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Mea Culpa

September 13th, 2009 · 29 Comments

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In July 2008 I wrote an editorial in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ), at the request of its editor.

The title was  Dr Who? deception by chiropractors.  It was not very flattering and it resulted in a letter from lawyers representing the New Zealand Chiropractic Association.  Luckily the editor of the NZMJ, Frank Frizelle, is a man of principle, and the legal action was averted. It also resulted in some interesting discussions with disillusioned chiropractors that confirmed one’s worst fears.  Not to mention revealing the internecine warfare between one chiropractor and another.

This all occurred before the British Chiropractic Association sued Simon Singh for defamation.  The strength of the reaction to that foolhardy action now has chiropractors wondering if they can survive at all.  The baselessness of most of their claims has been exposed as never before.  No wonder they are running scared.  The whole basis of their business is imploding.

Needless to say chiropractors were very cross indeed.  Then in February 2009 I had a polite email from a New Zealand chiropractor, David Owen, asking for help to find one of the references in the editorial.  I’d quoted Preston Long as saying

"Long (2004)7 said “the public should be informed that chiropractic manipulation is the number one reason for people suffering stroke under the age of 45.

And I’d given the reference as

7. Long PH. Stroke and spinal manipulation. J Quality Health Care. 2004;3:8–10

I’d found the quotation, and the reference, in Ernst’s 2005 article, The value of Chiropractic, but at the time I couldn’t find the Journal of Quality Healthcare.  I did find the same article on the web. At least the article had the same title, the same author and the same quotation.  But after finding, and reading, the article, I neglected to change the reference from J Quality Health Care to http://skepticreport.com/sr/?p=88.  I should have done so and for that I apologise.

When I asked Ernst about the Journal of Quality Healthcare, he couldn’t find his copy of the Journal either, but he and his secretary embarked on a hunt for it, and eventually it was found.

JQHC title

JQHC reference

It turns out that Journal of Quality Healthcare shut down in 2004, without leaving a trace on the web, or even in the British Library.  It was replaced by a different journal, Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare (PSQH)  A reprint was obtained from them.   It is indeed the same as the web version that I’d read, and it highlighted the quotation in question.

The reprint of the original article, which proved so hard to find, can be downloaded here.

JQHC quotation

The full quotation is this

"Sixty-two clinical neurologists from across Canada, all certified members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, issued a warning to the Canadian public, which was reported by Brad Stewart, MD. The warning was entitled Canadian Neurologists Warn Against Neck Manipulation. The final conclusion was that endless non-scientific claims are being made as to the uses of neck manipulation(Stewart, 2003). They need to be stopped. The public should be informed that chiropractic manipulation is the number one reason for people suffering stroke under the age of 45."

I have often condemned the practice of citing papers without reading them (it is, of course, distressingly common), so I feel bad about this, though I had in fact read the paper in question in its web version. I’m writing about it because I feel one should be open about mistakes, even small ones.

I’m also writing about it because one small section of the magic medicine community seems to think they have nailed me because of it.  David Owen, the New Zealand chiropractor, wrote to the editor of the NZMJ, thus.

The quote [in question] is the public should be informed that chiropractic manipulation is the number one reason for people suffering stroke under the age of 45.

Long PH. Stroke and Manipulation. J Quality Health Care. 2004:3:8-10

This quote actually comes from the following blog article http://www.skepticreport.com/medicalquackery/strokespinal.htm [DC the URL is now http://skepticreport.com/sr/?p=88]

I have attached all my personal communications with Colquhoun. They demonstrate this is not a citation error. Prof Colquhoun believes the origin of the quote doesn’t matter because Long was quoting from a Canadian Neurologists’ report (this is also incorrect). As you can see he fails to provide any evidence at all to support the existance [sic] of the “J Quality Health Care.”
This would not be an issue at all if he had admitted it came from a blog site— but I guess the link would have eroded the credibility of the quote.

Colquhoun ‘s belief that my forwarding this complaint is me “resorting to threats” is the final nail in the coffin. If he had any leg to stand on where is the threat?

This may seem pedantic but it surely reflects a serious ethical breach. Is it acceptable to make up a reference to try and slip any unsupported statement into a “scientific” argument and thereby give it some degree of credibility?

