Out of medical options for sciatica. Are there different types of chiropractors?

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Date Joined Oct 2009
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   Posted 6/18/2010 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to a chiropractor today because I can't have any more spinal injections for sciatica and I had to stop the gabapentin because of side effects.  I was NOT impressed!  When someone promotes himself with testimonials and bragging about sports teams he has helped a red flag goes up for me.  I was obviously skeptical and admitted it.  I'll go and see what he has to offer for one more visit, but if it's just coming in to do the 2 or 3 exercises I saw everyone else doing I won't be back.  I can do that stuff for free at home.
Are there more than one or two types of training for chiropractors?  I have a very few friends who go to chiropractors occasionally, but this guy wants his patients to come in 3 times a week to do exercises by themselves.  I was given several sheets of paper which were nothing but an introduction he was given before a speech he gave and a bunch of testimonials.  On his wall was a sign about his belief in a properly aligned spine preventing heart disease and cancer.
I know I have lordosis, kyphosis, scoliosis, radiculopathy, arthritis - anything that pinches nerves.  I'm out of medical resources and not ready for surgery.  I have a torn knee meniscus preventing me from walking much and 3 loose ribs slpping over each other making most core exercises extremely painful.  I've had bad reactions to nearly all medicines that helped with pain, leaving only tramadol (which cause serotonin syndrome if I take more than 2 a day) and Valium which I don't want to get hooked on.  Vicodin worked for a while, but is like placebo now.

solar powered
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 6/18/2010 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie. I'm sorry that your visit with that chiro didn't go well. I go to a chiro regularly for multiple orthopedic type issues that aggravate my fibromyalgia. This man is an orthopedic chiropractor and yes he too works with professional athletes. He did name drop a little bit when I first met him but not too bad. Actually my orthopedic surgeon who also works with professional athletes (I'm just a mere mortal, not an athlete) sent me there. They work on many of the same players. I've been to a ton of physical therapists and another chiro over the years and this chiro is the only one who has been able to help me at all.

There are a bunch of different types of therapies that they can learn post-graduation. My chiro specializes in techniques called Graston and active release technique. I have found them both to be helpful, actually more helpful than traditional adjustments. The few time he has "snapped my back" actually caused an increase in pain. I kind of think of him as a physical therapist on steroids with lots of knowledge and a ton of experience. They also do treatments like ultra-sound, interferential, cold laser, etc. The one thing that I wish was focused on a bit more is the home exercises. I think you need a good balance of hands-on work and exercise. Anyway my point to telling you about my guy is to let you know that maybe if you look around some more you might find someone who is helpful, not boastful. Something to remember also is that any treatment is going to take time to be effective.

Good luck, Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13361
   Posted 6/19/2010 3:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie I understand where you are coming from on this guy. The one thing you will find with chiropractic care is they have a routine for patients that most cannot afford, like you said come in three times a week and do exercises that you can do at home. This is so typical of them. Over weeks end they gradually reduce the visits but keep in mind most health insurance companies limit your visits and some will only pay for 10 visits. When I worked I dealt with a lot of these guys begging for business wanting to treat people that were in car accidents. For what they ran up in medical bills the person could have paid for a full blown surgery, lol. This is why ins companies limit them and why they do not care for them. There are some good ones out there I am sure, but with what you are describing as your problems the last thing you need is someone popping you. I have seen people be injured by chiropractic care before. Chiropractic care is not for everyone. They all say we have one leg longer than the other, one hip rides up higher than the other, blag, blah, blah. Tell me how they can tell you, that you need 35 treatments to get you better, lol. I do want to ask you if anyone has tried you on a steroid pack, like Medrol Dosepack? My siser had horrible sciatica from a pinched nerve, she got sick wioth pneumonia and did a round of Medrol Dosepack, she woke up one morning about 3 days into the medicine and her pain was gone. She was just floored because nothinghad worked for her, including the $15,000 the chiropractor charged her. Now when the pain comes back she does a round of the steroid andcalms it back down. I do know many drs will use this so its something you may want to consider. Good luck.

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4620
   Posted 6/19/2010 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice Straydog. I will discuss with my PCP about getting the dose-pack. I have been refusing it because I was put on 20mg a day of prednisone for a sinus infection and had to stop after 3 days because of severe, agonizing headache that lasted 3 days after I stopped it.

No way am I going to commit to thousands of dollars of chiropractic! Thanks for the tip! Now I understand why he wanted my husband to come to the next visit and why the paper said to bring a means of paying for care.

And yes, I am concerned about being injured further.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 6/19/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
there are good chirpractors and bad ones...sounds like yours is in it for the money, so I'd
run away from him, (so to speak) ask around and visit places before commiting to anyone...
the Ultra sound therapy helps me the most and I go once weekly, sometimes twice a week.
check and see if your insurance cover this stuff some limit it to only 20 visits a year...
Hope this helps..
hugz and mine knows not to adjust me...I cannot tolerate the neck adjustments...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2268
   Posted 6/19/2010 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Osteopaths can do OMT -- it's very similar to chiropractic, but osteopaths actually have a medical license. I've had better luck with them.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/20/2010 5:18 AM (GMT 0)   
Hi Alcie,

I've never been to a chiropractor before, but like Frances, I've seen an osteopath. Osteopaths do very gentle cranial-sacral work which essentially realigns misplaced anatomy, restoring natural fluid & energy flow. I'd strongly suggest looking into osteopathy. I personally would feel much safer with an osteopath vs a chiropractor when it comes to spinal manipulation. Osteopaths have more knowledge of anatomy and physiology & their techniques appear to be less forceful/more safe.

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