Why this doctor is pushing for the Chiropractic Board to be sacked

Do you see a chiropractor or are you dead against them? Of all the complementary health professionals out there, “chiros”

Do you see a chiropractor or are you dead against them? Of all the complementary health professionals out there, “chiros” seem to attract the strongest attitudes: people either love them or hate them.

Yesterday a doctor made headlines by calling for the Chiropractic Board of Australia to be sacked or replaced, saying that practitioners were making false claims about the benefits of chiropractic treatments.

The ABC reports that Dr Ken Harvey has made a case for the dismissal of the board because it hasn’t cracked down (pardon the pun) on claims that practitioners can cure asthma or stop babies from crying.

“My colleagues and I did a survey and found at least 200 chiropractic websites that we believe were making claims that breached the national law,” he said.

According to the doctor, after 10 formal complaints, involving 67 such claims, only one of the websites had changed its wording and become compliant.

Dr Harvey has the support of consumer advocate. Erin Turner from Choice, said misleading claims were widespread in the industry: “Things like claims that you shouldn’t be vaccinating your children, or recommendations for treatments that have no scientific evidence,” Ms Turner said.

“We need to make sure that when we see a misleading claim, that a body’s able to act and take it down to make sure that no one’s harmed.”

A spokesman for non profit group Friends of Science in Medicine, told The New Daily that clients should seek out “moderate” chiropractors who specialise in back pain and avoid “extreme” practitioners with unscientific views.

“There are moderate chiropractors who we do not condemn. They are mostly applying their skills to musculoskeletal medicine, mostly looking after back disorders and they apply essentially physiotherapy-type of care,” Friends of Science in Medicine vice-president Professor Alastair McLennan said.

“The public should watch out for any practitioner saying they can treat an infection [or] an organ that’s not the back.”

CEO of AHPRA, the health regulator, Martin Fletcher said ,”We recognise that there’s a small number of chiropractors with hardline views, we’ve referred three of these matters to the ACCC, who have different powers under Australian consumer law, and where our powers are enough, we are using them to initiate disciplinary action.”

“I don’t believe there is a widespread problem, and as I say, our experience has been that in the vast majority of cases, when we draw the attention of the chiropractor to something that may be in breach of the advertising requirements, they take the steps to amend that advertising.”

Do you see a chiropractor? Is it for back pain or something else?Share your experiences below.


  1. making false claims about health is a dangerous practice, I think the Board should be sacked

  2. I used to visit a chiropractor often. It did help. But then my Chiropractor suggested for me to go to an Acupuncturist when he was not able to help me. I was back walking freely in 2 weeks after treatment by the Acupuncturist. I will not return. I get a therapeutic massage now and then as well.

  3. Ross  

    Personally, I was treated badly by the one and only Chiropractor whom I consulted, never again.
    Instead, I go and seek a Physiotherapist with a diploma in manipulative therapy, could not be happier.
    There are some Chiropractors who border on the charlatan but most are professional.

  4. I have to use a Chiropractor periodically and I have never had a problem, in fact they have improved my mobility and also the level of pain I have. I don’t believe that this is a wide spread problem and I will definitely continue to go to the one have been going to for years, it’s like everything there is good and bad which the bad give the good practitioners a bad name unfortunately.

  5. Agree, Chiropractors should stick to backs and stop peddling that all human disease is caused by back problems – if only it were that simple. Personally I prefer a good therapeutic massage, backs were never designed to be manipulated.

  6. Haven’t been to a chiro for about 40 years after I thought he was going to permanently cause damage to my neck as his manipulation was too excessive.

  7. I long gave up on chiropractors after taking advice from someone who swore by their chiropractor. He was an absolute fake, didn’t help with my headaches and may have triggered a mystery condition that impacted me for weeks with an unnatural tiredness that left me unable to function

  8. Chiros are like all other practitioners – some bad, mostly good. I used to go to a practice with two, one was great on my hips, the other on my neck, and they were both happy with that. They used gentle manipulative techniques. Another one I went to used to ‘crack’ my spine, this worked too. He also ‘cracked’ my ankle back into place after a dislocation an osteopath told me couldn’t be reversed and would give me a permanent limp. Do your research.

  9. steve  

    Have suffered for years with lower back problems. Have been hospitalised ,had back spasms the worst pain in my life. About every six months I had painful attack. Went to Physo for a few weeks after every episode. Six months latter more pain and another round of treatment. Over two years ago started going to a Chiro have never had back pain since.It works for me.

  10. so, if doctors were sacked when they made false claims we wouldn’t have any left! Oncologists claim to treat and heal people with cancer, and yet their success rate is 2% survival after 5 years! Be your own doctor, do your research, and do what’s best for you! Don’t believe any claims on face value, there’s too any people just in it for the money these days!

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