Does Chiropractic Work?

I wonder what is your experience with chiropractic in relation to treatment for neck and/or back pain as a result of poor sitting posture.

The main reason I ask is because of the huge costs and it's way above the limit of health extras usually cover (correct me if there is one that has 2-3k a year)

In the end of the day if it does what it promises to do, then it is worth 4 or 5k.

Therefore I wonder what is your opinion/experience?


  • +67 votes

    No health care provider will pay for a Chiro (should I even use a capital letter?) It's not a real profession, they are quacks, they are not recognised by the AMA, it's all make believe and magic. See a Physio or an Osteo, who are actually professionals working in the medical field.

    • +20 votes

      Medibank and many others do.

      • +1 vote

        Yeah, a few does. But what they demand in costs ($60-70 per visit weekly or twice weekly) is way more than any limit of any insurance that I know of.

        • +37 votes

          Ok, let me phrase it more clearly. Only a complete moron would go to a chiropractor. Normal people go to medically trained professionals like Physiotherapists and Osteopaths.

          • -30 votes

            @Burnertoasty: Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

            For me, it doesn't matter if it is endorsed by any bodies or not, as long as it works.

            To put it bluntly, I would drink horse piss if it cured X million people from back pain.

            • +18 votes

              @Bimo: It doesn't work, see a medical professional. Don't be foolish.

            • +56 votes

              @Bimo: It doesn't work.

              I once enquired with a Chiro about the treatment they were providing for a patient. Earlier in the week, I diagnosed the patient with an auto immune disease (confirmed by lab tests). The chiros spectacular brochure knowledge ran out within seconds. The condition was allowed to deteriorate for over 5 years under the supervision of the chiro until the condition took a sudden turn.

              I contacted the AMA for advise to proceed. It can be summarised as such - the chiro was not aware and does not diagnose nor treat. They cannot be held liable because they are not medical professionals. They are health practitioners.

              • +2 votes

                @tshow: Each to their own, I can only go by my own experiences and how it changed my opinion.

                I suffered from severe back pain from the age of 12. Upper and lower due to my bowling action at cricket, I could barely sit in a car seat due to the sharp pain with small movements. It would come and go and given the active sports lifestyle I desired, continued to experience issues up until I was 18. I saw physio's throughout this period for various treatments, and took away exercises to perform to strengthen and stretch my muscles etc.

                I met my then girlfriend (now wife) around 18 who suggested I see her chiropractor who she had been seeing since she was a baby. I don't necessarily believe in alternate medicines and practices and at that stage had never been to see a chiropractor. My opinion at that point was quite similar to yours in that it was unproven and probably won't work.

                4 sessions later and I never had the same problems again, and was playing footy and cricket freely again. They never specifically made a plan for revisits, requiring me to go back over a 12 month span. Didn't charge me ridiculous service fees (majority was covered by our MediBank private health anyway) and at the point I felt better and that the issue was resolved, he was quite casual about whether I needed or wanted to go back for further assessments or "manipulation".

                The chiropractor we see is extremely experienced and suggests a blend of traditional medicines with his practice. I often hear that chiropractors shy away or rubbish traditional medicines (pain killers, anti-inflammatory). He was often recommending a blend of both if required.

                • -1 vote


                  I often hear that chiropractors shy away or rubbish traditional medicines (pain killers, anti-inflammatory).

                  Chiro (and even Osteo) used to have a whole lot of hippie crap connected with it.
                  As the profession has become more professional a lot of that crap has been punted.

            • +5 votes

              @Bimo: There's a solid reason why it's not endorsed (or even recognized as a medical profession).


                @iDroid: yep, its called fear of competiton.

                • +1 vote

                  @ozboygsl: That's a tad "Conspiracy Theorist" and doesn't really make sense.

                  If it was only the "competition" then you could have a point, but I'm not sure how it would create competition for the vast majority of the medical industry, they serve different purposes.