Incidentally, at the end of the article, conflicts of interest are listed as none. As Colquhoun is a Professor of Pharmacology and much of his research funding no doubt comes from the pharmaceutical industry how can he have no conflict of interest with therapies that do not advocate the use of drugs and compete directly against the billions spent on pain medications each year?

If I may quote Colquhoun himself in his defence of his article (Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 05-September-2008, Vol 121 No 1281) I’ll admit, though, that perhaps ‘intellect’ is not what’s deficient in this case, but rather honesty.

David Owen 

Financial interests

Well, here is a threat: I’m exposed as a shill of Big Pharma.  ". . . much of his funding no doubt comes from the pharmaceutical industry".  I can’t count how many times this accusation has been thrown at me by advocates of magic medicine.  Oddly enough none of them has actually taken the trouble to find out where my research funding has come from.  None of them even knows enough about the business to realise the extreme improbability that the Pharmaceutical Industry would be interested in funding basic work on the stochastic properties of single molecules.  They fund only clinicians who can help to improve their profits, 

The matter of funding is already on record, but I’ll repeat it now.   The media ‘nutritional therapist’, Patrick Holford, said, in the British Medical Journal

“I notice that Professor David Colquhoun has so far not felt it relevant to mention his own competing interests and financial involvements with the pharmaceutical industry “

To which my reply was

” Oh dear, Patrick Holford really should check before saying things like “I notice that Professor David Colquhoun has so far not felt it relevant to mention his own competing interests and financial involvements with the pharmaceutical industry”. Unlike Holford, when I said “no competing interests”, I meant it. My research has never been funded by the drug industry, but always by the Medical Research Council or by the Wellcome Trust. Neither have I accepted hospitality or travel to conferences from them. That is because I would never want to run the risk of judgements being clouded by money. The only time I have ever taken money from industry is in the form of modest fees that I got for giving a series of lectures on the basic mathematical principles of drug-receptor interaction, a few years ago.”

I spend a lot of my spare time, and a bit of my own money, in an attempt to bring some sense into the arguments. The alternative medicine gurus make their livings (in some cases large fortunes) out of their wares.

So who has the vested interest?

Does chiropractic actually cause stroke?

As in the case of drugs and diet, it is remarkably difficult to be sure about causality. A patient suffers a vertebral artery dissection shortly after visiting a chiropractor, but did the neck manipulation cause the stroke? Or did it precipitate the stroke in somebody predisposed to one? Or is the timing just coincidence and the stroke would have happened anyway? There has been a lot of discussion about this and a forthcoming analysis will tackle the problem of causality head-on,

My assessment at the moment, for what it’s worth, is that there are some pretty good reasons to suspect that neck manipulation can be dangerous, but it seems that serious damage is rare.

In a sense, it really doesn’t matter much anyway, because it is now apparent that chiropractic is pretty well discredited without having to resort to arguments about rare (though serious) effects. There is real doubt about whether it is even any good for back pain (see Cochrane review), and good reason to think that the very common claims of chiropractors to be able to cure infant colic, asthma and so on are entirely, ahem, bogus.  (See also Steven Novella, ebm-first, and innumerable other recent analyses.)

Chiropractic is entirely discredited, whether or not it may occasionally kill people.

Complaint sent to UCL

I had an enquiry about this problem also from my old friend George Lewith.  I told him what had happened.  Soon after this, a complaint was sent to Tim Perry and Jason Clarke, UCL’s Director and Deputy Director of Academic Services. The letter came not from Lewith or Owen, but from Lionel Milgom.   Milgrom is well known in the magic medicine community for writing papers about how homeopathy can be “explained” by quantum entanglement.   Unfortunately for him, his papers have been read by some real physicists and they are no more than rather pretentious metaphors.  See, for example, Danny Chrastina’s analysis, and shpalman, here. Not to mention Lewis, AP Gaylard and Orac.

Dear Mr Perry and Mr Clark,

I would like to bring to your attention an editorial (below) that appeared in the most recent issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal. In it, one of your Emeritus Professors, David Colquhoun, is accused of a serious ethical breach, and I quote – “Is it acceptable to make up a reference to try and slip any unsupported statement into a “scientific” argument and thereby give it some degree of credibility?”

Professor Colquhoun is well-known for writing extensively and publicly excoriating many forms of complementary and alternative medicine, particularly with regard to the alleged unscientific nature and unethical behaviour of its practitioners. Professor Colquhoun is also a voluble champion for keeping the libel laws out of science.

