General Question

jca's avatar

Have you been to a chiropractor, and if so, did you find it helpful? How many sessions did it take before you felt better?

Asked by jca (28420 points ) March 22nd, 2014

My health insurance pays for 35 sessions of chiropractic. Some of my coworkers go and they say they feel a lot better. They go to one particular chiropractor who, they say, likes to see them once a week for 30 weeks.

I don’t have a bad back but when I turn my neck a certain way, it feels a little stiff. The other day at work, I hugged someone and it made major cracking sounds. The person said “was that your neck?” and it was somewhat embarrassing. I am wondering if a chiropractor would be helpful. If so, would it take 30 sessions? I really don’t have time for 30 appointments of anything and am wondering if that particular chiropractor is just looking to milk the insurance.

I have heard other people say that going to a chiropractor feels great, while others say they screw you up. What do you think?

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23 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Chiropractors are frauds, all of them, and their incomptetence can turn you into a cripple, or worse, kill you.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

My brother went and at some point he saw that it was making him feel worse. I guess everyone has different results.

Aster's avatar

I haven’t been to one; they scare me with their neck cracking procedures. I slowly roll my neck when I get up. I think cracking or stiff necks are from stress. Stress makes us hold our shoulders up closer to our ears all day and it’s unnatural at best and can create a stiff neck. All just my opinion (rolling neck)
I have heard of people having strokes after seeing one but I think and hope it’s the exception.

hearkat's avatar

I went to one when I was in High School in the early ‘80s (I had such a crush on him!), and we went every week for years. It felt great at first, but eventually I noticed that I seemed to get out of alignment more easily. I learned how to twist and realign myself, and stopped seeing the chiropractor. Over time with watching my posture and body mechanics, I got to the point where I rarely feel out of alignment, even though I now weigh over 100 lbs. more and am far less fit than I was as a teenager. I’ve also had a few car accidents with whiplash injuries since then and healed just fine without chiropractic care.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Many people do not realize what Chiropractic is. It’s roots are in alternative medicine and not medical science.

GloPro's avatar

Why would you consider doing something just because your insurance company covers it? Isn’t that a form of milking the insurance company, too? You stated in the OP that you don’t have a bad back. I’d just leave it alone.
I go to a chiro, but I know why I’m there and couple it with strengthening exercises and massage.

gailcalled's avatar

I went a few times for lower back issues (and out of curiosity). Back felt better for about an hour afterwards; massage, heat and tailor-made excercise made much more sense for me also.

filmfann's avatar

Chiropractors are NOT all frauds. There are good ones out there that can help when things don’t feel right.
When my neck was so bad for so long that I worried it would not heal, a chiropractor reset it, and I left the office pain free.
Usually, chiropractors see my lower back and they start planning additions on their homes. I never let them mess with it, because I know it would take a long time to correctly align.
I use a chiropractor as a last resort. My sister goes once a week for routine maintenance.

ragingloli's avatar

@filmfann
They ARE all frauds.

RocketGuy's avatar

I use one for bad posture muscle cramps, that I can’t take out myself. Takes 4 visits max. She also recommends posture adjustments to prevent recurrence.

If no change after 4, it’s a medical problem – go see an orthopedist.

Cruiser's avatar

I blew out my back and I went to 3 chiropractors and none of them provided anything other than very temporary relief. Finally the 3rd chiropractor after three weeks said I was not getting any better and he suspected I had MS…Long story short the JERK was WRONG and a very smart orthopedic surgeon discovered what the Chiros and radiologist all missed was that I had a herniated disc at my T10/T11. I started doing yoga and cured my problem on my own and have been pain free for 13 years. I mean ache and pain free. Yoga hurt like hell at first but I pushed through the pain and am today pain free!!!

janbb's avatar

I went for a time after a car accident and it was helpful: I do not go routinely. My Ex has had back problems over the years and now goes once a month for an adjustment. Since going monthly, he has not had a back problem.

I don’t think they are all frauds but I don’t think it can help everything.

