Sunday, May 31, 2009

Everything You Need to Know About Chiropractic (sort of...)

Me at Whistler BC

I have had some experience with chiropractors. I've seen 3 different chiropractors. The first one was about 20 years ago, for neck pain. I think I saw him 3 or 4 times. He first put a heating pad on my upper back and neck for a while, then wrenched and jumped on my spine. Each time, I left his office feeling like I just fell off the back of a pickup truck going 50 mph. The neck pain eventually went away long after I stopped the chiropractor visits.

About 15 years ago, I awoke one day with a nasty cramp in my neck. I could barely turn my head. I tried a different guy who put a heating pad on my upper back and neck, used some sort of electronic stimulating device and then wrenched and jumped on my spine. It produced the same falling out of a moving vehicle effect on me. After 2 more "treatments", the original pain went away. It took about 3 weeks.

Eight or nine years ago, I developed some strange hip pain. This guy was a piece of work. Same old heat and electrical crap, wrenching and jumping, and falling out of a moving vehicle results but what really turned me off wasn't the ineffectual "treatment", it was the subluxation and myterious energy talk he gave. I got a 50% off coupon for attending this talk. In that session, he stated that he "manipulated" his infant mere minutes after it was born. Holy crap. Don't infants have enough trouble just living, without having their spine wrenched around just after birth? He stated he could "treat" allergies and all sorts of things I no longer remember. Anyway, he could never tell me how many "treatments" I would need and persistently recommended a longer course of "treatments." As far as I could tell, he didn't cure anything so I gave up after about 4 sessions (6 weeks). The hip pain didn't go away until I spent a week skiing in Whistler, BC. I came home from that vacation with no hip pain.

Since these experiences, I've occasionally experienced some lower back pain, some neck pain and that strange hip pain. I eventually got some training on some exercises from a real MD. Now, whenever that pain comes around, I fire up the heating pad, take some ibuprofen and do exercises for a couple weeks. In fact, I do these neck stretches every day and rarely wake up with that "kink" in my neck. I plan to never go back to chiropractor because what I'm doing now is effective and doesn't include the falling out of a moving vehicle side effects.

Of course, my personal anecdotal examples (as are your's) aren't evidence of anything other than my experience so do some research on your own you lazy bum. If you are relying on a chiropractor for treatment for some sort of ailment, please read the article below. It will likely preserve some of your money.

Here is a snippet from New Scientist:

FOR many people, chiropractic appears almost mainstream. Some chiropractors even call themselves "doctor". In the UK, chiropractors are regulated by statute, and in the US they like to be seen as primary care physicians. It is therefore understandable if people hardly ever question the evidential basis on which this profession rests.

Go here for the full article: What you should know about chiropractic - opinion - 29 May 2009 - New Scientist

Here is another good article with lots of reference links from the Skeptic's Dictionary. You might also want to learn about placebo effect too.

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