All posts by Sam Homola

Sam Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has been expressing his views about the benefits of appropriate use of spinal manipulation (as opposed to use of such treatment based on chiropractic subluxation theory) for over half a century. He retired from private practice in 1998, and has authored 15 books, including Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism (1963) and Inside Chiropractic (1999, with Stephen Barrett).

Low-Back Pain: Causes, Care, and Consequences

Low-back problems are one of the most common reasons for visits to doctors’ offices and the most common cause of disability among persons under the age of forty five. Most of the time, acute low-back pain is the result of simple strain and is a self-limiting condition that will resolve in four to six weeks, with or without treatment. But since back...

/ April 13, 2012
Back of human figure, spine; Vesling -Syntagma-, 1647 Wellcome L0007897

Subluxation Theory: A Belief System That Continues to Define the Practice of Chiropractic

Chiropractic as a profession is defined by the subluxation theory, the unfalsifiable belief that disease is caused by impaired nerve flow. No proof exists for this theory, and likely never will.

/ December 30, 2011
Bad apples

The Image of Chiropractic: Consensus Based on Belief

EDITOR’S NOTE Today is a big grant deadline for me; at 5 PM EDT, the grant is due. As a consequence of working on my grant application into the wee hours of the morning last night, I didn’t have a chance to write my usual bit of logorrhea of the sort that I’ve laid down each and practically every Monday for the...

/ March 28, 2011
1024px-chiropractic_spinal_adjustment

Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxations: Science vs. Pseudoscience

A 1997 publication by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, supporting the vertebral subluxation theory, noted that “…we [chiropractors] have successfully distanced the concept of a chiropractic subluxation from that of an orthopedic subluxation.”1 When discussing “subluxations” or misaligned vertebrae, however, chiropractors often fail to point out the difference between an orthopedic subluxation and a chiropractic subluxation. Reference to subluxations in...

/ October 1, 2010

Pediatric Chiropractic Care: Scientifically Indefensible?

In a paper published in 2008, two academic chiropractors offered this observation: “The health claims made by chiropractors with respect to the application of manipulation as a health care intervention for pediatric health conditions continue to be supported by only low levels of scientific evidence. Chiropractors continue to treat a wide variety of pediatric health conditions.”1 Despite lack of support by the...

/ May 3, 2010

Science-based Chiropractic: An Oxymoron?

I spent 43 years in private practice as a “science-based” chiropractor and a critic of the chiropractic vertebral subluxation theory. I am often asked how I justified practicing as a chiropractor while renouncing the basic tenets of chiropractic. My answer has always been: I was able to offer manipulation in combination with physical therapy modalities as a treatment for mechanical-type back pain—a...

/ March 4, 2010

Neck Manipulation: Risk vs. Benefit

While manipulation of any kind has the potential to cause injury, stroke caused by neck manipulation is of greatest concern. Risk must always be weighed against benefit when upper neck manipulation is considered. Risk of stroke caused by neck manipulation is statistically low, but the risk is serious enough to outweigh benefit in all but a few rare, carefully selected cases. When...

/ August 27, 2009
D. D. Palmer bust

The Problem with Chiropractic NUCCA

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Atwood, who would normally be scheduled to post today, is on vacation. Consequently, we are publishing the following guest post by Samuel Homola, D.C., a retired chiropractor who limited his practice to science-based methods and spoke out against the irrational and abusive practices of his colleagues. He is the author of Inside Chiropractic and Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism and co-author with Stephen Barrett of the...

/ August 7, 2009