My anecdotal experience has been similar. The orthopedist I occasioanlly go to use chiropractic methods only sometimes. Other times he just tells me to take some pain medicine and to rest. Besides, I don't have back pain often anyway (luckily).
edit: Just to clarify, there is no scientific evidence that chiro is effective as anything other than placebo. All evidence provided is anecdotal and hence useless.
I say this as a long time skeptic of chiropractic; my dad, in fact, had a terrible moment in his youth where he had lower body paralysis for 2 days after a chirp visit... My partner has ahhh unusual wrist physiology and when we moved to a new city (near where she grew up), she wanted to go visit her old chiropractor to get her wrist looked at (the same guy had looked at it 30 years ago). I bit my tongue and didn't say anything. His advice: you need to get X-rays and I'll schedule you to see a (mainstream MD) specialist.
I'm still skeptical, but it gives me a little faith that in spite of whatever quackery exists, some of them do at least recognize problems that are the domain of conventional medicine.
The weakness of heuristics is that they don't turn into reusable models but vice versa models can leave you blind. The constant disdain for heuristics is a huge weakness of many scientifically minded people IMO.
this the silliest misinterpretation of Fourier analysis I've ever seen and I'm not going to try refute it except to say that with the clarity you're implying Fourier decomposition applies only to periodic signals (ie saying that a signal that has a continuous time FT "has most of its information expressed as a sine wave would be an egregious exaggeration so you must talking about series expansion and that only applies to periodic signals [and I'm at a loss for how to interpret info about chiropractors as periodic]).
> Moderate evidence suggests that chiropractic care for LBP appears to be equally effective as physical therapy. Limited evidence suggests the same conclusion when chiropractic care is compared to exercise therapy and medical care although no firm conclusion can be reached at this time. No serious adverse events were reported for any type of care. Our review was also unable to clarify whether chiropractic or medical care is more cost-effective. Given the limited available evidence, the decision to seek or to refer patients for chiropractic care should be based on patient preference and values. Future studies are likely to have an important impact on our estimates as these were based on only a few admissible studies.
For example, several years ago I spent the winter on the north shore of Oahu (Hawaii) surfing. The waves are often perfect and glassy, but pack a serious punch when you fall. I took a heavy wipeout, which left me as stiff necked as I've ever been. For a few days I could barely move my head from left to right. I needed to do something, so went to a chriropractor.
The chiropractor had seen the surfer's whiplash injury many times before; after some light warmup massage work to loosen up the muscles, a quick jerking of the head, and crack!!, done. All the tension gone in an instant. Walked out a new man, was back in the water the next day.
Less extreme, as a computer worker I often find myself in strange/unhealthy positions while consumed with solving yet another problem. This leaves my back not feeling all that great. So, 3 or 4 times a year I go to a chiropractor I know (in Montreal) and get an adjustment. While there's no permanent realignment, there is most definitely a temporary one, which feels great.
I'd say it depends on the chiropractor (YMMV), and not that the profession as a whole is a hoax.
Please don't ever let anyone do that again. The two vertebral arteries that supply blood to your posterior brain (occipital lobe, cerebellum, medulla, pons) are encased in your cervical/neck vertebrae transverse processes. Quick manipulation of your neck with a "jerk" can injure these arteries and lead to dissection and infarct of your brain with permanent loss of function or it can even kill you.
I've survived a vertebral dissection caused by neck manipulation which lead to permanent loss of vision.
A dissection is injury to the inner lining of a blood vessel leading to clot formation over the tear. The clot can entirely obstruct the lumen of the vessel or parts can break off and obstruct downstream vessels leading to infarct.
Please don't let anyone manipulate your neck in the future.
Here's a cohort study supporting your doctor's advice to you.
And just for some Pop culture connection - here's a link to an article about a Playboy model that died after a carotid dissection due to neck manipulation by a chiropractor.
Within 6 weeks the pain disappeared permanently. This was over 10 years ago. Occsssionally i will tweak my back from carrying my kids on my back and I will go for s few sessions and I feel great afterwards.
It's not bullshit, at least for back problems. Some chiros say it cures colds etc which is bullshit. You just need to find a chiro that doesn't deal with that stuff.
Chiro's entire "methodology" is based on something called "subluxation". Go and ask your local Chiro what it is, and get them to show you what it is.
You'll be waiting a while. its complete bullshit.
There is No. Such. Thing.
They're dangerous pseudo science pushers, with no evidence to back up their core basis to operate.
