Debunking Denialism

Fighting pseudoscience and quackery with reason and evidence.

Tag Archives: chiropractic

Australian Chiropractor Hit With ~23 000 USD Fines For Misleading Advertisement

Chiropractor gets massive fines

Proponents of fake treatments have in many ways been allowed to push their quackery and nonsense without that much government regulation. This has made them bold and encouraged them to more and more batshit pseudoscientific claims about the alleged health benefits of their treatments. However, because the consumer protection is so weak, the justice system has had to find other ways to tackle the problem. Thus, prosecuting quacks has typically involved cases where there have been fatalities or illegal transportation, tax violations or false and misleading advertisement. However, this is rare. Most of the time, snake oil salespeople have been allowed to roam free.

However, this might be changing in some parts of the world. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has started to crack down on alternative medicine practitioners who create enormously misleading advertisements for their services. Recently, a chiropractor was charged with multiple counts of false or misleading advertisements and also for using testimonials in health advertisement. He was convicted and must now pay a hefty fine of around 23 000 USD. Although this is just a single case, it is a stunning victory for scientific skepticism and consumer protection efforts. There will hopefully be more such cases. Who knows, maybe other countries will learn from the Australian experience?

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Exposing Chiropractors Who Use Spinal Manipulation on Newborns

Chiro website

Chiropractic is an alternative medicine pseudoscience based on the notion that certain misalignments of the spine (called subluxatons) disrupts the flow of innate intelligence in the body and cause a wide range of diseases. Chiropractic manipulation of the spine (both neck and back areas) is claimed to fix these alleged subluxations and thus prevent or cure those medical conditions. In reality, chiropractors are not medical doctors, there is no conclusive evidence for the existence of subluxations or innate intelligence and chiropractic adjustments may cause severe harm such as a vertebral artery dissection. They also seem to overuse X-ray scans, despite the apparent realization that subluxations cannot be seen on an X-ray.

A few years back, an Australian chiropractor seems to have broken the neck of a baby infant during a “treatment” session. In a bizarre turn of events, the Australian health authorities turned over the case to the national chiropractic organization that denied it was the chiropractic manipulation that caused the broken neck.

What does chiropractic “treatments” of infants look like? What kind of spinal manipulations do they perform? To find examples of chiropractors using spinal manipulation on newborns, I performed a search on the video community website YouTube on 2015-07-04. The search term used was “newborn chiropractic adjustment” (with quotes). No additional search filters were used. At the time, this returned “about 184 results”. Not all of them show chiropractors working on newborns, but this article features several of the examples found.

The results are truly horrifying, particularly when chiropractors manipulate the C1 vertebra (atlas) or hold newborn infants upside down for an extended period of time. In some cases, the newborns are mere hours old.

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