Chiroprtactors: Good or bad?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by floriflee, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #1
    I've seen a few posts from people regarding chiropractors in a few "back problems" thread, but I thought I would try to get a more thorough idea of people's opinions on chiropractors. I ask because for the last week my back, neck, leg sockets and arm sockets have been popping like crazy and I've been having some back pain (occurs in different places throughout the day). I'm guessing it's all part of bad posture. I can't say I have the greatest posture all day long. I like to cross my legs, bring one foot up on my chair seat, and lounge on the couch in the evenings. I've been trying to correct my posture more since this started happening, but see little improvement in feeling.

    I started yoga about two weeks ago, and I do situps and pushups about 2-3 times a week. I run for about 30 minutes every other day on weekdays.

    I'm wondering if a chiropractor would be worth it or if they're all just a sham. I've always kind of thought they were quacks. If I go am I just going to have to keep going back to them??

    If they are worth it, anyone know of any good ones in the DC/MD area??
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    As far as I am concerned, they are a sham.

    I had two fully blown discs (didn't know it at the time) and the chiroprator said something elese was wrong. And usually, there is no "cure" except to keep going back and paying them.

    If you want a list of good back strangthening excercises and such, e-mail me you address and I'll send them to you. Stretchign is very important. Tell me where in your back it huirts and I'll try to help. :D

    gary@igarycommunications.com
     
  3. Lau Guest

    #3
    Yeah, I'm also highly suspicious. My bloke had awful back pain for a couple of years, and kept going and having his bones cracked for £30 a time. In the end it turned out to be stress/muscle related, nothing wrong with his bones or alignment at all. That's why he was bedridden for a week afterwards after each session then. :mad:

    Anyway, if you do go, I would definitely find a professional that someone esle recommends - don't just go to any old guy.
     
  4. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #4
    I recently had some lower back problems which I developed while lifting some things at work. My boss wanted to send me to his chiropractor, but I was extremly skeptical. I always thought of chiropractors as quacks. But I was in so much pain, I agreed to go.

    BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!

    My God, it felt so good, and I was back at work as soon as I returned. My boss came to ask me how it went, and he told me the story of how the chiropractor had saved his horrible back problem. The Mayo Clinic couldn't even cure him, but this chiropractor did.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    It's all in who you see, and what you need done.

    To a carpenter, everything has to be nailed.
    To a plumber, everthing has to be soldered.
    Your job is to make an initial determination what needs to be worked on, and find a very competent practitioner.

    My chiropractor is a sports medicine expert, and he has never pushed me for "maintenance" adjustments or XRays. When I threw my shoulder out playing a-bit-too-competitive-league softball, he made the pain go away with one visit.

    For other types of injuries, esp. pulls, tears and inflammation of muscles and nerves, a good physiotherapist if the ticket. Mine has an incredibly detailed knowledge of human skeleton and musculature, and she can stretch out a muscle here to fix a problem over there, because she knows how all the systems work with and affect each other. I am in awe of her understanding.

    And I have a massage therapist that I see on a regular basis (more than either of the other two), who knows my body and how it has changed over the past ten years -- and shows me how to stretch properly and maintain my posture and flexibility.

    I guess the key is to find the right professionals. Get referrals from friends, do an interview with the practitioner to get a feel for them. They should be asking detailed questions about your body and your activities, and should give you their 100% attention. If they are like "Fill out this form and I'll have you adjusted and out of here in 5 minutes - I have 5 other patients lined up in cubicles waiting for my valuable time" then just walk away. Once you find a good one, stick with them for life.
     
  6. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    Citizens Bank Park
    #6
    I'm not going to call them a sham, but they aren't necessarily what people expect. My sister has back problems due to mild scoliosis. Her doctor recommend going to a chiropractor. She goes every other month and it really helps her. Seeing how well this worked, my uncle with a couple fused disked and major back pain, tried a chiropractor. For the next month, my uncle was in more pain then ever.

    My point? Chiropractors have their place, but don't expect them to be a panacea. They may (stress the may) help you in-conjunction with a doctors care, but don't think a chiropractor alone if you cure.
     
