View Full Version : surgery vs. chiropractic

11-30-2006, 03:28 PM
Has anyone out there tried chiropractic for severe curves (60 degrees +) and ended up having surgery anyway?

I'm skeptical of chiropractic, but my husband wants me to check it out.



11-30-2006, 03:36 PM

My curves were in the high 50s when I started chiropractic treatment. I went for a year, 3X a week, and then tried several other chiropractors, before finally giving up and having surgery. My curves both increased more than 5 degrees in the approximately two years I was in chiropractic treatment.


11-30-2006, 04:19 PM
Did you feel better or did you feel like you were getting better during the time you were receiving treatment?

I've been reading a lot about Chiropractic and they seem to promise the world but no one seems to have success with severe curves.

Thanks for your response.

Jacque's Mom
11-30-2006, 04:33 PM
My curve was in the 60's when I was going to a chiro but eventually had surgery. My opinion - it was a waste of time and money. I went for about six months, as I was desperate to get rid of the horrendous pain. Surgery for me was the answer.

11-30-2006, 04:45 PM

I did, eventually, get some relief for my neck pain, from the 4th chiropractor that I tried. I never got any relief for my lower back pain. I still see a chiropractor a few times a year when I have neck pain.


11-30-2006, 04:49 PM
I started going to a chiropractor 2 or 3 times a week three years ago when my curve (thoracolumbar) was 37 degrees, just to see if it helped. He didn't make any promises. As soon as he decided it was probably futile (as far as correcting the curve), I stopped going except when I had pain or headaches, which he was usually able to help. He told me when I started going to him that he had worked on patients with scoliosis before and had success in correcting the curve in a few, which I believe was true, but it just doesn't work for everyone, or and I would dare say it doesn't work for the vast majority. I think it depends on the cause of your curve. It might be worth looking into, but I would be cautious about a chiro who believes he or she is a miracle worker or who doesn't believe in MD's. My chiro was realistic about the limits of his practice and even recommended the doctors at Hughston Orthopedic Clinic when it was time for me to look into surgery. I'm really glad he was able to recommend someone; the clinic and my doctor are just wonderful, and I'm scheduled for surgery there for two weeks from today.

11-30-2006, 04:53 PM
oops, didn't realize you were asking about treatment for curves 60+. Just wanted to contribute my experience since I've tried chiropractic treatment and am now having surgery anyway.

11-30-2006, 05:38 PM
Hi All,
I went to my chiropractor for about a year 6 yrs ago when my curves were at 50 degrees upper and 45 degrees lower. He told me he couldn't reduce them so i was referred to a orthopedic surgeon. Here in Australia not sure if all surgeons think this but the ones i went to don't like chiropractors at all mine said if anything it was a waste of time for me going and that they could of made mine worse. So since then i had never returned to him.
And im now going to have surgery in 2007.
This is my point of view from what my surgeons said so don't take offence in what my experience has been. It could be different in other countries.


12-07-2006, 12:00 PM
Please read my initial post: http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?p=29640#post29640

I will never, ever vouch for a chiropractor, nor would I ever believe any chiro. who says he can fix scoliosis. Any that even try and tell you they possibly can are full of it. My curve was as bad as yours.... he can NOT heal it. It's so easy to believe, because you want to so bad... who doesn't want an easy, non-surgical fix?? I know, I am biased against them, and I know they can help some people... but I refuse to believe they can help scoliosis patients. I wish you the very best of luck!! :o

12-09-2006, 01:34 PM
Before I had my kyphoscoliosis corrected, one of my uncles who just happens to be a chiropractor told me and my parents that I would be better off seeing an orthopaedic surgeon for my back. I have nothing against chiropractors at all. I've been going to one for the past 2 1/2 year, who has done wonders for my lower back. She's well aware of the rods in my back and is willing to work around them. That's just my 2 cents on this.

12-09-2006, 05:54 PM
I guess any good one will tell you-like an osteo or acupuncture specialist- that there is a three visit rule, and after those if the pain isn't better, to stop going.

This way we don't get taken advantage of.

12-09-2006, 06:19 PM
Good advice Sweetnes514!

