Chiropractic for back pain?
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  1. #1
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    Chiropractic for back pain?

    Interested in forum experiences with chiropractic. I hurt my back about a month ago hauling firewood. I figured I would be OK in a few days. The pain got worse and eventually I started getting these really painful back spasms. I could barely get out of bed. I went to the doctor and he advised some stretching exercises. Within a day of doing the exercises, the spasms went away and I thought I was on the road to recovery. However, since then it has stayed about the same. Not super painful but it restricts what I can do. Even getting on the trainer irritates it. When I was at the doctor he mentioned chiropractic as a possible plan B. I have always viewed this with a heavy amount of skepticism but I am getting desperate and I don't want to miss the start of the cycling season. Thoughts?

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    have had several issues with neck, lower back, spinal stenosis that chiropractic worked wonders on...

    but, like most things, some chiros are better than others. especially like the one I'm seeing currently...no pressure to buy a 'package' of treatments, he simply instructs his patients to come in when they need relief.

    he also has an on-site massage therapist which is a nice feature. I get a 45-min massage before each adjustment, releasing muscular tension seems to make the chiropractic part more effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    When I was at the doctor he mentioned chiropractic as a possible plan B. I have always viewed this with a heavy amount of skepticism but I am getting desperate and I don't want to miss the start of the cycling season. Thoughts?
    Chiropractic works for back pain, that is well supported in the medical literature. Which is why MDs will often recommend it in cases like yours. They can get things back in place quickly, even when muscles are keeping things out of place for a long time, which could be what you are experiencing.

    Pretty much every other claim they make is NOT supported. Many claims are pure quackery. But for many types of neck/back/hip pain it can do wonders in the short term, allowing your body to heal the rest of the way on its own.

    This assumes a good practitioner, and that the injury is appropriate for that type of care. Not all injuries are.
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    ... as a counterpoint, I've been to several chiros over the years but never felt better afterwards...

    I was diagnosed with a herniated disc back in my 40's that will respond to rest and PT. I also suffer from chronic sciatica that only seems to respond to rest & time. Fortunately, neither has reared their heads in over 2 years!!!

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    I had debilitating muscle spasms in my upper back that were a result of poor posture (desk job, biking, snowboarding). My doc took x-rays to confirm no bone issues then prescribed PT - lots of stretching and re-education on how to sit properly. It worked wonders but took almost daily stretching sessions for a period of months. Sometimes I get a very minor reoccurrence if I slack off on the posture or stretches but I consider myself 100% better.

    I also am skeptical of chiropractors since, in the experiences I've seen of my wife and other friends, their scope of work tends to "creep". I.e. "oh now that your back is getting better we should address that gluten intolerance you didn't know you had. Here, buy all of my expensive supplements and weird bread".

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    If it's lower back muscle pain, you need to incorporate strength exercise. Unless you are in your early 20's, there is no other way to combat it naturally than strengthening it as our body deteriorates little by little from that age on. After a week or so of rest and stretch, start the lower back strength exercise (tons found online) at beginner's level and slowly move up over months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    If it's lower back muscle pain, you need to incorporate strength exercise. Unless you are in your early 20's, there is no other way to combat it naturally than strengthening it as our body deteriorates little by little from that age on. After a week or so of rest and stretch, start the lower back strength exercise (tons found online) at beginner's level and slowly move up over months.
    It seems to be a very specific muscle that is angry. When I went to the doc he said he could immediately see the swelling on my back at that spot. Its about mid-back on the right side. If I do the stretching exercises he showed me I can feel the specdic spot where its sore. I too have a desk job so that could be an aggravating factor. I just want to do whatever I can to get this cleared up before bike season starts.

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    Chiropractic for back pain? Yes or no depends strictly upon what's the cause of the pain and getting the right Chiropractor to treat it if indicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    Chiropractic works for back pain, that is well supported in the medical literature. Which is why MDs will often recommend it in cases like yours. They can get things back in place quickly, even when muscles are keeping things out of place for a long time, which could be what you are experiencing.

    Pretty much every other claim they make is NOT supported. Many claims are pure quackery. But for many types of neck/back/hip pain it can do wonders in the short term, allowing your body to heal the rest of the way on its own.