            • +2 votes

              @Bimo: The AMA doesn't endorse chiropractic because it doesn't work. Any relief is due to simple manipulation (see a physio) or placebo effect. It's sad that AMA has to waste its time discouraging people from chiropractic and staring at the sun because quacks like Paleo Pete and chiropractors told them to.

              We've had these threads before (with opionions very disgruntled chiros), so I'll just parrot what I said last time.

              • -1 vote

                @Strand0410: The AMA doesn't support giving medical cannabis with almost nil THC to children having 40 seizures a day.
                Because that didnt work either!
                Then the public outrage began. Then it was like - "oh we support it now - just lots of trials plz. Employ more Drs for Trials!"

                The AMA is a LOBBYING body which focuses on supporting Drs and their monopoly (hence why they are against pharmacists giving flu shots and vaccines -> because pharmacists ARE evil, and could NEVER give an injection, unlike a self medicating diabetic ffs).

                Perhaps you can show me the link where I can submit treatments the AMA will accredit?
                Oh you can't - Because the AMA does not accredit treatments?

            • +1 vote

              @Bimo: If drinking horse piss cured millions of people of back pain then it would become a recognised treatment for back pain because medical practitioners (real ones, not chiropractors and witch doctors) use evidence-based treatment.

            • +1 vote

              @Bimo: I don't know about horse piss, but here's an alternative treatment for back pain you could try:


          • +5 votes

            @Burnertoasty: Physio, sure. Physios are not medically trained but it's a recognised allied health field. I don't know about osteopaths.

    • +5 votes

      This. Go and see a Physio, they wont try and make a 12 month plan out of it and charge you $4k. Have had my fair share of neck and back pain, physio sorted it out each time for me in either one or two visits.


        Oh, the big chain ones do that too. That wouldn't be a reflection on the physios though because the professional board discourages such behaviour (and can take disciplinary action) but it is the corporates that do it.

    • +3 votes

      or an Osteo

      Umm, they're almost as bad as chiros.

      Osteopathy is a type of alternative medicine

      edit: AMA puts them in the same boat 'complementary' medicine(i.e. unproven) -


        It does not say that complementary medicines are unproven. It says they are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. The AMA recognises that evidence-based aspects of complementary medicine can be part of patient care by a medical practitioner but that there is limited efficacy evidence regarding most complementary medicine. The second part of that statement sounds reasonable to me but doesn't entirely negate the first part.

        The problems arise when chiros/osteos/whatever try to claim they can treat conditions outside of back and neck pain. There have been quite a few clinical trials regarding Osteopathy and back pain though:

    • +12 votes

      I would put osteos next to chiros under quacks. Physios are properly recognised as allied health.

      Pro tip: You'll never find chiros or osteos working in a hospital ;)

    • +2 votes

      21 people (downvoters) are Chiros. Every intelligent human being supports your opinion, or at least will after educating themselves…

    • +2 votes

      they are quacks, they are not recognised by the AMA,

      • AMA is against eCigarettes, which reduce aromatic hydrocarbons, reduce cancer and reduce second hand smoke to negligible levels.
      • AMA was until very recently against medical cannabis which have very low THC levels and which can prevent children from having 40 seizures a day.
      • AMA were against pharmacists from giving flu shots (as the$e $hould only be admini$tered by a Dr… wonder why?).
      • AMA is against pharmacists from giving vaccines (wonder why?).

      The AMA now represents less than 27% of all Doctors - hardly the representative body it used to be…

      The AMA is not the be all - it's main job as a LOBBY group is to fight for anything which is in the interests of doctors.

      • -3 votes

        Ideally the interests of refugee doctors.
        But if not just refugees will do.

      • +3 votes

        Flu shots are administered by nurses.

        I am against Pharmacists doing more than they do now because they aren't medically trained to a level of either a doctor or a nurse.

        Pharmacists are always trying to take little pieces of services away from other medical professions because yes, they want to make a quick buck. But they also seem to have the opinion that their training is somehow in the same level as doctors/nurses which they clearly aren't.

