I've been intending to make this thread for awhile, but really have just had the urge to today. While I see a healthy skepticism on the part of most people with regards to chiropracty, a lot of people, when it comes up, seem to decide "well, it's snake oil, but if it makes people feel better, where's the harm?" The first time I'd ever really thought about it was when I went to the doctor because I had managed to somehow injure my back (not badly). I had been putting up with some annoying amount of pain for a couple weeks, and when I went into his office, he asked me a few questions to make sure it wasn't a kidney problem, then said "well, it's probably just going to get better. Usually, it's about two weeks until stuff like this starts to get better, which is how chiropractors make their money: you get tired of it after two weeks, go and see one, and then you get better." So, you know, you figure "hey, just like any other placebo, right? No harm, no foul." And if there actually were
no harm, yeah, sure, that would be fine. But the reality is that chiropractors are selfish charlatans, who put their own enrichment ahead of public health. In the interests of full disclosure, I feel I should admit that my employment is tangentially related to the insurance industry, so my perspective may be skewed.
The first big issue with chiropractors is that they want your children to die. "Oh, Thanatos, there you go, exaggerating again." Sorry, no, no exaggeration, here. Chiropractors engage in at least a couple of different lobbying efforts to put the welfare of children at risk. The first one I read about actually had to do with concussions, in a quite good article put out by Village Voice Media. You can read the whole article here
, but this is the money shot:
"No billis better than a bad bill," says Florida state Senator Dennis Jones, a working chiropractor who in May helped to kill a concussion law.
Florida is one of the few states to balk at concussion legislation for youth athletes, a nationwide trend that began in 2009 when Washington gave a thumbs-up to the Zackery Lystedt Law. A prototype for dozens to come, such an act requires any athlete under 18 who suffers a suspected concussion to receive written consent from a medical professional before returning to play. (There is no similar federal law.)
In Texas, Natasha's Law, named after former soccer player Natasha Helmick, was signed by Governor Rick Perry in June after the Senate passed the bill by a 31-0 margin. And, beginning on January 1, 2012, Colorado's Jake Snakenberg Act will take the Lystedt Law one step further by requiring every coach in youth athletics to complete an online concussion-recognition course.
Florida, however, recoiled from its own version of concussion safety because Jones was miffed that the language did not include the back-cracking set among "medical professionals." Jones didn't help his cause by talking on the Senate floor about how standard MRIs can be used to detect concussions, which is a fallacy. Jones filed an amendment to include chiropractors and the House refused to vote on the amended bill, which died on the floor.
So, because this piece-of-shit snake oil salesman couldn't get his, he shut down a bill designed to protect high school athletes from brain damage. This, in spite of being lobbied by a brain-damaged high school athlete.
Furthermore, chiropractors are huge in the anti-vaccination movement
. "Don't worry," they say, "your kids don't need vaccinations; just have us fix their subluxations." And as we all know, this puts not only the kids of parents who buy into this bullshit at risk, but also the kids of anyone they come into contact with. When we have another polio outbreak (probably on Vashon Island), chiropractors are going to be at least partially responsible.
"Okay, Thanatos," you say, "so they advocate for some really fucking stupid shit; but there are people in every
profession advocating for some really fucking stupid shit, right? I mean, if that's all you got, then whatever. If people want to give a chiropractor money, it's their money; they can do what they want with it." Au contraire, mi amigo. It's not their
money that they're spending at the chiropractor; it's your
money and my
money. Because the chiropractor's true specialty isn't medical: it's financial. They know how to market, and they know how to bill insurance companies, especially for unnecessary treatment. This drives up the cost of insurance (especially
auto insurance) for those of us who have the sense to avoid snake oil salesmen. Insurance companies spend tons of money fighting this sort of thing, but with guys like the above Florida legislator against them, it's tough.
So, just to be clear, here, and finish up: chiropractors are so bad that they actually make insurance companies into the good guys
. So, weigh in on why you think your chiropractor is awesome, and totally not one of these evil snake oil salesmen.