In the spring of 2005, a disturbing new billboard appeared in a popular section of New Haven, Conn. Situated between a Mobil gas station and Carmine's Tuscan Grill, less than 20 miles from the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, the billboard's message consisted of a single ominous sentence: "Warning: Chiropractic Adjustments Can Kill or Permanently Disable You." The billboard referred people to Neck911USA.com, a Web site apparently run by an "international" group of people concerned about neck manipulations performed by chiropractors.
Almost immediately after the billboard appeared, the Connecticut Chiropractic Association mobilized in an effort to have it removed.A coalition of the profession's leaders, headed by Robert Hirtle, the association's general counsel, contacted NextMedia, the owner of the billboard, and persuaded the company to remove it less than two weeks later.
Neck911USA.com claims to be "an international volunteer group of individuals who provide consultations on complications due to neck manipulation," particularly those performed by doctors of chiropractic. At present, no members are listed on the organization's Web site, which makes it impossible to determine exactly how many members are in the group.
Neck911USA.com also claims to be "equally concerned about cases that arise from physical therapists or medical doctors." As of this writing, however, the links and reading material listed on the site's "Resources" page are concerned entirely with chiropractic and manipulations performed by chiropractors.
As the Connecticut billboard episode emphasizes, chiropractic still has its share of enemies, and it can still fall victim to an unprovoked, unwarranted, and quite possibly illegal attack from an anti-chiropractic faction. Thanks to the efforts of the Connecticut Chiropractic Association and other chiropractic supporters, the profession appears to have successfully beaten back this latest attack, and stands ready to defend itself against further action from Neck911USA and others bent on damaging the profession's image.