Confected Nonsense: Australian Authorities Banned Care of Children Based on an Illusion

Research News Staff
Confected Nonsense: Australian Authorities Banned Care of Children Based on an Illusion

The Position of the Chiropractic Board of Australia is "Nonsense" According to Expert

According to a recently published paper, the Australian banning of spinal manipulation in infants is based on an "illusion" and "confected nonsense" because the notion that a chiropractor takes joints beyond their physiological ranges of movement has no evidence to support it.

The paper by Phillip Ebrall BAppSc(Chiropr), GC (TLT), DC, PhD, PhD (Cand) was published in the Journal of Philosophy, Principles and Practice of Chiropractic and goes into the history and science regarding the concept of the so called "paraphysiological space".

CLICK HERE to review the paper

According to Ebrall:

"There is no such zone within a diarthrodial joint called the paraphysiological zone or space and this notion must be surrendered from chiropractic, the only discipline which claims it and does so with no evidence or argument"

Its been known since the beginning of the debacle in Australia that - while the chiropractic profession attempted to shift all the blame to the government, the Victorian Government position is actually the recommendation of a panel of which the Chair of the Chiropractic Board of Australia was a member, as was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Chiropractic Association and a chiropractic educator.

CLICK HERE for more on what happened in Australia

According to Ebrall:

"The position of the Victorian Government with their definition of spinal manipulation as “any technique delivered by any health professional that involves a high velocity, low amplitude thrust beyond the physiological range of motion, impacting the spine, within the limits of anatomical integrity” is incredulous"

Ebrall goes on to state that their Recommendation "compounds the nonsense" . . .

" . . . by citing 'Section 123 of National Law' where the matter of an anatomical limit is ignored, defining spinal manipulation as 'moving the joints of the cervical spine beyond a person’s usual physiological range of motion using a high velocity, low amplitude thrust'"

This misunderstanding of joint movements gives rise to a criminal offence under Section 123 of National Law in Australia according to Ebrall and the positions of the Victorian Government, the Chiropractic Board of Australia, and the National Law in Australia, are false.

Not only does Ebrall expose the complete lack of evidence to support the infant ban but the paper also completely deconstructs the foundational premise of techniques that rely on a belief in the existence of a paraphysiological space. Beyond the implications this has for the care of infants and the debacle that occurred in Australia, for that faction of the profession touting the palpation and manipulation of stuck joints, it effectively pulls the string on the sweater undermining its entire basis.

The false notion of a paraphysiological space and its related arc got its start by Sandoz.

Ebrall asserts that the Sandoz Arc may be a ". . . realization that the social fabric of chiropractic’s concepts of the adjustment and manipulation is a falsehood based on a simplistic graphical representation of something that cannot exist, in particular the so-called paraphysiological zone."

The Sandoz Arc has guided an understanding by chiropractors of the mechanisms of chiropractic joint mobilisation and adjustment for over 40 years. During his dissection, Ebrall dismisses the paraphysiological space as an "illusion".

Ebrall demonstrates that the work of Sandoz filled an evidence-gap with an untested proposition and that even today there remains a paucity of evidence supportive of his view of the mechanics of spinal manipulation and adjustment.

The pragmatic review goes over the evidence showing that the Sandoz’ view is simply an opinion repeated after another’s opinion and neither presented evidence for what was stated. It is now repeated in chiropractic to the extent it is accepted as a truism with practitioners and researchers feeling safe to repeat without critical comment or actual evidence.

Ebrall points out that manipulation is a vague term lacking the precision demanded to replicate manual clinical intervention and guide scholarly inquiry.

He calls the term "vague" with the full implications of inexactness and imprecision stating "These two characteristics are an anathema to a conventional chiropractor trained in the art of subluxation correction where segmental level precision, even with contact points, holds value"

Ebrall explains that the fact that manipulation is so poorly defined and so divergently practiced across many manual disciplines renders the use of the term by any government to regulate manual therapies "a nonsense" and that it is a poor term for distinguishing one healthcare intervention from another.

Professor Ebrall's thorough review of this long held belief should now be incorporated into curricula both within the chiropractic college environment as well as in the training of specialists in chiropractic pediatrics.

Given the publicly stated positions in support of this "confected nonsense" their complicity in the fraud and lack of action on these issues by the Chiropractic Board of Australia and the Australian Chiropractic Association - it is not expected that they will act on this evidence.

McCoy Press