Since I started this blog there have been a couple of quite silly comments by self appointed “skeptics” commenting essentially that the condition and its treatment appear to be a “cure all” and that “like all such cure – alls” must be fraudulent.
While I welcome serious inquiries to this site, which show that the material presented has been read thoroughly and the links pursued, I will certainly delete any vague general criticisms from those individuals who could be classed as “Malignant Skeptics”- correspondents who are not prepared to do the work required to make an informed criticism.
The observations being made here are that malalignment in the upper cervical spine is associated with a wide range of illnesses- and that that is physiologically predictable. However, management of the problem is more complex, especially in older adults, like myself who have acquired some osteoarthritis.
A proper understanding of anatomy and physiology of the upper cervical area and brainstem should be enough to make it clear that all of the symptoms listed below are predictable given a large enough subluxation. The real problem in understanding this area actually boils down to an issue of terminology- the chiropractic use of the word “subluxation” has a different definition and implications than the medical word. It is preferable really to use the less loaded term “malalignment”
The joint between the skull and the neck is designed for nodding movements, and it has been documented that the maximum rotation expected on turning well to the left or right is about 3-4 degrees.
The worst case I have seen was a rotatory subluxation of about 25 degrees demonstrated on a CT upper cervical spine. I was dismayed that the radiologist who reported it failed to note the abnormality. I would observe that this probably happened because such subluxations are not regarded as possible within allopathic medicine- and he was not looking for it. I did get the satisfaction of an amended report after conversation with the radiologist involved.
For the skeptic who really wishes to debate this topic properly I would recommend a thorough reading of:
“Upper Cervical Subluxation Complex: a review of the chiropractic and medical literature”
Kirk Eriksen ( Lippincott Williams and Wilkins ISBN 0-7817-4198-X)
Manual Therapy In Children Ed Heiner Biedermann MD (an orthopedic surgeon)
The issue of malignant skepticism and the backlash from a rearguard of elderly and/or cognitively rigid medical practitioners is a serious one, and is maybe best considered by examining the disturbing behaviour of the organisation “Quackwatch”.
The Wikipedia entry on The Institute of Noetic Sciences here is a particularly pertinent one.
IONS is an organisation dedicated to studying issues such as spontaneous remission of cancers and other illnesses and the impacts of thinking on health.
Its founder, the retired asronaut Edgar Mitchell is quoted as saying:
“That’s what’s fun about it. We’re breaking down barriers and finding things. That’s what science is all about: new discovery. … There’s nothing that we have done or have demonstrated that doesn’t have good science behind it. Skeptics be damned”
However- those self appointed arbiters of reality on the Quackwatch website have the nerve to describe it as a “questionable organisation”
I do not know what gives any individual or group to simply dismiss all the work of any organisation without actually reviewing the science.
In fact this sort of disregard for detailed analysis of presented evidence is the very definition of quackery- and academic authoritarianism. The individuals who work for quackwatch need only look at themselves in a mirror and their work will be done.