I know they are the best we have but sometimes there needs to be some serious editorial control from the BBC because they publish utter rubbish like this:

Bad Headline

This is the first article in the Health News section for today. Click on the story and you get this:

Terrible Article

First up, a warning. The word CHIROPRACTIC already flags this up as a terrible article. The only responsible news item that mentions CHIROPRACTIC is one where there is a decent discussion of why it is rubbish and doesn’t work.

Rather than get enraged at the poor reporting lets look at the data and quotations included in the article.

First the BCA is quoted as saying that clothes can be bad for us. Then in the next paragraph:

However, the research has been rejected by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and other back experts.

They say we shouldn’t be afraid of our clothes.

Real doctors and scientists say this is bollocks. Then there follows plenty of gumpf from the BCA about what items can be damaging. While the BBC do “balance” this with more quotations from proper scientists they have already done the damage by publishing this shit.

In a section called “What’s the reality?” [it’s not reality, it’s written by the BCA] the BBC write:

The BCA’s poll of 1,062 people found 73% had suffered back pain and 33% were not aware that clothing could affect their back, neck or posture. They warn that any item of clothing that restricts movement, or that leads people to stand or walk unnaturally, can have a negative impact on the posture, back or neck.

There are major problems here. First they say a survey found that people have suffered back pain. So fucking what? I’ve suffered back pain. Most people have. Then, apparently, one third of people aren’t aware that clothing can affect your back, neck or posture. Well, given it’s not a thing they can’t know about it can they? This article relies on people being unable to understand a causation-correlation problem. Surveys are the worst of scientific evidence, but slightly better than anecdote.

At the base of the BBC article there is a quotation from the head of practice at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy who says that disseminating this false information could lead to real problems. The BBC need to get an editor who understands a load of bollocks when it is written and when to pull it. I am not going to look but I bet there are loads of news articles online and in print running this bollocks too.

Steve Tolan, head of practice at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, says “reading scare stories about skinny jeans is probably more harmful than actually wearing them.

“People should wear whatever is comfortable and they feel good in – skinny jeans and hoodies included. They certainly shouldn’t fear that their clothes are going to do them harm as there is no evidence for that.

“What is probably more relevant is whether a woman thinks that they are wearing something that is damaging their back, says Dr O’Keeffe.

“The beliefs about the jeans and bags may not only be incorrect, but detrimental if they cause worry about the spine being fragile and discourage women from moving normally and wearing what they want.

“Misconceptions regarding the causes and treatments of low back pain are widespread. This story about skinny jeans and heavy bags is just another myth in the long list of myths about back pain.

“It fits with the misconception that load and movement are bad and that the spine is a vulnerable structure that is easily damaged. Strong evidence shows that this is not true.”

I thought I ought to look at the BCA article or press release to see what it said. So I went to their website.

Front Page Of BCA

I clicked on the link, which I shall paste here:

I get the following page:

Not Found

So, I can’t even read the actual article.

Scratch that. I found the proper link using their site search. I hope others don’t bother.

Women’s back health suffering for the sake of fashion

The “research” was probably a telephone or internet based survey. The BCA don’t link to the actual results. There is so much wrong with this article it infuriates me. As my tweet earlier said:

This “news” article is an advert masquerading as serious science. It’s bullshit. It’s designed to make people think “oh, I feel like that”, then they visit the BCA website and try to find a local chiropractor. This will cause proper injuries as chiropractic DOESN’T work.