Have you ever been to a chiropractor?

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  • #1
Math Is Hard
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Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Did it help?
 

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  • #2
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Yes and yes. When I walked out of there I felt lighter (if that makes any sense) and a lot of aches and pains were gone.

I'd recommend it.
 
  • #3
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I tried it a couple years ago. He scrunched and twisted me into positions I did not think possible. That was interesting. Additionally he massaged my back with a very large mechanical vibrator. That was great, and made me much more relaxed.

However, walking home I noticed an very intrusive clicking in my neck. That lasted a few days.

When I went back the next week I told him about this and he dismissed it as something I had probably always had but had gotten used to. Other people reported the same thing, he said, but he thinks it's just because the treatment made them more aware of things they had become unconscious of. It was clear to me then that he wasn't listening to his patients, and I didn't go back.

(I had the same experience of not being listened to when I tried acupuncture a long time ago. I was surprised that, despite every claim I'd heard that it doesn't hurt, there was a bit of a sting each time he put a needle in. I mentioned this to him, and he got a little angry and claimed he knew I had felt no pain because he hadn't drawn blood.)

Anyway, I don't recommend chiropractic. The effectiveness of a thing like this is, obviously, it's weirdness: it is psychologically novel and interesting to have someone sort of "therapeutically" manhandling you with wrestling maneuvers that result in joints cracking. You're somewhat alarmed and helpless, but then it all works out. You feel relieved, refreshed. However, that was ruined for me by the persistent clicking over the next few days, which just made me wonder if he hadn't damaged something.

I think any regular sort of massage is much better.
 
  • #4
Averagesupernova
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I've had creaks and clicks since I can remember which is long before I went to a chiropractor. I would say that chiro's have definitely helped me. However, I do think that they play a few mind games. For instance, on several occasions I've gone to my chiro for a dull stomach ache. Yeah, I know it sounds totally wierd. Every time I've gone for this it is taken care of. There are nerves in my back that are pinched or whatever which deals with the digestive system. Before I get on the table I'll tell him what ails me. When poking around on my back he finds a spot on the spine that hurts and he'll say 'that's why you have a gut ache'. Technically I think he could find any point he is pretty sure hurts and blame whatever problem I have at the time on that particular point. So, if someone like me who is by nature a skeptic can have a chiropractor help, I'd have to say they are ok. Although there are quacks in the chiro business like anything else.
 
  • #5
f95toli
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It also depends on the chiropractor. I actually know someone who first trained as a chiropractor but got tired of it after a couple of years and went back to university and became a medical doctor. He knew a LOT more about e.g how the spine/back works than an "ordinary" doctor and he was actually allowed to give lectures on this topic already during his first and second year at university.
My point is that many of the things chiropractors know and do isn't very different from more traditional medicine. This doesn't mean that it is always a good idea to go to a chiropractor, but then it is not always obvious that more traditional methods of treating e.g. pain (such as strong pain killers) are any better either.

As they say here in the UK: consult your GP
 
  • #6
Borek
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Ah, subtle language differences. In Poland chiropractors deal just with spinal manipulation. It happens that I am surrounded by people suffering from back pains - starting with Marzena - and as far as I know from them it helps.
 
  • #7
turbo
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MIH, if you can find one close to you, you might want to try an Osteopathic doctor. They are trained in manipulation. Do your homework first though. A couple of them in this area are heavily into homeopathy and chelation treatments and one in particular is "certified" in iridology AND reflexology. You want to avoid those people. You'd be just as well off to consult the Tarot-card lady at the hippie soap shop.
 
  • #8
HallsofIvy
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Borek makes a good point- and not just about Polish chiropractors. I have known several people who go to chiropractors in order to get joints "eased" and they swear that they felt much better afterwards. On the other hand, I have know people who go to chiropractors and chiropractors themselves who talk about the "flow" of "psychic energy" through the spine and maintain that chiropractic treatments can cure diseases, break habits like smoking, etc. That's non-sense.
 