  7. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #7
    I go to a chiropractor on a regular basis (about once a month) but solely as a preventative means. I have never need to go for actual problems with my back, so I cannot comment on how effective they are in this respect.

    For me though, doing it as a preventative thing is great - I compare it to going to a dentist regularly, brushing your teeth, etc. You don't go to the dentist after waiting for a cavity to form or your teeth to fall out, you go as a preventative thing, to get everything checked up and to prevent problems form occurring in the first place. Far too many people are reactive in nature when it comes to their health and are only interested in treating the symptom instead of the cause. I would argue we don't really even have a heath care system, we have a disease care system, as many people only go to the doctor when they are sick or have problems, instead of being proactive about their health. Now of course if you sustain an injury, that's different - I'm just speaking in general here.

    But, I'm going off on one of my usual off-topic rants. ;) :cool: As I said, I go about once a month and I feel great afterwards. Plus, my company's health benefits cover all my expenses, so to me it's a no-brainer to do healthy maintenance like this for my body when it's free. The same goes with massages, I get them once every couple of months since they are covered under my plan - why not! :cool:
     
  8. CompUser Guest

    #8
    Due to a lacrosse injury, I suffered hip misalignment which caused running for more than 10 min to be very painful on my right hip joint. After going to various physical therapists I finally went to a chiropracter.

    The results were very good. 1-2 times a week I would go to the office, get a nice massage. After 15 min of exercises I was done and I had to do 10 min of exercises a day.

    The best part is when they crack your back- it hurts but it feels really good.

    I have stopped going because summer ended, school started, along with soccer so I really have had no time. My hip no longer hurts but I always have a pain in my lower left back, which was there along with the hip pain before.
     
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    #9
    I think it is important to first determine the cause of the pain. I really would recommend checking things out with your own doctor first, see if he/she gives you a referral to an orthopedist or neurosurgeon or makes some other recommendation. Last thing you want to do is screw up your back.

    About thirteen years ago I suddenly developed pain in my left leg and then the left "cheek," and when the toes on my left foot started going numb, I finally hied myself to my internist, who promptly referred me to a neurosurgeon. Sure enough, I had a nice juicy herniation at L5/S1 in the lumbar spine region. Physical Therapy was recommended as a first line of treatment but after only a couple of weeks of that, when the pain was getting significantly worse and it was obvious that the PT was hindering, not helping, the decision was made for surgery and I went under the knife. Best thing I could've done!

    I would strongly suggest that before you put your body in the hands of a chiropractor who might inadvertently do more harm than good, go to your physician and see what he or she thinks is going on and what his/her recommendations for treatment would be.
     
  10. floriflee thread starter macrumors 68030

    floriflee

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    Dec 21, 2004
    #10
    That's kind of what I thought, but I've always thought doctors frowned on chiropractors. In any case, luckily, I had an appointment for something else today with my doctor so I brought it up with her briefly. She seemed to think that the poppings were normal and that the pain was probably from my rock of a bed (and she didn't think highly of chiropractors). I kind of have doubts about that since the popping just started regularly about a week ago, but since there isn't any tingling or the likes yet I'll stick with the stretches, and back/abs training to see if it gets better. If not, well, I have another appointment with her in a few weeks and may just need to address it again more thoroughly.

    Back problems are a PAIN! :(

    Edit: Nevertheless, I'm new to this doctor and I kind of have mixed feelings about her right now so I'm not sure I entirely trust her judgement about chiroprators just yet.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Just go once and see what happens. I don't trust the advice given by your doctor. Sounds suss.
     
  12. Cinch macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    #12
    Okay, you started yoga 2 weeks ago, and your back pain started a week ago...

    I say, stick with your MD's advice. Your doctor's advice may not sound good to you, but good advice is often unpleasant to hear or take.

    My mom goes to a chiropractor every 2 or 3 weeks for her routine adjustment. I personally think, the chiropractor is doing a fine job of adjusting her bank account. I think chiropractors do a good job of exploiting the human psychological conidition. Making bold claims e.g. vertebrae misalignment and promising cures base on a few manipulation of your back. It is a tradegy and unfortunate phenonmenon.

