Chiropractors Told to Stop Pretending They Can Treat Covid-19

Someone receiving a chiropractic adjustment

Someone who gets a chiropractic adjustment
Photo: Aleksander Chaibi (Wikimedia Commons)

Chiropractors in Canada and elsewhere are told to stop advertising their services as a treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

In Canada, organizations such as the College of Chiropractors of Ontario have sent dozens of warning letters to clinics and practitioners in the area, following complaints from the non-profit advocacy group Bad Science Watch. The complaints highlighted social media ads from chiropractors claiming that they could boost the immune system to ward off the coronavirus or otherwise help people recover from it faster.

“As soon as there is public fear of abuse, these practitioners quickly become aware and promote this kind of misinformation for their own profit,” Ryan Armstrong, head of Bad Science Watch, told CBC.

While chiropractic is primarily seen and marketed as a way to diagnose and treat muscle and joint related health issues through spinal adjustments, the field has a long history of promoting crazy ideas that it can treat any kind of disease to treat. With little to no supporting evidence, some chiropractors have advertised it as a way of treating it all autism to Ear infections; others have executed potentially dangerous (and sometimes deadly) spinal manipulations in newborn children.

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The problem of chiropractors who become coronavirus scammers is not isolated only to Canada. Late last week, the World Federation of Chiropractic gave covid-19-related advice to chiropractors, including a warning not to claim they could treat it.

“There is no credible scientific evidence that chiropractic adjustment / manipulation of the spine confers or enhances immunity,” said the WFC said in her guidance. “Chiropractors should refrain from any communication that suggests that spinal adjustment / manipulation can protect patients from contracting COVID-19 or improve their recovery. Doing otherwise is potentially dangerous to public health. ‘

Of course, chiropractic is just the latest taste of pseudoscience to try to make money from the coronavirus. Homeopaths and other alternative medicine practitioners have sold their own forms of snake oil as a remedy for the virus, which has led to crackdown by the Food and Drug Administration and several government agencies. For example, televangelist Jim Bakker was in both New York and Missouri sued in front of advertisement colloidal silver as a coronavirus treatment.

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