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Table 3 All Breaches by Chiropractors (Number and %) with Examples

From: At-risk advertising by Australian chiropractors and physiotherapists

Section 5 of the 2014 AG (§5) Category Chiropractors with Breaches: Number & (%) Example
(a) Create unwarranted and unrealistic expectations about service effectiveness 75 (21%) Research has shown chiropractic to be an effective form of health care for back pain, neck pain, headaches, reflux, bedwetting, ear aches, otitis media, leg pains, headaches, migraine, visual disturbances, dizziness, breathing difficulties, asthma, constipation and dysmenorrheal [sic].
(b) Encourage (directly or indirectly) inappropriate, indiscriminate, unnecessary or excessive use of health services; 42 (12%) Wellness Care. Once your condition has stabilised you then have a choice of continuing Chiropractic care with a focus on preventing the initial condition returning and new conditions appearing. By having regular check-ups and adjustments we can help you maintain and achieve your ideal level of health. Most patients find that periodic chiropractic check-ups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
(c) Mislead, either directly, or by implication, use of emphasis, comparison, contrast or omission 205 (57%) Given the frequency and variety of misleading claims uncovered, examples are presented in table form. (Table 5: Minor Misleading Claims & Table 6: Major Misleading Claims)
(d) Use testimonials or purported testimonials 80 (22%) Thanks ‘Chiropractor’, I was dead in bed for 3 days and thanks to you I was back on my feet within few days! Strongly recommend.
Example of a visual testimonial:
(e) compare professions without evidence no breaches found  
(f). Claim or imply that a practitioner provides superior services to those provided by other registered health practitioners 5 (1.4%) Traditional chiropractic vs NeuroStructural Correction. Traditional chiro aka band-aid care …
(g) exaggerate recovery time; no breaches found  
(h) Lead Audience to Self-Diagnosis 3 (0.8%) links to videos encouraging viewers to perform each of Contracted leg length test; cervical range of motion test; carpal tunnel test; and a spinal health test.
(i) Abuse the trust of or exploit a lack of knowledge by the target audience (unconscionable conduct) no breaches found  
(l) Contain language that could cause undue fear or distress 58 (16%) A LITTLE SECRET: Don’t let symptoms, or the absence of them, be your guide as to how you are doing. Many cancer patients never have a symptom until the first tumor is detected. By then, for many, it is already too late.
(m) Contain any information or material likely to make a person believe his or her health or wellbeing may suffer from not taking or undertaking the health service 16 (5%) As a short-term solution to overwhelming physical, chemical or emotional stress, spinal joint dysfunction is a brilliant coping strategy. Yet, when this stress response doesn’t resolve in a timely manner, or the stress is chronic, it may lead to other consequences. Do you have undetected spinal joint dysfunctions? Find out!
(n) misrepresent price information no breaches found  
(o) Unfounded Claims: a practitioner has an exclusive or unique skill or remedy, or that a product is ‘exclusive’ or contains a ‘secret ingredient’ 9 (3%) Integrative Diagnosis is the only complete system for the diagnosis and conservative treatment of muscle, nerve and joint problems … [unlike other chiropractors] we can accurately and quickly diagnose what is causing your lower back pain.
(o)4. Claim or imply that results are always effective 1 (0.3%) “every adjustment has a positive effect on the brain”
(j, k & p) Combined: Failure to disclose risks, warn of material risks, omit warning statements 32 (9%) How safe is chiropractic: If the vertebrae are misaligned, the nerves will lack the ability to carry messages that in turn can affect how well our body functions. This can cause problems in the digestive system, anxiety, uneasiness, depression, headaches or ear infections to name a few. A clear example is of an ear infection which can be caused by a bone that is out of alignment. Commonly, migraines, neck pain, back pain or foot pain can be treated or prevented by chiropractic care. Studies have also proved that it can improve blood pressure in patients who have hypertension.
(q) provide a patient or client with an unsolicited appointment time not requested by the patient or client no breaches  
(r) promote tobacco products, smoking, alcohol, or any other addictive substances or products known to affect health adversely no breaches  
(s) be vulgar, sensational, contrary to accepted standards of propriety or likely to bring a health profession into disrepute, for example, because the advertising is sexist. no breaches  
  1. Examples are direct quotes from practitioner advertisements