    Cinch
     
  13. CompUser Guest

    #13
    FYI, if the chiropractor does play around with your back, its going to hurt like hell for a while, but it gets better
     
  14. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #14
    you're going to pass this off initially ... I know this ... BUT consider trying yoga out for a little while, I've been doing it on and off since the fall ( i know this isn't even good enough) but during and after exercise my back feels better than ever.
     
  15. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #15
    My mom goes to one whenever she is having back pain and it usually goes away for several months. She likes it and feel like its helped her. I've only been twice and I thought it felt really good and helped me. There are probably good and bad chiropractors though.
     
  16. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #16
    Back when I worked at the theatre I had some back problems (more than in part because I also had an extra job as postman, carrying a rather heavy mail bag around every Saturday and during holidays). I ignored it for a while, but hard work both on and off stage forced me into doing something. Luckily the theatre had (and probably still has) it's own (part time) chiropractor, and all employees could just sign up for free when they had physical problems (which is fairly common for both actors, stagehands and others).

    One appointment was all I needed. It felt like he broke every bone in my back, and I was terrified that he should just cause more harm than he fixed, but when he was finished all my pains and aches were gone, and I've not had any back problems since (and this was about 13 years ago).

    Chiropractors rule! :)
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location Location Location
    #17
    Did you read the original post, or even the reply several posts before you made yours? :p


    I think Chiropractors are real doctors. Acupuncturists.........I think THEY are the ones who are full of isht.
     
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    I haven't ever been, and I really don't plan on it.

    As far as I can tell, it's like getting a massage; it feels good while your there, and maybe a few days after, but don't expect them to cure your Scoliosis.
     
  19. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    Mar 14, 2004
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    USA! USA!
    #19
    Chiropractors are great. I had a disc herniation at L5-S1 with sharp shooting pain into my right foot. I saw a neurosurgeon who suggested I try conservative care and sent me to a chiropractor he knew. The chiropractor just monitored my neurological symptoms to make sure they did not get worse, and kept adjusting me and doing traction. It took 6 months but I got better. I really don't know if it was the chiropractor or just time, my neurosurgeon said your body will resorb most of those herniations eventually. I was lucky to have a good surgeon, as most of them just want to jump into surgery (I mean, that's how they get paid). I think there are a lot of variety of chiropractors out there. Mine certainly is not pushy or money hungry, at least he does not seem that way. I know a good chunk of his patients are sent to him by MDs.
     
  20. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

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    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #20
    Chiropractic work seems to be in-between traditional Western medical practice and alternative and Eastern-influenced alternative therapies. Let me post some thoughts as to the latter…

    Many of the aches and pains we experience are not due to structural defects in our skeleton and muscles, but rather in the way we use ourselves. What does that mean? We all have habits of action and thought, and these habits are not always beneficial to the integrity of our system.

    An example: it is not uncommon for a person who has suffered an injury to make a complete recovery, objectively speaking. That is, their broken bones or muscle tissue heals. But they continue to walk with a limp, or hold a limb relatively immobile.

    In these cases, further improvement, whether it be objectively measured range of motion, or subjectively reported instance of chronic pain, will not come from an intervention that merely addresses the physical structure.

    Bones don't move themselves. Adjusting the skeleton, then, most likely will not lead to lasting change. Muscles, also, don't activate themselves. So perhaps after massage, the muscular tonus of an individual will return to a (habitual) heightened state of contraction, with the pain and limited mobility that goes with it.

    What is needed, and what a variety of bodywork and somatic practices attempt to address, is a change in the entire neuromuscular response—a way to learn to act that leads to less effort, less pain, and an ability to turn intention into action without cross-motivation.

    Before I get off on the deep end… since you've looked into Yoga (an excellent choice, by the way) perhaps you're open to looking into other options. I'd recommend taking a look at the Feldenkrais Method, as well as the Alexander Technique. Both are forms of movement "re-education". They attempt to help a student/client "outsmart" years of habit and find easier ways to do things, such as bending down to tie your shoes, sitting at a keyboard, or cultivating a kind of "flexibility" in how you approach your career, family, and unavowed dreams.

    The key, though, and what separates these methods from traditional therapy, is that the change occurs not through lectures, explanation, weight training, stretching, or sweat, but by guiding a client through a discovery process wherein learning—new, healthy responses to stimuli—happens organically.

