Is chiropractic care a scam?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by FourSquare, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    So here's the story: A chiropractic office was offering wellness exams for $20 that included full x-rays and a bunch of other stuff. I decided to get one out of curiosity and because I've had a random lower back pain for a while that comes and goes.

    I went to my exam yesterday and everyone was REALLY nice. They answered my question and discovered that my one leg is shorter than the other and that I put more weight on one side of my body than the other. Apparently my feet do not carry my weight well either. I repeatedly asked them if this was common and they said "Yes, but it's not normal." Part of the package included a follow up visit that I have to go to tonight after they've analyzed the x-rays.

    This morning I received a phone call from the doctor confirming my appointment because he looked at my x-rays and he's "very concerned." Do you think this is just a sales pitch? Everyone was almost too nice yesterday....like they want me to start paying for all this unnecessary treatment. I don't have any chronic pain so I don't see what could be so bad. I never planned to enroll in treatment and only wanted the wellness checkup, but now I'm trying to figure out if there's something actually wrong.

    Am I just being overly skeptical?
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    No, you're probably not.

    According to the link, and other sites it links to, chiropractors often graduate with over 100K in debt and as new doctors make about 30K per year. There is probably substantial pressure to sell services. I didn't have time to look up a solid source, but the warning is enough to make one wary.

    Personally, the one time I went to a chiropractor I had the worst headache of my life that lasted for about a week immediately after that (and I went to the chiropractor because of some relatively minor pain in one shoulder).
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I'm not sure. I can tell when my hips are "out"!!!

    The bad thing is some reg docs don't like chiropractors & some do.

    I go to a chiropractor is a family friend, so I'm lucky that I go to someone I trust!!!

    Does anyone you know go there?!?!
     
  5. MuggleBug

    MuggleBug Companion

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    I did the same thing you did once. They found issues with both my husband and me but we opted not to go back because we didn't think it was anything as crucial as they made it out to be (or at least not crucial enough to pay out of pocket for it!). Plus neither one of us felt any better after our adjustments so it seemed like a waste. I do think chiropractors can help people who have serious back issues (I know my mom saw one last year for sciatica and it really helped her) but I'm not so easily convinced when they do the x-rays and diagnoses for $20-type deals. They want your business.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My dad goes to a chiropractor for his back pain - insurance covers it.

    It is best to look up the credentials for the chiropractor - for example, my dad's chiro is a doctor in sports medicine.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2010

    When I was 8months pregnant, I had a almost-slip on the ice. I was in incredible pain. But I couldn't take any sort of a painkiller because of the pregnancy.


    After one session I was able to move. After 2 I was pain free.

    That's not to say that you're not facing a scam, just that there are legitimate chiropractors out there.
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I have a great chiro with a great reputation. Many people I know have gone to him for years, so I had good recommendations. I think that is the key.

    I had migraines for about 30 years of my life! Hard to teach little kids with a migraine! He x-rayed my neck and showed me what was wrong. Then he worked on my neck and upper back. I have to say he really helped me. I saw him regularly for about 6 months, then less and less, and I rarely have a migraine anymore. He also helped cure my sciatica - I had it on both sides! Right now I can tell my hips are out - keeping me awake - and my neck needs an adjustment - stiff and headachey.

    I think the main thing is, get recommendations, and go if you are having pain. If you are not in pain, do the free follow up visit and see what he has to say. And you can ask for the gentle adjustment with the springy-thingy, rather than manipulation by hand. It is just more gentle and less chance of over doing it. Later if you have low back pain, you will have someone to go see.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think as with nearly every other profession, even education, people can be taken advantage of. Just be cautious. Are you able to ask for references or otherwise know anyone who could provide a reference?
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My daughter's chiropractor is well-respected; she has extensive experience in sports (particularly soccer) injuries. I'm not sure where Lauren would be without her 3x/week visits to the chiropractor for the past 5 months for treatment of a herniated disc. Probably not pain-free, playing basketball and running cross-country. As with anything else, do some research, ask for references, and if any treatment options don't show benefit, discontinue them.
     
  11. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Let me offer you another viewpoint (and I am admittedly biased). My husband is a chiropractor...I worked to put him through school. I have seen him (and others) do amazing things. Chiropractic care is for so much more than just back pain. My husband has helped me with foot pain, headaches, a rib that slipped out of place, and multiple colds. Chiropractic care for children can reduce/eliminate repeated ear infections (aligning the neck allows for increased drainage in the ear canal). My husband helps patients with Parkinson's disease and fibromyalgia (and many other things).

