PDA

View Full Version : Chiropractor



nervous
02-26-2009, 05:35 AM
I spoke with a chiroprator today - and now, I'm confused even more....and now even more heisitant if surgery is the "correct" answer. It's only 2 1/2 weeks away...this stress and confusion is killing me!!!

She told me the following:

- she's never heard of cases where scoliosis progresses significantly as to where you have to get surgery when you are older (my age: 35 years old).

- she's never heard of adults getting rods in their back - the cases she is aware of it's always been kids

- that maybe a chiroprator could help me get better!!! What? How can they help an "S" curve like mine.....and does that mean I would need to see her on a weekly basis for the rest of my life?? Can they REALLY help my curve at my age....if so...why would ANY of us go through surgery??!!!

Okay - I'm taking Aspirin daily....all day, because I am in pain. I do this so I can continue to work....otherwise, I would need to be home laying on the couch or sitting on a chair with my feet propped up. Even then, I need Tylenol to tolerate the pain. The doctor's have tried prescribing me pain killers to help the pain...but again, I have to work; therefore, I need to be in the right state of mind.

Anyone else went to a chiropractor....and if, so....did it help??

Any and all thoughts are welcome.

Thanks friends!!

debbei
02-26-2009, 06:08 AM
Nervous,

ARGH!! If that chiropractor hasn't heard of adult scoliosis progressing, or adults getting rods, she's a very uneducated chiropractor and I'd get as far away from her as I could!

I don't remember if you told us what your measurements are, but in my case, they were both 66 degrees. I don't think that any reputable chiropractor would have told me they could correct my case without surgery as I was too severe. I also had S curve like you. If she's suggesting you go back regularly so she can 'fix' you, in my opinion, she's looking to make money.

As far as taking aspirin, remember you have to discontinue that before surgery, at least one week prior. Check with your surgeon's office for how soon they want you to quit.

Can you tell us what your curves measure? I'm so sorry that this woman is confusing you.

Pooka1
02-26-2009, 06:17 AM
Going to a chiro for critical medical/surgical advice is not advisable. These are lay people when it comes to real medicine and science.

You might as well ask your gardener whether or not you should get surgery. Same level of expertise as a chiro on this matter.

Susie*Bee
02-26-2009, 07:02 AM
Yes, don't listen to your chiro... she doesn't know about severe scoliosis. There are MANY of us who were fine with our scoli until later in our adult years-- like me! During the last 2 years before my surgery, my major curve progressed 6. If it's progressing, it's just going to get worse-- and no manipulation is going to correct that and could possibly do some harm.

txmarinemom
02-26-2009, 09:11 AM
Nervous,

I know you're having a hard time, but please, try to take what I'm about to say for what it is. I'm very concerned.

Most are nervous at the S-2.5 week mark, but I've honestly never seen anything this severe. If you're not mentally prepared for surgery, you need to reschedule or cancel it. Your actions are jeopardizing your chances for a successful recovery.

If you think you're ready, it's time to be a big girl.

First of all, stop the aspirin. You're getting dangerously close to the cut-off where it can cause excessive bleeding. Take Tylenol or your pain meds. If the dosage of pain meds is affecting you that badly, cut it back.

Secondly, at 2-1/2 weeks out, ask yourself why you're seeking opinions from a chiropractor? The profession is typically ignorant of scoliosis, and *especially* of surgical intervention?

What did you *expect* her to tell you? Why are you letting her confuse you at this stage in the game? Of course she can't correct your curve.

From your actions, one might deduce you're trying to sabotage your surgery/recovery, and again I'd ask that you really consider if you're ready. There is no grey area here: It's a yes or no question.

If you can't answer yes, you need to back out. You're going to need strength to get through this (and you CAN) ... but not unless your head's on straight.

Best of luck to you.

Regards,
Pam

Writer
02-26-2009, 10:32 AM
I went to a bunch of chiropractors years ago for scoliosis-related pain. It did help short-term for pain relief. But they can't "fix" scoliosis since they are usually not treating the ultimate problem. They do get training in scoliosis treatment in school, but in my experience their methods (horizontal traction, electrostimulation, spinal manipulation and so forth) are rinky-dink.

