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Posts Tagged ‘chiropractic’

The Guardian and Dr Kase’s magic tape

Posted by apgaylard on July 3, 2011

Apparently, around 30 years ago a chiropractor called ‘Dr’ Kenzo Kase invented a ‘magic tape’ that can work all sorts of wonders on muscles and joints.  Rather than being a stiff, supportive, structure, it allegedly mimics the flexibility of skin.

Today, the science section of the guardian provided an extended advertorial for this product under the heading, “Dr Kenzo Kase: My magic tape can aid injured muscles.” (frozen page, change log)

It’s in the usually reliable science section of the Guardian, so I would hope that there is some pretty strong evidence to support the use of the word ‘magic’.

So, I thought that I would share the results of five minutes ‘googling’ and a bit of thought.  The sort of thing I’d expect from a proper professional journalist.  It’s not a happy story.

Any evidence cited?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Chiropractic care and treatment for scoliosis

Posted by apgaylard on July 31, 2009


Oh the joys of spam!  It’s usually very annoying, but just occasionally it provides a useful stimulus for a bit of investigation.  This turned out to be the case when a link to an article (oddly) on the Weight Loss Health Ways … Healthy Ways to Loose Weight website advocating Chiropractic care and treatment for Scoliosis popped into my spam filter.

According to the UK NHS Choices website

“Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine to one side. In those who have the condition, the spine bends either to the left or to the right. 

The bend can occur at any point along the spine from the top to the bottom. The curvature also varies from slight to severe. However, the chest area (thoracic scoliosis) and the lower part of the back (lumbar scoliosis) are the most common regions to be affected. 

[…]Scoliosis affects three to four children out of every 1,000 in the UK. In 90% of cases of scoliosis, treatment is not required because the condition corrects itself as the child grows

Most of the remaining 10% of cases can be successfully treated by using a back brace to prevent further curvature. Three out of every 1,000 children with scoliosis will need surgical treatment.” 

Now, what does the chiropractic promoting article have to say?  First, it describes the condition and two conventional approaches – bracing and Spinal Fusion Surgery  – before launching into a wholly unjustified promotion of Chiropractic. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

In praise of chiropractic?

Posted by apgaylard on July 3, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820The Journal of Health Services Research and Policy has just published a ‘perspective’ piece by Professor Alan Breen of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in which he, unsurprisingly, praises Chiropractic (Breen, 2009). 

The concluding paragraph is quite amazing: 

“To portray only part of the relevant information in a critique is itself pseudoscience, yet strong ontological commitment to only part of the knowledge base seems often to be the stance taken to contest the scientific basis of Chiropractic. Rather like psychiatry, debates about musculoskeletal practice need to go beyond positivist science and recognize that we have entered a more democratic and inclusive, post-normal age.” (Breen, 2009

In this he seems to be committing himself to evaluate Chiropractic in the light of all the relevant information.   Let’s see if he does. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »

Lewith lashes out

Posted by apgaylard on June 20, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820From his letter published in this week’s New Scientist it is clear that Professor George Lewith doesn’t like Edzard Ernst’s recent opinion piece on Chiropractic.  However, it is just as clear that Lewith is prepared to use fallacious reasoning and debunked statistics, among other things, to support his argument.*

It’s not as though he even manages to properly engage with Ernst’s criticisms.  Through cherry picking and a meticulous avoidance of published evidence he first constructs then attacks a straw man. 

His opening accusation is that, “[…] Ernst fails to give a balanced view of Chiropractic”.**  Is this a true reflection of what Ernst wrote?  Well, Ernst’s article maps out the origins of Chiropractic, and then describes three major schools:  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

No room for the evidence

Posted by apgaylard on June 19, 2009

bigstockphoto_Rejected_1909608Last week I tried to get a modestly sized letter published in the New Scientist, to highlight just one of the very poor pieces of argumentation displayed by BCA vice-president Richard Brown in an opinion piece.  Unfortunately, I failed.  Space is very limited and I guess that they just had to make room for another error-strewn contribution from the indefatigable George Lewith*.

So, I’ve published it here to make at least some use of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic, unpublished | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Plethora or paucity? The BCA and bedwetting

Posted by apgaylard on June 18, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820The BCA have, at last, released their much heralded “plethora” of evidence.  They preface this with an incredible statement, which includes the following gems: 

“In the spirit of a wider scientific debate, and having taken appropriate professional advice, the BCA has decided that free speech would be best facilitated by releasing details of research that exists to support the claims which Dr. Singh stated were bogus. This proves that far from there being “not a jot of evidence” to support the BCA’s position, there is actually a significant amount. 

It has never been the BCA’s case that the evidence is overwhelmingly conclusive. It is the BCA’s case that there is good evidence. […] 

[…] The BCA welcomes full, frank and open scientific debate. […]”

That’s good then, the BCA will welcome my frank take* on their summary of the evidence for chiropractic helping children with nocturnal enuresis.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Defending chiropractic?

Posted by apgaylard on June 13, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820The Great Chiropractic Debate rumbles on in the pages of the New Scientist.  This week Richard Brown, a Chiropractor and vice-president of the BCA, has a comment piece entitled, “Defending chiropractic”. 

It is worth looking at it as an exemplar of fallacious argument and claims about Chiropractic practise that do not stand scrutiny.  For instance, he uses a typical quack defence: critics claim that chiropractic lacks evidence, but they overlook, “the fact that many accepted medical interventions have little or no research evidence to support them.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Martineau chiropractic to check with the BCA

Posted by apgaylard on June 5, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820As part of my brief survey of the claims Chiropractors make for the treatment of bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) in children I contacted Martineau Chiropractic (Cached URL).  They claim that “research has shown chiropractic to be an effective treatment” for “bed wetting”.  Of course, it has shown no such thing

I have had a brief and interesting reply*

“Thankyou for looking at our website, I hope you enjoyed it. I shall be taking advice from my professional association regarding the content of the website […]”  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

More Bedwetting Bogosity*

Posted by apgaylard on May 31, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820I was pretty surprised to find that many Chiropractors claim to treat bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) in children.  They often cite studies published in their own ‘academic’ journal to back up this claim.  After finding that even these studies do not really support the chiropractic treatment of this condition, I wondered how Chiropractors justify offering this treatment: so I decided to contact an un-scientifically chosen** sample of chiropractic clinics, pointing out the weakness of the evidence and asking them to consider correcting any errors in the way that they were representing it.   I also wanted to see how open they would be to the idea of including good conventional advice on their websites, as a service to their customers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Chiropractic: a bogus* treatment for bedwetting?

Posted by apgaylard on May 21, 2009

bigstockphoto_Xray_Spine_488820A wide variety of claims are made for chiropractic treatment.  One that really surprised me is that it can be used to treat bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) in children.  I really struggle with the basic plausibility of this claim.  I mean, how can spinal manipulation control whether a child pees in their sleep, or not? 

So I decided to see whether this is a bogus* treatment, or not. 

Some Basic Facts

Although this complaint can cause stress** and social isolation for a child, the UK NHS Choices website says that bedwetting is very common in children.  It usually affects those under six or seven years old. Fortunately, it usually stops by the age of seven or slightly later. They estimate that around, “one in seven children aged five, and one in 20 children aged 10, wet the bed.”  Boys are more commonly affected than girls.  Older children can also have this problem.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chiropractic | Tagged: , , | 19 Comments »