Chiropractors have meaningful role to play
I REFER to Dr Andy Ho's commentary ('Perils of chiropractic neck manipulation; last Friday').
To date, there has been no documented case of vertebral artery dissection (stroke) caused and occasioned by chiropractic treatment in Singapore.
Dr Ho did not mention very important facts stated by the Bone Joint Task Force in the journal Spine (2008). The authors concluded that there is no evidence of excess risk of vertebrobasilar artery stroke associated with chiropractic care. The risk - if any - is no different from that associated with a primary care provider such as a general practitioner.
An independent report by the Rand Cooperation concluded that the risk, if any, is estimated at one in a million, lower than that of being struck by lightning (one in 700,000).
The Mercer Report (2008) by two Harvard-trained medical doctors concluded that chiropractic care is more effective than other modalities for treating neck and lower back pain. It is also highly cost-effective. This is supported by the Bronfort Study (2010) from Britain.
The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) has made representations to the Health Ministry to be included in the Allied Health Professions Bill. As a trade association, we adhere to an international code of ethics and we do require our members to upgrade their skills annually with training.
Chiropractic does not have a genesis rooted in mysticism but rather in the biomechanics of the human frame. As in any profession, we have evolved through the years to become a profession that draws its conclusion based on facts and results.
Chiropractors are playing an important role, and being recognised, in hospitals in Canada, the United States, Saudi Arabia and China. Australia is currently in the preliminary stage of utilising chiropractors to serve in hospitals. We believe that sensible national legislation and a proper sense of internal regulations will bring about a higher level of professionalism in Singapore.
Chiropractors have a meaningful role to play in the Singapore health-care system. Although we regret that we are not currently included in the Allied Health Professions Bill, we have been - and will always be - playing a meaningful role all these years.
Asian Executive Council
World Federation Chiropractic