It Came From ‘Germophobia’: Chiropractic Catastrophes

April 1, 2014

We’ve got a brand new book out this week: Uncle John’s Germophobia. It’s all about hospital horrors, bad doctors, botched surgeries, nightmare nurses, weird diseases, and all the things that can and will go wrong when it comes to your health. Here’s a taste of the kind of thing you’ll find inside.

Chiropractic CatastrophesWhile today’s chiropractors are legitimate, well-trained medical professionals versed in how muscles and bones work, it wasn’t always the case. The profession was created in 1895 by a Canadian man named David Palmer in 1845. The late 19th century was the peak era for pseudoscience and medical quackery, and Palmer believed in now widely disproven concepts such as magnetic therapy (curing diseases with magnets), and phrenology (predicting behaviors based on bumps on the skull). Palmer claimed to have restored a deaf man’s hearing by realigning his spine, and then became convinced that he could cure all ailments by fixing the spine – after all, that was how the brain relayed messages to the rest of the body.

However, the spine can be a tricky thing for chiropractors to fool around with, because of all the nerves and sensitive spinal arteries. And sometimes even the most dedicated medical professionals can make mistakes.

  • In 1993, a 24-year-old South Carolina woman went to a chiropractor for a cervical manipulation to treat a sinus headache, a standard procedure. She died three days later – the movements to her spine had fractured the walls of the arteries inside her vertebrae, which caused an interruption in blood flow, and the blood pooled in her brain.
  • In 1998, a Saskatchewan woman had her chiropractor treat a tailbone injury. He twisted the bones too hard, and it tore an artery, killing her.
  • In 1993, a Connecticut woman sought treatment for back problems…and walked out of her chiropractor’s office with a severed vocal cord.

Want more horrors? Get Germophobia directly from our store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite retailer.

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Germophobia