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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-28-11, 09:08 AM   #1
BigUgly
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Medical Doc vs Chiropractor...

I swore off Chiropractors for about 15 years until this past month. Ever since riding the Livestrong Philly ride, after a couple of days, I developed some lower back pain. Nothing severe more of a nuisance. I have these stretches I have been doing for the past 15 years that usually fixed any lower back soreness. Although, this time they didn't really seem to work like they normally do. Couple of weeks go by, I was still riding and running pain free. Then afte one lunch time ride the pain came back but a little more sever that the previous weeks. I ran the next day back was still kind of sore and not really getting better. Then the next day I cut my grass. I have a lawn small enough to do with a push mower and not large enough for a riding mower. Now as an aside, my lawnmower is 20 years old and the handle was about 8 inches shorter then when I bought it because I refused to give up on it when the engine still worked perfectly. When the handle would wear out againt the deck I would just cut it down and keep going. Anyway, after cutting my grass on a Friday, yes it was a little painful, I woke up Saturday with sever lower back pain and could barely standup and walk. I spent the weekend laying on the floor hopped up on Advil. I decided to go see the medical doc Monday morning. He did some very minor movement test and said it was muscular, which I knew it was, then told me to take 3 Advil mixed with 2 Tylenol and a prescribed muscle relaxer. This didn't sound right to me but I went along with it for a couple of days and no improvement. Finally, I decided to try the Chiro again. Some guys at work recommended one and after a month off the bike I am cured. Cured my lower back pain, my left shoulder pain, and no longer feel like I am 90 years old getting in and out of chairs. I am a believer in Chiropactic once again. Things is the chiro said the shoulder pain I was having was most likely an indicator that something was wrong and led to my lower back pain. To finish my long winded story... do you guys prefer medical docs or chiropractors when dealing with back and muscular pain? Can't wait to get back on the bike but we are supposed to get snow this weekend!!!!
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Old 10-28-11, 09:28 AM   #2
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I never found a chiropractor who could produce better results than a good massage therapist. On the other hand, it's not like most GPs have a reason to be real experts on back pain, either.
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Old 10-28-11, 09:34 AM   #3
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I tend to be suspicious of chiropractors as most people I know who go to them must go regularly or the pain returns. I think better results come from physical therapy. My wife has gone to both and is a MD as well. She has had much longer term fixes from the PT.
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Old 10-28-11, 09:36 AM   #4
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My suspicion is that chiropractors are usually just very good at exploiting the placebo effect. The ones I've seen acted just like used car salesmen.

One shot a few x-rays, and told me how horrible my spine was, how the only way I would ever be happy was to see him two or three times a week, otherwise I'd be doomed to a life of terrible, constant pain. I brought the x-ray to my doctor who said it looked normal; he sent me to a physical therapist who said the x-ray shows my skeletal condition is better than normal for someone my age. All of this was for muscle soreness in my upper traps. It ultimately came down to posture on the bike, and had nothing to do with spinal alignment. But that chiropractor was happy to put the fear of god into me if it meant he could get money for it.
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Old 10-28-11, 10:25 AM   #5
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"But that chiropractor was happy to put the fear of god into me if it meant he could get money for it."

Sadly, the few chiro's that are "in it for the money" give all chiro's a bad name. There are a few chiro's that are very good at what they do. The trouble is finding them..........
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Old 10-28-11, 10:39 AM   #6
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When my neck started giving me trouble (cervical spine issues - bone spurs, inflamed facet joints) I started with my family doctor. Then I got a chiro involved. My family doctor sent me to an orthopedic doctor. The orthopedic doctor recommended a neurosurgeon. I was already seeing a massage therapist regularly.

I declined (for now) on the neurosurgeon. I did see yet another doctor for two cervical epidurals (panic attack caused me to skip a third).

I was seeing the chiro once a week, but have cut back to once a month. I have health insurance, but they don't cover "maintenance" chiro visits, so I'm paying for the once a month myself. It's not expensive.

Chiropractors have their place. There are bad ones too. There are bad doctors, and bad bike mechanics.

The important thing is to learn enough about your own health to know your options and make informed decisions rather than blindly doing as your told.
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Old 10-28-11, 11:16 AM   #7
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I do not believe that chiropractors have their place. The whole basis for the practice is unscientific. http://www.skepdic.com/chiro.html
How do you make an informed decision about a chiropractor when what they do is based on pseudoscience? By word of mouth that a particular chiropractor is liked? That your neighbor felt better after using him? That could be luck (would be better anyway) or placebo or at best, the chiropractor manages to do what a physical therapist would have done.

