I got a second opinion on my spine. This guy was very professional and knowledgeable (very curious about my barefoot dress shoes as well).
He came to the same conclusion - my neck needs a bit of work. He was very excited that I found this problem at such an early stage and is confident I will heal quickly.
He took a lot of time to explain the relationship of the spinal nervous system to systemic health and that the neck is the most important piece of the puzzle (before examining me). He did my first adjustment and showed me all the neat magic tricks like how the strength in one side of my body is much weaker than the other side, then perform the adjustment, and boom they work the same.
I've been doing a lot of research since first posting about this and am sold on the concept - truly corrective chiropractic work.
If you're in Houston, check out Woodway Wellness - Dr. Terry Smedstad
Lastly, he accepts health insurance unlike the other guy, which was interesting..
I got my spine examined at a chiropractor and it turns out my cervical spine (neck) is slightly curved in the wrong direction. I was told that left unchecked this could shave 15 years off my life and cause a whole host of health issues down the road. The theory is that it is basically pinching off nerve signals to the rest of my body.
The chiro was pretty convincing and reviews online seemed to rate him highly. My x-rays looked similar to ones online which touted similar information on the subject. The problem is he wants 3x a week adjustments (I live 1 hour away) and $3500 for the first 3 months. Then after 3 months I get evaluated and possibly move down to 2x week or 1x week for the rest of my life.
I am pretty young and the "curvature" is so slight that I am not too worried about taking time to make sure my ducks are aligned before jumping into some kind of treatment like this.
My question(s) is(are): Has anyone had any experience with this situation? Also, there is surely a way to keep your spine in alignment aside from receiving adjustments for the rest of your life, right?
Sitting at a desk all day surely isn't helping.
Part of the examination included a 45 minute class on how to read your own X-rays and make basic sense of your spinal/nervous situation. He convincingly spoke about how if you let your insurance company dictate the care you receive you are going to end up like everyone else - sick. He went on to say the source of a lot of issues are diet, lifestyle, and (of course) spinal/nervous system health which doctors don't address because their specialty is medicine, or surgery, etc.
He added that many people willingly pay a couple thousand to straighten their teeth, but shy away from a couple thousand to align their spine. And it's hard to believe it can fix so many things, things that aren't even noticeably wrong with you yet. (This sounds like trying to convince a "generally healthy" person to try Paleo, right everyone?)
A chiropractor kept my husband walking when Western doctors thought he should be in a wheelchair. However, the one you saw sounds a bit shady. $3500 for 3 months? I pay $100 a month for 4 people, unlimited visits. Definitely go somewhere else for another opinion.
I am a chiro with a holistic approach. Part of my practice, perhaps 10%, is the practice of structural/postural correction (attempting to correct abnormal regional spinal curvatures such as reversed cervical lordoses) on selected patients.
A few random points/suggestions:
-ask the chiropractor if he/she can furnish you with some studies/literature/that support the 15 year loss of life claim. -IMHO, there is legit science behind the detrimental effect of abnormal/sub-optimal curves but the art of correcting these curves requires very special training (which 90+ % of chiros DO NOT receive) and a fair amount of experience, patience, etc. (also of note, is that I have never met, nor heard of any DO or PT who has any training re. structural correction other than for scolioses). -Ask the DC if they can refer you to someone who is closer to you for treatment and/or 2nd opinion. -There are three basic approaches/purposes/intentions within chiropractic care: 1- care that is focused on symptom relief (this is what is done in vast majority of chiro offices perhaps 70%+ of the time) 2- Structural and/or postural corrective care (this is care that is directed at actually changing structural alignment and uses particular x-ray studies as an outcome measure). This accounts for perhaps less than 10% of chiropractic care nationwide in USA. example, in my county of 21 chiros, only 3 of us do this type of structural correction care (the vast majority of the docs have little training in it) and it is only 10% of my practice. 3- Maintenance-type care...this probably comprises about 20% of the chiropractic care being rendered (wild guess).
That being said, all of the above forms are legit, if done properly...there is science behind all of these approaches but both doctor and patient should be clear as to what the intention/purpose and goals of care are. Where I have seen problems arise is usually when the patient just wanted pain relief and never really consented to structural correction and the chiro just offered it up as if it were the only valid approach. So all parties need to be clear on what the goal of care is.