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  • #9
Math Is Hard
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Thanks for the comments. A couple of people have recommended I see a chiro (I've seen my GP already and she says she will probably send me to a physical therapist next - I didn't ask her about the chiro). But I am mostly asking out of curiosity.

My neighbor goes to one and she said he has this device that detects heat around a pinched nerve. That seemed weird so I googled it and I found this:
http://www.chirobase.org/06DD/nervoscope.html

Did your chiro use one of these things on you? It really does sound quackish.

Zooby, that's such an interesting story about the clicking in your neck. How often was it? Did you sound like a Timex watch? When did it go away?
 
  • #10
turbo
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MIH, many Osteos drift into quackery, and IMO chiros begin and end there. Physical therapy is probably a more productive and less dangerous route to take. I had a really stubborn case of tendinitis that was finally resolved with some several-times-weekly therapy and (ouch) cortisone injections. The Osteopath that I was seeing was absolutely useless, so I switched to an MD, got some PT and some medical treatment. Problem solved. It seems incredible now, but at the worst of the the inflammation, I had a very hard time picking up a coffee cup with my right hand, and I am right handed.

BTW, as someone who could repeatedly bench my body-weight just a year earlier, it was really depressing not to be able to grab a coffee cup.
 
  • #11
Math Is Hard
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MIH, many Osteos drift into quackery, and IMO chiros begin and end there. Physical therapy is probably a more productive and less dangerous route to take. I had a really stubborn case of tendinitis that was finally resolved with some several-times-weekly therapy and (ouch) cortisone injections. The Osteopath that I was seeing was absolutely useless, so I switched to an MD, got some PT and some medical treatment. Problem solved. It seems incredible now, but at the worst of the the inflammation, I had a very hard time picking up a coffee cup with my right hand, and I am right handed.

BTW, as someone who could repeatedly bench my body-weight just a year earlier, it was really depressing not to be able to grab a coffee cup.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely go the PT route first. But if they have a jacuzzi, I might get addicted. :smile:

Glad your hand is better.
 
  • #12
turbo
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Glad your hand is better.
Me too. It would have really sucked not to have been able to use it productively for the past 10-15 years. It's commonly called tennis elbow, but it is the tendons that connect from your elbow to the muscles that contract your fingers that get inflamed. I could hardly bear to grasp anything with that hand. Repetitive stress injuries can creep up on you.

BTW, if the doctor recommends cortisone injections, and asks if you want to have local anesthetics injected first, the answer is YES
 
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  • #13
Math Is Hard
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No worries. I don't see any cortisone injections being suggested. I scream and cry when they take my blood pressure.
 
  • #14
turbo
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No worries. I don't see any cortisone injections being suggested. I scream and cry when they take my blood pressure.
The cuff?!!!! NO!!! Not the Cuff!!
 
  • #15
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Zooby, that's such an interesting story about the clicking in your neck. How often was it? Did you sound like a Timex watch? When did it go away?
It only resulted from neck motion, as if he had pushed a neck vertebrae out of place and it was getting hung up on the bone above or below when I moved my head even a small amount. It was constant the day of the treatment after I left his office , and I noticed it happening now and then for about four more days. I call it a "clicking" but it was actually just a sensation, very like the sensation you get when you "crack" a joint.
 
  • #16
Borek
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Interesting (?) sidenote. Many of those spinal manipulation specialists in Poland are blind. Two reasons for that. First - as they are blind they have much better feeling (touch sense? not sure how to tell it in English) in their fingers, so they can much better 'see' what's inside, below the skin. Second - there is a very good Medical Massage School for those people in Cracow (as you may guess, selection of the school profile is not accidental, school was established after WWII, initially for those who lost their sight during war).
 
  • #17
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I went once because my neck hurt and it sounded like crunching glass when I moved it. He bent me up like a pretzel, then told me to take a big breath.
He pushed hard something went pop, and it really hurt. Then he told me to take another deep breath, I said no, cause its gonna hurt. He looked at me like this:bugeye: I never went back.
It felt better on its own after about 2 months, and I have sense done neck strengthening techniques, and I have never had the problem again.