Chiropractors will continue to practice what they learned in school, though I've met a couple recently who are perceptive and look around for complementary methods. Surgeons will also continue to practice what they learned in school. I'd be wary if all they can prescribe for scoliosis pain is medications.

The first person who really helped fix my pain, a couple different kinds, was a Schroth-trained physical therapist who quickly figured out how my muscles and posture were causing the pain. I had tight hamstrings, for one, which were causing debilitating pain so that at times I could hardly walk or drive a car. But it was an instant fix. Simple stretch exercise once or twice a day, poof, no more low back pain. Then when I complained that sitting at my desk was uncomfortable, she recognized that I had my chair and desk adjusted wrong. One minute to adjust the chair and sit straight, with pelvis level, and presto, no more discomfort. Probably not everybody's scoliosis-related pain will be so easy to correct, but imagine if I'd try to fix those problems with painkillers.

Search this forum for posts about the Schroth method (some people misspell it scroth) to read other people's experiences. One thesis of the Schroth system is that you do not *have* to have surgery -- you can work with a therapist to learn exercises so you gain control over your own posture and health.

Pooka1
02-26-2009, 11:32 AM
Nervous, note that folks who are touting non-surgical treatments are talking about relieving PAIN, NOT stabilizing or reducing your curves.

If a non-surgical treatment can relieve pain then that is great. I would go for that depending on the onerousness of the treatment. There is no evidence any non-surgical treatment will stop or reduce your curves.

But if you have two large curves that are progressing and are virtually guaranteed to progress the rest of your life, the only proven treatment is surgical fusion.

Last, your pain may or may not be directly caused by the scoliosis. To my knowledge, all the back problems that scoliosis patients get can occur in patients with no scoliosis. You need to ask a surgeon about the likelihood that fusion will reduce your pain absent correcting any other problems you might have.

asccbodypro
02-26-2009, 11:43 AM
Nervous,

First I must say sounds like you didn't find a great chiropractor. I see a chiropractor who is also a sports med doc. Stretching and also occupational therapy along with my regular works outs are what has helped. He isn't for surgery, none of them are. HOWEVER, he understands that this is a life long problem and the chances that the curve will progress are indeed significant. Sounds like the the chiro you consulted with is old school maybe!

Once you have made the decision to have surgery you have to set it aside for a while and find other things to concentrate on. If you are in constant pain what is the quality of life you are leading? I have spent the past five yrs in pain. I was a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder. Not only was I frustrated that my curve progressed @ 3 degrees per year, I was also very depressed. I think if you have confidence in your surgeon and you are tired of being in pain there is your answer. I was exactly like you for a few weeks. I went back and forth. My husband finally asked if this was how I wanted to live my life, being in pain all the time.....obviously the answer was no. My pain is significant. If I don't go to the chiropractor 3-4 days per week, take the supplements he prescribes and lots of pain meds everyday. This is not how I want to live my life when most of it was spent in a gym being physically active and happy.

I wish you good luck in your final decision. I read that some said if you are not mentally prepared maybe now isn't the time. They are right. I'm not sure anyone is 100% prepared, who would WANT to go through this. I would prefer not to ever have to but it is what it is I suppose. I'd rather do it at 36 than at 56 or later and have a harder recovery. Maybe the docs can give you something to calm your nerves for the next few weeks! Take care and keep us posted:)

LynnMarie74
02-26-2009, 03:06 PM
I spoke with a chiroprator today - and now, I'm confused even more....and now even more heisitant if surgery is the "correct" answer. It's only 2 1/2 weeks away...this stress and confusion is killing me!!!

She told me the following:

- she's never heard of cases where scoliosis progresses significantly as to where you have to get surgery when you are older (my age: 35 years old).

- she's never heard of adults getting rods in their back - the cases she is aware of it's always been kids

- that maybe a chiroprator could help me get better!!! What? How can they help an "S" curve like mine.....and does that mean I would need to see her on a weekly basis for the rest of my life?? Can they REALLY help my curve at my age....if so...why would ANY of us go through surgery??!!!

