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  1. #1
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    Question Experiences with Chiropractic Care?

    Hello. I just started seeing a chiropractor for neck and lower back pain. It's a good chunk of money, even with my insurance covering a portion of the costs.

    I'm wondering what experiences others have had with chiropractors. Good, bad, neutral? What do you think about subluxation? I've been trying to research online, but there are so many mixed reviews out there.

  2. #2
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    There's no solid science behind it.

    You might as well go to somebody who will attempt to strengthen your aura, radiate some positive energy onto you or whatever other bullshit quacks do.

  3. #3

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    I love my chiropractor. I initially started seeing one after I repeatedly pinched nerves in my back. I believe most of my back problems started from a car accident in college. In addition to helping my back, I noticed that I had fewer ear infections. Something about the way my neck was locking up kept my sinuses from draining. There are some visits where I can feel instant clearing of the sinuses.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  4. #4

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    I think that, just like conventional doctors, there are good and bad ones. I've been fortunate enough to have a couple of really good ones, especially the one I see now. I do recommend doing your homework carefully -- researching online, asking trusted friends for recommendations, and so forth -- to make sure you get a good one.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  5. #5

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    I used to go to a chiropractor many years ago for lower back pain. It didn't help though at the time I was working in a public library where they had no regard for people's health and safety (lifting boxes and library books). So it was a reoccurring problem.

    In the end though the pain stopped when I took up figure skating 17 years ago because it helped me strengthen the muscles that supported my back.

    Now I have massages and would choose not to see a chiropractor. Because I feel you can only keep clicking a back into place for so long. Surely you must get wear and tear by moving the bones around and against each other.

    Do you know what is causing the problem? Because that might influence what kind of treatment you should consider. Or do other things that can prevent the need for treatment.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  6. #6

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    I only have one real experience with chiropractors, and it was for my daughter. She was a serious dance student but had a terrible achilles problem that nagged her for years. During her 14th summer, she was in so much pain that she could literally not point her toes or wear pointe shoes.

    I took her to all kinds of podiatrists and orthopaedic people and spent a fortune on ultrasound, etc etc etc.

    Then one of the professional dancers told us about a sports massage/chiropractor who was also an herbalist. Well, I was always kind of skeptical about this, but I was desperate, so off we went.

    I won't belabor the point, but I will say that after being adjusted over several days, getting massage in specific areas, and taking certain herb drops, my daughter was back on pointe shoes IN A WEEK. And cured, I might add.

    So yeah-I believe. I don't go to one now, but I would consider it.

  7. #7

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    Come to think of it, it was a chiropractor who helped diagnose and treat those muscle spasms of Ashley Wagner's.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  8. #8
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    Chiropractic care is only as good as the chiropractor providing it. If used appropriately, it can really help. Your spine is flexible and can easily get out of alignment, and that can impact the spinal chord and nerves. Makes sense that putting it back into alignment can help those kinds of problems. A good chiropractor will work within those parameters. I and other family members have had good results with this type of chiropractic.

    However, there are a lot of chiros who make all sorts of ridiculous claims about what chiropractic can do. Cure your cancer? Treat your allergies? Fix that hearing problem? Um ... NO.

    I will also add that your chiro should probably be doing some physical therapy-like stuff with you to make sure that your muscles, etc. are strong & trained to hold things in alignment. Some chiros work with PTs. Some PTs do adjustments like chiros.

  9. #9
    Cruder than you thought
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    Chiropractor is really helpful to me if my neck or upper back gets out of whack, when I can feel the vertebrae literally sticking out slightly and causing pain - it happens to me from overworking at my desk once in a while. It is never helpful for a lower backache, which for me is usually entirely muscular in nature. When I had a chronic lower back issue for a few years back in my 20's (due to karate), the only thing that was helpful was physical therapy.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  10. #10
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    Everyone I know who swears by chiropractic care goes on a weekly or monthly basis. It seems like a never ending cycling of needing to be adjusted.

