Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Chiropractors aren't doctors, and their treatments aren't based on medical science

Chiropractor Alan K. Sokoloff, who was mentioned in a recent story about meningitis, stated that "lots of times, primary care doctors ... go the extreme route" ("Outbreak spotlights back pain treatment," Nov. 5). Lots? How many?

I offer the kind of primary care he's talking about, and I would ask that any alternative provider who treats my patients show the evidence his or her treatment is effective. People shouldn't have to rely on just anecdotes or testimonials to be confident that chiropractic works, is safer and worth the money.

But to show such treatments are effective there must be multiple randomized, placebo-controlled trials involving at least 200 patients and done by investigators with no financial interest in the outcome. Chiropractors don't or won't understand this, and so as they massage your back they seek to draw your children in as clients to "cure their bed wetting."

What is the scientific evidence for such claims? Though they advertise and refer to themselves as doctors, chiropractors are not physicians, and they cannot prescribe medications.

They are indeed correct that we have come to expect a pain-free existence, but that doesn't mean we can have one.

Assuming you can still walk, your best bet is to walk, stretch and lose that extra weight. I have discouraged patients from shots for years. Epidural shots are marginally effective and facet shots are useless.

And for the record, the only "extreme route" I go as a primary care physician is running to work year-round. I am very cautious with my patients.

Theodore Houk

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Baltimore's bane: Drugs and single-parent households

    Baltimore's bane: Drugs and single-parent households

    It was with deep regret and sadness that I looked closely at the pictures of each of my 45 fellow Baltimore residents murdered in July ("45 murders in 31 days: Looking back at Baltimore's deadliest month," Aug. 29).

  • Windjammer sets tone for helping others

    Windjammer sets tone for helping others

    I was fortunate enough to attend Windjammer, and the article in The Sun does a fantastic job of describing the raw emotions and sentiment projected by all of those who played ("Windjammer festival marks a beautiful moment in Baltimore music," Aug. 30). I think Sam Herring put it very succinctly...

  • Money alone won't solve Md.'s heroin problem

    Money alone won't solve Md.'s heroin problem

    In a recent editorial The Sun chose to ignore the many positives of Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford's interim heroin task force report and instead spent most of its energy misinterpreting and then harping on his seven-word remark about funding: "It's probably never going to be enough" ("Rutherford pleads...

  • Make a healthy harvest available to all

    Make a healthy harvest available to all

    I applaud Healthy Harvest's mission of finding a market for fresh and edible produce "rejects" ("Howard start-up targets food waste," Aug. 26).

  • Why are so many homicide victims black?

    Why are so many homicide victims black?

    I am shocked by your recent report that virtually all Baltimore City homicide victims are minorities ("45 murders in 31 days: Looking back at Baltimore's deadliest month," Aug. 29).

  • Renaming peak a wrong priority

    Renaming peak a wrong priority

    As usual and with his myopic view of issues, President Barack Obama chose to direct his foolishness to renaming Mount McKinley rather than the importance of energy issues in the United States ("Alaska-bound, Obama renames America's tallest peak," Aug. 31).

Comments
Loading
88°