Dr. Oz,  a celebrity MD famous for his ties to The Oprah Winfrey Show,  recently talked about chiropractic care on his television show, highlighting a huge study that reports that chiropractic care can be just as effective in relieving back pain as over the counter pain medication.  Watch this video to see Dr. Oz demonstrate an exercise that strengthens the core muscles around the spine (a good and easy exercise), and see an audience member receive an adjustment from a chiropractor on the show.

“While I appreciate Dr. Oz using his show to highlight chiropractic, he presented chiropractic as non-scientific and somewhat barbaric. He created the illusion that the audience member-patient was randomly picked live and on the spot so that viewers reasonably assumed that the chiropractor did no exam, history, or evaluation before or after the adjustment. This also leaves viewers wondering why she needed the adjustment and if chiropractors will just adjust anything,” states Dr. Cohen, a San Francisco Financial District chiropractor. Dr. Cohen also commented that Dr. Oz further distracted his audience from the positive impression of chiropractic that, one hopes, he was trying to convey by referring to the patient as “the victim.” A final measured critique of the show offered by Dr. Cohen notes that Dr.Oz’s introductory explanation of chiropractic and the recently published study gave the impression that the efficacy of chiropractic is just now coming to light and is very limited, which is, according to the overwhelming weight of the peer-reviewed evidence, inaccurate on both counts.

“I would never send my mother (always the test) to a chiropractor who just adjusted without using his or her brainpower first to get to the bottom of the problem,” said Dr. Cohen from his Financial District office. “Some patients don’t respond well to the rack-em-and-crack-em style shown on Dr. Oz, so there are more gentle approaches available.”  This can be determined by taking the time to evaluate each patient individually. What makes Dr. Cohen’s care different from the adjustment portrayed on the Dr. Oz show is that Dr. Cohen first meets with is patients to listen to them, discuss their symptoms, and test their muscle and nerve functions.

Talk to Dr. Cohen at his San Francisco office to discuss any questions you may have about chiropractic care.

Updated Post: I received an email from the chiropractor on the show and he clarified that an exam and assessment was done prior to adjusting the patient.  He pointed out that “the exam part doesn’t make for exciting television,” although he wished it would have been included. I agree and want to emphasize that I did not mean to offend or disparage him in any way.  I was criticizing the portrayal of chiropractic as simply moving bones for cracks, because good chiropractors, and I include the chiropractor from the show,  do much more than that.