Poe’s Law, vaccines edition

Poe’s Law, vaccines edition

Poe’s Law states: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”

With that in mind, enjoy these facts about thimerosal

Chiropractors get Royal seal of approval

Chiropractors get Royal seal of approval

The College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada) is to be named the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada). Her Majesty has apparently only handed out 45 such Royal designations since 1952, so I have no idea why she would grant this one. Her usual powers of discrimination have surely failed her.

The CCSS work with athletes and are thoroughly intertwined with sports at the national level here in Canada, for example attending Olympics as part of the health care team. That’s nice for the chiropractors, but I wonder if it does any good at all for the athletes.

Let’s not forget what happened to one young Canadian. At the previous Olympics, Canadian hopeful Samantha Cools was knocked out of commission by her chiropractor after he “over-rotated her neck during a routine adjustment, tearing tendons and muscles”. Granted, he may not have been a member of the CCSS, but a chiropractic manipulation is just as pointless and potentially dangerous whoever is performing it. One wonders if the CCSS avoid the brutal, stroke inducing, headache causing types of manipulations, because they know that they are pointless and dangerous – despite such manipulations being an integral part of chiropractic.

Chiropractic has bugger all evidence to support its use beyond, perhaps, treating lower back pain, and that’s probably because it’s not much different to a good lower back massage, and equally as effective. There’s little reason to expect chiropractic to be effective in the first place: it was created out of whole cloth by a charlatan who imagined chiropractic could cure deafness, and just about everything else under the sun, through the correction of entirely imaginary ‘subluxations.’ The Queen has gone and given the Royal Seal to an organisation predicated on magical thinking.

“Chiropractic Sports Specialists keep active Canadians at their best by treating mechanical imbalances or dysfunctions”. Canadian chiropractors have also left people in comas, paralysed vocal chords, and induced strokes, resulting in death.

My advice? Canadian athletes can keep at their best by staying the hell away from chiropractors. Go see a sports physiotherapist instead.

Chiropractors still using bogus back device DRX-9000

Chiropractors still using bogus back device DRX-9000

Chiropractors, much more so than real medical health professionals, have to invest a lot of effort into practice promotion, and nothing helps promote a practice so much as having an edge. The DRX-9000 back compression machine, a high tech machine for treating back pain, fits the bill: with LED lights, monitors, and a claimed 86% success rate, this ersatz medical device looks like the real thing.

mp-drx-9000device306x172

Back pain can be debilitating enough to people that a $4,000 price tag for 20 treatments is not an obstacle, not with a success rate as high as 86%, as the manufacturers claim.

Only the claim isn’t true.

CBC marketplace investigated the devices in early 2010 and found no scientific basis for the claims of success, nor any support for the device being able to work as it should. Health Canada asked the manufacturer to provide evidence for its use. When none was forthcoming, the licence for the DRX-9000 was pulled.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they are no longer in use. While the company can no longer sell the devices, and indeed has gone bust, operators – that is to say, chiropractors – have no obligation to stop using them. The manufacturer is obliged to tell people that they are no longer licensed, but that’s all. In the meantime, chiropractors still tout the benefits of the DRX-9000 and consumers are none the wiser. In fact a lot of consumers will continue to be scammed and end up thousands of dollars poorer, with nothing to show for their money.

This underlines a fundamental failing in the chiropractic industry. Chiropractors operate outside mainstream medicine, yet want to be taken as seriously as real medical health professionals. However, doctors are trained and held to a very high standard, and tightly regulated as to what treatment modalities they can use. Chiropractic simply does not hold itself to a similar standard and does not have the same tradition of respect for evidence based medicine; but then, how could it, when it has failed, over and over again, to provide scientific support for the claims it makes?

The DRX-9000 is another in a long line of chiropractic money making schemes. It’s gone, but you can bet there will be others. When your practice depends on drumming up business by any means, it’s only a matter of time before someone shows up with the next big thing.