View Poll Results: Is Chiropractic woo?
Yes, entirely woo 75 34.25%
Somewhat woo, somewhat true 121 55.25%
All true, no woo 9 4.11%
Obligatory "Some other option" explained in a post 14 6.39%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:08 PM
C3 is online now
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Originally Posted by Kaio View Post
My impression was you still need a prescription for PT in order to see one though? Is this true, or does it depend on the state?
It depends on the state. My husband's clinic (NC) does see people without referrals. Typically, their insurance won't pay for it without a referral, but they take cash payments.
Old 12-11-2012, 07:23 PM
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I first went to a D.C. 20 years ago for constant low back pain that the M.D.s would prescribe muscle relaxers for but do nothing else to resolve the issue. It was the D.C. who confirmed the scoliosis and resoved the low back pain within a couple of months of regular adjustments. He also helped me determine a sleeping position that would help relieve the issue. It worked. Yay for the D.C. I did (and do) not get regular adjustments beyond the first two months.

As I age, the scoliosis causes my spine to press on the sciatic nerve, which can make walking very difficult. it's a ghost pain, but I still react to it. I walk on a treadmill and walk on the flat whenever I can which helps a lot. But sometimes something sets it off (airplane seats are notorious for this) and I go to the massage therapist to work out the knot of muscle that develops. From there, if I still have bad pain and cannot seem to get my spine to realign on my own, I go to the chiro for an adjustment.

One adjustment usually does it. Sometimes it takes two or three. How often does the pain become bad? 4-5 times a year. How often do I take myself to a chiro to resolve it? Oh, maybe once every 2-3 years. The relief is worth it for me.

Sure, they try to sell me on odd stuff or offer me a "free" allergy test (which I've taken for my own amusement) but have I bought any of the supplements they offer. No, the pain doesn't make me stupid and neither does my gratitude. I can be stupid about a lot of things, but I try to do my homework first on health issues.
Old 12-11-2012, 07:40 PM
Kaio is offline
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C3: what I figured, thanks.

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
A massage therapist can help you with a bad back, for a fraction of the cost of Dr Woo.
Insurance rarely covers massage therapy, in my experience. When I had back/shoulder issues, I was lucky enough to find a chiro who was sane AND had LMTs on staff. My insurance gave me a limit on number of chiro visits, but seeing the chiro and the LMT both at one appointment still counted as one visit and everything involved was covered.

I told her that my plan of treatment had to take into consideration that after X visits (don't remember how many were covered anymore) we had to be done, because I had no money for out-of-pocket. She was actually very helpful, and didn't try to upsell me on anything other than what I was there for. My right shoulder had been really out of whack for months because my office chair at home had broken down without my noticing -- I'd been in unexplained pain for maybe three months already before I happened to notice that the seat was now 2 inches lower on the left side than the right. Her treatment plan included multiple therapies (spinal manipulation, trigger point and sports therapy massage, electrostimulation, plus a variety of stretches I did at home). Aside from releasing the muscles immediately during the visits, it did improve over time and at this point my shoulder rarely bothers me.

It does depend on the practitioner, though. Previously I'd had a run in with a woo chiro, attending a free workshop on how to do pressure point massage on yourself. It was sponsored by Whole Foods and run by a nearby chiropracty and sports medicine clinic, and since I knew nothing about these people other than what was on the flyer, I assumed that the workshop would be coming from their sports medicine people. To be fair, the massage instruction was good, but then the dude donned his snakeoil salesman hat and started pitching chiro as the cure for... basically everything. What did it for me is when he described deciding that he should be a chiropractor when his chiropractic sessions reversed and then cured his progressive blindness. I looked around the room and was a bit horrified that I was the only one with eyebrows raised. There were quite a few nodding and smiling sagely. I sort of wanted to shake them.

Anyway, I left without a word. They called me to "follow up" about a month later, I basically told them that I'd already gone to a real doctor and I needed chemo, not chiro, so no thanks.
Old 12-11-2012, 08:46 PM
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My father was misdiagnosed with curvature of the spine by a doctor and told to do whatever he thought helped with the pain. It was the chiropractor who questioned the diagnosis, arranged his own tests and told him to see his doctor about Ankylosing Spondylitis. The doctor scoffed but did the required tests and then told my father as though he was hearing it for the first time that he had Ankylosing Spondylitis. Completely shook both parent's faith in doctors and sold them on the chiropractor.
Old 12-11-2012, 09:15 PM
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HL Mencken on chiropractic. (From 1924.)
Old 12-12-2012, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Bridget Burke View Post
Do not go to a chiropractor for a diagnosis!