While such activities are doubtlessly in accord with the venerable Benthamite liberal traditions of UCL, I am quite certain hypocrisy is not. And though Professor Colquhoun has owned up to his error, as the NZMJ’s editor implies, it leaves a question mark over his credibility. As custodians of the college’s academic quality therefore, you might care to consider the possible damage to UCL’s reputation of perceived professorial cant; emeritus or otherwise.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Lionel R Milgrom

So, as we have seen, the quotation was correct, the reference was correct, and I’d read the article from which it came   I made a mistake in citing the original paper rather than the web version of the same paper..

I leave it to the reader to judge whether this constitutes a "serious ethical breach", whether I’d slipped in an "unsupported statement", and whether it constitutes "hypocrisy"

Follow-up

It so happens that no sooner was this posted than there appeared Part 2 of the devastating refutation of Lionel Milgrom’s attempt to defend homeopathy, written by AP Gaylard. Thanks to Mojo (comment #2) for pointing this out.

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Tags: Back pain · badscience · Big Pharma · British Chiropractic Association · chiropractic · chiropractor · conflict of interest · David Owen · defamation · George Lewith · homeopathy · Lionel Milgram · N.Z. Chiropractors’ Association · N.Z. College of Chiropractic · New Zealand · New Zealand Medical Journal · NZMJ · UCL

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 twaza // Sep 13, 2009 at 19:32

    At least you were given credit for being a “voluble champion for keeping the libel laws out of science”. Or, perhaps Lionel thinks this is a debit?

  • 2 Mojo // Sep 13, 2009 at 20:28

    Part two of AP Gaylard’s refutation is here.

  • 3 Blue Wode // Sep 13, 2009 at 20:38

    Thank you for such a thoroughly informative post.

    Bearing in mind the ongoing BCA v. Singh case, it’s worth noting that the 62 clinical neurologists from across Canada who issued the statement warning the Canadian public against neck manipulation (as quoted by Preston Long in his article), strongly recommended that “each provincial Ministry of Health order the immediate banning of all spinal manipulation of infants and children”. See concern #5 in their statement here:
    http://www.chirobase.org/15News/neurol.html

    It’s also worth noting that following the release of their statement, all the neurologists were subjected to harassment and intimidation by Canadian chiropractic organisations:

    Quote:
    “…The College [Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors] went further in its bad faith by chilling and seeking to prevent scientific debate. Through the Canadian Chiropractic Association, its response to the statement of the Canadian neurologists and chiefs of neurology departments of major teaching hospitals in Canada was to individually threaten each and every one of the physicians whose name was associated with the statement with professional disciplinary action, with challenges to their standing and accreditation with hospitals and with legal action on the basis that their warning the Canadian public and governments about the dangers of neck manipulation was defamatory to chiropractic.”

    See para 147 here:
    http://www.casewatch.org/mal/nette/claim.pdf

    In view of the above, the forthcoming analysis, which you say is going to tackle the problem of causality regarding neck manipulation and stroke, is sure to be a fascinating read.

  • 4 twaza // Sep 13, 2009 at 21:03

    Purely coincidentally, AP Gaylard’s refutation shows how misleading Milgrom’s citations of the literature are. I am not expecting a mea culpa from him.

  • 5 davidp // Sep 15, 2009 at 06:15

    I didn’t think Frank Frizelle would have made that agressive accusation against you, and it seems he didn’t.

    I’m a bit sad that I can’t read Frank Frizelle’s NZMJ editorial directly, especially since I do not trust Lionel Milgrom’s quoting. In fact homeopathyresource.wordpress.com (link in the first comment at the bottom of http://skepticreport.com/sr/?p=88) appears to have the whole editorial, and it is clear that the phrase “Is it acceptable to make up a reference to try and slip any unsupported statement into a “scientific” argument and thereby give it some degree of credibility?” is from David Owen’s letter. These words are also in the version of David Owen’s letter to the NZMJ cited above.

    homeopathyresource puts “asked Frank Frizelle, the chief editor of the conventional Medical Journal” after David Owen’s words. In writing his letter, Lionel Milgrom has either failed to check his sources, or is hoping Mr Perry and Mr Clark won’t check theirs.

    Your misdemeanor is very minor – giving the original citation instead of the location you actually checked. The usual explanation – minor error plus the messiness of the real world making the journal disappear, is correct.