Okay - I'm taking Aspirin daily....all day, because I am in pain. I do this so I can continue to work....otherwise, I would need to be home laying on the couch or sitting on a chair with my feet propped up. Even then, I need Tylenol to tolerate the pain. The doctor's have tried prescribing me pain killers to help the pain...but again, I have to work; therefore, I need to be in the right state of mind.

Anyone else went to a chiropractor....and if, so....did it help??

Any and all thoughts are welcome.

Thanks friends!!

Ohh dear...just like EVERYONE else that replied here...dont listen! I beg of you! lol Ok...here is my story in regards to the bone crackers!:

June of 2000--a friend of mine has a husband who is a bone cracker. She knew of my scoli & said "hey, why dont let him work on you, Im sure he could help" The thought of my friends husband touching me grossed me out(I dont like him by the way) so I decided to try it, but not w/him. So,I go to someone else, I forget his name as it was easy to do. My very 1st apt w/him I advise him that I have scoliosis and my curves are this & that. He says "how do you know you have Scoliosis" I was speachless for a few moments when I muttered out "ahh, becuz I know my body & I was diagnosed at a young age, thats how" At that point I should have ran far away but of course I didnt. So after questioning me....he shows me to the room & we start cracking away. He tells me my right leg is longer that the left, yada yada & does his thing. Im sore the next morning & the next & return for visit#2. I ask why Im in pain, he says its normal, so again the cracking continues. My friends husband now asks me how the Xrays looked. I say"what xrays?!" He said...no he yells"HUH!? He didnt do xrays on you 1st knowing you had scoliosis, before he worked on you?!?!?!?" I of course tell him no. He freeks out...Im mortified of course. He said that even when a patient doesnt have scoliosis, every good one would take some type of xray. I go for the 3rd time ready to kick some butt. I ask the dr for an xray...he asks why I want one. I tell him I have scoliosis & you are cracking my back & how do you know what youre dealing with? He says...again this is a true story"you have scoliosis, how do you know?" I said OK, Im done, thanks & left. Ever since then, Ive had my lower back pain. Do not trust them. Im sure there are a few out there that are legit and good, but they will tell you they can help you & dont get surgery. Sure, if you go 3x aweek for the REST OF YOUR LIFE they *may* be able to get you *some* correction, but its not permadent. Dont know about you, but I couldnt afford going there, or anywhere like that 3 times per week! Plus...who has the time to do this that often for something that wont "stick"?! Steer clear...you tried you other options...and now you know. HOpe this was helpful! :)

Doodles
02-26-2009, 04:17 PM
Wow, that's some real strange chiros. I am scheduled for surgery March 30 and certainly can relate to the nervousness! However, I can speak to chiropractors too--been to them all my life since being diagnosed at 13. I've never had one who didn't know about scoliosis and this sort of surgery; that is really strange. With moves etc. and trying to find the right one, I have probably been to 7 or 8.

Chiropractors along with lots of exercise has helped my pain. Also the last few years I have had rolfing--which goes deeper into muscles like a rather painful massage is the best way to explain it. Anyway, it kept me going. Now, the last year it has gotten so much worse I knew I had to do something. Just last week I was at my pre-op in St. Louis and MRI showed increases just since September when I scheduled surgery. He pointed out a third curve I'd never really kept track of measurements on and really a fourth at the very bottom. So now I'm 52, 91, 62--which is certainly going in the wrong direction from even my signature below. Plus, I now have to start the fusion at T2 and go to pelvis.

