Kaiser Crapola


Kaiser Crapola

Another example of the medical bias railroading patients exclusively for itself despite the lack of support for medical spine care, Kaiser Permanente MCO recently published a brochure on back pain in which chiropractors were completely omitted.

Inexplicably, how can any health MCO address back pain and omit the third-largest physician-level health profession that deals directly with spine care–chiropractic care?

We saw this with Sanjay Gupta’s Deadly Dose, so it doesn’t come as a surprise, just more disappointment, to see the professional bias affecting these Kaiser administrators.

Read for yourself the text of this short brochure:

Recently, Kaiser Permanente brought together a team of health care professionals to review the medical research and develop guidelines on back care. This booklet contains the recommendations of that team, based on the latest studies.

The statements below show some of the ways that ideas on back care have changed.

What we used to think

Back pain never goes away. NOT TRUE!

What we know now

900/o of people are improved in 4 to 6 weeks.

 What we used to think

It helps to rest in bed all day. NOT TRUE!

What we know now

Too much bed rest can slow your recovery. Activity is an important part of the treatment.

 What we used to think

It helps to use narcotics and muscle relaxors. NOT TRUE!

What we know now

Nonprescription medicines work best for most back problems and have fewer side effects.

 What we used to think

Surgery is an effective treatment for back problems. NOT TRUE!

What we know now

Surgery is helpful to only about 1% of people with low-back pain.

What we used to think

Only specialists can treat back problems. NOT TRUE!

What we know now

Your health care professional has the experience and training to take care of back problems.


When you come to Kaiser Permanente for your back problem, you may choose to see a physician, nurse practitioner, or physical therapist. In this brochure we will use the term “health care professional” to refer to any of these.


While most everything this brochure said is surprisingly accurate, the writers of this medical brochure suffer from a bad case of professional amnesia considering every international guideline on spine care recommends conservative care for the 85% of mechanical back pain cases. Of course, at the top of this list is chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy.

This omission of chiropractic is odd considering the effort of Kaiser Permanente purportedly to be “evidence-based,” but it does show medical bias at Kaiser is more important than getting the recommendations right.

Again, the medical disinformation on spine care is most obvious when Kaiser writes, “Your health care professional has the experience and training to take care of back problems.”

Okay, stop choking!

This claim is blatantly untrue—medical “physician, nurse practitioner, or physical therapist” do not have the “experience and training” required by today’s evidence-based standards. The research is clear the medical profession is lacking in MSD education, clinical training, progressive spine concepts, and following guideline recommendations. Indeed, they are stuck in the horse-and-buggy concepts of “pulled muscles” and “slipped discs.”

Medical Rejects

We have already seen this problem in our offices from the frustration and anger caused by failed medical railroad treatments—those misdiagnosed patients who have taken the narcotic painkillers, had the epidurals, had MRI detecting “incidentalomas”, and finally succumbed to back fusions. They have already tried their medical physician, nurse practitioner, or physical therapist without good results.

Then they may become disabled living with chronic pain, taking more opioids, becoming more depressed being out of work with an impaired life, loss wages, mounting medical bills, and a loss of self-worth. It’s a downward spiral until the end of life, often coming by their own hands.

This sad scenario starts with misdiagnosis (the outdated disc theory), mistreatment (drugs, shots, surgery), and misinformation (“whatever you do, don’t see a chiropractor”).

However, some do come to us as the last resort still hurting, but when they improve with chiro care, their skepticism turns to anger. “Why didn’t they send me to a chiropractor first?”

Indeed, why didn’t Kaiser recommend DCs first since joint dysfunction is the primordial problem with most “mechanical” LBP cases?

Only then do these victims realize they have been mismanaged and exploited by the medical conductor who sold them a ride on the medical railroad. Only then do these passenger patients realize they’ve hit a dead-end. Only then do they realize those damn chiropractors were right all along.

This is the revelation we need to foster in the public arena. We in the chiropractic profession must use new PR, not merely fancy newspaper ads with celebrities, in the court of public opinion to create a case of cognitive dissonance in patients. Just as they would never go to their dentists for back pain treatment, we need to show patients that MDs are just as unqualified to diagnosis and treat back pain.

We need to exploit this medical mismanagement with a public campaign to create a greater sense of cognitive dissonance with medical spine care. This awareness cannot be accomplished with WOC newspaper ads with celebrities; we must educate patients to the new science with PR methods like interviews and panel discussions.

The tide has turned with the preponderance of evidence on our side, but no one is telling the public of this breakthrough. We stand to help millions of patients and save billions of dollars, but we need to get the word out since the medical media will never tell them of our success as we’ve seen with Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Imagine the positive future scenario this strategy will make for our profession when we establish ourselves as America’s primary spine care providers, a stake we must claim before someone else does.