians to chiropractors.
There is good empirical evidence that patients are very satisfied with chiropractic management of LBP and considerably less satisfied with physician management
The specific Recommendations were:
Chiropractic services should be fully insured under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan
Chiropractic services should be fully integrated into the health care system. Because of the high incidence and cost of LBP, hospitals, managed health care groups, community health centers, comprehensive health organizations, and health service organizations and long-term care facilities should employ chiropractors on a full-time and/or part-time basis
Midtown New York Chiropractor, Dr Frank Valente provides chiropractic care for patients in the New York area. Dr Frank Valente is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner who specialties include: the treatment of neck and back pain, disc injuries and disc herniation, sports injury rehabilitation, pinched nerve, and nutrition, 420 Madison Avenue, New York NY, 10017, (917) 338-7917