Monday, January 28, 2008

My Spine's Aligned, But My Nose Is Out Of Joint.

I've ended up getting into a discussion about chiropractors on someone else's blog. I really don't want to continue the discussion there, and I don't particularly want to get drawn into any long debates about the subject here, either, but in the interest of wider public service, I thought I'd also post here with a link to the article I cited there: "Chiropractic: Flagship of the Alternative Medicine Fleet," part 1, part 2. It's a good examination of the reasons why you shouldn't automatically assume (as most people understandably do) that whatever a chiropractor is going to do for you is medically legitimate.


  1. I apologize. Usually Robomarkov reserves his ultra-conservative rants for political "discussions". I see here, however, that his illogic now extends to other topics.

    On my own behalf, I would like to state simply that I knew it was a pulled muscle, and I knew that chiropractors work on backs, hence I called one of them rather than my primary care physician (a D.O.).

  2. It's OK. I'm sorry for getting so verbose on your blog. :P I really am done now. He's welcome to have the last word if he likes.

    But, y'know, that sort of illogic is very, very common. It's worth taking a few minutes to throw some logic at it, IMO, although it's not worth beating oneself to death over, since the real fanatics on subjects like alternative medicine are never going to change their minds, anyway.

    The reason I decided to post the link here, too, even though I may be risking more of the same, is because "chiropractors work on backs, therefore if my back hurts I should go to a chiropractor" is a perfectly normal thing to think, since most people don't have any reason to imagine that chiropractic is anything other than perfectly and uncontroversially legitimate.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that nobody should go to a chiropractor ever, but I think everybody should have the relevant information on the subject. Hence: PSA.

  3. I wish to add that I typed that comment at the beginning of my lunch break. Had I waited until after my sandwich and oranges, I could have offered this quote from Hard Times by Charles Dickens. "He was certain to knock the wind out of common sense, and render that unlucky adversary deaf to the call of time."

    Strangely enough, that paragraph also contained the word "bolus", which happened to be one of the secret words in the credits of the Pinky & the Brain episodes I watched on DVD yesterday.

    I go to a D.O. rather than an M.D. because I grew up with going to a partnership of excellent D.O.'s, so my perception of that field is not one of suspicion.

    That being said, we can now go on to other topics (as your blog tends to do). I offer the following possibilities as natural segues from our discussion: Pinky & the Brain, Charles Dickens, Darles Chickens, or, naturally, Doctor Who (since he visited Charles Dickens).

  4. That is an excellent quote. And "bolus" is an excellent word. :)

    The sole point of the osteopathy article I linked to, I think, is that that field tends to have a slightly higher likelihood of suspect practitioners than is the case with regular MDs. If you can find excellent ones, more power to ya!

    Hmm, now I'm trying to imagine a scenario involving Doctor Who, Charles Dickens, and Pinky & the Brain. I'm not quite sure how that would go, but I'm sure it would be massively entertaining. :)