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West Portland Chiropractic
322 NW 5th Avenue, Suite 305
Portland, OR 97209
ph 207.370.8516
fx 503.455.5555

For Skeptics Only 

Chiropractic has been around for thousands of years, although called many different things throughout the ages, it eventually evolved into what we now know today as Chiropractic.  The earliest known recordings of Chiropractic medicine has been found in Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  It is definitely a medical treatment that has been refined and time tested over thousands of years.  In addition medical research has validated Chiropractic as an effective treatment for many neurological, skeletal, and muscular problems.

If you have doubts about Chiropractic Care I hope the following puts some of your fears to rest.   

Let’s put to rest some of the most common chiropractic myths…

If these myths were true, Chiropractic would have disappeared long ago. Chiropractic has not only survived, but it is thriving as more people want a safe and natural approach to fix their ailments without the use of drugs or surgery.

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Chiropractic is not scientific and results are just the placebo effect

 Today Chiropractic is actually quite scientific.  There have been numerous studies completed to confirm the effectiveness of Chiropractic care for lower back pain, neck pain, among many other conditions. 

The "scientific" argument is largely a red herring and the sign of a double standard. Many leading medical experts have been saying for years that only 13% of medical procedures have ever been scientifically verified, and the other 87% of common medical procedures have no "scientific basis!"

Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. Ask our patients whether Chiropractic works for them.

Canada has a government-run national health care system. As occurred with Medicare in this country, there had been such pressure on the Canadian government to include Chiropractic as a covered benefit, that the Ontario Ministry of Health hired a renowned heath care economist to make a recommendation. The first “Manga Report”   [ 1 ] was published in 1993.

This comprehensive study reviewed all the published literature on low back pain and made some astounding suggestions. In a nutshell, it concluded that: Chiropractic should be the treatment of choice for low back pain – excluding traditional medical care altogether!

The specific Findings of the report were:

  • There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that Chiropractic management of low-back pain is more cost-effective than medical management
  • Many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate
  • There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that Chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are unsafe and generate medical error or adverse drug reactions for lower back pain patients.
  • Chiropractic is more cost-effective. There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of lower back pain was transferred from medical physicians to Chiropractors.
  • There is good empirical evidence that patients are very satisfied with Chiropractic management of lower back pain and considerably less satisfied with physician management

The specific Recommendations were:

  • Chiropractic services should be fully insured under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan
  • Chiropractic services should be fully integrated into the health care system. Because of the high incidence and cost of LBP, hospitals, managed health care groups, community health centers, comprehensive health organizations, and health service organizations and long-term care facilities should employ Chiropractors on a full-time and/or part-time basis
  • A good case could be made for placing Chiropractic as the gatekeepers for all musculoskeletal complaints that presented to hospitals.


[1]   A Study to Examine the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic
       Management of Low-Back Pain. Ministry of Health, Government of



       Canada 1993

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Are Chiropractors are poorly educated and are not real doctors

Your notion of a "real" doctor probably conforms to a prototype generated by the mass media. Many have come to think of a doctor as someone who prescribes drugs or performs surgery and sports a white lab coat or surgical scrubs with a stethoscope at the neck.  Doctors are seen as all-knowing, omnipotent and able to save patients in 60 minutes, less.

A medical doctor (MD) and a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) are both doctors and have received a doctorial degree from a government accredited medical school or Chiropractic college.

The fact is educational requirements for today’s Chiropractors are as stringent as any other health care profession.

Just like any medical school before acceptance to a four-year Chiropractic college, students must complete a minimum of three years of undergraduate work with many required courses on the basic sciences.

Since, Chiropractors do not prescribe medicine or perform surgery, Chiropractic students gain a even deeper knowledge than their medical student counterparts on anatomy, neurology, nutrition and supplements, x-ray and MRI imaging, physical therapy, and Chiropractic adjusting techniques.

Criticizing the educational achievements of today’s Chiropractor is an outdated belief from another era.

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Chiropractic Adjustments are not Safe

The argument about safety concerns is an example of “junk science” and a perennial favorite by those who have an interest in discouraging people from seeking Chiropractic care.

No one pays closer attention to injury statistics than Malpractice Insurance carriers for Chiropractors.

