The most common complaint among chiropractic patients is back pain. Experts estimate that at any given time, about 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain. 35% of chiropractic patients are seeking relief from back pain resulting from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, or muscle strains.
Normally a chiropractor can provide relief by aligning the spine and musculoskeletal structure, and restoring mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury. However, chiropractors have been relieving patients of more things than just their pain — like their trust, their money, and their dignity.
Andrew Carr, a former chiropractor, and his wife Wendy Carr, a fitness instructor and personal trainer, both of Lake of the Hills, Ill., have both been sentenced to federal prison for a $1 million dollar health insurance fraud scheme.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Shoba Pillay, “They pretended to be the victim patients’ friends, convinced the victim patients to take their fitness classes, and convinced the victim patients to get treatment from [Andrew Carr] when the classes caused physical pain or injury.”
Over the course of six years, the Carrs were also submitting health insurance claim forms for hundreds of patients, knowing that millions of dollars worth of claims were for services that were not provided. They made over a million dollars off of this scheme.
But that’s only the most recent case of chiropractors up to no good.
West Jordan, UT chiropractor Brandon Babcock was sentenced to six months in jail last year for conning elderly patients out of thousands of dollars. He convinced them that he could cure them of their diabetes with a “breakthrough procedure,” and duped them into signing up for credit, before charging then thousands.
Last April, Franklin, NJ chiropractor Scott Greenberg was sentenced to six years in prison for using runners to recruit motor vehicle accident patients, and commiting insurance fraud on those accounts, and if that wasn’t enough, also growing marijuana plants in his home.
In one of the most disturbing cases, chiropractor David Allen Russell of McKinney, TX, was also charged last year with molesting several female patients, both underage and young women. Russell was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the sexual assault.
Even some chiropractors don’t have a very high opinion of their own, when it comes to treatment. Mark Sanders, D.C. wrote that because chiropractors are not trained in hospitals, they’re exposed to a limited range of pathology, and are not knowledgable enough to detect ailments that may be causing the pain they’re treating.
Sanders cited several examples of chiropractors missing diagnoses of cancer and osteoarthritis, letting the diseases progress, as they provided unnecessary treatment.
Does all this mean that all chiropractors are monsters, who don’t know how to treat their patients? No. But it does mean you should be aware of your treatment, and make sure the chiropractor is familiar with your medical history. Your best choice is to go to a chiropractor that your primary care physician recommends, as they will have had positive experiences with him or her.
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