Chiropractic Care - Legit or Pseudomedicine

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mscriv, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #1
    So, I wanted to get people's experiences and thoughts on this matter. I actually had my first appointment with a chiropractor this morning for x rays and will be returning soon for his prognosis on any treatment needs I have.

    My aunt is a nurse and has always said chiropractors are charlatans who know just enough about medicine to be dangerous. I know that's an extreme bias, but I've heard similar sentiments about the profession not really being legit from many throughout my life.

    Then why am I seeing one, good question. Well, I'm a competitive racquetball player and for the past few months I've been having some shoulder pain. My doubles partner swears by his chiropractor and says being under his care has helped him stay in good health. Per him there have been numerous occasions where he has had sports related injuries or ailments and the doc has been able to help him with them. He suggested I check it out just to see if there would be any benefit for me, especially with my recent shoulder pain.

    My only personal experience with chiropractic care was shortly after my second son was born. He was extremely fussy as a newborn, borderline colic I would say. A friend suggested seeing a chiropractor and the visits were covered by our insurance so we thought, what did we have to lose. I wasn't at the visit, but my wife said it was amazing. With one adjustment from this chiropractic doctor the crying stopped immediately. Now, I'm not saying he didn't cry a normal amount after that, but the excessive fussiness we had been experiencing was gone. We finished out a few more visits with the doctor and our son responded very well.

    My friends chiropractor does short seminars and offers discounts to patients who attend. So, by attending a brief 30 minute information session I was able to get two visits with him at $10 a visit. This includes x rays, a full assessment, an initial treatment/adjustment, and a recommendation regarding what future treatment is needed. All in all, for $20 I figured again, what do I have to lose in giving this a try. If I use my insurance to see a regular or sports medicine doctor for my shoulder I'll have to pay a higher copay and pay for x rays out of pocket as that will be applied to my deductible. I figure I'll give these first couple of visits and shot and see how it goes.

    Thoughts? What experiences if any do you all have with chiropractic care? Are you a believer in its health benefits? I'm really hoping to hear from folks who have actual experiences, both good or bad, or medical/health education.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #2
    I've had good results the couple of times I visited one. For $20, I agree you have nothing to lose.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    I saw a chiropractor for several months at one point. I found the treatments helpful, but not to any miraculous degree. That being said, I'm not sure it takes a doctor to do what I had done, although perhaps it's like so many other professions wherein the real expertise lies in knowing what needs to be done.
     
  4. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    #4
    I'm more apt to go see a Bowen practitioner than I am a Chiro.
     
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #5
    I have had good results the few times I have seen one. I usually go two or three times a year just for an adjustment. My insurance actually covers six visits but I haven't gone that many times in a year.
     
  6. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #7
    I see mine about once a month for the last couple of years. I initially went because of absolute chronic neck pain. I could barely move.
    I have all sorts of weird things going on in my twisted up neck. But by going regularly and doing my stretches I keep on top of it.
    That said there are different types of chiropractor. Mine doesn't do back cracking which is not good for you in the long term (IMO and my chiropractors).
    Mine is so busy it can be hard to get an appointment, and I think that says a lot about her skills and customer satisfaction.
     
  8. BeeGood macrumors 65816

    BeeGood

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    #8
    My wife has seen a few and they really helped her, especially during pregnancy with alignment issues. My son was having some neck pain and going helped him. Also, my boss sees one regularly and has really seen some great improvements with back pain caused by an injury he had when he was younger.

    I don't think most people see miraculous results, but it seems to me that the treatments do help and it's worth it to be seen if you have persistent pain and aches.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    I believe a chiropractor can help with some issues, however what I noticed with the chiropractor my wife went to, is that once they get you into their parlor, they try to keep you on the hook, coming back for continuous realignments/adjustments. Amazing that multitudes have lived long lives without he need of a single adjustment. :)

    There are some cases where deep tissue massage can be of more benefit than an adjustment.
     
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #10
    That's about my experience too. My wife went to one, and it helped, but he kept saying she needed to come back every month. I'd rather use regular medicine and be done with the problem for good than having to constantly pay money to a chiropractor.
     
  11. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #11
    I went to couple of different chiropractor few times before and I always get this impression they will leave me paralyzed by pushing on my spine or twisting my neck. They do help but not miracle healer.

    I swear by physiotherapy. Where I am, extended health insurance covers it as well.

    Physiotherapy teach you how to strengthen muscles at the problematic areas. While it might take a few months to gain muscle, atleast they won't leave me paralyzed. Maybe I'm just paranoid.
     
  12. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #12
    there are normal ones and ones that think they are nature paths.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    Psysiotherapy sounds like a great idea for many physical issues. The problem with many patients, they are in terrible physical shape and there is no substitute for muscles that support your frame no matter how much adjustment or massage is received.
     
  14. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #14
    If you've been having shoulder pain for several months, I really think you should see a medical doctor to find out what's going on.
     
  15. Melrose, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017

    Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    #15
    To comment on the popular notion that chiropractors are fakers, look at Penn & Teller, who have convinced themselves chiropractors are a ripoff: They've been skeptical and critical so long it's jaded their ability to be reasonable, and rather than admit that there are really people who have benefitted from chiropractors they write off the whole thing as a conspiracy or a hoax. Being critical doesn't make them intelligent, it's made them unreasonably cynical. In one breath they'll insist a person's thinking can't be influenced, the next they say all chiropractors are pseudoscientists.

    Science can't measure a particular type of treatment? Science at one time knew for a fact it was turtles all the way down. My point is, science can be horrendously short sighted, and isn't unknown to come at the cost of common sense. The problem with science is that by nature it's so stinking limited by human thinking. Science != fact.

