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Is seeing a chiropractor a good idea?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I have severe pain from my neck down to my hands that recently moved to the right side when it was always just on the left.

I've heard good and bad things about chiropractors. Some have said it fixed their cervical disc pain, and some have said it got worse. Physical Therapy does nothing for me at all, so I'm ready to give this a shot before I try any type of surgery.

Just looking for some experiences from people.


  • But I always remember the fact that my neurosurgeon uses a chiropractor for his neck.

    My PM doc who is a D.O. said that no doc in their right mind would try to do manipulation on a spine that has been surgically repaired or altered.

    Take it for what it's worth, that's just my experience on the matter.

  • Yeah I'm willing to try anything and everything prior to surgery considerations. Physical Therapy is useless for me, and in fact traction seems to make my pain worse.

    I worry about it getting worse after, but it's already pretty intense so I'm not sure.
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  • Mine is a life saver.
    Did as bit of gardening on monday, and the next day strong lower back pain. Rang today and got in immediately.
    He fixed the problem as a matter of routine.
    A vertebra was out of line and not sitting on the disc properly.
    It depends on what the problem is as to whether or not a chiro can help. They mainly attend to misalighnment of vertebra, as in my case.
    From what I've read of your posts, you are not ready yet for PT at all. You must get your tight muscles loosened up and stretched first so that they can begin to function normally.
    It will be a bit of a precess but gradual improvement will soon make a big difference to your pain levels.
    Remedial massage is not PT. It is a treatment that identifies the root cause of the muscle problems, and treats it.
    Whether weight lifting years ago or something else caused problems is beside the point. You have to get your muscles treated immediately!
    I can't emphasise this enough. Tight, sore muscles can cause the most awful pain, and can also adversely affect your spine, and on it goes, as per dilauro's recent post.
    If you don't do this, then you are just avoiding proper treatment, in my view.
  • As per my previous posts, I believe my Chiro has prevented, or at least postponed, surgery. Be very careful in selecting your Chiro though. There are different schools of thought among this profession and you need to find one trained in both passive and aggressive techniques. Mine uses an "Activator" - which is a very gentle way of moving the vertebrae. Deep tissue massage relieves the muscle problems. Good luck to you.
  • I saw a chiropractor a year ago last spring when my cervical radicolopathy first occurred and it was presumed to be a herniation but hadn't had MRI yet. He found a sore vertebra and leaned on it hard. It hurt significantly and I wondered at the wisdom of that manipulation but two hours later when my shoulder/arm pain had tripled, I knew I'd made a mistake. Maybe chiropractors are good for some things and some people but I won't see a chiropractor again after this experience. My previous experiences with a different chiropractor (for neck pain) didn't hurt or harm but also did no good, so for me, it's a waste of money at best, and potentially damaging, at worst. :<

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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  • Have you had an MRI yet? Get an MRI before letting the chiro do anything. A good chiro will schedule one for you to be sure they aren't going to impact something and make it worse. Depending on the level of what's wrong, is whether a chiro can help or not.

    Popping, activating, trying to move vertebras when there are bone spurs, herniations, etc...is not a good thing.

    If you have tight muscles, knots, something from strain, stress, etc...then a chiro can help.

    As one of the posters said, they can sometimes delay surgery, but you can't put a herniated disc back together. Sometimes it will heal, but that takes rest, time, and a more gentler approach than popping, manipulating bones.

    A while back, I went to a pressure point chiro that used his hands and knuckles to press (sometimes hard) on nerve pressure points to relieve the muscles, knots, and let the body adjust itself. I moved away from that town, but I would still be seeing him if I was near. I have been to the pop/crack kind but that was when I was young and had no arthritis and no bone problems. I have recently been to one that used an activator to thump on the bones, which made my symptoms worse. After I insisted on getting an MRI, I stopped going. He would have still been thumping on me if I would have let him. The neurologist and then the two neurosurgeons said the chiro was making things worse by pressing the bone spurs into my spinal cord more and my nerve roots were being irritated too.

    So be careful. Use your head. Try it, but don't go back if they don't sound like they are going to take your current symptoms into account and just keep saying they can fix you.
  • Agreed - have an MRI before going to the Chiro - they probably won't touch you without seeing one, anyway. For me, a chiro wouldn't touch me because my disc herniation was too severe. Luckily though, traction worked for me and I've improved a lot since the inital diagnosis late last year. Good luck to you.
  • I think im ready to start going back to the chiro again...
  • haglandc said:
    But I always remember the fact that my neurosurgeon uses a chiropractor for his neck.

    My PM doc who is a D.O. said that no doc in their right mind would try to do manipulation on a spine that has been surgically repaired or altered.

    Take it for what it's worth, that's just my experience on the matter.

    wow....your nero uses one?

    yea if i have surgery i will never be able to go again..
  • Peter what works best for arthritis ?

    tomorrow i go for my first appointment with a Rheumatologist...
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