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    Chiro's last stand

    CFRB AM-1010 - The Health Show - April 14, 2002

    Stan Gorchynski, the past president of the Ontario Chiropractic Association gave listeners a real treat when he appeared on The Health Show, hosted by Christina Cherneskey, this Sunday. The show is part of the regular line-up on CFRB 1010 in Toronto. This weekend it was broadcast from the floor of the Toronto Home Show.

    The show was "brought to you by" the Canadian Chiropractic Association. It's really quite funny, because during one of the breaks, a public service announcement warned people to be on the lookout for signs of strokes. I wonder if the station management did this on purpose. My oh my, what a greivous error.

    Christina referred to him as the chair of the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Their web site says he's the past president.

    Here are some highlights - not necessarily in order

    Chiropractic Strokes - the very last caller.

    The hour-long show was pretty damn boring until the last caller, a man named Rick, called in from Stoney Creek with a question about the risk of strokes.

    Rick: I'm just a bit concerned after looking on the CANOE web site about the neck adjustments causing strokes. I've been kind of scared about going to a chiropractor. So I kinda want to find out what that's all about.

    Cherneskey: You know, as you well know there's been some controversy. I mean we're coming up to the four-year anniversary of Laura Mathiason, I believe, in Saskatoon. The Lana Dale Lewis story seems to be just rectified as well in the media. Rick, there is controversy around those things, and I for one can tell you first hand, as a journalist, I've been following it. So let's talk about this Dr. Gorchynski, about some fears some Canadians might have. I mean a recent court ruling, does that alleviate Canadian fears, or do we just have open discussion, and dialogue with the Chiropractic Association.

    Gorchynski: I'm sorry which court ruling was that?

    Cherneskey: ...Ontario Superior Court ruling where claims that were brought against chiropractic organizations were dismissed.

    Gorchynski: Yes. In response to your question Rick, I would say that the information that has been brought forward in the last few years, has come from a very small group of individuals within the medical community. They are not representative of the medical community propem no the neurologists, in the ascertainment of the actual level of risk.

    Established peer reviewed studies, international, and in Canada as well as North America indicate that the risk is so low that it's not measurable. In fact, I think there were three studies done last year, one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, in the United States, which viewed 160 different pieces of research, which concluded that the risk was so low, again that is was not measurable.

    A study here done in Toronto, published in Stroke Magazine by some Toronto researchers, also found it so low that it couldn't be measured.

    And the latest study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, placed the risk at somewhere in the vicinity of 1:5.85 million adjustments. So, the standard level of risk that we as a profession go on, is that there is risk to 1-2 individuals within a million adjustments. So, very rare.

    Cherneskey: So many things are fought in the media, Dr. Gorchynski. Someone like Rick, has legitimate concerns. "I'm fearful, I don't know, I have questions". Again, does going in to go talk to a chiropractor first?

    Gorchynski: It absolutely does not. And in fact I think that patient care is now moving into "patient-centered" care. In other words there are, patients have to become more aware and more accessible to forms of health care that they can use to help themselves. So, I would suggest that Rick does go and talk to the chiropractor.

    Spinal Stenosis

    Mary: Doctor, I have problems with my legs, walking and so on. I had a neurologist look at it and found nothing really there. It's solely mechanical, and they said it was spinal stenosis. I was wondering what that is, and if there is anything that can be done about it.

    Gorchynski: Spinal stenosis is the compression of the spinal cord, within the canal itself, either do to osteoarthritic build-up, or some herniation for example, a disc or some other incursion material up against the spine. That can irritate the spine right at the source, or from that point on down. It is possible that there may be some help at a chiropractor. However it would depend on the degree of the stenosis, and the length of time that you've had it. Again, it's very difficult to diagnose over the phone Mary. But, I would suggest that if you would cross the threshhold of a chiropractor and let them assess, I think they will let you know if they can do anything.

