The new Ms. America, crowned in August, is Stephanie Mills, a New Hampshire chiropractor.  Never heard of Ms. America?  Me either.  Miss America and Mrs. America, yes. But Ms. America is a new one. 

The Ms. America Pageant is a beauty contest for women 26 years old and above.  She can be married, divorced, widowed or single and must pay $1500 to enter, although if a potential contestant would like to take an advantage of the early bird special, entry is only $1199.  Competition is based on evening gown, interview, sportswear and on-stage question. Not having to appear in a swimsuit or have a talent is advertised by its promoters as a plus.

The winner gets "INSTANT CELEBRITY STATUS!" plus a crown, sash, scepter and a letter from the President of the United States.  One gets the impression from the website that the whole thing is rather second tier in the pageant world, although I admit I am no beauty contest expert. 


Our new Ms. America, D.C., has parlayed her "INSTANT CELEBRITY STATUS!" into a gig as spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association of America. According to the BIAA,

Our mission is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury. Through advocacy, we bring help, hope and healing to millions of individuals living with brain injury, their families and the professionals who serve them. 

That's a worthy cause, but Ms. America's being a chiropractor introduces some unfortunate complications into the picture.  And not only is she a chiropractor, she is a "straight" chiropractor who believes the detection and correction of non-existent subluxations is necessary to good health.  

Mills has made concussions her special focus.  I can't find any evidence that she is openly endorsing chiropractic for concussions in her role as BIAA spokesperson, but she certainly is pumping up the idea otherwise.  According to a recent article in "The Chiropractic Choice," an International Chiropractic Association publication, 

While there is no recommended chiropractic treatment for concussions, Dr. Mills reminds chiropractors that detecting and correcting subluxations can be an important part of the healing process for a concussed person. Currently several case studies have been published showing the positive effect of subluxation-based care for concussion sufferers, however more research is needed. In addition, Dr. Mills asserts that chiropractors need to be able to recognize concussion symptoms.

Yet she goes on to recommend that chiropractors volunteer as team doctors or trainers for sports teams.  Even though she's admitted there is no recognized chiropractic treatment for concussions and that chiropractors don't know what the symptoms of concussion are. 

The website for Mills' chiropractic practice is chock full of the usual chiropractic falsehoods, including the notion that everyone, including children, need spinal adjustments to correct their imaginary subluxations.  (The Chiropractic Choice article shows her with a child on the adjusting table.)  The website explains, so to speak, why these spinal adjustments are necessary.

Our central nerve system is our brain, spinal cord and all the nerves that branch off of our spinal cord exiting between those vertebra and going to all our organs, muscles and various parts of our body; this is how our brain and our body communicate.  Now, these vertebra which are innately designed to protect our central nerve system, can sometimes actually harm it by something we chiropractors call a subluxation. A subluxation is when these vertebra mis-align which causes interference or distortion within the nerve system, and this can cause mis-communication between our brain and body. Now I’m not sure about you, but I want my brain-body communicating clearly at all times, I don’t want any messed up signals going on there! People wonder how these subluxations/mis-alignments can happen. It’s pretty simple really; the bones of our spine are put through a lot on any given day if you think about it. The major ways they subluxate are physical stress, . . . emotional stress . . . , and toxins/environmental stress (processed foods, breathing toxins in air, smoking, drinking caffeine, alcohol, sodas, eating sugar, etc). All these things put extra stress on our bodies including our spines and can cause them to mis-align. Most people can understand this and see why chiropractic care is an important part of overall health care.

It is disturbing to think that licensed health care practitioners with this simplistic, and dead wrong, understanding of neurology would believe themselves capable of diagnosing and treating a concussion. In fact, it is disturbing to think they are licensed health care practitioners at all.