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Thread: Chiropractor, thumbs up or down?

  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Chiropractor, thumbs up or down?

    What are the thoughts on chiros?

    Lot of guys talk about the impact of years of abuse on their backs and necks from lifting.

    Some chiros will talk about how necks being misplaced can effect your nerve function in other areas of your body.

    I've had neck and shoulder issues in the past stemming from the way I sleep combined with lifting as well as recently my collar bone was completely out of place lol.

    For me, I do feel a pretty big difference after seeing a chiro, but was curious as to others experiences.

    Those of you who don't like chiros what do you find is a helpful alternative for neck stuff or spine and shoulder stuff?


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  2. #2
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    I have pretty strong negative feelings in general towards Chiros- there are certainly some very good, very competent practitioners in the field who certainly can work wonders when it comes to assisting with certain lifting-related ailments.

    However, the field itself is based on pure quackery- the entire notion of "chiropractic subluxation", where straight chiros believe that back issues can lead to visceral disorders, really calls a lot of their scientific rigor into question. In other words, if somebody, even in part, bases their treatment on that which cannot be true (and there is NO doubt in the medical community outside chiropractic that this isn't true, outside of a few whackos), then their conclusions could very well be fundamentally flawed.

    Again, that said, there are plenty I know (in fact, the majority these days) who reject this idea and restrict their treatment to strictly spinal and localized neurological disorders, and prescribe known effective treatments outside of spinal manipulation where warranted. If you can find one of those, GREAT. But I'd rather trust an ortho and a massage therapist. Most spinal and bone misalignment issues cannot be treated by manipulation, they require actual postural and muscular therapy- again, something I would see a sports ortho specialist and physical therapist about instead (which I have in the past for both shoulder issues and chronic knee pain, which have not recurred in years thank god). Sure, popping things around might result in temporary relief, but the underlying causes require active therapy on your part, and shouldn't require multiple visits to simply treat the symptom, not the cause.

    Yes, again, many chiros do believe in and prescribe similar treatments, but I can't help but prefer to place my trust in those whose practices are based on empirical evidence.

    Just my $0.02. I'm also married to a physician, so this MIGHT affect my opinion on it.
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  3. #3
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Very interesting Alex! You were one I thought of when I started this thread that I figured would have a good source of information.

    What would your opinion be on ART therapy? Sometimes (for whatever reason) I notice a lot of the guys who are certified in this are also chiros?

    I would honestly rather get some sort of muscular work done on my neck rather than manipulation, I just can't seem to find anything that works to release the tension I build up in there.

    Other stuff I can find things that work, shoulder release, even the collarbone stuff I can usually manipulate myself with lacrosse ball and stretching, but the neck stuff I just can't get worked out. So I just end up getting it manipulated once a month or so.


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    I was pretty skeptical about going to a chiro but I've been going to mine for over 2 years. He's very knowledgeable about heavy lifting as he's done all sorts of training from BB'ing to olympic stuff. Also trained with the chicago bulls and the ukraine skating team. He does adjustments followed by extensive stretching for the upper and lower body along with some muscle strip outs (rotator cuff etc) and then 15 minutes of icing down. I definitely get my co-pay's worth, lol.
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    Alex summed the historical problems with Chiropractic fairly well, and subluxation based care does certainly still exist.
    However many Chiropractors are now practicing in an evidence based manner and I think they deserve recognition for doing so. Most of the guys doing ART and Graston are mostly evidence based. I would seek out a "Sports Chiro" CCSP(?) and one that has training in one or both of the soft tissue techniques above.
    There are also a fair number of physical therapists doing manual therapy now. Seeking out a Sports PT who is manual therapy based may be another great option. Physical Therapy is in a transition to direct access care, many people can now call the therapist office and set up an appointment directly depending on your insurance, state laws, ect.. PT's are aiming to be entirely direct access by 2020, thus the DPT degree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchL View Post
    However many Chiropractors are now practicing in an evidence based manner and I think they deserve recognition for doing so. Most of the guys doing ART and Graston are mostly evidence based. I would seek out a "Sports Chiro" CCSP(?) and one that has training in one or both of the soft tissue techniques above.
    As someone that is in the field (will be a doctor of chiropractic in December) I will tell you this is 100% correct.

    Like a lot of medical professions, (including MD's and PTs) if you find a good one that does great manipulative and soft tissue work (and maybe some rehab) AND one that recognizes there limitations then you will be glad you found one.

    However, a bad one is just a waste of money... just like a bad MD or PT. However, bad chiros are generally weird as hell and straight up wackos so they stand out a lot more than a bad MD or PT.

    A lot of people don't realize that there is a huge divide in the chiropractic profession. Basically you have the "straights" who believe in Subluxations and nerve interference and all that whacky shit and then you have the "mixers" who are generally evidence based, know what they can and cannot help, and generally not batshit insane.

    Personally I wouldn't go to a PT to get manipulated by the way. The amount of training they get in manipulative technique pales in comparison and after getting many many many many bad adjustments (students practice on each other first)... it isn't exactly fun to get whacked on by people who aren't any good lol.