    Lionel Milgrom, in claiming you have been “accused of a serious ethical breach” in the NZMJ editorial, is guilty of manipulative, perhaps malicious, trouble making, combined with willful or self deceptive misuse of sources.

  • 6 Another recommendation to read apgaylard on Milgrom « gimpy’s blog // Sep 15, 2009 at 08:17

    […] capacity in the New Zealand Medical Journal.  Errors, incidentally, that proved non existent as David has blogged about with admirable candour.  I would urge Dr Milgrom to respond to apgaylard with similar openness, perhaps there is an […]

  • 7 Dr Aust // Sep 15, 2009 at 11:02

    I’m 100% with DavidP on this. Several Alt.Reality sites have done this same thing by “eliding” what David Owen – the splenetically outraged NZ chiropractor – said into what the Editor of the NZMJ has said.

    As far as I can tell from the various garbled cut ‘n’ paste jobs in Alt.Reality-world – again I don’t have full access – what NZMJ Editor Frank Frizelle actually says is as follows (slight paraphrase in places, real quotes in inverted commas):

    ————————————-

    “Mistakes [in referencing] inevitably happen and some journals make a significant point of highlighting and rectifying such mistakes as in the “department of error” found in the Lancet. When such an error happens we at the NZMJ like to work with the authors to correct the error and republish the correct reference or data via an erratum.”

    I have received the following email…

    [Chiro rant inc. false accusation that DC is a Pharma Shill]:

    David Colquhoun has responded as follows..

    [largely as in DC’s post, apologising for citing print rather than web ref and giiving web reference to article as correct since print version had not then been tracked down].

    Quote Frizelle again:

    “In conclusion it is important for everyone’s creditability that references are correct and that when queried the authors make the appropriate correction.”

    ..which DC has done.

    —————————————-

    All of which bears, of course, no resemblance at all to the kinds of things the Alt.Reality gang are alleging.

    One can only conclude, I think, that DC is getting to them, and they are anxious to smear him in any way they can.

  • 8 Dr Aust // Sep 15, 2009 at 11:04

    Oops – sorry “creditability ” should be “credibility”. That’ll teach me to re-post text from frothingly illiterate Alt.Reality sites.

  • 9 Mojo // Sep 15, 2009 at 21:13

    The accusation of hypocrisy is particularly brilliant in the context of the rest of the letter.

  • 10 andrew // Sep 15, 2009 at 21:40

    creditability / credibility @ 8 above.

    Accountants have a few fundamental ideas – matching income/payments to time, taking a prident vierw, money measurement and materiality.
    Materiality is an error, but one small enough not to change an opinion as to the “truth and fairness” of the accounts. An accountant would records the fact of the matter (to avoid negligence claims) & comtinue.
    This is Mea Culpa is analagous – a small error but not one which changes the opinion of a reasonable person reviewing the matter overall.

    I agree with Dr. Austs comment that “DC is getting to them”.

  • 11 LC1 // Sep 17, 2009 at 08:51

    I am not so concerned that you made a mistake when citing this work but rather the quality of the paper that you use to support your arguement.

    Is this paper an example of the high quality research that you demand?

  • 12 David Colquhoun // Sep 17, 2009 at 09:28

    @LC1
    The paper isn’t research at all, though it cites some decent research. It is more a reflection of opinion among many clinicians.

    As I tried to explain above, it is very hard to establish causality in cases like this, just as it is in cases of suspected drug toxicity. There are a few cases where the likelihood of causality seems quite high, but they are rare. A much more systematic review of the evidence for causality will appear soon, and I’ll post the refernce here as soon as it’s available.

    As I also tried to explain, the possible problem of rare (though serious) side effects is, for me, quite secondary to the lack of evidence for the main effecsts claimed by chiropractors. There is good evidence that thay can’t do anyhting about infant colic but very many claim to do so (hence the 600 complaints to the GCC). Worse still the Cochrane review that I cite shows that there is little reason the think that it works even for low back pain. That means that it’s hard to see why we need chiropractic at all, even if it never killed anyone.

  • 13 LC1 // Sep 17, 2009 at 21:50

    David

    I agree that this paper isn’t research and the “decent research” you say it cites appears to come at least in part from an obscure skeptic site.

    On the point about causality, once again I agree that it is difficult to establish with such rare events, although I suspect it will be much easier when looking at drug toxicity where the adverse event is a predictable extension of their mechanism of action.

