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Chiropractor advice

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
A couple of people have mentioned to me over the last few years that my left shoulder is higher than my right. It's not noticeable when I'm fully clothed but people have picked it up when I've been swimming and in a natural state of undress etc.

My Father and sister (who is only 3 years older) have had back problems, but I haven't had any problems or pain as yet.

I'm thinking about seeing a chiropractor to sort out the problem, hopefully preventing injury and maybe improving my stance which may help my skiing.

Did a quick search on the internet but found a few stories about bad Chiropractors. My questions are .....

1) Is a Chiropracter what I need?
2) What will he/she be able to do for me?
3) How do I find a good one?
4) Any idea of the costs involved?
5) Is it likely my health insurance will pick up the costs?

Yes I know the internet is not the place for diagnosis and will go and see my doctor next week for advice but just wanted to get some feedback from here first.

Anybody tried McKenzie theraphy? What about Pilates - is that likely to help?
post #2 of 68
ummmm - over here your best bet would be a physiotherapist....

Don't know about there & my austrian friend translates medical conferences - so that is not so useful....
post #3 of 68
You do not want a chiropractor. See your Gen Prac and get a referral to orthopedic doctor. Do not let him cut! He ought to send you to a physical therapist. They will show you what exercises to do. Do them.

You may have Scoliosis. Try to stay active, especially if it's not serious. One higher shoulder does not mean it's serious.

Good luck.
post #4 of 68
Oh! and swimming:

If you're stroke is not balanced, which is usually the case, maybe that is not such a good idea. As a swimming coach, I saw a lot of Scoliosis. That may be because you see athletes with their shirts off. But practicing bad habits can cause the problem or make it worse.
post #5 of 68
Go to your Doc and see what they say first. No one's spine is perfect and this may be just of "one of those things". Don't panic!
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
You do not want a chiropractor. See your Gen Prac and get a referral to orthopedic doctor. Do not let him cut! He ought to send you to a physical therapist. They will show you what exercises to do. Do them.

You may have Scoliosis. Try to stay active, especially if it's not serious. One higher shoulder does not mean it's serious.

Good luck.
agreed.

while Chiropractic has its serious members and those folks ply their learnings with utter sincerity, most of the bases for Chiropractic care are bogus pseudo-science.

I've yet to learn of anyone who received beneficial care (physical health improvement) from a DC where no beneficial care was available from traditional MDs.

there's a reason why MDs are more thoroughly educated on the human body, and it's not to "weed out the rejects."

it's because the human body is more complex than the lordotic curve and a theory about chiral balance.
post #7 of 68

one up/one down

I had the same condition when I was in college. Carrying a day pack with lots of books on my right shoulder was probably what caused it.
post #8 of 68
If it ain't broke don't fix it. You should see my shoulder (it's broke, and they didn't fix it).
post #9 of 68
In the Midwest, the nickname for chiropractors is 'back cracker'.
post #10 of 68
A good chiropractor could likely do wonders for you, a bad one not so much. Much the same is true of a good or bad physio or good or bad orthopod.

Often one shoulder higher will indicate the opposite hip is also higher. You may see that by your beltline or in front of a mirror while marking your hip pointer (the more technical name escapes me). This can be due to one leg being longer than the other or often and in my case it can be due to pelvic torsion changing the angle the femur attaches and effectively shortening that leg. A simple test done while sitting can indicate which of these situations it is.

I had seen a physio (good one by all accounts) for 10 years (3 different ones in the same clinic actually) and none pointed out the discrepancy or addressed the issue when dealing with my back problems. One visit to the chiro staightened the pelvis and evened my legs allowing me to apply much of what the physios has harped on me about but I found difficult. Another chiro went further and worked hard to loosen a chronically tight hip that when a long ways towards keeping the pelvic torsion from returning.

If not for the second chiro I would probably have or be needing a hip replacement by now but instead see no need on the horizon. 2 physios and one orthopod had told me it was a given by about now.