Go to a physio therapist. Their medicinal practices are based on good, solid scientific evidence based medicine.
lastly.. here is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing you'll ever see, a Chiro doing an "adjustment" on a snapping turtle... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=693MsUkQzsA
Many things tend to go away by themselves (regression to the mean), back pain appears to be one of them and we haven't found better ways to treat it.
Chiropractors often make one feel good for a few days but the effect does not last.
The reason people get relief from chiropractors is manipulating joints is shown to help free up joints and take muscles out of spasm.
Physiotherapists practice evidence based medicine, chiros try stuff and get lucky, it happens that there is an overlap in the Venn diagram of those two fields.
That said, I had been under the impression that chiro is about as effective for lower back pain as evidence-based physical therapy. But that doesn't mean it is effective. It could equally well mean that we don't know of many good treatments for lower back pain, and thus that physical therapy is only good as a placebo (chiropractic).
Should we ideally strive for scientific rigour in everything we do? Yes. Does quantum mechanics prevent us from predicing anything to arbitrary precision? Yes. Are we currently unable to model any three body interaction analytically? Yes.
Right at the atomic level, our science is built on top of approximations and concessions to rigour. The second you get to anything remotely murky like biological systems, it all gets a bit hand wavey anyway.
This is not to discount the scientific method or years of evidence based research, but if chiropractors and Chinese medicine, and even homeopathy can have an effect on people then who are we to tell them they're wrong?
Even if it is just a placebo, until we can in precise terms explain the pathways of the placebo effect, then various healing methods in their various cultural contexts still have their place in the world imho, provided they are not known to be causing harm.
Oh dear. No. That's not true at all. Suppose I have back pain. Then I eat some dirt. Then I feel better. Then I start claiming that dirt ingestion cures back pain. Someone would be well within their rights to call that bullshit, despite my anecdote. Even if I could find a dozen people who had the same experience, it would still be bullshit.
It looks like some folks in this thread are talking about quacks who brute force your back into oblivion, whereas others are talking about physical therapy spinal manipulation. I'm assuming these are not the same thing?
That said, and even in spite of my strong skepticism toward their practice, I have to say that it was the only thing that helped my periodic extreme back pain. I had tried a medical doctor, physical therapist, and massage. Chiro provided immediate and near-complete relief.
They tried to get me to come in 3x weekly for months (basically maxing out my insurance contribution), but I only ever needed 2-3 visits to feel 100%.
Seriously, if you've ever been to a chiropractor for back and neck related problems, you know that it's at the VERY LEAST not bullshit. Claiming it's all just quack science is completely ignorant.
I do know that chiropractors have long struggled to keep clientele, because people come when they're hurting, and stop coming when they feel better. So, some chiropractors have taken to questionable methods to keep people coming back. The ones on the up-and-up will, quite correctly, tell you that just cracking your back isn't going to fix your problem, and that you need to do strengthening exercises of the core muscles that keep your bones in the correct spots, and to fix your posture problems.
It seems to me that skepticism of the medical establishment and skepticism of mainstream environmental science would go hand-in-hand, but I also think chiropractic is bullshit (and I've been to a chiropractor for back and neck related problems).
In communities with enough time and money to act precious, I see stronger correlation between pro-chiropractic, anti-gluten, and anti-vax.
Took a trip to a doctor and got a useful diagnosis at the first visit. So I would say no, going to a chiro does not prove it to be more than complete BS. They stretched out my tight muscles/tendons which gave me minor temporary relief. Woohoo.
If your problems are spine/neck/etc related, having yourself adjusted will provide relief, and strengthening, stretching and maintaining good posture habits will help keep those things from recurring. And, of course, as you age, the body breaks down... there's only so much that can be corrected.
I will say, strengthening my core made the most difference in my spine/neck pain. Heavy weight squats, push ups, planks, etc.
In my case, the problem was something called weight lifter's shoulder. Not something that can be fixed by a chiro, but they were happy to take my money for two months while providing no diagnostic value.
So just be aware that there are real cases where chiropractic, though expensive, can be insanely (and immediately) effective! There's no room for doubt in my experience, just what would be a potentially expensive habit if I kept going.
It's essentially pseudoscientific alternative medicine that has since had utility confirmed in some areas. But then, so is much actual medicine, the problem is that quackery remains more pervasive in churopractic. You can find chiros that aren't quacks, though; it's not like homeopathy.
I've been going to chiropractors off and on for a few years. I started with a lower back injury, saw my primary care physician, went to PT, and after a few visits she recommended seeing a chiropractor. It took a while before I found a chiropractor I was comfortable with. Most over-promised and had a ton of halo-effect services they constantly pushed. I found one that also offered massage and didn't try to upsell any of their other services and I found that combination worked for me.
