I have gone to Chiropractors since I was twelve. From a pulled muscle to a pinched nerve, usually I have had excellent care. But not always, so that is what this article is about. Since I rode my bike a lot and did more swimming than the normal kid does, I seemed to always end up sore. Since we traveled about every six weeks to a new town, each episode usually meant a new Chiropractor.
Believe me I have dealt with good ones and bad ones. My experience last week reminded me of that, and I had to not only share my story with you, but to warn you that there are unscrupulous Chiropractors out there.
The idea behind going to a Chiropractor is to have your spine adjusted. Each visit your Doctor should do that. Some have other alternatives, for no apparent reason. One is what I call shock, or electric therapy. They place what is supposed to be a low electric current to a spot on your back, this contracts and releases muscles. In the fourteen years I have gone to a ‘Chiropractor’ this never helped. The other thing was heated massage. This is good, but you can do the same thing at home, for less than $50.00 and have it every day. There is no reason to lay for twenty or thirty minutes when an entire adjustment only takes minutes. This may or may not be a con, but I think it is a con.
In Mishawaka, Indiana I went to a Doctor, I had a sore shoulder. We were traveling to another city, and I could barely move my arm. We saw a Chiropractor sign, dad stopped and we went in. In less than 5 minutes my arm was at 100% and I was ready to go. The doctor said no. He then adjusted my entire back. Total time 15 minutes. Cost $25.00. That was a little high, but the treatment was worth it.
While living with my cousins I had to go again for a pain in my back after horseback riding. It took 7 weeks of treatments. The first week he popped my neck. I never said I had a problem with my neck, he knew exactly where my pain was. The second week he popped my lower back, again not touching the place I hurt at. The third week he gave me a 40 minute talk on Chiropractic medicine. I have to actually say I felt like a viewer at a Pentecostal “healing”. On the seventh week, when he realized we were leaving the town, he fixed my problem. I was fourteen and said, “It is about time, why couldn’t you have done that the first day?” When he didn’t answer I continued, “You are just another insurance con artist.”
After all these years I have learned to spot these characters. If you go in with a complaint, and they ignore the complaint, then go elsewhere. If they want you to sign a contract, go elsewhere. If they take an X-ray and tell you it could take months, maybe years to fix a problem, but do not address the problem you came in for, find someone else. If they start sounding like a faith healer, find someone else. Now you may have problems that will take time to fix, but let’s get what you came for fixed then talk about other problems.
On the other hand if you go in, they adjust your entire back and neck and address your problem, or vice versa, then you have found a good, probably excellent doctor. You want to see them at least once a month as long as you live in the same city.
My trip last week was a disaster from the beginning. First I had to fill out about ten pages of paperwork. Then I had to draw on the sheet where my problem was. It seems talking wasn’t good enough. He ignored my problem, which was simple, I rolled in bed wrong ended up with a pinched nerve behind my shoulder blade. The next day my little finger was numb.
He told me this was caused because I had carpal tunnel syndrome. I said no, it is because I have a pinched nerve and it is affecting the Ulnar nerve in my elbow. He did not argue, but tapped my wrist a few times and said “there, that will give you some relief, look your hand now has more color.”
Well it did not have more color, he was doing one of his mystical ‘healings’ instead of helping me. Then he told me it could take months to fix my carpal tunnel, after all he had years of experience. For heaven’s sake he told me this four times, and I could see the date of graduation on his certificate.
Yes I am a skeptic, not about Chiropractic medicine, but about the Universities teaching these guys how to fake out their patients and scam insurance companies. A real Chiropractor is not a certificate, it is about helping people immediately.
In closing if you find a good one, visit as often as your insurance lets you, or you can afford. If you find a bad one, make sure you tell people about the good one you found.