Spinal/structural/postural correction has abundant science behind it but not nearly as much as it could or should and one reason for this is that it is very difficult for biomedical corporations to profit from structural correction because it is almost impossible to patent and sequester a physical-medicine technique that works well in the same way that they patent drugs. So, the larger biomedical corporations do not put any focu$ on conditions such as scoliosis and-or reversed c-spine lordoses.
-ask your chiro for list of potential benefits and risks of going though this program and also ask them for a list of potential benefits and risks of NOT going though this program. -ask them in detail about what they will be having you do at home to help correct your curve.
Well, I guess I'm screwed. Had a spinal fusion at 14 for scoliosis and and am still not perfectly "aligned." Husband is finishing up his D.O. and does OMM, and I have never heard him say anything like this (I'll ask when he gets home, but I'm almost positive he'll laugh at the proposition)! Sounds like a bid to ensnare a regular customer.
Some fields attract more quacks than others. There are definitely excellent chiropractors out there.
Edited to add: giving a firm number like "fifteen years!" sets off alarm bells. How does he know?
Sorry about this. I had a slight curvature too (pretty sure it was 15%) and my parents were told to get me a chin up bar in the doorway and that I should hang on it twice a day for 5 mins. I did that and it helped me! Its hard for doctors and PTs to "find" my curvature now.
Years later I read an article about this by a PT. Sorry I don't have a link but you might want to look into it.
My chiro saw a small curvature in my spine, but he determined it was being caused by my hips being uneven, and he suggested I see a podiatrist. I got orthotics and a small lift for my left foot (which is slightly shorter than my right) and a year later I am almost all straightened out.
Did your chiropractor provide you with suggestion for improving your posture in daily life? Did he provide you with stretches and strengthening exercises to restore alignment?
Unless you address the muscles imbalances that are pulling your bones out of alignment - and the daily postural/movement habits that cause them - then you'll be visiting the chiropractor for the rest of your life.
Spine alignment can affect many things, such as blood pressure, and internal organs.
For instance I know someone who got hit in the head at work, which put his neck out of kink such that he could barely lift his arms. He got work mans comp for it, and gradually got better over a span of two years so he could lift his arms and work. However, this healthy extremely active man suddenly had extremely high blood pressure since the accident. It took two years of dealing with workman's comp before they would send him to a chiropractor. The chiropractor realigned his neck, and the blood pressure went down to a reasonable level in one appointment.
This is just an extreme example.
The extra alignments are necessary. If someone puts any joint out of joint, such as a hip or shoulder, the longer it is out of joint, the more likely it will slip out of joint in the future. This is why they are in a hurry to get it back in place as soon as possible! The muscles around the joint can stretch and learn the new placement of the joint and gravitate towards this position.
My mother-in-law had a misalignment due to whip lash, gradually it gave her horrible migraines. It also affects the bones in her skull, such that one side of her nostril was harder to breathe out of. With adjustments, her headaches stay at bay, and her sinus remains clear.
As for spinal alignment, you'll probably need adjustments. However, they might be able to give you exercises to help compensate for your poor posture.
It might be helpful to know what systems are affected by your alignment before jumping into this commitment. I'd probably get a second opinion too. This sounds expensive.
I like my chiropractor, but the adjustments as far as I can tell offer temporary relief, and that is a LOT of money.
I've become a pretty big fan of myofascial therapists after slipping a disc and not being able to walk or sit upright for nearly 2 weeks. The chiropractor was only able to offer slight relief, but after the first session with myofascial therapist I was able to sit and stand without pain. You can move the bones, but if it is overly tight muscles, or twisted muscle fibers causing the problem, addressing that directly will provide a much longer lasting and potentially permanent resolution of the issue.
I've great results with chiropractors over the years, so I'm prone to say go for it if you can afford it. In the end I'm afraid you won't know until the end of the treatment and even then it may have been successful but you might end up going monthly for the rest of your life.
You might consider taking up tai chi as a cheaper alternative. Over time tai chi will readhust your spine and provide many other benefits besides. If you are not in acute pain and have some time to let yourself readjust gently, then this would be a great option.
No Pillow, a good Paleo idea? 13 Answers
Does anyone use a chiropractor? 17 Answers