    So before I babble any more incomprehnsible jargon, here are some resources: www.feldenkrais.com has a list of practitioners in the U.S. www.alexandertechnique.com has a list of their practitioners, as well. In addition to these two methods, you may want to look at Rolfing. There are others. Google "somatic education". Just make sure you have a good rapport with whomever you go to.

    Finally, in hopes of clarifying what I'm getting at, let me use an example. How do babies learn to crawl and walk? Well, they don't do it through language. And they really don't do it by imitating. They try, they fail, they fall, they improve, and eventually they learn to balance and orient and locomote and get to wherever their curioisity takes them. And the ability to learn and do all this is inherent in the human nervous system.

    This kind of learning never needs to stop. It's not just for babies. With stress, obligations, and a lifetime's history of injury, trauma, expectations, and habits, adults can benefit to an extraordinary degree by tuning into their sensations, becoming curious about their movement, and "leaning what they're doing, so they can do what they want".

    Good luck in your search.
     
  21. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    South of the border
    #21
    Good chiropractors are probably ok, bad ones are dangerous (i'm not sure how you tell the difference) just like physios.

    I'm not big on lala medicine myself but i've had good experiences with osteopaths (similar to chiropractors but weirder, unfeasibly gentle and without the terrifying cracking business) - it doesn't make much sense in the way they explain how it works (Chi blah blah) but it works for me regardless, when nothing else has.

    I believe (depite the claims of practitioners) that we really have an extraordinarily limited understanding of the true mind-boggling complexity of our own bodies and it's self repair systems. Many areas are still wide open.

    Acupuncture has been shown to be effective (although random insertion works equally well as following the traditional principles) but no one knows why. Cellphone radiation is known to cause alterations in cells, but again, no one knows exactly how or whether we ought to be worried. NSAIDs reduce inflammation by blocking the COX enzymes, what else they do is unknown. It's not only alternative medicine that can be said to be operating on faith over knowledge some of the time.

    Sometimes you just have to try things and see whether they work for you - even if its a placebo effect, if it works, that's a good thing.
     
  22. floriflee thread starter macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #22
    I just wonder if a chiropractor or osteopath will be able to help stop the popping and cracking--sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn't. Will the yoga help that? I know it's early in my yoga regimine so perhaps I should expect the popping to stop so soon (although it didn't even start like this until after I begun). It just seems weird.

    As has been mentioned, I worry most about going to a bad chiropractor. The spine is really something I don't want to just play with. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone around here who goes to one so it's a bit harder to make an educated guess. I suppose I could just start going to the hundreds of offices in the area and start interviewing them all, but that seems unrealistic, and my doctor certainly isn't going to recommend one. If anyone knows of any good review sites I could check those out.
     
  23. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #23
    I love my chiropractor. She gives me exercises to do that to strengthen muscles and reduce muscle stress

    i use to go in every other day, then within 2 weeks weaned off to once a week, then the following month once every two weeks, now i go once a month or once every other month just to make sure everything is okay.

    and i put my body through a lot of stress training and such.
     
  24. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #24
    My Dad swears by chiropracters, as he's had problems with seperated shoulders from too much manual labor in the past. But I'd agree with posters above saying that it all depends on the chiropractor you get. Ask around.

    I'm sure it also depends on your problem.

    And as for acupuncture, it is amazing. Once again, it depends on your problem, it's not a miracle system, but neither is western medicine. If I ever have significant medical problems in my future, it will be acupuncture and homeopathic treatments only for me. I've been totally and thoroughly unimpressed with western medicinal practices.

    e
     
  25. blueflame macrumors 6502a

    blueflame

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    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    Studio City
    #25
    2c?

    i goto one right now 2x a week.
    i meesed up my neck as a highschooler, and the xrays show my neck is disaligned, which is pulling on the muscles. it REALLY hurts. so i started going, the cracking of the bones, as well as the massaging has really helped it, i go for days without feeling anything, and it is supposed tpo get better with time. i for one KNOW it works. when i went it highschool, it made the pain stop for like 5 years, except for when i get obscenely stressed.
    ak
     

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