what exactly does a chiropractor do?

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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
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Joined: 08/12/2011 - 12:45am
what exactly does a chiropractor do?

What does a Chiropractor do? When is it a good idea to go to one?

I do not currently have a diagnosis for my neck pain and am going to be seeing a neurologist to look into pinched nerves etc should I wait till I know whether any nerves are damaged?

Last seen: 6 months 4 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 01/20/2011 - 10:38am

I would suggest that you not go and see a chiropractor until you get a good idea of what the current state of your spine is. A chiropractor will manipulate your spine to adjust your spine for realignment and can often stretch your hamstring and muscles of the hips. If you have a herniated disc that's on your spinal cord or if you have kyphosis, you do not want any kind of manipulation. I was getting adjustments until he saw my MRI report. He immediately told me that he's going to stay away from my neck.

Don't get me wrong - a chiropractor can do good. Just don't go until you get some images of the spine.

2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5
2013 Diagnosed with leg length discrepancy of 9mm (right tibia shorter) and wearing heel lift with mild scoliosis
2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches

dilauro's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 47 min ago
Title: Moderator
Joined: 06/16/2008 - 9:41pm
Chiropractor's can offer a lot of relief

but that depends so much on your condition. I believe that chiropractors can be very helpful in reducing pain for many patients.

I have stood firm and always will that once you have spinal problems that are disc and nerve related, a chiropractor can do more harm than good.

I dont want to take anything away from the chiropractor field, but I also know there limitations.

There manipulation techniques can create more problems.

I know a chiropractor who has told me over and over that he will not work with patients who have disc related problems. It takes a very skilled individual to make sure they are doing help and not harm. Some manipulations done by chiropractors can been be very harmful to a spinal patient. Yet there are so many that get good results from seeing a chiropractor.

If you are inclined to see a chiropractor, I would discuss this with your doctor. I believe on taking the conservative approach first ...

You just want to be safe

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
Dont laugh at me

Aviatrix36440's picture
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
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Joined: 09/29/2009 - 10:35pm

I have to echo much of what Ron said. I crashed a helicopter in 1985, and thanks to a Neurologist who was also a practicing Chiropractor, he was able to fix my development of double scoliosis and get me back to work. I did not have direct disk or nerve issues at that point.

This chiro and one down here where I live now kept me in my career for 18 more years... I totally thank them for that!!!

Fast forward (like Ron said), when I was getting manipulated and my symptoms were getting worse instead of better, he had me undergo and MRI, and it was found that I had a hernia at my C5/6, and it was abutting the cord! He then stopped all manipulations and sent me to a Neurologist, which a short time later, had surgery.

*IF* you just have alignment issues, I vote 100% for adjustment, but if disks and nerves come into the picture, it is not a good idea to have anyone fiddle with your spine - can cause more damage in the long run....

As for what they do? If you have tight muscles or ligaments, they help release those "knots", and let your spine return to a more natural position, and thus reduce pain. I know it helped me for around 18 years. They also use TENS to relax nerve action, heat/ice to help and massage. Again, no disk or nerve involvement, good stuff!! Smile


PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

charry's picture
Last seen: 4 weeks 4 hours ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/06/2008 - 12:39am
Hi Chattie

I just wrenched my neck the other day and went to a Chiropractor for ultrasound and TENS machine only but know it's from a pulled or strained muscle and he won't do any adjustments on me because of my history of impinged nerves from the discs.

It would be better to wait until you know what's causing the pinching in your neck first from the Neurologist and wait to know if it's okay to go to Chiro. However TENS and Ultrasound are helping me with my neck strain and back pain for now. Keep us posted how you're doing. Charry

DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/10/2008 - 5:02pm
What don't they do? The

What don't they do? The chiros I know claim to be able to treat everything including allergies, thyroid problems, low adrenal levels, mood disorders, etc, if you have $2-300 a month for their supplements of course. And all of this just by looking at you no less!

As for adjustments, some people swear by them, and I have had a fair number over the years. One chiro once told me, " I guess if people keep coming to me for years, am I really ever helping them?"

My surgeon told me to never get another adjustment, that it could reinjure my back.