Do you believe that chiropractic treatment “works”?

I have gone to three different chirops.  The first turned me on to the fact that I needed to use an orthopedic pillow and sleep only on my sides or my back, never my stomach.  His treatment didn’t help, but that advice has stuck with me and saved me tons of neck pain. 

The second was an out-and-out charlatan.  He tried to sell me vitamin supplements by waving containers in front of me while tugging on my resisting arm with his.  When it came to something that he wanted to sell me, he would tug a little harder and say “See!  That’s your body telling you that you are deficient in ____ [vitamin E, iron, whatever].”   I ran, not walked out of there and never went back.   Keith J., if you are out there, you are a dirty bastard.  [His license was later suspended for something like that.]

The third is actually a golfing buddy of mine.  He occasionally gets into fads that seem to be complete crap.  He’s a typical hippie, holistic this and vegetarian that, about the total opposite of me, but he means well.   His treatment seems like total bull shit, and actually makes my neck hurt worse that night.  But almost miraculously the pain goes away the next day.  My only problem is that it is never permanent. It comes back.  And his treatment is too expensive and not covered by insurance.  It was great for a while–I did some free legal work for him and he gave me free manipulations for a long time.  But the free part wore off.  Now the pain has to get pretty damn intense for me to cough up his fee for 3 minutes of his time. Lower the price, Ron buddy. 

As a lawyer I see some who really help, and some who are quacks. If you get roped into seeing a chirop for months, seek help elsewhere. The good ones will help right away or stop trying and send you elsewhere.  Most orthopedic surgeons hate them and think they are quacks.  I think that is based on part ego and part competition.  The more modern trend seems to be that they have a place for certain types pain, depending upon the cause. 

Anybody else got an opinion on this slow Thursday?

John Doe

11 responses to “Do you believe that chiropractic treatment “works”?

  1. Lipton T. Bagg

    Well John, it’s Wednesday, not Thursday. Must be the pain, good friend…

    Chiropractors fall into two categories – and you covered them both. The combination of careful skeletal manipulation and massage (mixing physical therapy principals with some oriental medicine) has a place for certain people with certain problems. This is what the “good guys” practice. Then of course, you have the holistic quacks who believe anything can be cured via Noni Juice, magnetic bracelets, holistic “snake oil” and anything else which helps them pay for their next vacation to the Bahamas. Run, do not walk, from these clowns.

    Vitamins and other nutritional supplements can play a part in many different diagnosis – but best handled by your health care provider, so a not to run contrary to other treatments or medications. Some supplements can harm, rather than help you – even the so-called “holistic” ones, so be advised….

    For the right person, with a proper diagnosis, Chiropractics (a “good guy/gal”) in conjunction with proper medical oversight can be helpful. But in more cases than not, the same things can be accomplished via a consult to physical therapy. And of course, PT is covered by many more health plans than Chiro is…

    Of course, snake oil may well become accepted therapy under ObamaScare. After all, it was created by the Chief Serpent…


  2. Heh. I just got a call and said to them today is Thursday, too. It literally is like I lose a day when I have a trial that gets continued. Time warp is a bitch.

    For what it is worth, I was in a car wreck and the G.P. referred me to physical therapy. It seemed like total crap, too. Maybe I didn’t have a good one, but it was a waste of time. Could have just given me the booklet and told me to do this and that exercise at home, and ice my back down on my own.

    I have nothing vs. therapists, that was just my experience. I’ve had many clients tell me similar things, and others who have been helped wonderfully by them.

  3. My personal opinion is that the classical chiropractic “subluxation theory” is crap. The kind of back/neck pain that feels better after a visit to a chiropractor would usually have gone away on its own with time. If you have a chronic problem with vertebrae better see an orthopedist.

    On the other hand, I did have one fix my stiff neck before an important high school basketball game once. It seemed to help. I now suspect a good massage would have done the same. In general, massage is very effective on back muscle pain. You can get an hour with a cute masseuse for the price of 15 minutes with a hairy old chiropractor. That’s where I go these days.