    I have awful back pain, and odd problems in just about every joint. I tried a chiropractor, went twice in one week, as recommended, but when I was told I'd need to come in at least once a week for 6 months, so I was done. A PT fixed the knee/hip problems, a massage does wonders on the back, every 6 months or so.

    I have a fusion in my cervical spine, and the chiropractor said if I had gone to a chiropractor instead of a neurosurgeon, they could have prevented the need for it. This was before asking how it happened- I had a broken bone that had to be removed - chiropractor wasn't going to do anythign there, a fusion was necessary.

    The 3 chiropractors I have experience with (the one I went to, and 2 friends husbands) have all told me I need to stop going to a neurosurgeon, and switch to chiropractic because a) surgeons only want to do surgery- that's how they make money (this sees to be the party line!) and b) chiropractors recieve more study on this area in chiropractor school then a neurosurgeon does in med school. UM NO, I'm pretty sure the specialist has a better idea of how the nervous system is working- this isn't bones out of line, it's a hole in my spinal cord. I'm sticking with my neurosurgeon. (Who btw, after looking at my MRIs does not recommend surgery for at least another 10 years)

    This guy was HIGHLY recommended by my two friends who are chiropractors (licensed in a different state) themselves. If this guy was highly recommended- what do the non-highly recommended ones say?

    Chiropractic is really big in this area, because we live near to a huge school for it. But I think a PT is usually the better way to go.

  11. #11

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    I've been going to a chiropractor for the past month.

    I had a bad whiplash injury two years ago and still have chronic, daily headaches. I tried massage therapy, accupuncture, physio... nothing worked. Massage made the headaches easier to handle but they were still there.

    My brother's best friend is a chiro who specializes in the NUCCA technique - upper cervical injuries and absolutely NO cracking or popping of the bones. I saw her for a consultation, had an Xray and an adjustment, and the difference is AMAZING. I'm now on a program to see her once a week for six weeks... I'm half finished that and I can't believe how much better I feel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    There's no solid science behind it.

    You might as well go to somebody who will attempt to strengthen your aura, radiate some positive energy onto you or whatever other bullshit quacks do.
    That's what I've been saying for years.

    But I've been having lower back pain for weeks now, and I've gone to the doctor in the past to ask for help...they weren't that helpful. I'd be willing to try a quack doctor if he/she can help me. I still think they are basically highly paid massage therapists.

  13. #13

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    I have been going to a chiropractor every 3 weeks for many years. I have arthritis in my lower spine. Any time I have a fall, or sit in a confined space for a few hours (plane, arena) I need to be readjusted.

    The chiros I have gone to do not use the "bone cracking" technique. They use a device that moves the bone using air pressure. The current chiro also uses finger pressure to force the muscles to relax.

    I'm not interested in hearing the far out claims of chiropractic. Some are truly dangerous. Fortunately my current chiro has never suggested anything stranger than hot lemon and cayenne pepper for a cold!

    I do feel better after being realigned. Therapeutic massage could bring a similar result when the problem is strictly muscular.

  14. #14
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I have been going to a chiropractor for almost 15 years. I consider it a maintenance technique, although when something is seriously out of whack, it will also provide immediate relief. When I was a dancer, I went 3-5 times a week. Now that I am not (and have insurance, which makes the visits more expensive than when I didn't have insurance because then I was eligible for a killer discount), I try to go once a month. When I don't go regularly, the bad habits in my spine become more pronounced and painful.

    My chiro does full body adjustment - I regularly have my lower back, hips, knees, ankles, neck and shoulders adjusted. Often I have my ribs asjusted too, and sometimes my jaw. Some of the adjustments are uncomfortable, but none of them hurt. I do believe that chiropractic should be paired with massage therapy and massage is the more important of the two.

