Brazil Chiropractic

Federal Judge Rules in Favour of DC's

(Keywords: Brazil Chiropractic, chiropractic help)

On March 3, 2009, in the latest step by the Brazil Chiropractic Association (ABQ) to defend the chiropractic profession against efforts by the physiotherapy profession to have chiropractic declared a specialty of physiotherapy (PT), Federal Judge Diana Brunstein has ruled strongly in favour of the ABQ.


"Chiropractic is a profession not a technique, and PT authorities should not seek to declare it a specialty of physiotherapy."

- Judge Brunstein


An appeal by CREFITO, the regulatory body for PT in the State of Sao Paulo, asking to remove an earlier court injunction against CREFITO, was denied.

The background to this dispute is that the ABQ, representing under 400 chiropractors in Brazil, is promoting legislation to regulate the practice of chiropractic. The response of the national regulatory body COFFITO, representing over 90,000 PTs, has been to claim chiropractic is a specialty of PT.



In August 2008, PT agents in Sao Paulo began harassing chiropractors, most of whom are new graduates of Brazil’s two university-based chiropractic programs. Holding violation orders from their own CREFITO, and often accompanied the federal police, they tried to pressure DCs to sign declarations acknowledging the illegal practice of PT and to cease practise.

The ABQ and its lawyers were successful in getting an interim injunction to stop such harassment against Brazil Chiropractic. CREFITO has sought to have the interim injunction removed but, after hearing argument and evidence from the ABQ, Judge Brunstein confirmed the injunction on March 3.



“We still have a long fight ahead”, says ABQ President Dr. Juliana Piva, “but this judgement gives us powerful new momentum as we work with legislators in Brasilia for chiropractic legislation.”

“There have been such generous donations from many associations and individuals – but particularly the American, Australian, British, Canadian, Danish and Norwegian associations.”


“We could not have achieved this success without vital financial and other support from the World Federation of Chiropractic and its member associations”.

- Dr. Sira Borges, ABQ Past-President and leader of the legislative campaign.



“It has been a privilege for the WFC to assist the ABQ in the outstanding work it is doing to protect the independence of the chiropractic profession in Brazil”, notes WFC President Dr. Stathis Papadopoulos of Cyprus. “This battle has obvious impact for the profession everywhere – I strongly encourage all associations and individual chiropractors to continue their financial support for the ABQ.”


Why is that Chiropractors are so passionate about their profession? Because at least half the time a case like this one above can be saved from the complications of surgery.

This young man has severe pain in the back of his right leg, and the MRI shows a herniation into the foramen where the nerve emerges. Read more about this postero medial disk herniation ...

With manipulation, and careful management of the condition, Chiropractic can often, but not always, do it more safely and at a fraction of the price.

But it's quite impossible for another health professional to learn these techniques at a few weekend courses. It's complex, and art and a science, just like good surgery, that takes years to learn. A physiotherapy technique?


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?


Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.


You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.