The chiros trained in active release therapy ART are likely a bit more up to date and less into contort and crack but more into muscle relaxation techniques allowing alignment to come back easier.
post #11 of 68
I'm with Gonzo 100 percent on this one.
post #12 of 68
me too.
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
I've yet to learn of anyone who received beneficial care (physical health improvement) from a DC where no beneficial care was available from traditional MDs.
Well Gonz, you just met one . I've been seeing a Chiro since my car accident 19 1/2 years ago. I am one for which a permanent fix is out of the question. I have a regular DC here at home and one in Frisco, CO where I usually visit. I consistantly get headaches (nasty ones) in Colorado. When all the "usual cures" I use at home fail to work, I head to the Chiro's office and within hours I'm back to 100%. Before any of you go there.....I'm well aware of how to prep to move to altitude from here at sea level.

Symptoms are almost instantly relieved in most cases, in a day in others. In my case I have become so tuned to what my body is doing I can usually tell my Chiro exactly which Vertabrae are "out" by symptoms I have aside from back pain. The skelatal/nervious system chart in the front of Grays Anatomy was quite the eye opener.

L7's post here is good advise. You can find good and bad practitioners in all fields.

Does Chiropractic "cure"...I don't think so.....It's a bit like doing an alignment on your car....It doesn't help the components....but sure saves (disc/vertabrae) tire wear. Anyone who days Chiropractic "doesn't work" is probably an MD :

Advise to the original poster here.....Take an x-ray....If (for the most part) all the Vertabrae are leaning the same direction, It's curveature of the spine. If (like I am) one or two Vertabrae are off to the right and the ones next to it are headed the other direction.....a good Physical Therapist may do the trick and so will Chiropractic.

I had an MD tell me once that Chiro was a hoax and that you couldn'd move Vertabrae. I have "before and after" x-rays and sent the idiot a copy of such. Not picking on the MD's here (I have a few MD friends).....picking on the "non-believers".

In most instances Chiropractic is covered by Insurance.

In some cases...there are people who can be re-aligned and can stop heading off to the DC's office. (Darn---I'm not one of them, I tried that) In most cases once you start.............you are there forever.

Good luck.........
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie

Does Chiropractic "cure"...I don't think so.....It's a bit like doing an alignment on your car....It doesn't help the components....but sure saves (disc/vertabrae) tire wear. Anyone who days Chiropractic "doesn't work" is probably an MD :
I like your analogy a lot. Bang on really. Let's face it, wear and tear is what it's all about

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie

In some cases...there are people who can be re-aligned and can stop heading off to the DC's office. (Darn---I'm not one of them, I tried that) In most cases once you start.............you are there forever.

Good luck.........
I'm not sure I agree with this. First people who go are already bucking the attitude pervasive in our prescription society and medical system so likely suffering long term chronic pain so don't make a fair sample set. Second, I think an effort to address muscle imbalance and flexibility issues combined with the adjustments can keep people from going back. Likely not enough chiros address these underlying causes and with many such as yourself existing damage may preclude a quick and long term fix.

That's fun to hear of a MD that says you can't move vertabrae. I could let him hear and feel what I can do myself let alone what the chiro can do to me.
post #15 of 68
Uncle Louie, you satisfied only one of my two points on chiro care.

anyway, you guys who like paying DCs to whack at your joints could really shock me by sharing the extent of your respective backgrounds and education in biology, human anatomy and human physiology. self-educated is fine with me if you share the texts you assimilated, etc.
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
That's fun to hear of a MD that says you can't move vertabrae. I could let him hear and feel what I can do myself let alone what the chiro can do to me.
Better yet, I suggested he go to my DC and let him "not move" some stuff out of whack in the C1-C4 area and just let the migranes, blurry vission, nausia etc etc start. Then because you "can't move Verabrae", just leave him like that. A shame he didn't take me up on it.
post #17 of 68
what type of MD did you guys hear say "you can't move vertebrae"?

this is getting pretty funny. disregard MDs based on what either was an exaggeration of the facts, or an outright lie, or a complete and utter ignoramus who should not be practicing 52 pick-up much less medicine. you sound like the dentist "expert" on a plaintiff's "TMJ Syndrome" who tried to tell the jury that the human jaw is the only bone with an articular surface at each end.

