Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Does Chiropractic Treatment Benefit Anyone?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

While exploring chirobase.org, I began reading through the question and answer section to see if any of my questions had already been answered. After reading several of your replies to questions asked, I began to wonder if you would recommend chiropractic for any condition? How did you manage to make a living as a chiropractor if do not see any benefit. Thank you for your time.

Answer

I am now retired from 43 years of full-time practice as a chiropractor. I limited my practice to the care of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. I do not subscribe to the theory that misaligned vertebrae can cause bad health or organic disease, a view I expressed in my 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic and Cultism. There is no evidence to support the chiropractic vertebral subluxation theory, but considerable evidence supports the use of spinal manipulation to treat back pain and related problems. For this reason, I believe that chiropractic should be developed as a back-care specialty.

Most letters I receive from readers of Chirobase come from unhappy patients who have received inappropriate treatment or who have been victims of unethical practices. There are some good chiropractors who do a good job treating back pain, but they are not easy to find. For this reason, when there is a question about a chiropractor's diagnosis or treatment methods, I always recommend patient seeking a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist.

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Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient's Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic's history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This article was posted on March 14, 2009.