        • +3 votes

          Qualified enrolled nurses can administer vaccinations, but only on a doctor's oral or written permission.
          Because obviously Doctors don't want to make a quick $. Never, ever!

          Administering an injection is not difficult. It does not require a nursing or Drs degree.
          Vaccinations can be done by a 1 use only syringe as well (so no fear of cross-contamination).

          Pharmacists are always trying to take little pieces of services away from other medical professions because yes, they want to make a quick buck.

          And Drs are always trying to restrict others from doing any type of medical work (even the lowest skilled) because they get to keep their monopoly and earn more $.

          But they

          Most regular pharmacists are pretty level headed people - I don't see any pharmacist pushing Drs out of the way in treating of Emergency cases like car crashes. However stuff like the common cold and a simple injection of standardised formula is certainly not that difficult to treat initially (how many insulin injection occur around the world every day? So Lay people are somehow, someway managing to inject themselves….). Obviously if complication arise you go to the hospital.

          One could make the same argument RE lawyers and conveyancers. Hell we had one guy tell us the a conveyncer is like heart surgeon because he is a 'specialist' (lol). But the law industry has basically accepted it and moved on. Time for the Drs to give up the monopoly.



            Qualified enrolled nurses can administer vaccinations, but only on a doctor's oral or written permission.
            Because obviously Doctors don't want to make a quick $. Never, ever!

            Hmm, what about the ones administered in workplaces for free? You never even see a doctor in that process.

            And Drs are always trying to restrict others from doing any type of medical work (even the lowest skilled) because they get to keep their monopoly and earn more $.

            You could also say the same about Pharmacists. They try to keep their monopoly too. They basically restrict where people can operate pharmacy's, they don't want to allow pharmacy's into supermarkets or allow mass online direct pharmacy's into Australia. They also wouldn't want to return to the olden days when doctors could distribute medication to patients directly, oh the uproar from pharmacists would be deafening!

            I think politicians and other allied health professionals probably need to stop minimizing what GPs and the like do, sure you can take away what they do and give it to someone else, but what problem are you trying to solve? People don't need to pay for a vaccination already if they don't want to, they can get it bulk billed or go to a vaccination clinic and get it done for free, as mentioned above, big corporate workplaces (and others) allow it for free, so the whole movement of who administers it is purely a money grab from someone else, it isn't in the interest of the public.


          and in hospitals their egos are causing chaos …and putting people at risk. Ive seen it 1st hand repeatedly and its getting worse exponentially.

      • -1 vote
        • AMA is against eCigarettes - yeah it reduces those compared to normal cigarettes but doctors don't recommend smoking anyway (well not since the 50s anyway), eCigs can still cause health issues which is a good reason to be against it (if they were all about whats good for doctors, they would recommend it to get more business)
        • AMA was until very recently against medical cannabis - yes they were very slow to act on that one, but so was the government (old prejudices around marijuana die hard)
        • AMA were/are against pharmacists from giving flu shots / vaccines - for a good reason, if the recipient has a negative reaction to the vaccine then having a nurse there and doctors available to respond is much safer than waiting for an ambulance.

          Thanks for the no vote.

          eCigs -

          As an asthmatic why do I have to have my rights to breathable air infringed upon because someone else decides to smoke? (there are certain places where you cannot avoid second hand smoke - like when people smoke on apartment balconies; eCigs reduce the risk to my pre-existing medical condition) What does the AMA have to say about that? Suck shit to asthmatics? I guess Not much else?
          Why is acceptable to give ZERO options for smokers to minimise harm to their lungs when they are Already causing harm to their lungs?

          The argument that kids will vape is not backed up by research - and even if they do - why would a kid spend Extra $ to buy the nicotine? when they can vape with out it?