Yes, younger would be better, but I agree with the others that this might be the time to stop and think about changing your date and see if you are really ready. A couple years wouldn't make that much difference. You need to get mentally ready for this kind of surgery. Good luck with your decision.
Janet

asccbodypro
02-26-2009, 04:25 PM
Lynn,

Sorry you had such a awful time with your chiropractor! Sounds like he shouldn't be one. I can honestly say I would never trust anyone to do the things mine has done. You brought up a good point.....the amount of time and money. This was what aided in my decision to have surgery. I have spent $600 every month the past year and having to be there 3-4 days a week. Between the adjustments and workouts I am there for about 2 hours. I felt like that was my life. It really took a lot of my day up and everything revolved around the chiropractor and how I felt.....so surgery finally. I really thought that my doc would give me a hard time when I decided to have surgery but he has been very supportive and I will continue with him after surgery due to my neck issues. I can honestly say I am 100% confident in him helping post surgery. It is unfortunate that so many people come across bad chiropractors. There are some really great ones out there but I think one needs to educate themselves on really what type they need and of course that can be confusing. As I've said in past posts, mine doc is not only a chiropractor but a sports med doc as well and I think they may have a different approach. My doc believes working out aids in rehabilitation....once he has gotten his patients past the acute point of their injuries. Good luck to everyone out there and take the time to really research your chiropractor just as you would your surgeon:D

nervous
02-26-2009, 07:28 PM
Thanks everyone - I really appreciate all of the POSITIVE responses!!

Pam: regarding your response about being "a big girl". I am a parent, wife, friend, and hard-worker...just like many of us on here. I am a "big girl".

As many have mentioned on this forum...it's normal to be nervous about this...and that's exactly what I am....nervous! And....I tend to have many questions.

Again, thanks for the responses! This helps tremendously!! I have a lot in common with most of you.

Rachel

Pooka1
02-26-2009, 07:56 PM
Yes it is common to be nervous.

And unfortunately it is common to be taken in by woo-woo claims from chiros among others.

The best advice is to stick with science and medicine and proven treatments for a medical problem. It's anyone's best hope.

Good luck.

txmarinemom
02-26-2009, 10:08 PM
Thanks everyone - I really appreciate all of the POSITIVE responses!!

Pam: regarding your response about being "a big girl". I am a parent, wife, friend, and hard-worker...just like many of us on here. I am a "big girl".

As many have mentioned on this forum...it's normal to be nervous about this...and that's exactly what I am....nervous! And....I tend to have many questions.

Again, thanks for the responses! This helps tremendously!! I have a lot in common with most of you.

Rachel

Rachel ...

You obviously missed my message even though I spelled out my concern in the very first sentence.

My point was if you're going to spend the last 2.5 weeks refusing to take prescribed pain meds (and instead choosing to self-medicate with a drug that is *dangerous* before surgery), and further muddying your own mind/nerve by seeing/listening to a chiropractor, maybe you should think long and hard about whether you're mentally prepared for surgery right now.

Sure, you have questions ... but consulting the "gardener" (and that's a great analogy) for answers, this close to surgery, is an indication you don't have faith in your surgeon (yet another reason to postpone surgery).

"Being a big girl" has absolutely nothing to do with whether you're a parent or whether you work. I used it in the context of doing whatever you need to - and avoiding what/who you need to - to get your mind right before surgery. You're *choosing* to do things that can jeopardize your recovery, both mentally and physically.

If you found my response harsh, I apologize, but I hope it makes you think. Your mental state is going to carry 99% of the recovery load, and I hope you get it focused in the right direction.

Regards,
Pam

nervous
02-27-2009, 08:03 AM
Happy Friday all!

Someone asked what my curves are. They are 52 degrees (right thoracic curve) and 38 degrees (left thoracolumbar curve) and a significant rotation in my thoracic region. My fusion will be posterior T4-T12.

Also, I stand corrected - I have not been taking Aspirin, I have been taking Tylenol (Extra Strength) for the past two weeks. From what I was told...it is okay to continue to take this until my surgery....just no Aspirin/Ibuprofin, etc. :o

Writer
02-27-2009, 10:35 AM
Nervous, note that folks who are touting non-surgical treatments are talking about relieving PAIN, NOT stabilizing or reducing your curves.

If a non-surgical treatment can relieve pain then that is great. I would go for that depending on the onerousness of the treatment. There is no evidence any non-surgical treatment will stop or reduce your curves.

