Asthma and Chiropractic
(Printed in the Towanda Daily Review on April 27, 1999. )

In his April 18th column, "Asthma and Chiropractic," Dr. Thomas Horn, operator of Horn Chiropractic in Towanda, opened by asking, "Why does asthma respond to chiropractic"? The balance of the column is used to support his opening statement. However, according to the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, asthma doesn't respond to chiropractic treatment.

In "A Comparison of Active and Simulated Chiropractic Manipulation as Adjunctive Treatment for Childhood Asthma," (N Engl J Med 1998;339:1013-20) the researchers concluded that, "in children with mild or moderate asthma, the addition of chiropractic spinal manipulation to usual medical care provided no benefit."

"Physicians generally accept the role of chiropractic in treating selected musculoskeletal problems but adamantly oppose its use for treating a diverse array of disorders, such as hypertension, asthma, and otitis media, despite numerous case reports from chiropractors of improvement in these conditions with spinal manipulation," wrote Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., Ph.D., West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center in an editorial in the same issue of the NEJM.

"Jerome McAndrews, a chiropractor and spokesman for the American Chiropractic Association, said that while disappointed with the studies' results, 'we are pleased at the attention that is being given to chiropractic's role in the health industry.' " (NY Times, 10/7/98)

"Dr. Jeffrey Balon, the director of the asthma study, commented that he had hoped that chiropractic care would make a difference. Balon was a practicing chiropractor from 1982 to 1989 and then returned to college to become a physician. His study was financed by four chiropractic groups." (NY Times, 10/7/98)

John L. Ferri

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