I also have a friend who went several times after he was involved in a slip and fall accident. The chiropractor took x-rays, then did not read them correctly and ended up doing the manipulations on a broken neck..

Your going to get two views to this type of treatment. You will just half to weight them out, and do what your comfortable with.
 
  • #18
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I'll say it outright...I think chiropractors are quacks. The best one can hope for is a really great massage if the problem is nothing but sore muscles. At the worst, they can inflict real injury. Most of what they do has all the healing power of cracking your knuckles, which is to say it does nothing.

I do wonder if turbo has osteopathic medicine confused with something else, though. Schools of osteopathic medicine do provide a full medical training, but with more emphasis on the patient as a whole. When they graduate with a D.O., they are qualified to do a residency right along with M.D.s.
 
  • #19


My rule is "good teacher/practitioner." If somebody's is good in what they are teaching/practicing, they are unlikely to cause any damage, and might even benefit. So I agree with MB: I'll take a good massage anytime; the downside is, a massage usually does not qualify for insurance or health expense, but a chiro session might.
 
  • #20
turbo
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I do wonder if turbo has osteopathic medicine confused with something else, though. Schools of osteopathic medicine do provide a full medical training, but with more emphasis on the patient as a whole. When they graduate with a D.O., they are qualified to do a residency right along with M.D.s.
The Osteopathic doctors around here are generally trained in spinal manipulation, too - at least they perform those services in their offices. The ones in private practice (not affiliated with a hospital) seem to be the ones who start dabbling in iridology, reflexology, aromatherapy, chelation services, etc. All D.O.s are not created equal. I have a friend in CA who is a D.O. and who is a very busy surgeon. He is a no-nonsense guy, a war hero, and well-respected in his field. He was involved with the assessment of the US's disaster-readiness. You may have read about some of the reporting years back regarding how close hospitals and other medical services are to their maximum capacities and what could be done (Navy hospital ships perhaps) to increase the availability of such services, especially if some of the medical infrastructure is damaged in the disaster.
 
  • #21
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there are some things often practiced by chiros(and maybe some D.O.s) that are well-regarded, like Active Release Technique, for treating muscular injuries. but i doubt you'll ever see many MDs treating patients that way because there's simply not enough money in it.
 
  • #22
chroot
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I dated a girl in college who had persistent pain in her lower back. Despite this being very unusual for a skinny 19 year old girl, she had been going weekly to a chiropractor for almost two years.

The pain went away for a few days after each treatment, but was never really eliminated. The chiropractor (who happened to be one of the more "scientific" sort) told her that it was normal, and that many people need weekly spinal adjustments for the rest of their lives.

She eventually went to a real doctor, who discovered a softball-sized primitive neuroectodermal tumor growing in her lower back. The tumor had probably quadrupled in size since she first sought treatment from the chiropractor.

She spent the next 18 months out of school, enduring several surgeries, the removal of part of her pelvis, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Thankfully, she survived. I'm pretty sure she never went back to the chiropractor.

- Warren
 
  • #23
turbo
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there are some things often practiced by chiros(and maybe some D.O.s) that are well-regarded, like Active Release Technique, for treating muscular injuries. but i doubt you'll ever see many MDs treating patients that way because there's simply not enough money in it.
This is probably feel-good quackery, no better or worse than reflexology, homeopathy, etc. I wonder why the practicioners aren't crowing about treating stars like Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters, MLB pitchers, etc? If the technique is "well-regarded" (by whom?) why do top sports stars rely on their doctors, coaches, and trainers instead of getting stuff fixed with ART?
 
  • #24
turbo
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I dated a girl in college who had persistent pain in her lower back. Despite this being very unusual for a skinny 19 year old girl, she had been going weekly to a chiropractor for almost two years.

The pain went away for a few days after each treatment, but was never really eliminated. The chiropractor (who happened to be one of the more "scientific" sort) told her that it was normal, and that many people need weekly spinal adjustments for the rest of their lives.