Have you thought of PT for you neck? That is another option that should be covered.

jca's avatar

@GloPro: Your response was unnecessarily snarky, when I don’t think that is called for. I am not looking to milk anything. I stated my neck is having issues, and am curious if chiropractors are helpful to others. If I did go to one, I was not looking to go for the maximum time that my insurance company would cover it, which was why I asked in my question if it would take 30 sessions. If I wanted to milk my insurance company, I wouldn’t ask anything, I would just go.

jca's avatar

@janbb: I haven’t thought of PT, but I have thought of yoga.

janbb's avatar

@jca Another good possibility as would potentially be massage and jacuzzis. If you trust your GP, why not talk to him/her first? Some will recommend chiropractory or PT.

Coloma's avatar

I vote for massage therapy myself, and, if you are over 50 a certain, natural amount of degenerative disc issues are pretty common. If you have some DDD going on a chiropractor will not help. My mother was royally messed up by a chiropractor years ago. for a neck issue.
Heat, massage, stretching is your best bet.

GloPro's avatar

@jca “I don’t have a bad back but when I turn my neck a certain way, it feels a little stiff.”

I didn’t mean to sound snarky, I apologize. I went off of the above statement from your OP. It indicated to me that you do not have a bad back. I wouldn’t go to the chiropractor if I were you, regardless of who pays for it.
I am sure your comment asking if a chiropractor suggesting 30 visits, which is not uncommon, is an attempt to milk insurance was not meant to be offensive either. A chiropractor may not see it that way.

jca's avatar

@GloPro: I had no idea how many visits is typical for a chiropractor. This is solely an information gathering question. The same way, when a mechanic tells me that the car needs certain repairs, one of my questions might be “is it really necessary?” or “can this repair wait at all?” or if a surgeon suggested surgery as an option, I would try to determine if it was really necessary. Since neck problems are part of the spine, I think asking about a chiropractor might be a valid option.

ragingloli's avatar

only if you have a death wish

GloPro's avatar

I see your point, and I apologize again for coming across snarky. I didn’t take a stiff neck and being embarrassed about your back popping as seriously as you meant for it to come across, apparently. Hell, I pop and crack my way through my day every day at this point. If I have a stiff neck I swap pillows or get a massage. Too many people jump to doctors/chiropractors too easily. I go, but only about 2 times a month. I don’t know that it helps, but I can tell you that if you begin to stretch the ligaments in your neck through adjustments then they will only continue to get looser.
Only you know how severe your neck issue is, but if it’s just stiff I’d try anything else.

And I agree that second opinions are smart, but even if you asked your mechanic if he was just milking the insurance he would be no less offended than you were by me. Just saying. Asking if something is necessary is not the same as asking if they are being a fraud. And I am sorry you were offended. It was not my intention.

jca's avatar

@GloPro: Gotcha. I am not one to go to the doctor unless it’s necessary (although I do go for suggested tests like mammogram), and chiropractor is one that many say is a bad thing. These coworkers swear by it, but I am leery, plus I really don’t have time for all these visits.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that general chiropractors do some good.

I was in training to jog a full marathon and became lame with severe sciatica down my right leg during the week leading up to the marathon. I could not jog even one mile. I was in great pain even while walking. On the Friday before the marathon I saw a chiropractor for an adjustment. I walked out of the chiropractor’s office pain free and jogged the entire marathon without pain.

Now chiropractors that specialize in cervical adjustments are a different breed of cat. They are brain washers and they try to convince you that you are healed just by touching your neck ever so lightly. Patients want to be healed so bad that that they actually start to believe it over time. I went through that BS and got no benefit from it. It was just a huge waste of time and money.

Harold's avatar

A chiroquacktor stuffed my back when I was 19. 20 years later I ended up having surgery to repair the damage he caused. 20 years of pain thanks to him. NEVER let a chiro take x-rays of you. They have no idea of radiation safety, and don’t know what they’re looking at anyway.

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