I politely asked him to comment on the the finger bone segments in the human hand... or the femur or tibia or humerus or radius and the location and number of articular surfaces on each.

clearly that boob had no business being an "expert" on bone structure and its complications, just as the supposed "MD" in your fictional nonsense would have no business commenting on spinal articulation.

the quacking is getting louder in here. :
post #18 of 68
Gonz, what have you against chiropractic? In some cases, it is an effective treatment for spinal and other joint irregularities. I would much rather go through a multi-visit treatment with a DC than have an MD cut me open, even if it takes quite a bit longer.

I have used two different types of DC over the past few years, one of which is more accepted than the other. One (Network Chiropractic) worked wonders for me, but is far less known and accepted than more typical treatment. My primary DC (not a network DC) worked extensively with the US Ski Team in the '80s. Their treatment, as measured scientifically with the athletes, made a measurable difference in performance and also improved perceived comfort. He is one of the more well-read medical specialists that I know, but I certainly can't tell you what he studies. I just know that quite frequently he'll let me know about recent studies in various medical journals, including both those that are more "MD-oriented" and those that are more "alternative".

I am one who believe that, in general, the body has the power to heal itself. Of course, I live in Boulder, so you'd expect me to be a bit weird.

FWIW... YMMV...
post #19 of 68
DC vs MD (orthopod, physiatrist, neurologist)

palliative vs preventive

theory & crystal ball gazing vs sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology

that's my gripe in a nutshell

I am not at all denying that some folks depend regularly on DCs for feeling good. Frankly, I tend to feel a bit better after I've sat in a hot tub and stretched properly, and that doesn't cost me hourly fees or repeat visits or TENS units or lordotic curve adjustments.

I guess I dislike frauds.
post #20 of 68
The key is finding a health care professional who will take the time to listen, examine and correctly diagnose and prescribe the proper treatment. On the whole, I am not a big fan of chiropractors, although I know people who are helped by them. I also see too many MD's who are too quick to prescribe some meds and an MRI and a "just quit doing whatever makes it hurt" as opposed to taking the time to get to the root of the problem with a proper physical therapist referral etc.

There is also the personal responsibility aspect of actually doing the required program of stretching, strenghtening etc. Too many people want the quick fix which does not work.
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
DC vs MD (orthopod, physiatrist, neurologist)

palliative vs preventive

theory & crystal ball gazing vs sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology

that's my gripe in a nutshell

I am not at all denying that some folks depend regularly on DCs for feeling good. Frankly, I tend to feel a bit better after I've sat in a hot tub and stretched properly, and that doesn't cost me hourly fees or repeat visits or TENS units or lordotic curve adjustments.

I guess I dislike frauds.
Interesting... My primary DC (who is also a good friend) is preventative and has an amazing knowledge of anatomy and physiology which he uses in communicating with his patients the "why" of what he asks them to do in terms of exercise, stretching, and traction. I believe that he nearly completed an MD program before shifting to being a DC and allowing for a more natural healing/prevention than the typical "quick-fix" MD. I am not saying that I agree with everything he prescribes (I'm really unsure about some of the traction), but he certainly has a solid scientific reason for what he does (as demonstrated by a number of published studies that he has had me read, and many more which he has communicated to me).

I don't doubt that he is at least somewhat unique.

Frankly, many MDs scare me. They want to pump me full of meds or take other drastic measures that I am unconvinced actually address the causal issues. I trust DOs more than MDs as a result, actually.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Frankly, many MDs scare me. They want to pump me full of meds or take other drastic measures that I am unconvinced actually address the causal issues. I trust DOs more than MDs as a result, actually.
Bingo---Exactly--Dead On.....This is exactly what the Internist (sp?) suggested to me. His actual advise was--- A. To treat the symptoms and not the rood cause with (you ready) 800 mg (up to 3 times a day) of Ibueprofin. This, of course would have been life long.