But if you have two large curves that are progressing and are virtually guaranteed to progress the rest of your life, the only proven treatment is surgical fusion.

This is the standard pitch that the orthopedists will tell you, but if you consult the literature objectively, there is plenty of evidence that exercise therapy, including Schroth, can not only halt progression but often reverse curves. Here's an abstract of an article by Martha Hawes, who has published several other articles together with Joe O'Brien, our NSF president. If anybody would like to see the whole article, PM me and I'll send you the PDF.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14713583?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

nervous
02-27-2009, 10:41 AM
Writer - do you have scoliosis and are you planning on/or had this surgery? Just trying to learn a little more about you.

thanks!

Pooka1
02-27-2009, 11:10 AM
This is the standard pitch that the orthopedists will tell you, but if you consult the literature objectively, there is plenty of evidence that exercise therapy, including Schroth, can not only halt progression but often reverse curves. Here's an abstract of an article by Martha Hawes, who has published several other articles together with Joe O'Brien, our NSF president. If anybody would like to see the whole article, PM me and I'll send you the PDF.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14713583?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

If there was proof for these claims in the form of objective medical findings (i.e., radiographs over time and in the long term), we would have heard it by now, someone would have gotten the Nobel in physiology/medicine, and nobody would be having surgery.

None of these results are obtained. Therefore we can doubt the claims of Schroth and Hawes, the latter of which is on record with some demonstrably wacky claims.

Schroth and Hawes are not evidence driven.

txmarinemom
02-27-2009, 10:56 PM
First post:


Okay - I'm taking Aspirin daily....all day, because I am in pain. I do this so I can continue to work....otherwise, I would need to be home laying on the couch or sitting on a chair with my feet propped up. Even then, I need Tylenol to tolerate the pain. The doctor's have tried prescribing me pain killers to help the pain...but again, I have to work; therefore, I need to be in the right state of mind.

Later clarification:


Also, I stand corrected - I have not been taking Aspirin, I have been taking Tylenol (Extra Strength) for the past two weeks. From what I was told...it is okay to continue to take this until my surgery....just no Aspirin/Ibuprofin, etc. :o

Out of curiousity, how does one think they're taking aspirin vs. Tylenol when they're self-medicating? That puzzles me; both are OTC meds you've chosen over rx'd meds. You should DEFINITIVELY know what you're putting in your body.

And, nervous? If you're 2 weeks out, seeing a chiro AND wanting to hear what Writer has to say - DEFINITELY cancel. Free up your surgeon's schedule for someone who's ready. If you're not, that's fine; let him/her take care of people who ARE.

LisaMS
02-27-2009, 11:52 PM
Dear Nervous,

I have seen a chiropractor for years, and he's been very helpful. I think his treatment (and exercises he taught me--very similar to PT) have really helped me to not have much pain over the years. When it came time to have surgery, he was supportive and even said that the surgeon I had chosen was a good one. I will continue to see him (he works on my neck problems too), and he also does acupuncture and Chinese herbs that have helped very much with my MS.

Not all chiropractors are quacks, but many are. Beware when you're choosing one, and trust your gut!

I am three months out from surgery, and was very nervous and not sure I should do it. But now I'm already much better than before surgery and am SO GLAD I had the surgery. Not only do I already feel better, but it's an investment in my future.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

nervous
02-28-2009, 07:02 AM
Thanks for the advice, Lisa!

I agree, I think some chiroprator's are okay; we just have to be careful to choose the right ones.

Have a wonderful week-end!
Rachel

mariaf
02-28-2009, 08:22 AM
there is plenty of evidence that exercise therapy, including Schroth, can not only halt progression but often reverse curves.

Sorry, Writer, but I had to say that I think it's irresponsible to post that and offer false hopes to anyone who might be hoping for a way to avoid surgery. There is NOT plenty of evidence that exercise can halt or reverse curves.

I'm with Sharon with regard to Hawes and Schroth - while we all "wish" there was a way to fix scoliosis with exercise, there isn't. I'm not buying any of it.