    I believe that I have already stated (in a previous post) that as a chiropractor I do not treat colic (although our local osteopaths do) and even in clinics that do it represents a very small proportion of their work.

    As I understand it, the 600 complaints that you mention have been manufactured by 2 or 3 individuals and in many cases do not relate to colic. Some of these complaints relate to musculokeletal conditions such as back pain and given that chiropractic care is now recommended for back pain in National guidelines it is difficult not to see these complaints as a vexatious bullying tactic. It would be very easy construct similar complaints against large numbers of osteopaths or physiotherapists.

    I am also surprised at your rather odd interpretation of the Cochrane review that you cite. This review is not about chiropractic but rather spinal manipulation. This review indicates that manipilation is as good as other treatments including drug therapy, exercise and other types of physical therapy and GP care. Given the side effect liability of most of the drugs used in back pain the variations in the quality of GP care, and the lack of physiotherapists with specialist training, spinal manipulation by chiropractors and osteopaths looks a good option. Many clinicains will see patients with back pain who can no longer tolerate NSAIDs or simply do not want to take this approach.

    This Cochrane review is also now quite old and more recent evidence reviews used to support European and NICE guidelines have further emphasised the benefit, safety and cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulation and suggested that manipulation should be included as an option for back pain management.

    Most chiropractors will mangage back pain patients with a care package that may include manipulation and other forms of manual therapy and exercise programs. So chiropractic is not just about manipulation. In addition I, and many of my colleagues, support the principles of evidence based practice and do not subscribe to subluxation theory.

    David, it does seem that you are trying to find any angle that you can to be “anti-chiropractic” and in doing so you appear to be loosing site of your objectivity.

  • 14 David Colquhoun // Sep 17, 2009 at 22:25

    LC!

    Actually I would not say that the side effects of NSAIDs (which I have never found helpful myself) are an obvious extension of their therapeutic action. But I would say that damage to the neck is an obvious extension of strong manipulation of the neck,

    You are quite wrong to think that the complaints are produced by only 2 or 3 people. It’s true that a few heros have spent many hours of their own time finding out which chiropractors make unjustified claims and submitting complaints about them, but many other people have submitted one or two complaints. I haven’t seen the complaints submitted by others but my understanding is, that like my own complaints, they mostly concerned claims about colic, asthma and ear problems.

    I have given my views on the NICE guidance group at length on this blog. The guidance actually talks about manipulation and the word ‘chiropractor’ only sneaks in at the end. I don’t imagine it would be there if the chairman of the GCC, Peter Dixon had not been on the group my own complaints, incidentally, concern two practices owned by him).

    It sounds to me that you personally must be barely distinguishable from a physiotherapist and that you do not make the exaggerated claims that many of your colleagues do. The fact remains that all students of chiropractic and taught the whole gamut of subluxation mumbo jumbo, and many of them believe it.

    You are quite right. I can see no place at all for either chiropractic or osteopathy. It seems that anything they can do can also be done by physiotherapists. How much good it does is still an open question but physiotherapists are free of culturally-objectionable mumbo jumbo that plagues all alternative therapies.

    Wouldn’t you rather move into physiotherapy and drop your alternative label?

  • 15 LC1 // Sep 17, 2009 at 23:50

    David

    On NSAIDs I did not say therapeutic action rather mechanism of action. I believe that most of the GI side effects and nephrotoxicity is due to cyclooxygenase inhibition.

    Your comment about heros is interesting and telling. I have seen some of the complaints and they do not all relate to colic, asthma and ear infections as you say but are in many cases about musculoskeletal conditions so my previous comments stand.

    You are also wrong about the training of chiropractors. In the UK the main colleges teach subluxation from an historical perspective and subscribe to the biomedical model and have done so for many years.

    As to becoming a physio there is no need. Chiropractors and osteopaths are in general busier than physios, are well supported by the public and the medical profession and now have the evidence to back them up. I believe that there is ongoing evolution of my profession (like there has been with medicine) and that the alternative label is fading fast. The rather predictable post-NICE backlash by a few non-clinical academics and hard nosed skeptics is evidence of this.

  • 16 BadlyShavedMonkey // Sep 18, 2009 at 07:47

    LC1

    “In the UK the main colleges teach subluxation from an historical perspective and subscribe to the biomedical model and have done so for many years.”