Scott Haldeman, MD, DC reviewed malpractice claims records for a 10-year period between 1988 and 1997. In reviewing the outcomes following the application of 134.5 million neck adjustments or manipulations, the records indicated that there were 23 reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD).   [ 1 ]   Out of this group of 23, 10 of the patients had the complicating factors of high blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, or a history of smoking, all of which are associated with vascular disease. The actual incidence of stroke or VAD following neck manipulations was found to be one per 5.85 million. That means that the average Chiropractor could work for 1430 years (or practice 48 full Chiropractic careers!) before a complication like this would occur.  And neck adjustments are considered the riskiest Chiropractic procedure. 

 Other reports listing a higher frequency of adverse events have been compromised by the tendency of those authors to inappropriately list the practitioner as a Chiropractor, even when it turned out that the injury was caused by a medical doctor, a physical therapist or a hairdresser!  [ 2, 3 ]

Rather than raising concerns about the safety of Chiropractic, these statistics emphasize that spinal adjustments are safe when performed by a Chiropractor, and in the hands of unskilled practitioners, can be dangerous, and therefore the practice must be closely regulated.   [ 4 ]

In other words, cases of serious injury due to cervical adjustments are practically nonexistent.  Incomparison research has demonstrated that medical procedures aimed at relieving similar symptoms like over-the-counter-pain-relievers cause more than 16,500 deaths and 103,000 are hospitalized from serious complications each year among arthritic patients alone.  The figures for all users of over-the-counter-pain-relievers would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-reported. Even with these risks associated with over-the-counter-pain-relievers they are considered to be “safe drugs”.

The bottom line is, the cost of malpractice insurance for Chiropractors are a mere fraction of what medical practitioners pay. Chiropractic care is safe.

 If curious continuing reading to discover the high risks associated with the Medical Approach

Dr. Lucian Leape, researcher at the Harvard Medical School of Public Health, noted that adverse events occurred in 3.7 percent of all hospitalizations. Worse yet, 13.6 percent of those adverse events led to death!   [ 5 ]. He is quoted as saying, “Medicine is now a high risk industry, like aviation. But, the chance of dying in an aviation accident is one in 2 million, while the risk of dying from a medical accident is one in 200!”   [ 6 ]

The most comprehensive review of “adverse events” caused by modern medicine is the article Death by Medicine, written by Gary Null, Ph.D.; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD.   [ 7 ].

This fully referenced report reveals that:

2.2 million people experience in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs per year.

20 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed annually for viral infections

7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually, and

8.9 million people are exposed to unnecessary hospitalization every year!

The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year! And this is straight from the horse’s mouth.

That is a mind-boggling 2147 people killed daily!

That's 7 jumbo jet plane crashes, each and every day.

That's a 9-11 incident occurring every other day...  But yet Chiropractic is labeled as  being dangerous.  For those of you who thought Chiropractic is not safe I hope this information shocked you.  And now armed with the truth you can make better decisions regarding your injury, your health, your future.


[1]   Arterial Dissections Following Cervical Manipulation: The Chiropractic Experience. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2001 ( Oct 2);   165 (7):  905–906

[2]   Misuse of the Literature by Medical Authors in Discussing Spinal Manipulative Therapy Injury. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (May);   18 (4):   203–210

[3]   Inappropriate Use of the Title Chiropractor and Term Chiropractic Manipulation in the Peer-reviewed Biomedical Literature. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (May);   18 (4):   203-210
http://www.chiro.org/ChiroZine/ABSTRACTS/Inappropriate_Use_of_the_title.sht  ml

[4]   Are German Orthopedic Surgeons Killing People With Chiropractic?
           ChiroZine ~
3-26-2005 ~ Editorial Commentary

[5]   Incidence of Adverse Events and Negligence in Hospitalized Patients
         Results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I
New England Journal of Medicine 1991 (Feb 7);   324 (6):   370–376

[6]   The Iatrogenic Injury Page

[7]   Death by Medicine
         Life Extension Foundation

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Once you go, you have to go for the rest of your life

It is true that many folks choose to continue their Chiropractic care on a periodic basis. Others choose to see us from time to time when they only have episodes of pain. It’s your choice, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.  This concern of having to see you Chiropractor for the rest of your life, is typically prompted by two common questions:

            “Once I get adjusted, will I always need Chiropractic adjustments?”

No. Many people feel a pleasant sense of ease and well-being after their Chiropractic adjustments. Once people experience the benefits of Chiropractic treatments they often choose to adopt some type of ongoing schedule of care so they continue to feel pain free all the time. Wouldn’t you continue to be treated if you found a way to relieve your pain with little to no risk?  After receiving a series of treatments some patients do not return for months to years unless their symptoms return or a new injury occurs.  We strive to teach our patients how to manage their symptoms with rehabilitative exercises and stretches tailored for each individual patient.  This can dramatically reduce the need for Chiropractic treatments.

