I don’t think I’ve ever been so besieged by newbie commenters as I have by chiropractors and their acolytes over the last several days. After I posted a few times on that form of quackery (here, here, here, and here), I’ve had chiropractors, students in chiropractic school, and even chiropactors’ wives try to comment on this site showing me how badly wrong I’ve gone. Chiropractic, they say, effects “miracle” cures. I’ve posted a few of their beefs, but they’re getting repetitive and tiresome, and they’re easily refuted. Here are a few of the common responses, which I’ll let readers deal with since they’re no-brainers (I can’t resist a few parenthetical comments):
- Chiropractic is perfectly safe, and the cases of damage are overrated.
- Scientific medicine is much more dangerous, with a higher number of deaths resulting after medical treatment (but the quacks don’t distinguish proper treatment that doesn’t work from medical malpractice).
- Along those lines, one commenter said, “More people die from medical Drs. And from prescribed medicine than from a Chiropractor.” Probably true, but there are two good reasons, both obvious.
- Malpractice insurance is higher for chiropractors than for real doctors (Duhhh!)
- Chiropractic can cure bad lower backs (The evidence is weak at best, and it’s cheaper and better to see a physical therapist. And of course chiropractors usually claim to cure far more than bad backs, not to mention that they usually make you sign up for a long expensive course of treatment, which wouldn’t happen with a physical therapist.)
- Doctors get people addicted to medications like pain medicine. (Ummmm. . . is it the doctors’ fault? And many people get pain meds illegally.)
- Chiropractors can be a good “first responder”. AS one chiro had the temerity to write, “We are primary care providers, which means we have to be able to differentially diagnose and recognize when things are life threatening and when patients need to be referred and where to.” Pro-tip: NEVER use a chiropractor as your primary care “provider”. Use a real doctor, an M.D.!
But enough; I’m tiring of these people and their refuted claims. The fact that I’m suddenly inundated by would-be commenters suggest that they’re communicating with each other, saying, “Go after that Coyne guy.” But as one of my friends said when I called chiropractors “quacks”, “That is an insult to ducks!” (Besides, ducks never present inflated bills. I’ll be here all week, folks.)
Oh, one more comment before I get to the comic at hand: I haven’t heard back from the Cincinnati Zoo after I wrote them (twice) asking for an explanation of why they used a chiropractor trained on humans to adjust the cervical vertebrae of a baby tiger. I doubt they’ll ever respond.
And the comic: over at Daryl Cunningham Investigates, you can see a comic-strip version about the history and practice of chiropractic “medicine”. The strip is pretty, but the story isn’t; I’ll give just a few panels from the long but engaging strip:
Now I’m going to be even more inundated with outraged chiropractors, their wives, and their students. To which I say, “Come at me, bro!” but don’t expect that I’m going to publicize quackery on this site. You’ll see me do that when I start saying that creationists are right, for the scientific basis of chiropractic is about as sound as that of creationism.