    I have met this assertion before.

    1. Please explain what you mean by “the biomedical model”.

    2. Please show that “the biomedical model” is not simply a sly circumlocution that aims to avoid the howls of derisive laughter that meet the word subluxation.

    3. Please explain why we should still call you a chiropractor if you do not practise from a theory of subluxations. “I am a carpet-fitter, but I no longer fit carpets. I install gas-boilers. My fitting of gas-boilers is tightly regulated by the Carpet-Fitting Council”.

  • 17 BadlyShavedMonkey // Sep 18, 2009 at 07:49

    Or, to put it another way.

    re: “the biomedical model” and “subluxations”

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  • 18 BadlyShavedMonkey // Sep 18, 2009 at 13:29

    I’ve gone some way to answering my own question and it does seem we end up knee deep in woolly thinking and empty rhetoric.

    See here;

    http://www.wellchiro.com/research.html

    “A: There are two distinct models:
         1) Biomedical model  
         2) Holistic or Wellness model 
    The Biomedical model considers the symptoms of a person and their laboratory test results to assess their condition or disease. The Holistic or Wellness model considers the person, their extent of function, their perceptions, and their overall quality of life.”

    Are there two “distinct models”? It doesn’t seem that way to me. The assertion is a combination of false dichotomy and strawman. It looks like yet another example of people creating their own caricature of medicine and defining themselves as the geniuses thinking outside the box.

    Furthermore, if there are just two models, where do “subluxations” fit in? LC1 should tell us.

    It is neither alternative nor complementary to accept that medicine’s job is to “[consider] the person, their extent of function, their perceptions, and their overall quality of life.” The biomedical model seems to be a figment of the SCAMsters own imaginations, just like describing normal medicine as “allopathy”.

  • 19 Blue Wode // Sep 18, 2009 at 19:10

    LC1 wrote on Sep 17 2009 at 9:50 pm: “This Cochrane review is also now quite old and more recent evidence reviews used to support European and NICE guidelines have further emphasised the benefit, safety and cost-effectiveness of spinal manipulation and suggested that manipulation should be included as an option for back pain management.”

    LC1, as David Colquhoun said of the NICE guidance (i.e. that it “actually talks about manipulation and the word ‘chiropractor’ only sneaks in at the end. I don’t imagine it would be there if the chairman of the GCC, Peter Dixon had not been on the group…”), the European guidelines also talk about spinal manipulation and not ‘chiropractic’:
    http://www.backpaineurope.org/web/files/WG1_Guidelines.pdf

    Furthermore, bearing in mind that Alan Breen, DC, Professor of Musculoskeletal Health Care at the Anglo European College of Chiropractic, collaborated in the development of the European Acute Back Pain Guidelines, it’s worth noting some of Professor Edzard Ernst’s comments on official guidelines for the treatment of back pain:

    Quote:
    “Chiropractors argue that their approach must be safe and effective, not least because the official guidelines on the treatment of back pain recommend using chiropractic. However, this is true only for some, but by no means all, countries.
    Secondly, guidelines are well known to be influenced by the people who serve on the panel that develops them. Cochrane reviews, on the other hand, are generally considered to be objective and rigorous. Writing about the importance of systematic reviews for health care in the Lancet, Sir Ian Chalmers stated, ‘I challenge decision makers within those spheres who continue to frustrate efforts to promote this form of research to come out from behind their closed doors and defend their attitudes and policies in public. There is now plenty of evidence to show how patients are suffering unnecessarily as a result of their persuasive influence.’”

    The Value of Chiropractic
    http://www.medicinescomplete.com/journals/fact/current/fact1002a02t01.htm

    LC1 wrote on Sep 17 2009 at 9:50 pm: “…chiropractic is not just about manipulation. In addition I, and many of my colleagues, support the principles of evidence based practice and do not subscribe to subluxation theory.”

