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.
Author keywords: Chiropractic — Spinal manipulation — Immunity — Pseudoscience — Coronavirus
Author affiliations: PC: Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; PC, SM: Centre for Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, Ontario Tech University and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Oshawa and Toronto Ontario, Canada; PC, JDC: Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; AB: Département chiropratique, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada; AB: School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; JH: Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; JH: Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark; GNK: Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; CL-Y: Institute for Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; SM: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; MS: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; MS: Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Signatories
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