          Why does the AMA not demand (and run a campaign) the Gov ban the hookah pipe? which is the equiv of inhaling the volume of smoke from apparently 100 to 200 cigarettes (1 hr of smoking -; FAKE media?). The AMA's own site shows ONLY a travel article about this dangerous form of inhaling smoke!

          AMA was until very recently against medical cannabis - yes they were very slow to act on that one

          So you agree with my opinion then.

          but so was the government

          How can the Government act when the current peak medical body is against it?

          The ONLY reason why The AMA couldn't say no any more was when people were uploading videos of their children having seizures repeatedly on youtube, and the public was Rightly getting outraged. It was then that the AMA lost their nerve, right? perhaps worried about the blow back?

          if the recipient has a negative reaction to the vaccine then having a nurse there and doctors available to respond is much safer than waiting for an ambulance.

          I didn't realise all Dr offices had an Emergency room facilities. Oh they don't? Meaning they will also call an ambulance?
          In which case aren't they waiting for an ambulance?

          Anaphylaxis is the most serious adverse event that can take 30mins - 2 hours to affect patient.
          Do Drs keep the patient in-situ for 2 hours? or even 30mins? No.
          In which case isn't it the parents calling the ambulance? And then waiting for the Ambulance?
          Finally an epinephrine injection can be given to stop the Anaphylaxis. I somehow think its possible for a pharmacist to keep them on hand and even administer one if they have the proper training.


            @TheMostHated: The cigarette topic is a political one, not medical. Figure out an economical way to monitor and tax e-cigs and you'll have vape supplies at every street corner.

            The AMA articles simply state that it e-cigs are not better than cigarettes because to many, it prolongs the habit, increases uptake and may actually make people smoke more overall.

            Also, the liquids are poorly regulated (no regulation at all to be frank) so a conclusive endorsement of e-cigs was never going to happen.

            Hookahs? The number of hookahs vs vapes and cigarettes is not comparable. Besides, the AMA has already released their stance on the Hookah/Shisha. It is bad.

            The issue with Doctors having to prescribe what the nurse does is a legal one. It will cost more for the government to change the scope of practice of all nurses so they can prescribe.

            The scope change has to include
            1. What can a nurse prescribe
            2. Who is held liable for mistakes
            3. Who is held liable for interactions
            4. Who is insuring
            5. Are nurses sufficiently trained in pharmacology
            6. Is the move aimed at the benefit of the community

            The younger pharmacists are always so gungho about new responsibilities. The older ones know it is just a liability, and a very hefty one at that.

            Doctors ultimately bear the liability and unless someone wants to put their hand up (which they will until something actually happens), doctors will call the shots.


      umm do you know what you are talking about? Most health care providers pay for chiro.


      Slightly out of topic, there are many private health insurance waive 2-6 months waiting period, does it work if we keep switching just to get the rebate? E.g ahm has $800-1000 that can be used/shared for any services.

  • +19 votes


    • +8 votes

      At best harmless cracking, maybe some benefit from increasing blood flow to a damaged area depending on the type of injury. For a lot of injuries your body will heal itself over time, which is why a lot of people attribute whatever they did at the time to fixing the problem.

      At worst Chiro is Scientology-level crazy shit. Energy channels. Vaccine denial. Etc etc

      • +8 votes

        Dont let them crack your neck, unless you want a blown iris and brain damage.

        It's dangerous nonsense.

      • +3 votes

        At worst you can have a stroke and die, or worse live with the stroke

      • +3 votes

        At worst you can end up with serious damage to your spine or spinal nerves. Really, don't chance it.

        • -2 votes

          Its like saying don't go and get surgery because they may cut off the wrong arm or the wrong leg and/or leave you in a wheelchair.

          The real question is how many treatments (or even surgeries) are done vs the number of injuries?

          If you don't want them to crack your neck, just get them to use an activator.


            @TheMostHated: That's true and it's all about the potential benefit vs potential harm and that applies to every treatment including surgery or Chiro but the result of that equation is very different when you compare surgery vs. Chiro (i.e. there is no comparison!)