12-10-2006, 11:29 AM
I have been told my many orthos that chiropractic care can lessen the pain associated with scoliosis, but can not reverse it. I think I even read that on one of the chiro websites somewhere. I went to a chiro for a long time (2 different ones) just to manage some discomfort. Still not in a lot of pain, but my upper curve has progressed 7 degrees throughout the treatment. I think it's best to think of a chiro as someone who can help you manage the pain (but I like Sweetness' rule), but at some point if the curve keeps progressing, they won't be effective any more. Only an ortho can actually reverse / correct it.

Maybe 20-30 years from now someone will create "Corrective Chiropractic Treatment" or something. Wouldn't that be nice.

12-10-2006, 01:40 PM
I remember my first chiro I used to go to, when I was 13, and he was so adament that I don't get surgery(in the future) and that he could help me with not only pain, but also with curve progression. He was wrong for the most part, yes. But even back then(mid '80s), I didn't completely believe him, and neither did my parents, so I just went for a few years mainly b/c I had so much pain with the progressing curves and the brace. For that hour visit he used tens, massaged and cracked my back, I felt good, and to me that's all that mattered at that moment. As far as him being a liar about him being my miracle cure, maybe he was but maybe he just didn't know better then.

The second and last chiro I saw was about 8 months prior to my surgery, as the last option. I saw him only every three to four weeks(per his advice), when or if I had pain and he took care of all of it. Again, I don't regret seeing him, even if after those 8 months he didn't help me as muh anymore b/c he helped me for those moments.

To me, bottom line is we are in control of our bodies and actions and it's also my responsibility to not become a victim of liars and be taken advantage of.

12-11-2006, 04:33 PM
I've been seeing a chiropractor since I was 12 years old. I agree with several of these posts. The chiropractor doesn't reverse or fix the curves, but it does manage the pain. Also, a good chiropractor will not promise you that he/she can fix your curve(s).

I've been lucky that my curve didn't start progressing until after I had children (probably due to the hormones). I'm also glad that my parents didn't make me have surgery back then because the surgery was much more evasive than it is now.

But, alas, I always knew it would come to this and I would eventually have to have the surgery. I don't regret one minute with the chiropractor because I felt that it allowed me to do many things during those important years as a kid that I probably wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

I only have to see the chiropractor once a month. If you find a good one, then they will definitely help out with the pain. But surgery is really the only option for straightening the curve. Hope this helps!

12-16-2006, 11:17 AM
Going to a chiropractor for Idiopathic Scoliosis doesnt stop the curve but i guess it could get rid of the pain for scoliosis. I never experienced pains for my curves before I received surgery because I used trees everyday which numbed pain.

12-16-2006, 12:54 PM
As far as I know chiropractors can't stop curves from progressing. I tried for years. I now go about twice a month just for my neck and shoulders and he stays away from my rods. It works wonders for my headaches and stress held in my neck

12-20-2006, 06:10 PM
I did find this article through my chiropractor's website. It's about a boy who was successfully treated for scoliosis using chiropractic care.


Karen Ocker
12-22-2006, 02:49 PM
This link will help with deciding what chiro helps and what not. Also, how to find the right chiro and avoid scams.


01-01-2007, 05:46 PM
Thanks to everyone for your input! I have now had my surgery, Dec. 7, and am pleased to say I am doing very well!
My own conclusion about chiropractic is that they are probably helpful in lessening some of the pain scoli patients have, but they can't fix the problem.
I think there are a lot of good things chiros can do for lots of people, but it seems like a religion - you must go once a week for life to keep healthy.
I'm happy that I didn't reschedule my surgery since I'm doing well.

01-02-2007, 01:57 AM
Hi Snowdal,

Glad to here you doing well!!! :)


01-04-2007, 06:34 AM
i had a curvge of 50 degrees and 45 when i started chiropractic and after a year when i had my next x-rays we found that it had progressed to 57 and 52 degrees so we decided that chiropractic was a waste of money.

hope this helps xxx fay

01-04-2007, 04:52 PM
How absolutely wonderful it has been to read all your posts.

Chiropractic help for fixing scoliosis has been something that I have never, ever believed in. I have found it hard sometimes on this forum in previous threads to try and get people to be careful and not believe what they are told by them. That is why your posts have been so great to read.

Chiropractors do have their place I do believe that. I have a bad neck and sore shoulders and they have helped me greatly with that, but my chiro just laughs when I ask him to fix the rest of me.

god bless