I knew a guy who'd done some radical skating in his youth & often had aches & pains; not advanced enough to require surgery & the MD's just offered him drugs. So he visited a chiropractor every couple of months & seemed to get relief. OK for him.

Another friend had horrible back pain that only got worse after months with a chiropractor. (I saw him briefly--he was jaundiced & looked shockingly bad.) So he went to an acupuncturist--who gave him an exam & told him to get himself to an MD immediately. He had pancreatic cancer & didn't last long. An early diagnosis might not have helped, but I'm appalled at that chiropractor, just taking his money as he got sicker.

Your situation is probably not so grim--but you do need to see a real doctor.
Thanks, I ended up at the hospital getting pain meds through an IV, so I cancelled the Chiro appt. Now I'm just waiting for the insurance company to approve the mri.
Old 12-12-2012, 08:23 AM
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Everything a chiropractor does that ISN'T woo is the same stuff you'd be from a physiotherapist or, hell, ever a registered massage therapist. So by definition, everything that makes a chiropractor a chiropractor is woo.
Old 12-12-2012, 09:07 AM
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So, the chiropractors who are generally just glorified physical therapists and masseuses, that is, the ones who don't believe that they can cure any and all diseases, just back pain and a couple other things like that... they had to go to Chiropractic school and learn all the woo, right? Or... is there no such thing as Chiropractic school?

Basically, does one have to learn all the bullshit about vertebral subluxations and whatnot to become a chiropractor? If so... why did these "good" chiropractors eschew everything they had learned in favor just being physical therapists. IE, why don't they just BECOME physical therapists instead, if all the chiropractic woo didn't make any sense to them?

Something is fishy here to me and I'm not sure I'm being clear. Basically, some of us here are claiming that not all chiropractors actually believe in all the stuff chiropractic claims to be founded in and be able to cure... but why? Why do they still choose to call themselves chiropractors?
Old 12-12-2012, 09:14 AM
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I have a very good chiropractor. Never a hint of woo from him. I go to him infrequently for very specific problems that pop up now and then on me. It usually takes one or two visits at the most to loosen things up.
Old 12-12-2012, 10:49 AM
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The thing chiropractors routinely do with their manipulation that physical therapists and physiatrists do not do quite so often is hyperflexion and hyperextension at joints.

A person can flex or extend a joint only so far on their own. But the chiropractors are trained to move the joint further than it normally goes. While this technique can be useful in certain circumstances, many chiros do consider it something that should be done to every joint they can get their hands on.

And many chiros who have rejected basic chiropractic principles of disease treatment for the practice of manipulation to treat musculo-skeletal complaints rely on this "hypermotion" maneuver for a lot of therapeutic effect. So this differentiates these sorts of chiros from physical therapists.

When I shared my office with a chiropractor who'd rejected mainstream chiropractic principles to focus on being a sort of 'super physical therapist' I let him work on my back and shoulders a few times. It definitely felt good, and it quickly relieved a lot of discomfort I had. For a while. Which is just what he said it would do. He advocated routine stretching and home exercise programs for longterm benefit and didn't recommend ongoing visits for 'adjustments'. (I miss the guy.)

So one can find a chiro who rejects the principles of chiropractic and yet does give relief for musculo-skeletal complaints. But one should always be concerned that their individual belief system may drive them to push more than that.

Of course, that's a risk for any practitioner. I've seen MDs go ape over homeopathy and naturopathy and megavitamins. But at least the fundamental training MDs get is scientific and rejects those disciplines as not proven to be safe and effective.

As opposed to Chiropractic training, which is based on principles generally debunked and not shown to be effective.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 12-12-2012 at 10:50 AM.
Old 12-12-2012, 11:29 AM
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There are certainly M.D.s who embrace woo. At least they're not taught quackery in med school and their evidence-based colleagues shun them. In chiropractic schoolss "subluxations" and similar nonsense are embedded in the curriculum, and chiros generally join ranks to support the quackery inherent in the profession.

Alternate answer to the poll in the OP: I consider chiropractic to be impure woo.
Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post

A massage therapist can help you with a bad back, for a fraction of the cost of Dr Woo.
I don't really have any thoughts about chiropractors, but is this really true? A massage can easily run you $100-$200 a go, depending on the kind of massage, where you go, and where you live. I guess I just assumed chiropractors were cheaper than that.
Old 12-12-2012, 01:54 PM
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SWMBO's going to one now for back and leg issues. It's helping her.

I went to one for back issues about 15 years ago. Seemed to help, but I absolutely loved the time I spent lying on the machine with the massage-y things moving up and down my back. Sheer heaven.


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