Anyone terrified of chiropractor?

enigmaquandryAugust 26, 2010

I discovered somewhat unexpectedly, that my neck is in the first stage of spinal degeneration and has completely lost the natural curvature that it's supposed to have. My husband's workplace actually brings a chiropractor into the office twice a week for their employees to get adjustments, we like him a lot and he did my x-rays. He's super concerned about it because I'm only in my early twenties and my neck is going to deteriorate at twice the normal rate...SOOOOOOO I have agreed to go to the office twice a week (it is free for employees and their families) to be adjusted, HOPEFULLY this will begin to work to avoid surgery etc.

The issue is, I'm truly terrified of getting adjusted, I've probably had it done about four times so far, and I've gotten used to the back ones but when he goes to do my neck I can't STAND IT! I know I have to relax the muscles because it makes it so much worse when they're tight, but I CAN'T relax them because they are protecting my poor neck! Has anyone figured out a way to stay calm and not freak out? I know no heads have fallen off in the history of chiropractic, but that doesn't mean I couldn't be the first!

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emagineer

I cannot use a chiro for a movement disorder which affects my neck/upper spine. Have you checked with your primary dr. to make sure this is safe for you. Loss of bone or what your degeneration is would make me look at other options. Sometimes this isn't always the answer. A personal take with what I have going on, but isn't the same as yours.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:16AM
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desertsteph

I was always afraid to go to one until I saw a regular bone doctor. back then he couldn't recommend a chiropractor but he did say something like 'I feel a lot better when I go to my chiropractor...'. If he goes, I can too. that was his message.
I did find a few very good ones over the years and they've helped me a lot. The neck adjustments are probably the worst tho.

If you'd feel better, go to a regular bone/neck doctor first and get a 2nd opinion!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:57PM
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enigmaquandry

I didn't know there was such a thing as a bone/neck doctor but I definitely like the idea of getting a second opinion...I'm not "losing bone" per se, it's just that the curve is off, which means certain vertebraes that aren't meant to take certain strain are having to, which is going to weaken them and eventually fuse them together...ick.

I think a second opinion is a really good idea, I mean, it's my neck. I'm hoping that if I have to continue adjustments that maybe I'll get used to it at some point. He is sensitive (thankfully!) to how nervous I am and is as gentle as he can be...I'm sure I'm a pain for him, it takes him three times the time to do me as it takes other people...I just have issues calming down :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:37PM
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emagineer

Have you seen anyone but your primary physician? What tests have been done? Part of what you are sharing sounds like Dystonia. If you look this up, don't get into the worse of the worse. There are some explanations regarding how this affects the neck/spine. A neurologist would diagnose this as well as whatever is going on. Some people go to a dozen doctors before a diagnosis. I have no bone loss either, without my meds though my head/neck would be leaning to the right and upper spine very painful along with the neck muscles.

Not pushing the explanation, but am concerned you get the right medical care. And my cousin is a chiro...don't trust him either. Just a personal thing I have. Maybe it is because I've never actually loved him from day one.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:49AM
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enigmaquandry

emagineer, I have seen my primary doctor...he dismissed me as being too young and said maybe there is some arthritis back there. Can't say he's very helpful, or worth the money...but I have an extensive medical background that he is familiar with. It's hard for me to change but I've begun thinking maybe I should...he just always tells me not to worry because I'm young...then I go to specialists and find out my spine is wrong, my jaw is dislocated on both sides, I have inexplicable respiratory issues and the worlds worst case of born-with-it acid reflux (and I wonder why I've been so uncomfortable for years!). Ugh, had to vent...I have had such a long list of health problems over my lifetime it's easy to get discouraged, but I try to remember others who struggle with life-threatening diseases and remember how blessed I am.

I guess I will pursue the necessary avenues to figure out what's up. the last two days I have had a lot of pressure right where the neck meets the head in the back, with headaches that are really concerning me. I'm going to see the chiro tomorrow since I can get into see him immediately and get my x-rays sent to my uncle who is a physical therapist. I'll look for a neck/bone doctor and maybe a neurologist this week to get some more opinions. It's hard because some people SWEAR by chiropractors and it's a very studied and reportedly safe science, but other people (including my family at large) are super suspicious, I guess I am too...but the one I have been seeing has demonstrated enormous concern and knowledge so I do trust him and like him quite a bit. We have his cell number and my DH called him this Sunday afternoon out of concern and he spent quite a bit of time asking me questions to make sure it's nothing serious.

I think the cause of all of this is an accident I had in college. Basically just a really badly executed somersault attempt that gave me some loud noises and neck pain for a while afterwards, of course I never had it looked at until now. So thankfully it doesn't seem to be caused by any natural deterioration other than that.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:17PM
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Moccasin

Oh, I think I'm going to faint here. Anything to do with adjusting parts of my body just makes me weak.

You take good care of yourself.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:06PM
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desertsteph

the bone doctor was probably an orthopedic doctor. I went to him because I had so much back trouble.

yrs ago I had a DO and he adjusted my legs and my neck. after the leg adjustment I walked better than I had in yrs and yrs. then I stepped into a hole in a parking lot and was back to my usual painful self...

when he adjusted my neck it popped/cracked so loud I screamed. I still remember what he said 'shhh, Liz'll hear you and think I hurt you'. It didn't hurt - just the noise surprised me and so close to my ears!

Liz was his nurse/wife and a friend of ours. so was Doc.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 7:48PM
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leel

First stop is a board certified orthopedist. And it sounds like the second stop should be a board certified internist. And both of these before seeing a chiropracter.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 12:23AM
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nancyinmich

Chiropractic is definitely not safe for all problems. People have been hurt getting adjustments.

Enigmaquandry, who diagnosed this neck problem? If it is the chiropractor, then see an MD or a DO. Don't tell them what the chiro diagnosed, let them come to their own conclusions. Chiropractors are notorious for coming up with things that a doctor would not diagnose. If you are having neck pain and headaches, I would start with a neurologist. If you want one who thinks about the body as a whole and can do adjustments, see a DO. They have all the regular medical training a doctor does, but also know about adjusting the body to work better. Since you are young and may not have the experience to know this, I will explain that a DO is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I worked at an osteopathic hospital a while back and none of the docs I knew even did adjustments, so if you want one who does, you my want to ask. I had a pulmonologist once who was a DO who did adjustments. He was actually the head of the hospital pulmonology department and he treated me for asthma. He would coddle my head in his hands and help me relax, then do the adjustment. He also did one with me siting in a chair and he would stand behind me and put his foot on the seat and drape my arm over his leg and adjust my shoulders. I could breathe so much easier after he did this. I totally trusted this man. That is the only way I could have relaxed and let him twist my neck and head around!

In a quick search, I found this article. It convinces me I won't let a not-doctor anywhere near my neck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Article on Stroke following Neck Manipulation

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 11:05PM
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marti8a

I just had a similar conversation on another forum.

There are good chiropractors and bad, just like with doctors. I have found a very good chiropractor and after going to him a couple of weeks for elbow pain (I had already gone to an orthopedic surgeon who did nothing for me), he insisted I go to another orthopedic and have an MRI so we could find out exactly what the problem is. Bless him, at least now I know.

He has adjusted my neck a couple of times and it is my least favorite adjustment. There is a little spring-loaded tool they can use that is much easier on you than a regular adjustment. You might ask about it.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 11:50PM
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