    As with any medicine, there's a limit to what Chiropractors can do. They have their place, and I've been helped by them myself. Sometimes the problem is readily aided by what they can do, sometimes it's not and you need to look elsewhere.

    I've also been to some cheesy chiropractors that try and tell me that some new springy shoes are going to cure all my ills, and I must buy *only* the particular brand of bouncy shoes they're selling... but you get that with regular doctors as well, and pseudoillusionists, and home contractors, and so on. Medical doctors also over prescribe medication rather than common sense. You have to find balance. I was aided by a Chiropractor who knew what he doing and really wanted to help - he told me up front I might be referred to a different type of doctor altogether if he can't help me. As I improved, he reduced my visits; the ones that get you on the line and milk you for eternity are suspicious.

    /probably too serious an answer. :eek:
     
  16. mscriv thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #16
    It's not consistent shoulder pain. I would describe it more as a potential sports related injury. The x ray at the chiropractor's office showed no visible damage. I've been using a new workout routine for about 3 weeks now where I do a lot of shoulder and upper body lifting/exercise with very low weight. I'm noticing improvement already and was able to play some hard games last night with no discomfort at all. If the pain worsens then I agree that I will have to see a routine medical provider or a specialist.

    As far as the chiropractic goes, the doc reviewed my x rays with me and there were a couple of spots that showed some misalignment. My neck in particular does not have the natural curve that a neck is supposed to have and my lower back has some compression as well. Of course, he recommended treatment to address these issues, but said he didn't see anything he could really do for my shoulder as that appears to be a muscle issue. He performed an adjustment on me which consisted of working on my neck, back, and lower back/hip area. He also did do an adjustment on my shoulder as well. The term he used, and I assume the profession at large uses, is an "adjustment", but to me it felt more like he just cracked/popped those bones like you would pop a knuckle. I must say hearing my neck crack like that was unnerving, but there was no pain at all.

    I don't know if I'm going to pursue further treatment, but I can't argue with what he showed me on the x rays. I've been active all my life with a variety of injuries like broken bones, sprains, falls, bike wrecks, etc. I've had knee surgery to correct a patella problem and a bone spur. And, I've been in over 15 car accidents in my life. So, it's not a surprise to me that there would be some damage to my 40+ year old body. The big question is can chiropractic care truly fix those things and what are the resulting health benefits of doing so. My friend who goes to this doctor said he was extremely skeptical at first as well. He said what made him a believer was watching his x rays change over time as the treatment progressed. Additionally, he did see health benefits in terms of increased energy, less aches and pains, recovery from some historical injuries, etc. He is by no means an apologists and says he can only share his experience of improvement.

    So, at this point I don't know what my next step will be. I'd love to hear more people's input if you have experience in this area or knowledge/education in the field. I know @A.Goldberg is in the medical field, any thoughts friend?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 10, 2017 ---
    Not at all Melrose. Thanks for sharing your insights and experience.
     
  17. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #17
    I used to see a Chiro, as often as 2x a week, as infrequently as every couple months. Yes, he ABSOLUTELY helped with my initial complaint, and after feeling how the rest of my spine felt when it was "right" I would go back when it felt off. What was my initial complaint? Numbness in an area a guy would rather not feel any numbness. Yes, that complaint was resolved relatively quick, within the first couple visits.

    Toward the end, my visits tapered off. What changed? I got a new bed. My issues weren't that I was doing anything wrong, or that my physique was any real cause (though I do NEED to lose weight) but my mattress was causing problems. I haven't been in 2 years or better and I feel none of the same issues I had.
     
  18. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #18
    Im not a huge fan of chiropractors, though I won't contest some people have very good luck with them. The roots of the chiropractor philosophy is insane (that all illness is caused by misalignment of bones), but I doubt many modern chiropractors believe that.

    I've seen a couple chiropractors in my life, as my back is completely screwed up. One of them allegedly was the best in the area. I personally found relief for about 30 minutes after each session, but after that the pain would return. Realigning my spine was not enough to strengthen some of the muscular dysfunction that existed, so it was basicallly appointment after appointment without providing a long term solution IMO.

    My reccomendation given this is very possibly a sports injury is to be checked out by a medical doctor first. Then from there consider if a chiropractor is an appropriate solution. I think it's important to make sure the chiropractor incorporates strengthening exercises and not just alignment.

    But I'm just a PharmD, so I'm certainly no expert in physical orthopedic type issues. My mother is an orthopedic doc and she has a very cautious opinion of them, they might be helpful but can also make things worse or not do anything at all. I don't think that cost should be driving who you see, it's your health which is important. Considering it sounds like you're active, I think it best to get a true medical evaluation first rather than potentially down the road.
     
  19. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    #19
    I wouldn't have describe it as luck when someone visits a doctor and begins to feel better. :/
     
  20. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #20
    I'm using "good luck" as a figure of speech here. ;)
     
  21. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

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    #21
    I visit my chiropractor on a monthly basis. Was diagnosed years ago with a minor scoliosis of the spine. Went through the regular doctor and physical therapy. All I got for it was a ulcer from the drugs and no relief from the therapy. Went to a chiropractor and got it adjusted and the relief was almost instant. I've been for work related back injuries that the regular insurance wanted to recommend surgery for and got better without a knife inserted into my back. Chiropractic works. It's not a miracle method, but the results are incontestable.
     
  22. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

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    #22
    But of course. :)
     
  23. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #23
    I wouldn't exactly say incontestable is the best term. I think it would depend on the particular condition, the patient, and the chiropractor.
     
  24. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #24
    If a condition improves after seeing a chiropractor, it doesn't mean the chiropractor had anything to do with it. Lots of aches and pains just get better with time and rest.
     
  25. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

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    #25
    Is it expensive to schedule an appointment to have your neck and back cracked? I was told they do this when you get your spine re-aligned?
     

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