Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Do Some People View Chiropractic as Quackery?

This is a very good question...first we must find out what the definition of quackery is. Quackery is defined as doing a certain procedure or method for treating a patient with absolutely no evidence to substantiate the claim. While this term has been a moniker of alternative health practitioner it also applied to medical doctors as well. It's important to note that not all treatment forms are scientifically scrutinized and undergo rigorous clinical trials due to cost and time, and this is in every discipline. There is a systematic approach for making valid claims, just because there is antidotal evidence doesn't mean it's effective, but if it's the only evidence we have we can make a claim that it could be helpful. However, if there is not strong evidence prepare to possibly be called a quack with only your anecdotal evidence.

During the first years of chiropractic there was not a lot of randomized double blind control trails for chiropractic, hence the only evidence available was the antidotal evidence that the chiropractors told people about. Well, naturally people were skeptical of what the chiropractors were saying about their healthcare and they got labeled quacks by people whom had a vested interest in the elimination of chiropractic or who just didn't believe them. Fast forward to present day and there is a plethora of scientific literature that show chiropractic is effective for a wide range of musculoskeletal aliments, but some people don't read the current literature and employee simply what they heard in the past. You can equally call a medical doctor a quack as I stated above, for example the doctor is prescribing medicine that has no valuable therapeutic effect for a certain condition, which has been shown this in clinical trails, well you can label him a quack if you like.

In every healthcare profession there are things we do know and things we don't know. I would recommend not call anyone a quack because well, there may be no evidence today but there could be evidence tomorrow. Medical doctors for years have called chiropractors quacks because there was not much evidence, now the evidence has been published and that name has been subdued for the most part. There are some doctors who make extraordinary claims with very little evidence and go against everything we know about the human body scientifically, these doctors I would lump into the quack category. If you're a doctor who practices strict evidence based clinical healthcare by definition you cannot be a quack. The term quack, if you must, should be labeled on a person and not a group of healthcare providers, as I know some chiropractor who are more knowledgeable of scientific evidence than their medical counterparts. Take the opinion of the person and not the profession as a whole.    

2 comments:

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