            “Why are so many visits necessary?”

Typically at West Portland Chiropractic we see severe traumatic injuries or patients who have had their problem for some time before contacting our office. In either case, it takes time and a lot of work to properly treat injured joints, muscles, ligaments, or nerves. Each visit builds on the ones before. Rehabilitating an injury takes time and requires a series of Chiropractic treatments similar to what a medical doctor would recommend if they where treating a patient with diabetes or cardiovascular disease.  We strive to teach our patients how to manage their symptoms with home care techniques tailored for each individual patient, which can dramatically reduce the need for Chiropractic treatments.  How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic care is always up to you.

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Don’t fix it if it’s not broken

I feel fine. Why do I need to see a doctor? These are folks who never miss a day of work and then out of the blue, drop dead of a heart attack.

The problem with our healthcare system today, is that modern medicine is designed to treat severe diseases with very little emphasis on treatments that prevent the disease from occurring in the first place.  Diseases can quietly fester in the background, slowly worsening, without any obvious symptoms.  By the time the disease starts causing symptoms it can take a lot of treatment to resolve.  The fact remains that a number of the conditions we treat can be prevented with periodic Chiropractic treatments, which in the end costs you less.   

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My medical doctor does not approve Chiropractic Care

Some medical doctors are unfamiliar with Chiropractic and the principles by which it works.  Few take the time to really understand what doctors of Chiropractic really do and therefore, make decisions based on what they hear in the media or other poor sources of information.  Some doctors continue to operate under the policy perpetuated by the illegal boycott of Chiropractors by the American Medical Association.  On September 25, 1987, a United States Federal judge ruled that the American Medical Association had engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to eliminate the Chiropractic profession. The judge issued a permanent injunction against the American Medical Association to prevent such future behavior. Unfortunately, some doctors continue to operate under the policy perpetuated by the illegal boycott of Chiropractors by the American Medical Association so the damage continues. 

Following the Court enforced reversal of American Medical Association policy, tiny splinter groups formed, with the intention of labeling Chiropractic as a quackish cult. Their methods mimicked the earlier American Medical Association suppression tactics: Create doubt about the quality of Chiropractic education, and mislead the public into believing that Chiropractic claims ALL disease is caused by spinal joint problems. Although these groups hide behind the noble claim that they wish to protect the public from unscientific practices, their true motives are transparent. Their sole intention is to suggest that only allopathic medicine is well supported by scientific research. However, that is just not true!

In an editorial in the highly esteemed British Medical Journal, titled Where is the Wisdom? The Poverty of Medical Evidence, BMJ's editor Dr. Richard Smith recounts a lecture he attended with renowned health policy consultant Dr. David Eddy. Eddy found, after doing significant research, that only about 13% of medical procedures are supported by, solid scientific evidence and that only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound.

Fortunately, more and more medical doctors around the world see the value in Chiropractic Care.  Here at West Portland Chiropractic we refer back a fourth between medical doctors, surgeons, physical therapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, naturopaths or to any medical practitioner I feel may benefit my patient.  If the doctor believes he can not help you or co-treating with another practitioner is necessary, then a referral to a health care provider will be recommended.   

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You need a referral to see a Chiropractor

You don't need a referral to see a Chiropractor except for a few rare insurance policies. Our office provides insurance verification to determine if you have Chiropractic benefits and what portion of your care the insurance company will cover.  Call our office at (phone #) to check your Chiropractic benefits at no charge.  Please read our health insurance page for more information.

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Schedule your Appointment

Your search for quality, friendly and affordable Chiropractic Care in Portland Oregon is finally over! New Patients and Referrals are warmly welcomed by Chiropractor Dr. Matthew Todd, D.C. at our Pearl District office in NW Portland Oregon.

Whether you are a new patient or an existing patient, the quickest and easiest way to schedule your appointment is online.  Click on the "Book Now" button below to get started.  If you are a new patient, please also print and complete the New Patient Intake form before your first appointment which can be found by clicking here

If you prefer to call, you can reach us at (207) 370-8516. If you get our message we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please make sure to leave your name, number, when you would like to have your appointment (to see our hours click here), and state whether you are a new or existing patient.

West Portland Chiropractic
322 NW 5th Avenue, Suite 305
Portland, OR 97209
ph 207.370.8516
fx 503.455.5555