    Pain in legs

    Bianca: My husband is in his 80s, and for 2-3 years now he has had pain in his legs when he sits right down. If he has, goes to a warm climate he can walk for hours, especially on the beach, but not in Oakville, not here. So, he feels that it's in his muscles. The doctor sends him to a vascular specialist, who said he should have dye injections in his groin to see what has happened. He also sent him for pressure check in his legs, and it didn't show anything except in one place in his calf. All along his leg he feels it. So, em, I don't know would a chiropractor, should he go to a chiropractor.

    Gorchynski: Bianca it sounds like the warmth has a lot to do with whether or not he is feeling well enough to walk for a time. Is that correct?

    Bianca: Maybe it's the softness of the sand, I don't know.

    Gorchynski: Alright, well it sounds there may be some muscular components involved which may be causing pressure to circulation as well as to the nerves. There may be a possibility, there may be something that can be addressed by a chiropractor. I think that your husband would do better sitting in a chiropractor's office and ask him his questions, and let the chiropractor do his assessment as to whether he can help.

    Magic hands for MS - A study in false hope

    Eva: Dr. Gorchynski,....for severe mental depression, when everything else has failed, and doctors scrape the bottom of the barrel and you know, nothing works, is there any, can chiropractic help at all?

    Gorchynski: There's no evidence that has studied to show that it definitively does help. Our studies, for example there were studies done in Sweden, by a doctor Lebuf Ede (not sure of spelling), that has shown that the general health or well-being of individuals who received spinal care from a chiropractor seemed to improve other health areas. For example, there were 86 doctors involved in the study and 20 patients within each clinic. You wouldn't normally attribute some symptoms to be helped by chiropractic, and yet these patients reported approximately 26% improved breathing ability, 25% reported improved digestive ability, 14% improved ocular vision, their eyesight improved, and 14% had improvement in heart and circulation as well.

    Cherneskey: And again Dr. Gorchynski, where did this study come from?

    Gorchynski: This was Sweden and it was done, it was clinical studies. What has jumped from that is an international study that will be done in almost every country where chiropractic is being practiced in, including Canada. And, we will attempt to raise additional information along these lines to see what additional side benefits people generally experience when they get neuro-muscular care through chiropractic. So, Eva, to answer your question, there may be some spinoff benefit, but again there is nothing that specifically is attributable to depression. I would think that if you went to speak to a chiropractor about your general health, maybe there is something else that's interfering with....

    Eva: Oh, I have MS as well.

    Gorchynski: You have MS as well, I see? Well, again that isn't a restrictor to chiropractic care, and I think that if you have problems outside of the brain, anything that's causing you some additional stress through the spine, a chiropractic can help you lick that.

    Eva: Can I volunteer to be in that study in Canada?

    Gorchynski: I think you can. Again, what you may do is call the Ontario Chiropractic Association and find out where the study is at this point. I wish you well with your concerns.

    It's all in the way you walk

    After giving advice to a mother of a child who had a toddler who was "toeing in" Cherneskey asked Gorchynski this:

    Cherneskey: This is a very good question Dr. Gorchynksi about children and chiropractic care. Obviously moms and dads are wondering, you know. "Can I bring my child in, or is there a certain age that I should start?"

    Gorchynski: Children are born with spines and the same spine lasts a lifetime. The methodology and the procedures and approaches that chiropractic care provides children is specifically to the frame and to the size of the individual. There have been a number of studies which show the efficacy, the value of chiropactic care for children. For example, from Denmark, public health nurses refer colicky babies to chiropractors, because it's been found that chiropractic is more effective than most common medical drug that is prescribed for colic. So, if you had the choice of using a non-invasive drug-free approach with your child, I think that's a very conservative approach. And I would follow that.

    Additionally there's been a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which indicated that asthma, asthma sufferers, children benefit from chiropractic care by reducing the severity of their attacks, reducing the amount of medication that was required, improving the overall quality of life that these young people have, despite the affliction that they have. There is a benefit.

    Cherneskey: One thing I have noticed, that there seems to be, but I don't have the numbers to back this up, but there seems to be more cases of kids with asthma, than there was, let's say in the generation prior.

