2 The Stanford Spinal Research Group
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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 5, 2003, Vol. 21, Issue 10

The Stanford Spinal Research Group

By J. Michael Menke, MA, DC, PhD

"... forge every sentence in the teeth of irreducible and stubborn facts."


- William James


The cadre of spine professionals includes anesthesiologists; orthopedists; neurologists; neurosurgeons; radiologists; physiatrists; physical therapists; psychologists; and if they consent to inclusion - chiropractors.

My hypothesis is that exposure to cutting-edge (pun intended) medical procedures of the spine informs better chiropractic patient care.

At the December 2002 meeting of the research group, discussion quickly turned to war and orders for smallpox vaccinations for all health care workers. Dr. Carragee asked if anyone had seen a local chiropractor's advertisement claiming to be able to prevent the need for vaccinations. As mentioned in previous articles,1 the anti-vaccination stance is a deal-breaker with medicine. The chiropractic position is not without some merit, and can be articulated with some credibility, however.2,3 I wondered how such a dramatic claim would not draw the ire of the FBI, FTC, FDA, or even Homeland Security.

The surgical controversy over spinal "mets" is about how to provide comfort in terminal disease - or reconstruct after a successful cancer cure. The facts of incidence were most interesting. Consider this a quick review of your worst-case back pain scenarios:

Sharing an understanding of spine pathology is a bridge-builder. Medicine and chiropractic agree that altered biomechanical relationships have long-term consequences to the spine. In integrated spine care, the chiropractor can represent and encourage a healthy spine. The subluxation may be presented as a pre-clinical or pre-medical lesion, as suggested by Korr. Chiropractors could conceivably catch problems before they "go surgical." Although chiropractors are more than spine and musculoskeletal specialists, those who choose careers in spine care have a perspective and approach that addresses one of the Western world's greatest health problems - through self-care, prevention, compliance and conservative care.
  1. Menke JM. Integrative medicine research: What medical physicians look for in a chiropractor. Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, November 2002: 16-17.
  2. Mehl-Madrona L. Vaccines and mercury. Continuum Center for Health and Healing, Beth Israel Hospital / Albert Einstein School of Medicine Web site: www.healing-arts.org/children/vaccines/vaccines-mercury.htm#4.
  3. Begley S. Are tainted vaccines given to baby-boomers now causing cancer? Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2002, B1.
  4. Stiles EG. Clinical contributions of I.M. Korr. In The Collected Papers of Irvin M. Korr, Colorado Springs, CO: American Academy of Osteopathy, 1979:13-16.

J. Michael Menke, MA, DC
Palo Alto, California


Click here for previous articles by J. Michael Menke, MA, DC, PhD.

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