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chiropractors...helpful?

i recently went to a chiropractor who gave me an initial diagnostic exam. upon my lying down, she immediately asked how long i had been a gymnast. (for nine years). she told me that some of my lower back pain could be attributed to those years and "adjusted" my back. that was awesome!! now she asked for me to see her 3 times a week for "treatment". i told her i though that seemed a little aggressive, especially since i had never been to a chiropractor before, and that i thought twice a week would be more than enough. i've since been back twice and am feeling much better, overall, and sleeping much more soundly. but i am hesitant to commit to this "treatment" for some reason. can anyone offer some experiential advise?

Thu. Aug 17, 2:12pm

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Chiropractors have their uses - there are times when I could not have turned my head or walked or picked up a cup of tea without their help - but unless your pain is acute, then it's more about aggressive sales than aggressive treatment. You might want to find another chiropractor -- some actually take the attitude of "if I can't fix you in 3 visits, then chiropractic is not the right solution to your problem". These are the good ones, because they don't need to harvest endless appointments from everyone who walks into their office.

My mother has arthritis in her spine, but no symptomatic pain or reduced mobility. For the past 10 years she has had a chiropractic adjustment every 2 weeks, and that has done a great job of keeping it from progressing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 2:17 PM

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I know many chiropractors who claim to be able to cure/treat things such as diabetes, bed wetting and so on. There is also a chiropractic school of thought that children do not need to be vaccinated as long as they have chiropractic treatments. That being said, they do have their uses. I had a hip problem that a chiropractor fixed in one treatment (of course he wanted me to come back a couple more times.)

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 2:50 PM

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i once heard a great explanation of chiropractors. let's say you are a 60-something-year-old man with low back pain for a few months. the chiropractor will assume it is something involving the musculoskeletal system and do some readjustments which probably feel pretty good. a medical doctor will probably prescribe pain pills and send you to physical therapy. but the key difference is that the medical doctor will also consider things such as metastatic prostate cancer to the back and be sure to rule it out before doing the musculoskeletal treatment. the chiropractor will not.

so my advice is to go to the doctor first to rule out anything bad. after that, a chiropractor is fine IF it actually helps them. if it doesn't help, don't waste your time and money.

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 4:22 PM

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thanks for the responses!

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 4:23 PM

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I've never trusted chiropractors. My husband was having very bad next problems and decided he needed to see a chiropractor. They did an exam and found he had several vertabrae in his back that were out of place. They adjusted him which he said hurt very bad and sent him home. Within a few hours he was in so much pain he couldn't tolerate it so we went to the ER. Turns out his vertabrae that were out of place was actually a muscle knot in his back and the adjustments the chiropractor did actually just ripped the muscles. My husband was given muscles relaxers and prescription pain killers and couldn't sleep lying down for a month.

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 4:33 PM

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Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT a chiropractor, but I do work with several different ones as part of my business and have had adjustments by many. They are just like any other type of doctor out there. Depending on how they were trained, the philosophy they support is different. From what you said, it sounds like the chiropractor that you went to does reconstructive work with the spine. That is very different from a chiropractor that does acute injury management. Were you told that any of your spinal curvatures were out of normal ranges? It is true that daily activities, including sports, repetitive strain at work etc, can alter the normal curves in your spine and reduce the nerve conduction. This type of chiropractor generally is concerned with getting you back to normal curvatures, not so much with helping your current symptoms (like a back that is "out").

For me, depending on what is going on with my body, I see different chiropractors, or my acupuncturist, or naturopath, or massage therapist. If you aren't interested in getting your curvatures fixed, see if they are willing to work with you when YOU feel the need. Most will be. A normal interval for adjustments is usually somewhere between every 2-6 weeks, depending on how active you are, if you stretch, what traumas your body has experienced and so on. Go when you feel it would help, but before you get into bad shape. It's not fun to work from square one every time. Start with a week between adjustments and space it out from there. Your body will let you know when you reach your optimum time between appointments. Work with someone you like and who listens to your needs and concerns. Don't be afraid to shop around. It's not a lifetime committment. ;)

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 5:29 PM

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op here. the chiroprator that i went to was very strict on my getting spinal x-rays before adjusting any area of my neck / back that might be due to spinal abnormalities. she also stressed that at any time, if i was not at ease with the treatments, we would discuss alternative options (i do not really subscribe to the idea of taking pills-drugs- to "cure" my problems). this made me comfortable. but, her desire to see me 3 times a week seemed a bit much. turns out, after seeing her again today (with much relief after my "treatment", i might add), that she had recommended three weekly visits to nip-it-in-the-bud, so to speak. she readily agreed to the 2 visits per week, and offered alternative solutions while at home to relieve any back pain i might encounter (stretches, moist heat packs, using no pillow). the feedback i received earlier on the thread helped me out a lot! i went in with a skeptical, but open, mind. as of now, i have a bit more faith, but still appreciate further experiential comments!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006, 10:21 PM

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another interesting perspective - many chiropractors (but not all) will take pre-treatment x-rays to show you your alignment problems and why you need their services. but after you pay for a lot of work, they do not take post-treatment x-rays to show that they did anything. that makes me skeptical.

Saturday, August 19, 2006, 11:50 PM

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After going to one for several weeks my feelings are mixed. Did they help - technically yes. Will I ever let one touch me again? F*ck NO!

I went in with lower back pain and by the time they were through 'adjusting' my neck (um yeah) I was nauseaus, had severe vertigo, tingling up and down my arms and indigestion (?). Thank god most of the symptoms went away within a couple weeks after I stopped going and I was able to work out the rest after a couple visits with a physical therapist.

However I did regain range of motion in the neck that I hadn't had for years. My issue was - My neck wasn't the part that was bothering me! I would have rather continued on without the full range than go through the hell I was in after a couple of weeks of having my neck adjusted. I would go into their office in tears and they would convince that 'just one more treatment' would bring everything into alignment and the symptoms would calm down - but they never did and I should have had my head examined for letting it go on so long, but they caused it so I was hoping they could fix it too. BTW, the chiropractor took x-rays (very sophisticated x-ray video that showed the patient in a range of motion) and decided that my lower back was not adjustable, but that my neck was limited in its motion and if we adjusted it my lower back problems would disappear. Well they didn't and I left disgusted with a screwed up neck and eventually ended up needing emergency back surgery. I wish I had just gone to a spine specialist in the first place since they were able to immediately pin point the problem, but by then conservative treatment didn't work.

However I have also heard from many people who say chiropractic was wonderful for them, so I guess the moral of the story is listen your inner voice and your body and remember that no one knows more about what you are feeling than you!

Sunday, August 20, 2006, 2:26 AM

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they can't heal broken bones, LOL

I went to my doctor (M.D.) with back pain after a fall a few years ago and she ended up sending me to a chiropractor. The chiropractor was the kind who tells you that you need to come back twice a week for the rest of your life. Needless to say, I opted for twice a week for 5 weeks to see if it would DO anything to help me.

Chiropractic did not help me. In fact, I had two broken vertebrae!

The doctor had missed this (did not x-ray from the right angle) and the chiropractor missed it, too. I had to be very aggressive to get a referral to an orthopedist, who found the breaks right away. This experience didn't give me a whole lot of faith in the entire health care system, frankly -- I mean, broken vertebrae and you can't find the problem??

Neon

Sunday, August 20, 2006, 9:32 AM

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I love my chiropractor..... He's helped me to be healthier this year and live pain free.... Sorry about your bad experiences... Dr. Nick is the best!

Thursday, August 24, 2006, 1:40 AM

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