            The benefits from a surgical procedure should always far outweigh any potential risk and any surgeon would not operate if this was not the case. Whereas as benefits from a Chiropractic intervention are very questionable if not imaginary and the risks might be few and far between but they are real and potentially life threatening!

  • +38 votes

    Friend, it works temporarily and then causes more issues down the line. There's a good reason chiropractors aren't legitimate doctors.


      What more issues did you get?

      • +11 votes

        I saw a chiro once for my knee pain. He cracked it, it felt better for a few hours. Turned out it was a torn meniscus and needed surgery. Who knows if he actually made it worse, but it certainly didn't make it better.

  • +3 votes

    I suffered a neck injury quite young with ongoing pain years later. Seeing a chiropractor definitely seemed to help ease the pain and haven't had any issues since. Sure it may have been a placebo effect but it still achieved the end goal of no pain. For ~$10 a session (7 years ago) thanks to private health the satisfying joint cracking massage was worth it.


      How many sessions did you need?


        Initially it was every 2 weeks for a few months and then later every 4-6 weeks. Then I did 4 sessions a year for 2 years and after that nothing.


          What causes your injury, is it just poor posture or car accident or similar?


            @Bimo: Head bounced on concrete basically. Many many years later when problems arised is when I turned to a chiropractor to see if it would help.

    • +32 votes

      Working for you -> anecdotal evidence, sorry to say. That the Wiggles use this quack is neither here nor there; but I bet this chiro mentioned it to you. Good PR! Lots of well-known people make bad choices about their health, the Wiggles are entertainers, that's all.

      That funds recognise chiropractic is because of demand by consumers, not because it actually works; it's a sales tactic for private insurance.

      The scepticism about chiros comes because many, if not most, work on the basis of fixing subluxations which, unfortunately for them, don't actually even exist; or there is no evidence they exist. Also many chiros go the whole way into being anti-vaxx etc etc. There are also someinstances of chiros sexually abusing their patients:

      • +14 votes

        Subluxations are like subdiseases. The pseudoscience has pseudofound a pseudoproblem.

      • -5 votes

        Maybe yes maybe no but Medicare is still funding it and the Chief of Health moved against things like bowen theraphy, naturopathy, etc but left Chiro/Physio alone.

        From 1st of April, these complementary therapies are no longer subsidized or covered by Medicare nor by PHI but Chiro/Physio remain.

        So maybe the Chief of Health could be wrong or perhaps…. maybe it does work. Each to their own.

        And I only see them once every 2 months so it's not like it's an addiction or something which is what Chiro used to be I must admit.

        • +3 votes

          Or attacking chiros will damage the party's relations with followers of alternative "medicine" so for a relatively small cost, they're minimising their electoral damage.


            @tshow: Yes I am sure the Liberal (pro-capitalism) & Labor (workers) party has always been frightened of not getting the alternative "medicine" vote….


              @TheMostHated: It's a balanced push really. Since all sane parties will advocate vaccinations, I can understand if these parties do not want to push the alternative medicine groups over the edge and becoming single issue voters - in this case single cause vote of no confidence.


              @TheMostHated: labor are not pro worker. they are pro labor.

        • +5 votes

          When you say medicare I think you mean private health. Medicare has never subsidised chiro.

          • +1 vote

            @zoob: It does if you are on CDM or EPC plan.


            3.9 Who can be a member of a Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) team?
            The TCAs team must include the patient's GP and at least two persons who are providing different kinds of ongoing care to the patient and who have contributed to the plan. The TCAs can (and should) also refer to treatment and care to be provided by care and service providers who are not contributing to the plan.

            TCAs are intended for patients with complex needs requiring ongoing multidisciplinary care. They are not aimed at patients with straightforward needs requiring 'standard treatment' from one consultation only. For example, an optometrist would not count as one of the two minimum members of a TCAs team (in addition to the GP) unless they are providing ongoing treatment or services to the patient, i.e. more than a one-off visit for standard treatment.

