Background: In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) posted reports claiming that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. These claims clash with recommendations from the World Health Organization and World Federation of Chiropractic. We discuss the scientific validity of the claims made in these ICA reports. Main body: We reviewed the two reports posted by the ICA on their website on March 20 and March 28, 2020. We explored the method used to develop the claim that chiropractic adjustments impact the immune system and discuss the scientific merit of that claim. We provide a response to the ICA reports and explain why this claim lacks scientific credibility and is dangerous to the public. More than 150 researchers from 11 countries reviewed and endorsed our response. Conclusion: In their reports, the ICA provided no valid clinical scientific evidence that chiropractic care can impact the immune system. We call on regulatory authorities and professional leaders to take robust political and regulatory action against those claiming that chiropractic adjustments have a clinical impact on the immune system.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
PC reports research grants unrelated to this work from Aviva Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Canada Research Chair Program, Canadian chiropractic Association, Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation, College of Chiropractors of British Columbia, Et liv i bevegelse” (ELIB), French Chiropractic Association, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Finance, Ontario Trillium Foundation; travel expenditures unrelated to this work from Griffith University - Whiplash Symposium 2017, Eurospine, Southern Denmark University, Institut Franco-Europeen de Chiro-praxie, Karolinska Institutet, North American Spine Society, University of Quebec-Trois-Rivieres, University of Zurich, World Federation of Chiropractic; fees medical-legal expertise from the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association. He is the Chair of the World Federation of Chiropractic Research Disability and Rehabilitation Committee. AB reports research grants unrelated to this work from University of Quebec-Trois-Rivieres, McGill University, Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; fees medical-legal expertise from the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association. GNK reports active research grants unrelated to this work from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research, The National Institutes of Health, The Alberta Spine Foundation, The American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association, The New Frontiers in Research Fund and the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation. Travel expenditures unrelated to this work in the past year include Kiropraktik i Sverige Live, Et liv i bevegelse” (ELIB), the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, The American Chiropractic Association, The National Institutes of Health, The British Columbia Chiropractic Association, and The World Federation of Chiropractic. He is the Chair of the World Federation of Chiropractic Research Council. Fees for medical-legal expertise unrelated to this work from the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association. JH reports that he holds multiple research grants from Danish and international funding agencies and charities. He has received coverage of travel expenditures from multiple sources internationally in connection with speaking engagements. Within the past year he has received speaking fees from Parker Seminars and Novartis. He is member of the World Federation of Chiropractic Research Council. SM reports research grants unrelated to this work from Ontario Chiropractic Association, Canadian Chiropractic Association, and Canadian Spinal Research Foundation. MS reports support from research grants unrelated to this work from the National Institutes of Health, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh and NCMIC Foundation; honoraria from NCMIC speaker’s bureau; fees from medico-legal consulting services. JDC and CLY declare that they have no competing interests.
© 2020 The Author(s).
- Spinal manipulation