Kiropraktikk og «manuell terapi» blir i Norge behandlet som ukomplisert og effektiv behandling, mens andre land har et mer problematisk forhold til slikt.

Det kan hende dette avspeiler regionale forskjeller i teori og praksis og ikke lokale konvensjoner i hva som blir ansett som overtro (jeg har kjent akkurat tilstrekkelig mange blivende kiropraktorer til at jeg håper det er tilfelle).

Uansett om ulike typer manipulasjon av ryggraden kan ha positive effekter får vi forvente at det er bivirkninger. Det viser seg at de ikke nødvendigvis er spesielt bagatellartede:

Spinal manipulation, particularly when performed on the upper spine, is frequently associated with mild to moderate adverse effects. It can also result in serious complications such as vertebral artery dissection followed by stroke. Currently, the incidence of such events is not known. In the interest of patient safety we should reconsider our policy towards the routine use of spinal manipulation.

Det skriver Edzard Ernst nylig i konklusjonen til en reviewartikkel i Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Hvor ofte fant man bivirkninger?

The searches identified 32 case reports, four case series, two prospective series, three case-control studies and three surveys. In case reports or case series, more than 200 patients were suspected to have been seriously harmed. The most common serious adverse effects were due to vertebral artery dissections. The two prospective reports suggested that relatively mild adverse effects occur in 30% to 61% of all patients. The case-control studies suggested a causal relationship between spinal manipulation and the adverse effect. The survey data indicated that even serious adverse effects are rarely reported in the medical literature.

Jeg tror med andre ord jeg skal fortsette å holde meg unna den slags behandling.

(E. Ernst. Adverse effects of spinal manipulation: a systematic review. J R Soc Med 2007;100:330-338)