Chiropractors as physical therapists with delusions of grandeur

In the past, I’ve characterized chiropractors, at least the ones who claim to be able to treat anything other than back pain, as “physical therapists with delusions of grandeur who don’t know their limitations.” It appears that Panda Bear, MD agrees with me, and he’s particularly disturbed about such chiropractors increasingly targeting the pediatric population:

Apparently chiropracty can resolve asthma, ear infections, colic, allergies, and headaches to name just a few. What then, exactly, are pediatric chiropractors doing if it’s not treating conditions or diseases…or is your poor Uncle Panda, lumbering asian bear-mammal as he is, just lost in the semantics? In their mealy-mouthed way, chiropractors are trying to make an end-run around the ridiculousness of their profession to become your child’s pediatrician, a job for which they are singularly unqualified for many reasons the most important of which is that they have no training in pediatrics (the real kind, I mean).

Look at it this way. For the sake of the argument lets say that all chiropractors decide that subluxation theory is idiotic and henceforth devote their lives to evidence-based physical therapy. That’s kind of the angle the so-called “reform” chiropractors take in opposition to their “straight” brethren who ascribe almost every pathology including infectious diseases to subluxations. Would you take your child to a Physical Therapist for routine health maintenance, well child checks, or even something as serious as asthma? Of course not. And no Physical Therapist would touch your child in this capacity for the same reason I don’t perform abdominal surgery, namely that it is well outside of my training and my legitimate scope of practice.

Indeed. We’re in agreement that this aspect of chiropractic is nothing more than stealth medicine. I’d also make one suggestion, based on another part of his post: His ER should put the coffee machine away from where patients can see. (Read the rest of his post, and you’ll see what I mean.)