A NEW phenomenon is gripping the internet. Back-cracking videos are everywhere, and they are not going away.

For a lot of people online videos are now their first experience of chiropractic. One video I have seen has had 49 million views.

For people who haven’t seen them, these videos usually involve scantily clad women or very muscular men receiving spinal manipulation.

Well positioned microphones pick up every little click and pop which, coupled with pantomime reactions from the patient, makes for dramatic viewing.

As a chiropractor, these videos bother me. They seem to be harmless enough, perhaps even helping people get an idea of what seeing a chiropractor involves. But nothing could be farther from the truth.

The videos I have seen don’t reflect what happens at a chiropractic clinic at all.

Clinicians jump straight to treatment, with no physical exam illustrated. This can be excused as editing to just get to “the juicy bits”, but then the treatments demonstrated aren’t representative of real-life either.

There tends to be an over emphasis on manipulation, and the cracks and pops that sometimes coincide with joint manipulation are grossly over exaggerated by crafty sound technology.

What’s more, the titles or content of the videos often talk about amazing cures, incredible pain relief and so on, misleading viewers into thinking a quick click and a pop will sort all manner of problems.

It seems amazing to me that the people making these videos wear sharp suits or even hospital scrubs to convey credibility (after all, cufflinks get in the way and scrubs are only necessary if you’re dealing in bodily fluids, which chiropractors most definitely do not!), and yet they produce videos that undermine patient dignity, misrepresent what chiropractors do and espouse miracle cures.

The good thing is that most of these videos are imports. They do not represent how chiropractic is practice in the UK.