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Spinal manipulation

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

The following letter was published in the Daily Express on 13 March 2001

Dear Editor

Your article 'Physio link to stroke risk'(9 March 2001), is extremely misleading in pointing the finger at physiotherapists. The article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, on which your report was based, states categorically that the researchers did not know who had performed the manipulations. They assumed that the patients had seen a physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor, but had no way of knowing this, nor if the practitioner had been qualified to a recognised standard.

All qualified physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors should operate to strict guidelines regarding spinal manipulation. These have been developed jointly by their three professional bodies - the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Osteopathic Association of Great Britain, and the British Chiropractic Association - in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Previous research has reported a low risk with spinal manipulation, provided patients are selected and assessed properly and the treatment is carried out by a trained therapist or practitioner. However, this preliminary report raises important issues and the CSP wholeheartedly supports the call for a long-term study to further inform practice.

It is to be hoped that this would also lead to legislation governing who is allowed to spinally manipulate patients and therefore greater protection of the public.

Yours sincerely

Phil Gray
Chief executive
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Media only - for further information please contact Raquel Simpson on 020 7306 6628

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