She eventually went to a real doctor, who discovered a softball-sized primitive neuroectodermal tumor growing in her lower back. The tumor had probably quadrupled in size since she first sought treatment from the chiropractor.

She spent the next 18 months out of school, enduring several surgeries, the removal of part of her pelvis, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Thankfully, she survived. I'm pretty sure she never went back to the chiropractor.

- Warren
Many years ago, my wife visited a chiropractor in Waterville, ME because she had persistent lower-back pain, and he sent her home with a treatment schedule that would have bought him a new car and put us in the poor-house. We went out and bought a firm Serta mattress, and put the old bed in the attic and put the Serta on the floor of our bedroom (no box-spring). For the next couple of weeks, I tried to warn her whenever I noticed her slouching on the couch or easy chair, and she got used to the firmer mattress. Before the month was out, her back problems had disappeared and she was able to join me in jogging, workouts, etc without pain. Bad posture and a soft mattress were the problems. A few years later, we got a water bed and MY back went bad. We ditched the water-mattress and bought a firm California King conventional mattress - back problem cleared up within weeks.
 
  • #25
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Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Did it help?

I know I am a week late of this thread but I have to say that if you have not been it is a must. I use to suffer from terrible muscle spasms due to sitting in a cubicle all day. A few months back I visited a chiropractor just to see if it could help and wow they do miracles for me :)
 
  • #26
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This is probably feel-good quackery, no better or worse than reflexology, homeopathy, etc. I wonder why the practicioners aren't crowing about treating stars like Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters, MLB pitchers, etc? If the technique is "well-regarded" (by whom?) why do top sports stars rely on their doctors, coaches, and trainers instead of getting stuff fixed with ART?

why are you making the assumption? did you even bother to try and find out if top athletes really use ART? i found some very quickly.

http://www.theleaguechiropractic.com/custom_content/16771_success_stories.html
 
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  • #27
turbo
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You found a chiropractic fan-site that pretends to do actual healing. Do you see anything wrong with that? If your child had a a pain due to a cancer would you subject her or him to time-wasting quackery in order to dance around a bit or would you like to to have your child healed? This is not a trick question.
 
  • #28
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You found a chiropractic fan-site that pretends to do actual healing. Do you see anything wrong with that? If your child had a a pain due to a cancer would you subject her or him to time-wasting quackery in order to dance around a bit or would you like to to have your child healed? This is not a trick question.

it's not a fan site, it's someone promoting their business. and for the record, i think most of chiropractic is quackery. the only reason i think there might be something to this is that i've heard a ton of good reports from people who have nothing to gain from it. it's not even chiropractic per se, just a physical therapy technique. you won't see many docs pursuing something like this because they simply wouldn't see it as profitable to spend that much time with a patient, touching them is bad enough.

and surely you know by now that most surgeries to treat back pain are ineffective. turns out that you're usually better off just avoiding the activity that caused you pain for a while. yes, i think i'd rather risk a bit of massage type therapy on a child first than jumping right into cutting on her. quacks with knives always have some new bandwagon they're jumping on. when's the last time you heard of someone getting carpal tunnel surgery?
 
  • #29
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Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Did it help?

I've had two chiropractors. The first one didn't help, but the second one helps tremendously. Personally, I don't recommend going to a chiropractor unless you have an actual problem that may be attributable to misalignments that compromise mechanical mobility or nerve function. I've had issues that didn't respond to treatments and then I've had others that were instantly solved by one chiropractic adjustment.

The chiropractor I have now is so good because he is honest about what he can do and what he can't do. He also explains what the problem is and what he is doing to correct it. He also tells me the symptoms I am experiencing before I even tell him. It's really amazing. He'll say something like: "C2 is misaligned and this is probably causing a dull headache in the back of your head" (I just made that up, because I never really remember the exact details). He cracks my neck and the headache is gone immediately. Basically, I'm saying that his approach is scientific and verifiable which is important to a skeptic like me. I'm not the type to go for weird methods, so it took being in pain to drive me to a chiropractor, but now I am converted with the important caveat: ( that applies to all professions !) Find a good one!!!