            Team members could include:
            the allied health professionals to whom a GP can refer patients for Medicare-rebateable CDM allied health services (i.e. Aboriginal health workers; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners; audiologists; chiropractors; diabetes educators; dietitians; exercise physiologists; mental health workers; occupational therapists; osteopaths; physiotherapists; podiatrists; psychologists; and speech pathologists; and/or
            other allied health professionals such as asthma educators, orthoptists, orthotists or prosthetists; and/or
            other health or care providers such as registered nurses, social workers. optometrists and pharmacists.

        • +2 votes

          I don't think it's fair to conflate chiro and physio.

      • +9 votes


        Working for you -> anecdotal evidence, sorry to say. That the Wiggles use this quack is neither here nor there

        Also @mikeoz

        There are also someinstances of chiros sexually abusing their patients.

        Not saying I disagree with you in general about chiropractors. I just find it funny when people point out other peoples logical fallacies and then argue back with their own logical fallacies.

        i.e. I would say that the fact that there are some instances of chiros sexually abusing their patients is neither here nor there when it comes to whether chiropractors work. Some taxi drivers sexually assault their passengers but taxis are still a functional form of travel.

  • +37 votes

    I'm astounded at the ignorance in this thread. No wonder these guys are still in business. Maybe snake oil does work.

    • -3 votes

      It is hard to believe that the chiropractors spend many years and a large sum of money to study something that is simply useless.

      On the other hand the many negativity in this topic makes me hesitate to spend my money on it.

      • +14 votes

        Because they are as foolish as their customers. No reputable institution will offer a course in chiropractics.


          Macquarie University is not reputable?

          I would say its probably (equal?) 4th in NSW (#1)Syd, #2)UNSW, #3)UTS, #4)MCQ).
          MCQ even has their own hospital! Macquarie University Hospital (182 beds, 12 operating theatres)

          I will let them you think that, so they can close down the Uni for being unreputable.

          As an aside (profanity) u UNSW and ur shitty stairs
          Perhaps we can close them down to.


            @TheMostHated: 4th in NSW but globally it's garbage. Compared to the three that you named before it, USYD, UNSW and UTS are all pretty great.
            If you don't want to go global but just Australia, it's still bad. There's Melbourne and ANU, both of which don't offer the course. Top unis from each state don't offer chiro courses either.
            Every study that has gone into the effectiveness of chiro has come up with no result for long term effectiveness of the treatment they offer. If you look into peer reviews and meta analysis, you're going to find the same result, which is no significant difference between no treatment and chiro treated patients.

      • +27 votes

        Some people spend their lifetime studying the arrangement of stars and their influence on them based on their month of birth.

        • +1 vote

          I recently got hope that the star alignment this month and same Chinese animal year will give me good fortune for life! I'm a bit poor lately putting a lot of even amounts of money in red envelopes and got a recent custom licence plate of 8s.

          But I believe it is paying off, I won $10 from my daily $1 scratchie the other day, it's a sign I will get jackpot!

          Said by a friend. They wanted money so they'll share the fortune with me.


          HSBC use them.

          They have $.

      • -5 votes

        Find a good Chiro that actually cares about the outcome. There are goods ones that are evidence-based. I have a close friend that study Physio and Chiro. There is a lot of crossovers. Read reviews on the Chiro you plan on going too.


        It is hard to believe that the chiropractors spend many years and a large sum of money to study something that is simply useless.

        Have you heard of Endeavour College of Natural Health? Homeopathy has 'proper' schools too.


        I was refer to a chiro by these stand with strings posture measure thingy once. The chiro was a great salesman, tired to slowly trap you into a $4k sale. One of the first questions he ask me was ‘in a scale of 10, how keen are you to fix your pain problem’…… the worst bit is once the X-ray result was out, he tried to scare me with my results…… not a very good experience.


        not sure if you ignorance is more comical or tragic.

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