After I moved, I stopped the massage part. I stopped the chiropractor part. But the back pain hit me again in a big way. I've found that in times of high stress like I experienced several weeks ago an adjustment lasts for 1-2 days tops before it returns. My current guess based on this slightly-sensational article is that the massages help prevent muscles from messing with the entire system, so that's something I'll need to try.
If you do find it reasonable to try, a gym membership would be best, for at least a few months, and a couple sessions with a trainer. Poor form with these exercises can also lead to damage.
After that, you need to do functional movements and lift-heavy-things, often. Not too heavy, but enough to prompt your body to improve its capabilities.
The bone cracking ones which the author seems to be familiar with I'd personally agree.
There is a system called NeuroLink though which (in personal experience for several years) does work:
No bone cracking required. :)
The truth is, when it comes to myofascial pain, nobody really understands what is going on. Empirical techniques (such as ART and Graston) can get results superior to those achieved by standard physical therapy.
Hospitals alone kill close to 100,000 Americans alone each year. https://www.propublica.org/article/how-many-die-from-medical...
Chiropractors are good:
1) Personal experience. They have helped my spine recover multiple times, in record recovery time.
2) Modern medicine consists of prescribing drugs, or high risk surgeries. Paralysis for life is a real risk.
3) If you get a great one, they will add years of pain-free time for your life
Chiropractors are also bad:
a) There are some 'religious schools' founded by 'bodies for Christ' aka Maximized Living that make some interesting claims. Unfortunately these are becoming common
b) many new chiropractors have poor technique. This often goes back to the previous point.
c) Unless the person is really good don't let them mess with your neck. There is a growing link between neck manipulation and strokes, especially when 'fast techniques' are involved. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Deanna_Rothwell/publica...
This doesn't mean that Chiropractors are bad. There are many many great ones and it really works.
There are many quacks who drink the cool aid. They are mostly new graduates.
Modern medicine's approach to back and neck pain is utterly subpar and medieval. There are many quacks there too, and they kill a lot more every year.
And the medical community also disavowed Surgery as 'quackery' not too long ago: http://mentalfloss.com/article/66664/how-uneducated-butchers...
> 2) Modern medicine consists of prescribing drugs, or high risk surgeries. Paralysis for life is a real risk.
This is reminiscent of the arguments used by creationists. "Creationism isn't bullshit! Look at all the flaws in evolution!"
> 1) Personal experience.
There's people who use homeopathy who swear by it. That doesn't make homeopathy any more legitimate.
Placebo does sometimes work which is why it's amazing and has people looking into the role of the brain in healing.
In fact if placebo didn't work then it would be pointless to use it in clinical trials for new drugs.
If you have for example a nerve caught in a joint, a placebo may make you believe you're getting better and eliminate the pain of a while, same as an analgesic, but the nerve will still be caught in that joint. That's what I mean when I say it doesn't help. It doesn't actually make the ailment go away. Sometimes the ailment will go away on it own while the patient is under the placebo effect, but that's not the same as the placebo actually doing anything.
> In fact if placebo didn't work then it would be pointless to use it in clinical trials for new drugs.
You do realize that a drug being found to have an effectiveness at treating X equal to placebo is considered a failure, right? It means the drug has no effect on X, positive or negative. That's one of the reasons homeopathy is considered bullshit (the other being that its founding principles are false), that on clinical trials it's been found time and again to be as effective as a placebo.
In a hypothetical but semi-realistic case let's say 300 people are taking part in a trial.
100 will be the control group that gets nothing. Maybe 20 people will get better on their own.
Next is the placebo group, who think they are getting some awesome new meds. Out of 100 people maybe 40 will get better on their own.
Next is the group that actually gets the medication. Now if only 40 out of 100 get better than they know the medicine is no better than placebo and doesn't actually do anything.
Notice that if there wasn't a placebo group people would assume that the drug actually helps people because it performs better than the control group.
You seem to be confusing placebo with someone randomly getting better (the 20% of the control group).
The whole idea of placebo is that you're more likely to "randomly get better" when you think you're going to get better (the 40% compared to the 20%). The implications of this is that somehow the brain is involved in healing the body.
The driver who gets the special tyres improves their performance, while the control driver performs as usual.
The placebo effect is when the driver who thinks he has the special tyres improves his time even though he hasn't received any special tyres.
Oh please. In any tech related topic there'd be a hundred people telling you that perfect is the enemy of the good.
Why does this site that prides itself on logical and level-headed discussion always go full-whacko when it comes to healthcare?