    Gorchynski: Christina, I'll tell you that 96-97% of all children that are brought to chiropractors are brought for neuro-muscular-skeletal problems. That's low back problems, aches and pains, and difficulties after a fall or trauma. The actual organic problems that you are talking about, other system problems, really aren't the primary reason... But, we find that children, as well as adults, generally start to benefit in areas of their health once they start getting their spine addressed.


  • The NEJM study on asthma actually said: Conclusions: In children with mild or moderate asthma, the addition of chiropractic spinal manipulation to usual medical care provided no benefit.

  • Medline abstract of article

  • www.cma.ca/cmaj/vol-165/issue-7/0907.asp
    Cervical manipulation and risk of stroke 
    About the authors
    Moira K. Kapral, Susan J. Bondy 
    CMAJ 2001;165(7):907-8 [PDF] 

    In the fourth paragraph, the sentence that begins "This placed the risk of stroke for individuals aged under 45 years at about 1.3 per 100 000 chiropractic visits ... " should instead begin as follows: "This placed the risk of stroke for individuals aged under 45 years at about 1.3 per 100 000 people who had had one or more chiropractic visits in the previous week ... ." (CMAJ 2002;166(7):886)

  • www.cma.ca/cmaj/vol-166/issue-7/0886a.asp - Letter to the editor

  • www.chirowatch.com/cw-cervical.html - ChiroWatch.com's cervical spine page
  • National Post by Brad Evenson
  • Web MD's article about adverse effects of chiropractic, written by a chiropractor.

    I don't believe that the 60 plus neurologists who were alarmed about chiropractic strokes would be classified as not part of the mainstream. In fact, they are the mainstream. What in hell is Gorchynski talking about? So what did Gorchynski say?........

    Bring your kids to see the chiropractor to get their spine addressed! Yes folks, what would you call that promotion!! What would you call your spine that has been with you since birth? Duh, Duh, Duh.

    When I get a few more minutes I will transcribe what I thought were the highlights.

    I assume that those of you who have had a stroke, or been made paraplegic after having visited and had you spine addressed may have something to say to the people at CFRB.

    They can be reached through their web site.

  • www.cfrb.com

    BTW - CFRB has a love affair with a chiropractor named Joey Shulman, who told me this week that she could do allergy testing on a one month old, and that she uses hair analysis and other procedures. My oh my, what in the world is she pushing? Oh, she has all the right credentials, and she told me the following when I asked her where she got her nutritional designation. I don't think she has a spelling checker, but she even spelled Canadian wrong:

    >Hi there,

    >The degree in nutrition is from the Canadain School >of Natural Nutrition. I >am also a doctor of chiropractic and have recieved >extensive training in >nutrition in my schooling there.

    >Children with learning disorders are tested in the >following manner - food > allergy testing, hair analysis, rotation/elimination > diets etc. It is very > indiviual to the chlid. > For more information, please contact 416. 961. 1900 > ext. 403. > > Wishing you good health, > Dr. Joey Shulman

    And, lest I forget, she's also a member of of the Chiropractic Awareness Council, the rabidly anti-medical, anti-vaccine group.

    CFRB talk show host, Randy Taylor, the main drive-time guy, has alternative medical guests on almost every week. Yes, Joey Shulman is just one of them. After all I believe she is a registered or certified nutritional consultant of some kind.

    Of course the Canadian School of Clinical Nutrition, she claimed to have graduated from is not recognized by the Province of Ontario, and does not grant degrees. You can even do it through distance learning.

    Check out the initials after the name of the founder of this "school". Does RNC ring a bell?

  • Stephen Barrett's opinion about the RNC "certification".
  • Quackwatch's opinion
  • Chiropractors who align themselves with RNCs
  • This chiropractor links with fake PhD and RNC
  • This RNC plays the insurance game, while registered dieticians are shut out.
  • www.chirowatch.com - Dr. Terry Polevoy's ChiroWatch web site.
  • www.chirobase.org - Dr. Stephen Barrett's Chirobase web site.
  • www.canoe.ca/PedChiro/ - Spin Doctors II

  • HealthWatcher.net
  • Canadian Quackerywatch
  • DietFraud.com
  • HealthWatcher.net
  • ChiroWatch.com
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