Now they have been around long enough people think the practice is legitimate.

See a physical therapist.
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Old 10-28-11, 11:38 AM   #8
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Hmmm, some interesting comments. I have lost faith in my GP. This was the second thing I saw him for that he really couldn't fix. Maybe that is their policy to go conservative, throw a bunch of meds at it (I hate taking medicine) and then if that doesn't work escalate it when they patient calls back (Or maybe I have sucky insurance and he thinks I will be out of pocket too much). He didn't even want x-rays, not that they would have helped. I found this Chiro because I know several people who have used and recommended him. He already told me he doesn't want to see me again unless I start hurting again. I guess I need to consult my health insurance provider but can on go directly to a PT without having a doc refer or prescribe PT? I have heard horror stories about Chiros that want to see you 2 times a day or 3-4 times a week. They are the ones with the fancy offices and fancy cars. I know to stay away from those types. The guy I saw has signs saying that if we can't help you we won't treat you (something to that affect). Needless to say, my back feels great, my shoulder feels great, and after being miserable for the past 3-4 weeks with pain, I feel great overall.
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Old 10-28-11, 11:48 AM   #9
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One MD I saw for really bad back and leg pain did me well. He was able to get my insurance to approve an MRI. They found two messed up disks that no amount of chiropracty was going to help. PT didn't even produce sustainable results. Got an injection under sedation and have been doing great for over a year and a half.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:50 PM   #10
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No chiropractors for me.

http://www.whatstheharm.net/chiropractic.html
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Old 10-28-11, 04:35 PM   #11
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Chiropractor = Witchdoctor with a splash of used-car salesman
Doctor = Glorified auto mechanic.

Of the two, the doctor is at least potentially useful, but interactions require a firm hand to force them to explain their recommendations in plain English and to keep a close eye on fraudulent charges...
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Old 10-28-11, 04:56 PM   #12
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Have used chiro after a couple bad hits by cars. Worked great. But as with MDs the effect is not always immediate.
Have had chiros do the bone popping thing for whatever ails you. Just as MDs will prescribe drugs/advil etc.
My chiro can pinpoint my issue without x-rays or me telling him where it hurts. See him maybe once a year for a tune-up.
If you need eye surgery don't see a chiro or an MD . . .
Have had great results, as has my spouse, with our chiro for the past 15 years.
Just our experience.
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Old 10-28-11, 06:12 PM   #13
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I know a local chiropractor who rides a recumbent bike. He really would get shouted down here at BF huh?
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Old 10-29-11, 08:40 AM   #14
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I think it depends on the individual Doctor/Chiropractor. The last Chiro I went to was a physical therapist as well, and my initial consult was good when he started with " I don't want you on a long term visit plan, I don't want to see you after a few visits." He was good, focusing more on the therapy part. Since his office was located in my gym he was always there for support and suggestions. I knew he was perfect when I would go begging him to crack me and he would tell me I didn't need it, and to go back and do "x" exercise. I won't go to my family doctor for back pain issues, as he has the standard "try these exercises" sheet, which may be fine for someone who hasn't tried them, but not good for someone with reoccurring back pain. Thankfully I found yoga and a great studio with great and good looking instructors....
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Old 10-29-11, 09:16 AM   #15
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Chiro's are OK for Bone cracking. That is if you physically put your back out from lifting something etc. they can usually correct it.
But I would NEVER get neck adjustments.
But if they start talking about subluxations and energy flow and coming back twice a week forever and curing cancer, RUN!!

My mother went to one for years, and when he retired he gave her a list of exercises to do.
Wonder why he didn't do that 20 years earlier?
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Old 10-29-11, 09:38 AM   #16
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I think they can have their place, just like any practicitioner. But there are a lot out there who are nothing more than crack dealers - Since the crack feels so good immediately after but the effects wear off so quickly. My husband has serious back injuries (triple fusion, five herniated discs, spinal cord damage) and has been to many chiros over the years. Only one was genuinely good, promised only temporary relief and wouldn't touch him without evaluating his MRI's and x-rays.


I've been to chiros over the years as well for accute issues, sometimes with success and other times without. Probably the most noticable was during my first pregnancy when I had horrible carple tunnel due to swelling. The chiro manipulated by elbows and wrists over three visits such that the pain went away completely. The numbness was still there until after the baby's birth but getting rid of the pain was heaven. The MD had just told me to deal with it.
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Old 10-29-11, 07:53 PM   #17
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But if they start talking about subluxations and energy flow and coming back twice a week forever and curing cancer, RUN!!
Agreed. As far as the neck, only a small percentage of those getting neck adjustments suffer injury. It's still frightening though.