My first chiropractor was terrible and would just do three "stock" adjustments to treat every problem. I found this out when I started talking to some of her other patients. She used three and only three adjustments for all problems. This is not very scientific in my opinion. None of my issues were solved, and actually I felt worse after several months of treatments. In hindsight I was very stupid, but I had no experience and was desperate after standard medical treatment failed.

There is a basic principle that works for me as far as deciding if an ailment is treatable with chiropractic. I should start to experience significant relief at the first treatment and be 90 % better within 4 treatments. Then, stretching, ice, heat exercise etc. are needed too.

By the way, physical therapist are also very useful to solve many of the same issues using different techniques. There is a hip misalignment that I often get. It can be treated with a chiropractic adjustment (one second crack) or a 5 minute physical therapy session involving muscle forcing to move the bones more slowly. In this case the physical therapy is better because the chiropractic treatment requires me to go easy for two weeks as the area re-stabilizes. While, the physical therapy seems stable within a couple of days. So there are some areas where there is overlap in treatment methods, but other issues are best treated with one of the two methods.

If you really think about how the body works, including the mechanics of bones and muscle, as well as the "electricity" of nerves and body command/control. It should not be surprising that chiropractic should work based on scientific principles. Don't let a few quacks drive you away from a useful tool that is sometimes the only tool that will really help you.
 
  • #30
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Derren Brown and the Chiropractors

I copied this out of Derren Brown's book for a thread in Skepticism and Debunking, but that thread got locked in the meantime, so I'll post it here, since it applies equally well. Brown writes:

"Some years ago I participated in a test of applied kinesiology at Dr. Wallace Samson’s medical office in Mountain View, California. A team of chiropractors came to demonstrate the procedure. Several physician observers and the chiropractors had agreed that the chiropractors would first be free to illustrate applied kinesiology in whatever manner they choose. Afterward we would try some double blind tests of their claims.

The chiropractors presented as their major example a demonstration they believed showed that the human body could respond to the difference between glucose (a ‘bad’ sugar) and fructose (a ‘good’ sugar). The differential sensitivity was a truism among ‘alternative healers’, though there was no scientific warrant for it. The chiropractors had volunteers lie on their backs and raise one arm vertically. They then would put a drop of glucose (in a solution of water) on the volunteer’s tongue. The chiropractors then tried to push the volunteer’s upraised arm down to a horizontal position while the volunteer tried to resist. In almost every case, the volunteer could not resist. The chiropractors stated the volunteer’s body recognized glucose as a ‘bad’ sugar. After the volunteer’s mouth was rinsed out and a drop of fructose was placed on the tongue, the volunteer, in just about every test, resisted movement to the horizontal position. The body had recognized fructose as a ‘good’ sugar.

After lunch a nurse brought us a large number of test tubes each one coded with a secret number so that we could not tell from the tubes which contained fructose and which contained glucose. The nurse then left the room so that no one in the room during the subsequent testing would consciously know which tubes contained glucose and which fructose. The arm tests were repeated, but this time they were double-blind - neither the volunteer, the chiropractors, nor the onlookers were aware of whether the solution being applied to the volunteer’s tongue was glucose or fructose. As in the morning session, sometimes the volunteers were able to resist and other times they were not. We recorded the code number of the solution on each trial. Then the nurse returned with the key to the code. When we determined which trials involved glucose and which involved fructose, there was no connection between ability to resist and whether the volunteer was given the ‘good’ sugar or the ‘bad’ sugar.

When these results were announced , the head chiropractor turned to me and said, ‘You see, that is why we never do double-blind testing anymore. It never works!’ At first I thought he was joking. It turned out he was quite serious. Since he ‘knew’ that applied kinesiology works, and the best scientific method shows that it does not work, then, in his mind, there must be something wrong with the scientific method."

Derren Brown
Tricks of the Mind
pp. 305-305
 

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