27 Apr 2008 08:16 am

Chiropractor, Heal Thyself


Okay, I’ve been silent for a few days waiting for someone to comment on my last post, which I thought was rather humorous, but apparently no one else thought worthy of notice. (hint, hint)

Oh well, be that as it may, this week I ran across another funny little story penned by the ever-lovable Panda Bear, MD that I thought you might enjoy, instead.

It involves his recent encounter with one of our old friends and was tucked neatly within a post entitled, Randompanda.

To fully appreciate this little ditty, you need to understand that Panda Bear is an ER doctor working in a major metropolitan hospital and his patient… well, you’ll see…

I Kept My Mouth Shut

I had a trauma patient the other day who quickly informed me that he was a chiropractor and then rattled off the cervical vertebrae he believed to be injured just to show us that we were dealing with a medical professional and not some yokel.

He had fallen off of a ladder and bumped his head. After the usual “pan scan” that the trauma surgeons order on everyone regardless of mechanism or history he was given a clean bill of health and discharged from the department.

We usually send these minor trauma patients home with a small prescription for vicodin or percocet even though all most people really need for this kind of thing is some motrin.

I have been sticking to the motrin lately because we don’t have to give narcotics to everybody. He flagged me down before he was discharged and demanded something stronger for his pain. I smiled politely and wrote him a prescription for Vicodin.

Chiropractor, heal thyself. Doesn’t he have any colleagues that could, I don’t know, adjust him or something?


If you don’t see the humor in this, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Suffice it to say that Panda and I share similar opinions when it comes to magic (i.e. illusion) vs. medicine. Which is probably why he then goes on to share some further observations…


Speaking of chiropractors, I have had a run of patients lately who are under their treatment. I keep my face blank and my tongue still but most of them feel the need to apologize, which shows you that even most of the chiromancer’s customers suspect that they are being hornswoggled by this century’s equivalent of the Patent Medicine Man.

Look, its not rocket science. You can’t cure an inflamed gallbladder or a pulmonary embolism by adjusting the spine. You can’t actually adjust the spine either because, while I am second to none in admiration for the typical chiromancer’s knowledge of spinal anatomy, all of those ligaments and muscles that they rattle off prevent the kind of movements that they claim to induce.

Hell, in my line of work we call chiropractic “spinal adjustment” by its correct term, “trauma,” and it is only the inability of most chiromancers to generate motor vehicle collision-type forces that keep them from hurting more patients than they actually do.

As usual, I find myself agreeing with Panda Bear on this one.



If you’ve just arrived here and are still struggling under the illusion that chiropractors are medical doctors, here are some articles that will bring you up to speed:


3 Responses to “Chiropractor, Heal Thyself”

  1. on 30 May 2008 at 6:35 pm 1.randolph said …

    In spite of our shared belief in the impracticality of wasting money on chiropractic, millions of other folks (folks who otherwise seem quite sane) are still quite happy to employ our modern-day shamans. These folks wonder about high gas prices, just like me. They wonder at the meaningless of presidential politics, just like me. Yet unlike me, they are really convinced that they are being helped by chiropractic. No amount of my shared wisdom, reason, and experience will deter them from making their monthly visit to their DC. Our cherished delusions that we call our certainties, make me wonder about my own delusions. I wonder who’s trying to get thru to me right now??? I wonder: how do we get thru that part of our mind that’s still convinced it’s the know-it-all??? Is there anything more boring .. or common .. than the know-it-all?? Randolph

  2. on 01 Jun 2008 at 5:05 pm 2.Dean said …

    Hey randolph, I know exactly what you mean. I’m the worst know-it-all I know. I have to constantly challenge my own preconceived notions.

    Fortunately, I have several major “light-bulb” moments in my life that serve to constantly remind me.

  3. on 15 Mar 2013 at 11:46 pm 3.Jeremy said …

    I found the note from the ER Dr quite amusing. But just because the Chiropractor asked for pain medication because he has a low tolerance for pain(assumption) doesn’t mean that he won’t get treated by a fellow chiropractor for his injury(doesn’t mean he will either).

    I used to work for a chiropractor several years ago and I can tell you that if it is as Randolph and Dean said, then the chiro that I worked for hoodwinked most of the medical doctors in my town. We commonly received referrals from the medical community and the hospitals- averaged about 5 referrals a week.

    This was not one doctor doing all the referrals but many doctors from General Practitioners to Neurosurgeons.

    On the opposite end, the Chiropractor I worked for commonly referred patients out to other specialists or their primary doctor – the biggest line of crap in the chiropractic profession is that they can fix it all… No they can’t! Good chiropractors take care of a patient’s conditions that they are trained to help and refer the rest. The medical community in our area respected that approach from my old employer as much as I did.

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