    I wrote a few posts on the subject of "finding a good chiro for lifters" here that might help. I make no money off of this blog or anything by the way so there should be no issues clicking: http://themindofshadow.wordpress.com/category/health/

    A good general rule with a chiro is that if you don't get some sort of relief or improvement in 6-9 visits then something isn't right. Either the diagnosis is off or the treatment sucks or something. At that point, the chiro should take a step back and re-assess to see what he missed or straight up tell you he can't help you. If they dont... they will probably continue to suck you dry until you stop coming yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbcb314 View Post

    Personally I wouldn't go to a PT to get manipulated by the way. The amount of training they get in manipulative technique pales in comparison and after getting many many many many bad adjustments (students practice on each other first)... it isn't exactly fun to get whacked on by people who aren't any good lol.
    Physical therapists with an orthopedic manual therapy fellowship should be trusted to manipulate, however there is more to manual therapy than just high velocity, low-amplitude thrusts. Proper assessment and analysis is where PTs usually outshine their physical medicine counter parts. Perhaps some evidence based chiros have caught up, but I highly suspect it depends on where they went to school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchL View Post
    Physical therapists with an orthopedic manual therapy fellowship should be trusted to manipulate, however there is more to manual therapy than just high velocity, low-amplitude thrusts. Proper assessment and analysis is where PTs usually outshine their physical medicine counter parts. Perhaps some evidence based chiros have caught up, but I highly suspect it depends on where they went to school.
    It does. That + "on your own" work going to seminars ect.

    That is the biggest problem with chiropractic... the wide range of education at the school and the lack of unity. It is the reason PTs will end up eradicating them unless the Eye of Sauron (aka MD's) turn on them with they get more and more direct access rights. Right now and for a long time now it has been strictly fixed on chiropractic.

  9. #9
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    I go to a chiro that's certified in ART and Graston. He works with a lot of athletes which is what I wanted. I go every 2 weeks and it makes a huge difference. My sessions are almost all ART and Graston and I get adjusted at the end. I don't think it'd be that useful to visit someone that's only a chiro.
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    I see a sports dr and a pt who threw the hammer in college. Lots of people will say they can help a strength athlete, but not many can. The problem I have had with many chiros is that they always seem to want me to come back for a weekly visit.


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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    haha yeah the weekly visits don't seem to make sense do they.

    Just makes sense that if you are fixing something you shouldn't have to re-fix it every week.

    I think I'll try and see an ART guy sometime in the next week or two and see how that helps things.


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    I gave up on my chiro guys. No matter what my ailment was the treatment never changed. I just didn't have access to a good one. I want to try ART THOUGH. No one in my area though.
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    Senior Member Phillip Wylie's Avatar
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    I am a firm believer in chiropractic and alternative medicine. Since I started seeing chiropractors, I don't go to MDs for lifting related issues. One time I pinched a nerve in my back doing seated cable rows and my family doc gave me a muscle relaxer and an NSAID to treat it. I would rather get adjusted than have to take prescription drugs.

    I get chiropractic adjustments once a month for preventative measures.
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I have seen chiros and tried all sorts of things and none of them have ever really benefited me to any significant degree.


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    I have a chiropractor I use regularly. She is more of a 'massage therapist" than the traditional "snap crackle pop" chiropractor though. She uses many of the techniques people like Kelly Starret utilize to increase mobility, which also impresses me.

    I have been to a couple of others I consider first class quacks... One suddenly popped my neck while evalulating me and I point blank told him if he EVER Did anything like that again I was going to snap his scrawny f'!king neck like a tooth pick... needless to say he also asked me to never come back after that appointment.

    The chiropractor I see sold me on her the first visit I saw her. I can't explain what she did medically, all I know is that it worked. I tore up my right elbow several years ago. I had had limited ROM in that elbow, with pain and discomfort of the forearm for a long time when I saw her. I also could not touch my thumb to my right deltoid. I told her about it, she palpated my arm, put it through full range of motion, then while putting traction on the arm, did something where I swear I felt the bones inside it move. Medically, that makes absolutely no sense but what she did felt that way. I also could immediately touch my deltoid and I've been able to do so ever since (this was a couple of years ago). There was no snap crackle pop crap with her, it was some other better working type of voodoo in my mind.

    I also have a very close friend, someone I've known for years who is a chiropractor. She's beyond the weird part of youtube strange to me with what she does... for example she ate her last childs placenta to "boost immunity". I have an interest in alternative medicine and herbal drug applications, but quite frankly, that shit was just plain weird.
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    Same deal for me. I've seen some real quackers and I currently see a very good chiro. She's the first I've seen that does ART, and I do feel that it makes a difference. I've been getting hurt a lot lately, and she gets me back on my feet quickly. You just have to be a smart consumer when it comes to chiropractors. Do your homework, talk to other athletes, etc. I also see a well-regarded sports medicine doctor who has served a number of U.S. track and field teams and he does some chiropractic adjustment as well.

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