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  #1  
Old 06-29-2001, 11:58 PM
PublicBlast PublicBlast is offline
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I tried searching for a previous thread on this, but had no luck. So, here goes:

My neck and back are stiff all the time, at least since a car accident I was in 1.5 years ago. My primary care physician determined that I have no injury, but the best he could recommend for me was stretching. The stretching does me little good.

I was thinking about visiting a chiropractor, but I have no idea whether (as a general rule) they are trustworthy, or worth the money. What do Dopers think: is it worth it, or is it dangerous, or simply not worth the money? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2001, 05:21 AM
Kaitlyn Kaitlyn is offline
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I am not a doctor but . . .

http://www.quackwatch.com/index.html has a very large section on chiropractic. You're better off getting a regular deep tissue massage. If you must get an adjustment, your doctor can probably recommend a good, reliable physical therapist.

Look here: http://www.quackwatch.com/01Quackery...chiroeval.html for some information regarding the good and bad of chiropractic. Basically, they say that back adjustments can help, sometimes a lot, but neck manipulation is dangerous and should be avoided.
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Old 06-30-2001, 10:13 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Worth it? Depends on your problem and your chiropractor. I am a physician who works frequently with chiropractors. These are guys I've known and trust to do the right things.

If the chiropractor looks at your spine x-rays and tells you they show that you have a tendency towards liver cancer, but if he adjusts your back twice weekly for the rest of your life, he can probably keep you from coming down with it, run away!

Stay away from the ones who offer to treat your other medical conditions, like your diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure.

Stay away from the ones who keep having you come back frequently for more than 8 weeks for "maintenance adjustments".

If your chiropractor tells you she will use a limited course of manipulation, distraction, ultrasound and heat to help you cope with your musculoskeletal back pain, then teach you exercises to promote back health, it may be worth it. They can also help cope with chronic back pain.

I'll see my chiro when my back or neck acts up, and it does give me variable temporary relief, and seems to speed the recovery process, as long as I'm doing my other things, ie taking my anti-inflammatories, doing my exercises. But they know and I know their therapy is not a cure.

Qadgop
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2001, 10:31 AM
Suo Na Suo Na is offline
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As Qadgop said, it depends on the chiropractor. It also depends on what you want done.

I've always had good results with chiropractic for headaches, upper back pain and hip pain. The best treatment I had was with a doctor who used the activator method rather than manipulation. The activator is a little device that exerts up to twenty pounds of pressure; it's about the size of a large pen. No hands-on, no bone-crunching, and no pain.

I went in twice a week to start (for about six weeks, then once a week, then once a month), and now have maintenance once a year (I'd be better with twice a year, but can't get back to him that often.) My range of motion definitely improved.

If chiropractors aren't regulated where you live be very careful, especially with the hands-on people. In some US states anyone can call themselves a chiropractor. A good one should have gone to medical school.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2001, 10:57 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Suo Na
A good one should have gone to medical school.
My only disagreement, Suo Na is that chiropractors do not go to medical school. They go to chiropractic school, where they earn a DC degree, for doctor of chiropracty. I do not believe that anyone can call themselves a chiropractor in the US unless they hold this degree. I believe each state has a Board of Chiropracty which licenses a DC. The board is made up exclusively of chiropractors, so they set their own rules as to what their chiros can do, tho. At least in my state, Wisconsin.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2001, 11:32 AM
slackergirl slackergirl is offline
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I used one for a back injury a few years ago, and he did help for a little while. He set me up for a 10 week course of adjustments, massage and exercise, which was perfectly legit, but at about week 8 he started trying to sell me herbal and food supplements for my weight problem. I never went back, and my back pain returned after a few weeks.

The best long term relief I found - yoga. After just a couple of sessions with a good instructor, who was also a physical therapist, I slept well for the first time in years, and woke up without any pain at all. I don't go for all the hippy new age stuff that goes along with it, I prefer to look at it as a form of exercise - so I found an instructor who felt the same way about it, and it helped - more than chiro, drugs, or massage. YMMV, and good luck with whatever you choose!
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2001, 12:25 PM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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go for it if you can find a good one. mine worked wonders.
in the meantime...put ice on where it hurts. really.
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2001, 01:01 PM
PublicBlast PublicBlast is offline
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Thanks for the advice and suggestions, everyone. And thanks especially to Number Six for the links...I knew about quackwatch.com, but I never thought to look there for this information. [smacks head] Again, thanks!

In the meantime: yoga seems like it has less potential for things to go wrong. And massage sounds even better--now to get my insurance to pay for it...
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2001, 02:23 PM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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Qadgop:

Quote:
If your chiropractor tells you she will use a limited course of manipulation, distraction, ultrasound and heat to help you cope with your musculoskeletal back pain, then teach you exercises to promote back health, it may be worth it. They can also help cope with chronic back pain
This is exactly what I received, in Colorado Springs. My health insurance co-payed, as well, so my out of pocket was limited. After 8 weeks, and integrating his stretching/strengthening exercises, I am relatively free of back and neck pain, even after 4 years (I still ocassionally overdo it, but the severity is reduced, and the recovery is accelerated, due to physical conditioning of the musculature from the exercises he presrcribed).

My chiropractor also sold herbals and whatnot on the side, but never actively endorsed them as a cure for back pain or anything else, even though he did relate that obesity can lead to posture problems, which can lead to back/neck pain, so he also encouraged general fitness to his clients, through exercise and healthy, balanced diet. No nutritional advice was offered, but he had a rack of literature from various health organizations, private and government.

IOW AkashJ: look carefully at any prospective chiropractor's office/waiting room for clues, and do your homework ahead of time.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2001, 04:53 PM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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I'll chime in here...it depends on what the problem is & finding a decent chiropractor. IMHO many are blood sucking leeches who do very little for the condition & charge way too much for it.

I have a chronic problem with nerve damage affecting my arms & neck. Massage used to work. When it stopped being effective I tried a few chiropractors & found an honest & effective one I really like. I go every 3-4 months for "tune ups." OTOH, I blew a disk in my back last year; horribly painful. Before I had an MRI & realised what I'd done, I asked him to adjust my lower back & he made it 400% worse. Not his fault...but he doesn't even get to touch my back now! It's alot better (YES yoga, & swimming) but not something he & I want to mess with for fear of aggravating the pesky thing.

Overall I think swimming, yoga-based back exercises & stretches have helped the most. Plus I believe a generally healthy body can repair itself in certain instances.
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