Of course life wouldn't have been that long on that type of dose of meds.
post #23 of 68
so because an INTERNIST could not diagnose and treat a NEUROLOGIC and ORTHOPAEDIC condition, you went to a quack?

that's intelligence for ya.

assuming an internist knows neurology and orthopaedics.

would you go to a criminal defense lawyer if you wanted to create a multinational insurance company?

would you think a dweebish nebbish of a tax attorney is your man for a complex plaintiff's class action personal injury/product liability suit?
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
so because an INTERNIST could not diagnose and treat a NEUROLOGIC and ORTHOPAEDIC condition, you went to a quack?
What makes a Chiropractor a quack? He is certainly not an "untrained person". In the case of Uncle Louie, I have personally witnessed the before/after of one of his bouts. That his chiropractors help him there is no doubt. That mine has helped my wife there is Xray evidence.

Again, why the vitriol, other than the sport of it?
post #25 of 68
ignorance is NOT bliss, ssh.
post #26 of 68
Interesting banter Gonz. One question, why did my neuro-surgeon tell me to go to a chiropractor for my L5, S1 injury if they are frauds? Another point is this: if you have ever had to go to rehab after surgery or an injury, do they have you go once or do you go 3 times a week for months? Going to a reputable DC is no different. There are few cures that only require one visit or a simple pill for a cure. When you train for skiing, do you train once or do you train at least 3 times a week? I have gone to DC's all my life and like MD's, some are good and and some suck.
post #27 of 68
I think the issue is not whether chiropracters may help an individual patient- I am sure that sometimes they do. The real issue is that chiropractic is pseudoscience- the theory and explanation that is the basis for their practice is sheer nonsense. I have absolutely no doubt that for some problems chiropractic manipulation is very helpful, but the idea that misalignment of the vertebrae pressing on nerves is the root cause of many of the illnesses they pruport to treat is preposterous. That is why osteopathy (whose practitioners also do spinal manipulation) are accepted by mainstream medicine and chiropracters are, for the most part, not- the osteopaths may use the same techniques, but they understand and accept the underpinnings of modern scientific medicine, and have a rational approach to the use of spinal manipulative techniques.
post #28 of 68
dp's answer is polite and accurate.

thanks, Dr P!

it sounds very much like what my college advisor (also Chair of Bio Dept and Dean of Arts & Sciences) told me about the quasi-medical and medical graduate training options available to me as an upcoming Biology B.S. graduate.

the best cinematic treatment of the kindly helpful but mystically trained DC is in Jacob's Ladder, with Danny Aiello playing Tim Robbins's sage-like chiro man.

again, like dp, I have no doubt that pain relief sometimes occurs through manipulation. I would imagine that's why respected orthopods always urge stretching, heat, icing and sometimes even massage for injury and post-surgery rehab. but is pain relief the same as fixing the origin problem? not really, not in most cases, although DC instruction would have us believe that it is. :
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
What makes a Chiropractor a quack? He is certainly not an "untrained person". In the case of Uncle Louie, I have personally witnessed the before/after of one of his bouts. That his chiropractors help him there is no doubt. That mine has helped my wife there is Xray evidence.

Again, why the vitriol, other than the sport of it?

Ummm Ssh - you do realise that if you take x-rays of backs of a bunch of people you will be unable to distinguish the half of the group with back pain from the half without? ie x-ray does not indicate back pain...
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp
I think the issue is not whether chiropracters may help an individual patient- I am sure that sometimes they do. The real issue is that chiropractic is pseudoscience- the theory and explanation that is the basis for their practice is sheer nonsense. I have absolutely no doubt that for some problems chiropractic manipulation is very helpful, but the idea that misalignment of the vertebrae pressing on nerves is the root cause of many of the illnesses they pruport to treat is preposterous. That is why osteopathy (whose practitioners also do spinal manipulation) are accepted by mainstream medicine and chiropracters are, for the most part, not- the osteopaths may use the same techniques, but they understand and accept the underpinnings of modern scientific medicine, and have a rational approach to the use of spinal manipulative techniques.
Please provide your medical evidence that supports your supposition that chiropractic is baseless.
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