    People who think it's a quack medicine aren't going to be deterred so I won't bother with that, but I can poijnt to one thing that chiropractic care "cured" for me - I had a persistent recurring ganglion cyst on my right wrist when I started going to my chiro. It would come and go, but was very painful when it was present - felt like my wrist had a migraine in it. Chiro adjusted my wrist regularly when it would flare up and I haven't had a recurrence in at least 12 years. I also developed a new ganglion cyst on my left wrist and it took 2 adjustments to get rid of it and it's never returned.
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  15. #15
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    I haven't seen much evidence supporting the efficacy of chiropractic. However, the Ashley Wagner case is very interesting anecdotally.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  16. #16

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    I'd certainly echo what others are saying, that chiropractic care is only as good as your chiropractor. I haven't had a bad one myself, but know friends who have.

    I had massive shoulder pain in university, caused by a number of long-standing issues but exasperated probably by the extensive typing and note-taking and an awful mattress. I saw doctor after doctor-- in the city, so my options weren't limited-- and all they did was give me naproxen. I hate that stuff-- it doesn't seem to work for me like it does others, and the pain only got worse over time. I went home for reading week and saw my small-town chiropractor. In FIVE DAYS, my shoulder was mostly pain free. After one treatment, I'd stopped waking up from the pain at night. I wish I could have dragged him back to the city with me.

    He did more good than the following three months of physiotherapy I received at his recommendation. I like my current chiropractor because he isn't afraid to send me elsewhere if he thinks he can't be of enough help.

  17. #17

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    I think that it also depends upon the source of pain whether or not a chiropractor is the best solution. I had a ruptured L4 disc and no amount of adjust was going to relieve the herniation. But then chronic headaches were lessened by the traction used on the neck/chin and jaw.

    If your healthcare insurance pays for one, I say that is awesome. The insurance that I had at the time did not.

  18. #18
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    Aussie Willy - Exactly, going to a massage therapist is a much better idea. You relax, loosen your muscles and there aren't any potential negative side effects.

  19. #19
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    Thank you everyone for your feedback!

    My problem, I think, is terrible posture coupled with sitting hunched over a laptop screen for hours on end for a year. The x-ray showed that my neck is somewhat straight, not curved like it's supposed to be, and it's tilted a little to one side. So more pressure on the discs and nerves.

    Quote Originally Posted by skaternum
    I will also add that your chiro should probably be doing some physical therapy-like stuff with you to make sure that your muscles, etc. are strong & trained to hold things in alignment. Some chiros work with PTs. Some PTs do adjustments like chiros.
    That's one part that I like. This chiro office really emphasizes daily exercises to strengthen and retrain the muscles.

    I'm highly skeptical that chiro can cure things like cancer or allergies, but it does make sense with neck and back issues. I will have to ask my chiro more questions about the risks involved in spinal adjustments though, because that is one method of treatment that I am one the fence about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321
    Everyone I know who swears by chiropractic care goes on a weekly or monthly basis. It seems like a never ending cycling of needing to be adjusted.
    Mine told me that the plan is for me get back healthy alignment and become proficient enough in the physical exercises to stay away from chiro care in the future. I guess that's a good sign.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fozzie Bear View Post
    Mine told me that the plan is for me get back healthy alignment and become proficient enough in the physical exercises to stay away from chiro care in the future. I guess that's a good sign.
    Mine said the same thing. The reason why I'm still setting up appointments is that I can now tell when my back and neck is out of alignment and I want it fixed. Once a muscle starts to act up, we try to compensate for it and can end up messing up something else. The spine wants to be straight and will try to achieve that whether it's the correct adjustment or not.

    One thing that has helped stretch the amount of time between chiropractor appointments is massage. My chiropractor and workplace both have people offering chair massages. If I go that route, I can keep my muscles from pulling my spine out of alignment a little longer. Both of them have minimum massage times of 10 minutes and it's about $1 a minute so it's cheaper than the doctor appointment.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

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