    But I agree with other posters...do your research, get referrals. Different chiropractors use different techniques...find one who works for you. Give it a try.
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have been going to a chiropractor for years and I love him. I was in a wreck years ago and blew out my shoulder. It's never been the same and I have a lot of neck pain related to it. I can pop (adjust) my neck and back some, but nothing like him. I would and do trust him completely. (Because my shoulder is so prone to injury - I can dislocate it reaching into the back seat of the car - I don't really trust people with it, but I do him.)
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    So I went to my follow up visit. It was pretty crazy. There were two other people with appointments and we had to sit in on a lecture about how your spine basically causes all disease and how we need treatment now for prevention. He tried to say 50% of people die of cancer and 50$ die of heart attacks, and that those people die that way because their nerves were messed up. When I called him out on the fact that plenty of people die from other things, he got all nervous and was like "well not quite 50%, but you know, it's a lot." WTF?

    Then he sat me down in private and went over my x-rays which were "very urgent." He wanted to see me 3 times a week for 12 weeks. And the best part? He was offering a discount because I'm a teacher and he "believes he's an educator too." :lol:

    Snake oil salesman!

    Thanks for all your replies.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ugh. That's just...yuck. :unsure:
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah that sounds like a guy who needs to pay off his student loans :p

    If you are interested in chiropractics, look for sports medicine doctors who are also chiropractors.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I was always skeptical of chiropractic care.

    I kept hearing people talk about a new doctor who had moved to town. I knew a lot of people who were going to him, and they all had good things to say about him.

    I was still skeptical.

    Then I started waking up during the night unable to move. My lower back started "locking up" and it was really scary. I had sneezed while bent over, and I did something to my back. It bothered me off and on for years. One day while I was running errands I stopped in the office to ask some questions.

    After my first week of adjustments, I could see a world of difference. I never would have believed it.

    I've been going regularly for a back adjustment for almost two years.
     
  17. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I'm sure some of what he said was true, I was just way turned off by the presentation. For instance, the other two people in the room were a nice middle-aged couple that were clearly low-income and not educated on health matters. They bought his speech hook, line, and sinker. He played off their pain to get them to buy treatment. The husband was like "Man, ain't that true! I had a guy at work have a heart attack man! He was peein' and pukin' on his self." And the "doctor" goes "DO YOU WANT TO BE THAT MAN, SIR? DO YOU WANT TO DIE AND LEAVE YOUR WIFE?"

    That's just cruel to me. I'm still curious about the practice, just not this place. :down:
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, there's a difference between chiropractors and snake oil salesmen :p

    My dad, when looking for one after his old one retired, found one who practiced sports medicine also. Since that means at least they have a good basis in medicine.
     
  19. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I used to think chiropractors were quacks, but my ex started going to one, and then I went to him, too. Been with him over 20 years now. He is making my ruptured disc better without surgery. Several other success stories with this guy as well. Ask people for good referrals for a chiro doc. Good luck!
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I see a chiropractor. Regularly. It makes a HUGE difference in my health and well-being. I had back pain for YEARS before seeing a chiropractor. I no longer have that pain- only an occasional 'twinge' when I am due for an adjustment. Like all things though, there are good chiros and not so good chiros. Check yours out with the local BBB...and do have your leg/spine issue checked by someone you trust...if you really have this issue, you will have severe repercussions as you get older if you ignore it now.
     
  21. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I would say, if you aren't in major pain...don't do it! I only started going because I was desperate to relieve the pain without using medication.

    I started seeing a chiropractor 4 years ago for repeated, chronic headaches. I had never in my life had headaches before. I went to my family doctor and he wanted to put me on muscle relaxers. NO! I did not want to be on medicine for the rest of my life. So I gave the chiropractor a try. It turned out my neck was totally out of place. After my first visit, I had instant relief. I started off seeing her 3x per week for 2 weeks and then 1x per week and then once every other week. For over 2 years now I have been going only once a month to keep things in place. I can tell when I am out and my headaches start. I rarely get headaches anymore. Insurance covers my visit and it's only $5. I'll take that over medication any day!

    In fact...I just moved 5 hours from home and have decided to actually drive back just for my chiropractor appointments. I don't want to go through the struggle of finding a new one and having that person potentially messing me up!

    I do think there are chiropractors out there that make you feel like you must go for EVERYTHING!! I was afraid of this happening...but it didn't. I went to a chiropractor with a great reputation and numerous friends went to her.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    That's what my mom said when her doctor wanted to put her on muscle relaxers for her chronic back pain. Since she can't take anti-inflammatories any longer.
     
  23. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I started seeing a chiro this summer and I LOVE HIM!

    But any doctor who is scouting patients like this is probably looking to make some money or at least acquire some new patients. It doesn't necessarily make him a bad person - some or all of what was suggested might actually be good for you or make you feel even better than you already feel. But that doesn't mean you NEED it all.

    It's like any other business in my opinion. $10 haircut and then you suggest I purchase $50 in products that would be great for my hair. They probably would but I don't NEED them. Spend $200 on groceries and get a free turkey. Do I NEED $200 of groceries or a free turkey? No, but I could use them up eventually.
     

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