hi - help me with an argument. Where can I find decent evidence that chiropractis works/does not

As the thread title says - Im having an argument with my soon to be sister in law and would like any extra evidece I can get.

Medical journals would be the place to start, but I suspect that the hinge word in your question is “decent.”

Whoever supports chiropractic care is likely to deem medical journals which don’t support it to be limited in their acceptance of non-traditional care, and whoever decries chiropractic care is likely to deem medical journals which do support it to be run by quacks who’ll believe anything.

This wiki pretty well covers the issues.

Over ten years ago I went to a popular chiropractor in town for a pinched sciatic nerve. His therapies were expensive and utterly useless. The one positive thing I got out of it was that was a 3D model of the spine in his office that let me figure out what I needed to do to fix the problem which was essentially massive stretching to pop the nerve out from between the pinching discs.

He “cracked” my back twice. It made for a powerful impression that he was “doing stuff”. but I finally figured out this was essentially a parlor trick they use to make people think they are doing something. It had noting to do with relieving a pinched nerve nor did the electro therapy machines.

If you have a problem that can be helped by massage then some of the therapies might help otherwise it’s effectively a con. This is going to make it almost impossible to get a definitive answer to your question.

Here is a good general article:
Chiropractic and Science

And a here is everything over at Science Based Medicine concerning chiropractic.

Bottom line, the best you can hope for from a chiropractor is that they will act as an unlicensed physical therapist or masseuse. Next that you will receive some placebo effect. Just hope they don’t give you a stroke.

The smartest guy in my organic chemistry class went to chiropractic college. He said it’s the perfect field, your patients never die, and they never get better.

No personal experience, but for those folks I’ve met who use them, it’s almost like a drug addiction. They have to go every week for their adjustment, and they’re absolutely blissful after their appointment.

Alternatively, if for some reason they have to miss their weekly appointment, one can expect a level of pissing, moaning and general malaise that would make a spoiled six-year old jealous of the pure self-centered whining that’s exhibited.

Funny thing is their “malady” is never “cured” unless their med insurance gets changed and requires some of their own cash on the barrel head. Then all of a sudden they don’t need the chiropractor anymore.

(bolding mine)

After having been to a chiropractor in the past, I have to agree.
I didn’t hurt before I started going.
I hurt the whole time I went to see this quack. :frowning:
I stopped hurting the day I stopped going.

And haven’t hurt since. :smack:

To better answer the OP, I believe the founding chiropractic college in the US is the “Palmer Institute”, located in Illinois. (could be off a bit with the name, I’m in Jeopardy mode)

Ascertaining the name and then googling may provide some insider anecdotes.

I’d say it would depend on what “works” means.

Iirc, there’s no evidence that it works for asthma, halitosis, Athlete’s foot, nor any of a long list of things which some have made claims for.

But for certain kinds of back issues, there is some evidence that it is at least as “good” as what else is available from “traditional” medicine.

So, if the claim was that chiro works for curing ulcers, I’d say that whoever said it doesn’t is a clear winner.
If the claim is that spinal manipulation works for certain sorts of back pain, then the answer is not as clear–more of a “maybe sometimes.”

Many conventional physicians will say that chiropracters can offer excellent relief from some types of back pain. I belief massage therapists can do this also. I’ve been to two chiropracters for that kind of treatment, they did fine, but they one insisted that skeletal alignment can cure all diseases, so I wouldn’t go back to him on principle. The other one I already knew could be trusted, a friend’s wife had gone to see him for a serious wrist injury and he told her to go to the hospital for treatment.

Davenport, Iowa. My BIL went there.

I started a thread here awhile back asking in earnest what, if any, benefits chiropractic can actually give people. You might want to read through that thread, I definitely learned a lot. Lots of folks definitely believe it is pure woo, or somewhat woo.

Palmer College is in Davenport, Iowa–which is on the border next to Illinois.

Back in the late 80s I went to a chiropractor for about 2-3 years (my insurance paid for it). About half the time I felt like it had some positive effect. The other half was pretty much no effect. At least it never made me feel worse.

Common Sense?

Well i slightly disagree - it is also great - as most back pain - even very severe back pain - goes away on its own in a few weeks. People with perfectly healthy backs (in that they have no pain) have “problems” or abnormalities that will show up on an XRay or MRI. This makes it easy to show someone - ah - here is your problem. In a few weeks they’d be better anyway. The cracking of the spine is certainly impressive sounding - and kinda feels neat too (kinda like cracking your knuckles). Person attributes getting better to chiropractor - and is a lifelong advocate.

It’s the perfect storm for a con.

I am presently horrified by the fact that a number of Australian universities offer degrees in chiropractic (ahem) science. Now I knew that most uni’s had moved away from the providing education to the make as much money as we can philosophy but this is - words fail me

I can give only my personal experience. First off, I agree that most chiropracters are quacks. My FIL (also a chiropracter) said so too and could not tell my how to tell.

After I had repeated backaches (and my FIL was 500 miles away), my family doctor sent me to his chiropracter. That was 21 years ago. Since then, I have seen him every 6 weeks. Perhaps more importantly, I have carried out the (mostly stretching) exercises he prescribed every morning. They take about 35 minutes.

I have not had more than minor back problems since. Despite being 21 years older.

Placebo? Treatments? Exercises? Your guess is as good as mine, but it is worth the benefits to me to keep up both the exercises and the treatments. BTW, he makes no claims whatever for treating anything except back problems. YMMV

Yes indeedy! This actually happened to a friend of mine. She did eventually get back most of the control on the affected side of the body, but still has trouble concentrating for more than a few minutes at a time.