Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

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

Medicine

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 © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Medicine
  • If criminals don't wanted their cellphones tracked they should stop committing crimes
    If criminals don't wanted their cellphones tracked they should stop committing crimes

    Regarding your recent editorial on the privacy issues raised by police tracking suspects through their cellphone numbers, I would gladly give up some of my personal privacy if law enforcement were allowed to locate and arrest criminals before they do me or my family harm ("The police are...

  • Bag ban casts Baltimore as 'Chump City'
    Bag ban casts Baltimore as 'Chump City'

    Nobody asked columnist Dan Rodricks about banning plastic bags, and nobody asked Baltimore retailers or shoppers either ("Nobody asked me, but City Council needs spine," Nov. 23).

  • Ehrlich's 'cult of anti-Obamaism'
    Ehrlich's 'cult of anti-Obamaism'

    Though I am 1960s retread boomer and unrepentant liberal who usually disagrees commentator Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., I read his column regularly. No surprise that he recently panned Obamacare — again — but what I never hear from Republicans is the Plan B, i.e., how we deal with the...

  • Let's just ban the bags
    Let's just ban the bags

    I have a problem with plastic bags and the bag tax issue ("Council passes body camera bill, plastic bag ban, but veto looms," Nov. 17). So much time and energy has been spent on this issue. When we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, there are so many daily issues, each much more...

  • 'Rain tax' not optional
    'Rain tax' not optional

    The recent sub-headline on the editorial regarding the "rain tax" was patently false ("The bogus 'rain tax' repeal," Nov. 23).

  • How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?
    How can Ehrlich relish suffering of others?

    It saddens me to see the former congressman and governor of Maryland salivating with anticipation at the thought of depriving millions of Americans of decent health insurance by rolling back the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare is a varsity stinker," Nov. 23).

Comments
Loading