There are also different chiropractic techniques. My chiropractor does one that does not involve quick sudden movement. Although she'll move my neck it's gentle, yet firm. Hard to describe. No real cracking involved during the adjustment, although it tends to crack for a day or two afterward.

My chiro also gave me exercises and stretches to do, after only two visits. She's a professional, not a quack.
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Old 10-29-11, 09:30 PM   #18
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Since I worked in the Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock island) for 6+ years
I found out quite a bit about chiropractics.

Like this:
The inception of modern chiropractic can be traced back to 1895 when Canadian Daniel David Palmer
performed the first chiropractic adjustment and went on to found The Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1897.

What was that 1st adjustment?
A janitor named Harvey Lillard did not react at all to the sound of a noisy fire truck passing by, after investigation
Dr. Palmer realized that this man was deaf. Come to find out, 17 years earlier after straining his back,
he heard a loud pop and after that instant he was deaf. Concluding that the incident with his back and his hearing loss were connected,
Dr. Palmer did a quick exam on the spot and found a grotesquely misaligned vertebra. With some convincing on Harvey Lillard’s part,
he was allowed to make the adjustment and instantly his hearing was restored.

It's funny how the entire modern chiropractic era was started with an adjustment/cure that probably has not been repeated since,
and I don't think any chiropractors today claim neck manipulation cures deafness.
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Old 10-29-11, 10:08 PM   #19
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I'd never let a Chiropractor touch me without a doctors approval *after* an MRI. They can do *some* good, but can also do a whole lot-o bad.
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Old 10-30-11, 04:43 AM   #20
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I'd never let a Chiropractor touch me without a doctors approval *after* an MRI. They can do *some* good, but can also do a whole lot-o bad.
Agreed. I had an MRI and X-rays when my neck problem surfaced. Any chiro who wants to blindly start manipulating should be avoided.
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Old 10-30-11, 07:31 AM   #21
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I found Chiro to not work for me for one reason: I didn't want them to manipulate my neck, and they kept doing it. It hurt, made me uncomfortable, and in the end it is my doggoned money and I don't want that!

But what I found, rather by accident, is the benefit of deep massage. The massage therapist I see - rarely, since he does such a thorough job - works the trigger points, gets things to relax, and shows me how to deal with the issues myself. I very rarely have to go see him because he does such a good job (I think I repeat myself) but it isn't a "relaxy feel good" massage - he really works on the pain areas and it can hurt. But as massage, he isn't going to risk further damage if a doc is needed, since if it hurts that much he will stop.

And he has never claimed to cure my hangnails, improve my energy flow, or prevent cancer.

As an aside: My wife used to have serious back problems. In retrospect, mostly stress related. But I did a lot of research as I wanted my young bride to not have an elderly back. Found that Chiropractors and Orthopaedists had about the same (dismal) success rate. The highest success rate, by far, was found to be doing nothing with a doctor, but rather came from the patient become more fit via stretching and core strengthening. Food for thought...
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Old 10-30-11, 01:00 PM   #22
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Went to a chiro after I pinched a nerve in my neck and couldn't function properly while in the office one day (and had a 20+ mile ride home) - she un-impinged the nerve and I was able to drive and turn my neck without having super muscle clinching and overall stiffness.

I went to her for maintenance for a while and the insurance stopped paying after 10 visits so in my interest, she just had me pay the co-pay and didn't bill insurance. She was looking out for me...
But after the symptoms disappeared and the range of motion returned, the visits for maintenance caused more issues than they were trying to help. Going in feeling fine and coming out with a headache made me stop.
I went back once after pulling my back after shoveling in the blizzard of the year 2 years ago...didn't really do much help.

So there are hits and misses...MDs prescribe pills to relax muscles...Chiros manipulate the bones and electro-stimulate the muscles to try to get everything back to natural state.
If I have to work, drive, etc., I don't want to be on the muscle pills until I want to sleep!
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Old 10-30-11, 04:59 PM   #23
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Chiropractor? Hahahahaha
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Old 10-31-11, 09:23 AM   #24
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Have had chiros do the bone popping thing for whatever ails you. Just as MDs will prescribe drugs/advil etc.
The doctors I've been to seem pretty hesitant to prescribe drugs. It's almost as if they're afraid of being sued for malpractice, or something. As it should be. Michael Jackson's doctor seems to be some kind of exception.
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Old 11-02-11, 02:53 PM   #25
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Osteopathic Doctors and Doctors of Oriental medicine or a good massage thats it
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