For those who suffer from back pain or stiffness, a properly trained chiropractor can perform just the right adjustments to provide much needed relief. But in a new trend which is currently sweeping the profession, many of these specialists are broadening their repertoire to include the treatment of a number of surprising conditions including asthma, reflux and even autism.
Can the chiropractic profession really provide solutions for these ailments, or does this represent an unfortunate era of quackery within this long-respected field of medicine? That's the central question of the new documentary Chiropractic, a thought-provoking expose on the potential benefits and risk factors involved in choosing an alternative form of medicine for conditions most commonly treated by general practitioners.
"My first call is always the chiropractor," says Helene, a mother of young daughters and one of several interview subjects featured in the film. Helene's views are persuasive, and echoed by many other parents who favor an alternative which replaces the prescription of drugs with a more natural, gentle and personalized form of treatment.
Without a doubt, the spine contains a complex series of structures and nerve connections which control a vast number of crucial functions throughout the body. Yet, the film offers testimony from pain management specialists, surgeons, primary care providers and other experts from the medical field who disagree with the assertion that spinal manipulation can be relied upon as a cure-all. Particularly concerning for these specialists is the idea that more parents are turning to chiropractics for the care of their young children whose nerve and bone structures are still vulnerable and developing.
"The idea that there are energy flows up and down the spine that cause disease in organs doesn't fit with our current understanding of science," reports Dr. Michael Fahey, a pediatric neurologist at Monash Medical Centre in Australia. Dr. Fahey cites several studies which indicate chiropractic impotence in the face of conditions like asthma, colic and ear infections.
The decision to seek treatment from an outside source is understandable, especially given the criticisms and distrust of mainstream medicine within some circles. With reason, balance and scientific clarity, Chiropractic provides the evidence every parent needs to make the most informed decision for their own children.