Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Chiropractors - a shot in the foot?

Have chiropractors shot themselves in the foot? Possibly. Following an article in the Guardian by Simon Singh, the scientist and co-author of Trick or Treatment?: Alternative Medicine on Trial, in which he was critical of chiropractors, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has decided to sue for libel.

Many people have already written about this case and rather than re-hash what has already been written I would recommend you peruse the following blogs to keep up to date here and here.

The reason I believe the BCA may have shot itself in the foot is because of the attention they have drawn to themselves and the glaring holes in the evidence base for chiropractic. This isn’t only attention from bloggers. A recent meeting in support for Simon Singh was attended by journalists, an MP, and various comedians. Interestingly, Dave Gorman spoke at this event, indicating that before this whole debacle he’d always assumed chiropractic was part of mainstream medicine. I wonder how many people out there thought the same thing.

Bloggers have already started taking on chiropractors and their dodgy claims, with the persistent Gimpy already chalking up one success following an Advertising Standards Agency ruling. Gimpy complained about “Dr” Carl Irwin’s use of the title (implying he’s a medical doctor) and his claims to be able to treat a range of conditions such as IBS, Colic, and Learning Difficulties.

Others are also starting to look out for claims made by other chiropractors. I have found a local chiropractor making similar claims to those of Carl Irwin. The chiropractor in question has been email, and I look forward to another blog post soon with details… and hopefully a response from them.

Watch this space.


  1. Another excellent blog article on this - keep up the pressure!

    I've just submitted a complaint to Trading Standards and the GCC about a local chiro using the title Dr. I'll post about it on Think Humanism when I get a response.

  2. Dave Gorman's got a point...

  3. Prof Edzard Ernst, collaborator with Simon Singh on Trick of Treatment, has blogged on the topic of chiropractic, asking the very same question as to whether chiropractors are destroying their own reputation by making claims that are not backed by evidence.