    You’re absolutely correct that “chiropractic is not just about manipulation”. Spinal manipulative therapy has never been ‘true’ chiropractic, but rather a technique that chiropractors have adopted. Real chiropractic involves the detection of imaginary ‘subluxations’ which chiropractors supposedly correct by administering ‘specific spinal adjustments’ which they allege will enhance a person’s health. Often chiropractors seem to confuse the two approaches, perhaps to give their practices an air of legitimacy, but many others will admit outright that traditional chiropractic beliefs are central to their interventions. Indeed, the percentages of UK chiropractors who adhere to traditional chiropractic beliefs were revealed in a recent paper, ‘The scope of chiropractic practice: A survey of chiropractors in the UK’ (Aranka Pollentier and Jennifer M. Langworthy, Clinical Chiropractic, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 147-155. September 2007):

    Quote:
    “Non-musculoskeletal conditions in adults, including asthma (64%), gastro-intestinal complaints (61%) and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) (70%), were considered conditions that can benefit from chiropractic management. Opinions on the treatment of osteoporosis (43%), obesity (26%), hypertension (42%) and infertility (30%) were less conclusive. Childhood musculoskeletal and muscular conditions, infantile colic, otitis media and asthma were perceived to benefit from chiropractic intervention by more than 50% of the respondents. Statistically significant differences between chiropractors of different associations in the UK were present, particularly regarding the benefits of chiropractic treatment for non-musculoskeletal conditions…..Traditional chiropractic beliefs (chiropractic philosophy) were deemed important by 76% of the respondents and 63% considered subluxation to be central to chiropractic intervention.”

    In view of the above, how is it possible for members of the public to be confident that they would be treated appropriately by a chiropractor in the UK?

    More…
    UK chiropractic: regulated but unruly
    http://jhsrp.rsmjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/14/3/186

  • 20 Dr Aust // Sep 20, 2009 at 18:06

    For info, NZ chiropractor David Owen (see above) has also followed me back to my blog. I have posted a response there.

  • 21 Blue Wode // Sep 20, 2009 at 18:36

    NZ chiro, David Owen, contacted me with comments almost identical to those which he made to Dr Aust. I referred him to Dr Aust’s splendid response here:
    http://draust.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/bca-say-they-want-scientific-debate-bears-eschew-woods-for-proper-flush-toilets-and-soft-toilet-paper/#comment-2341

  • 22 BadlyShavedMonkey // Sep 21, 2009 at 16:43

    It would be nice if LC1 would appear to answer the questions that have been posed.

  • 23 A recommendation to read part three of apgaylard on Milgrom « gimpy’s blog // Sep 26, 2009 at 12:12

    […] analysis which thus far have gone unanswered by Milgrom, even though Milgrom is keen to highlight, mistakenly, flaws in other people’s scholarship.  Milgrom must be aware of apgaylard’s arguments as I have taken the liberty of emailing […]

  • 24 Has Lionel Milgrom libelled Simon Singh? « gimpy’s blog // Oct 24, 2009 at 02:03

    […] by gimpy on October 24, 2009 Homeopath and former biochemist Lionel Milgrom has previously accused, erroneously, David Colquhoun of a lack of scholarship in an article on chiropractic and suggested that this questions his […]

  • 25 With Friends like these.. the BCA and Dr. Milgrom « God knows what… // Oct 24, 2009 at 02:56

    […] homeopathy episode with James Randi, in several debates with David Colquhoun (not to mention throwing a fair amount of unfounded accusations at him) and bizarrely accusing Ben Goldacre of not attending a talk which he commented on when […]

  • 26 BadlyShavedMonkey // Oct 25, 2009 at 08:49

    Ahem,

    http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/10/legal-scholarship-of-dr-lionel-milgrom.html

    I thought this page really needed an explicit link to Milgrom’s finest piece of work**

    ** “finest piece of work” in this context is synonymous with most thorough destruction of one’s own scholarly credibility

  • 27 Homeopaths use witchcraft to influence parliament « gimpy’s blog // Nov 19, 2009 at 18:38

    […] their poisonous little campaigns, often at high levels, against Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst and David Colquhoun amongst others, lacking the evidence to convince a rational observer they have turned to smears and […]

  • 28 Homeopaths launch hate campaign against Evan Harris « gimpy’s blog // Feb 11, 2010 at 15:00

    […] Milgrom, the homeopathic expert on quantum mechanics, launched a letter writing campaign against David Colquhoun, telling his employers that he was dishonest and in thrall to big […]

  • 29 Lionel Milgrom writes to Nick Clegg about Evan Harris « gimpy’s blog // Feb 12, 2010 at 20:27

    […] of homeopaths and their supporters against critics of homeopathy including that of Lionel Milgrom, who wrote to David Colquhoun’s employers with scurrilous and inaccurate allegations.  Now it seems Milgrom is doing the same to Evan […]

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