  4. unclefrank22801

    guys, our youngest has some funky spinal thingy going on…but she was treated by this hottie next to our restaurant for 9 months before her husband took a look. He tried twice to find out and correct, then ordered exrays…she has since given up and went to real doctor and thru proper breathing and sitting up straight, it is progressing.

    As for me I once tried a gal from the local Florida Kiwanis and she nearly broke my back with the break down table. I have weighed the same (270) for the last 15 years and I think she had to climb a ladder just to crack my back. I have constant foot pain from MANY years of abuse…used to LOVE skiing but never knew how, just loved the speed and thrill and the pain when the Ski Patrol scooped my into the wagon…numerous mountain bike wrecks and one hell of a car accident that flew us to the bottom of a 250+foot ravine…so I still look for help but usually just suffer through…..

  5. Don’t get me started on Orthopedic Surgeons. Many are just plain bad. They have a mentality that if it can’t be fixed with surgery, then you ain’t hurt. And when you are a surgeon, EVERYTHING appears to be fixable by surgery.

    After years of seeing how they treat my injured clients, I can tell you exactly what they do for backs. Xrays. If positive, and there are symptoms of disc injury such as pain and numbness in the appropriate area, CT scan/MRI. If positive, operate, whether you need it or not. If negative, refer to physical therapy and prescribe medicine. If not better in 6-8 weeks (or some other magical date), perhaps give steroidal injection. After that time, they wash their hands of you, and suggest an expert in pain management for the long-term administration of prescriptions.

    I can’t tell you how many times that my clients have been treated for many months by an orthopedic, and then told that their pain must be in their heads if it still hurts. There is a WHOLE LOTTA SHIT that they just don’t know how to treat about back pain.

    I suggest finding whatever works. There are many types of physical therapy. Try osteopathic manipulation, try exercises, a new bed, a better pillow, a back brace, whatever works. Just don’t take some know-it-all orthopedic surgeon’s (or any other expert) word for it.

    Oh, yeah, Frank, I’m sure they would tell you to lose some weight.

  6. I’ve never been to a chiropractic. But I have been to an Orthopedic surgeon. A month before my 40th birthday, I fell off a ladder at work and broke my hip. I’m walking today because of that surgeon. I was in a wheel chair and walker for 3 months, then back to work sitting in the office answering the phone while on crutches, then 3 months with a cane. After a year, I was pronounced ready to go back to normal duties. For the first few weeks, I had a physical therapist come by my house and go through the exercises with me three times a week. The physical therapy definitely helped, plus I was encouraged to do the exercises on my own. I’ve still got those three 3″ screws in my hip.

  7. Lipton T. Bagg

    Glad you got it fixed now MrG. If ObamaScare goes into effect, the procedure might have been denied because Conservatives don’t need to ambulate…

    Just saying…


  8. Orthopedic surgeons are great at what they do: surgery and setting bones. I just don’t trust them with non surgical problems.

  9. I gotta testify. I had a nerve give me a fit a couple months ago (lower-back, hip, leg). Couldn’t sit, walk, stand, lay down…every position was painful. Doctor x-rayed, saw a bulging disc protruding between vertebrae: advised some kind of plastic-caulk (LOL) to stabilize it, surgery if that didn’t work.

    Friend recommended his chiropractor. Guy put me on a tinge-unit (electric current running through the affected area) for 2 minutes, “cracked” about 4 places along my back. In 5 minutes I left with my hip and leg feeling kinda tingly…like what it feels like immediately after your leg falls asleep…but no pain whatever !

    I BELIEVE, brother !!

    Best, Steve

  10. Lipton T. Bagg


    That’s actually called a TENS unit (trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). It’s a proven, effective therapy. There’s even people out there selling them to build “six-packs” – based on the supposition that TENS will exercise your muscles while you drink beer (hint: it ain’t so – wrong type of muscle stimulation to build muscle mass).

    It’s fortunate you had a Chiro who appropriately pulled it out for you, instead of Noni juice…

    (Resident Smash Mouth Medical Correspondent, and former TENS user)

  11. We have one of those TENS units and I use it sometimes on my back. It seems to help.

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