    This assumes a good practitioner, and that the injury is appropriate for that type of care. Not all injuries are.
    An MD recommending that a patient visit a chiropractor? Really? I didn't think the former would consider the latter to be competent to practice medicine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    An MD recommending that a patient visit a chiropractor? Really? I didn't think the former would consider the latter to be competent to practice medicine.
    FYI, I called my MD. He gave me a referral for a chiropractor, so I guess I will give it a try

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    FYI, I called my MD. He gave me a referral for a chiropractor, so I guess I will give it a try
    Interesting. I wonder if there's a kick back involved. My wife went to a chiropractor years ago with a sore back and got the hard sell to buy a package of visits. She declined, went a few times and decided it wasn't doing anything for her. Guess it can't hurt to try. Not everything works for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    An MD recommending that a patient visit a chiropractor? Really? I didn't think the former would consider the latter to be competent to practice medicine.
    Ö another thing to note. Many modern chiropratic offices round here closely mimic physical and occupational therapy offices in their treatment plans. My older experiences had been with "ballistic" therapies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Interesting. I wonder if there's a kick back involved. My wife went to a chiropractor years ago with a sore back and got the hard sell to buy a package of visits. She declined, went a few times and decided it wasn't doing anything for her. Guess it can't hurt to try. Not everything works for everyone.
    He did not refer me to anyone specific, he just noted what services are required. I assume this is also an insurance requirement (mine covers 80%). I will need to find a DC on my own. I don't have a chronic issue; I am just looking to get past this injury

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    A friend of mine is a chiropractor who also does acupuncture. In such case, it may be worth a try. Acupuncture can work as helping recovery process. Once that phase is over, it's the strength exercise time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    FYI, I called my MD. He gave me a referral for a chiropractor, so I guess I will give it a try

    Try it once. It will either do the trick and let you finish getting back on track more quickly with stretching, or it won't. From what I know, there's no long term benefit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    Try it once. It will either do the trick and let you finish getting back on track more quickly with stretching, or it won't. From what I know, there's no long term benefit.
    This is very well said... both replies. They have a well supported, albeit very specific niche. It happens that my personal experience has been consistent with the literature. I have had easy and free access my whole life as one of my fathers best friends is a DC. He has just plain fixed stuff. Like going in I canít turn my head 1/2 of normal range and coming out, itís normal. OP, like QQQ says, try it. If it works, it works. Just be advised of the upsell and get referrals from people.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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    after a hit/run on the bike, my DC was absolutely beneficial to my recovery.

    on the first visit following the collision, he re-positioned a displaced rib that was causing me severe pain. the relief was instantaneous.

    my orthopedist said I just needed to take NSAIDs...
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    An MD recommending that a patient visit a chiropractor? Really? I didn't think the former would consider the latter to be competent to practice medicine.
    You're about two to three decades behind current events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalGuy View Post
    You're about two to three decades behind current events.
    So are lots and lots of MDs.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    So are lots and lots of MDs.
    Yep.

    My PCP is head of a residency program, so she tends to keep up to date on things. One of the many reasons I use her.
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    About 20 years ago I worked with a 26 year old woman (full of life, a truly nice person) who saw a chiro for her back pain. Never saw a md until the pain was intolerable. Died a few months later from ovarian cancer which admittedly is a tough diagnosis. I have friends that swear by chiropractors but i will never see one and I place them somewhere between a faith healer and a witch doctor.
    I should add that I am 60 years old with a fairly long history of back issues including degenerative disc disease, mild scoliosis, and lower back arthritis. Physical therapy stretches and staying active have worked, no issues when I'm on the bike.
    Last edited by robc in wi; 02-26-2019 at 08:50 AM.

  22. #22
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    I will add to the chorus of opinions that say Chiro is good for a very focused need.. spinal back/neck issues. I have seen many different DCs over more than 25 years and when they stick to that I find them useful and more than worth it. It also helps that I live in Canada and my employer health plan coverage means that a visit only costs me about $10

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    Quote Originally Posted by davelikestoplay View Post
    It also helps that I live in Canada and my employer health plan coverage means that a visit only costs me about $10
    But isn't income tax higher in Canada than USA? Name:  Emoticon-Think.gif
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    I went to a chiropractor. Really didn't help me and the sessions were painful. I discovered foam rolling, and that helped a lot, but did not totally eliminate the problem. Massage chair at the health club works too, as did core exercises.

    My Dr. says there are two kinds of people in the world, those with back pain, and those that will have back pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    My Dr. says there are two kinds of people in the world, those with back pain, and those that will have back pain.
    Did you ask the doc to expand on it?

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