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    Chiropractioner - yes or no?

    I am having extreme neck and upper back pain lately, as well as headaches, and I am considering the use of a chiropractor, after 20yrs of paralysis and never seeing one before. Has anyone gone, what are your reccommendations and obviously I'd want someone with a lot of experience ... although doubtful I'd find anyone experienced with paralysis.

    I'm going to request no violent adjustments at all and not to touch anything below my shoulder blades. Where I suffered TM, at T-12, hurts if anyone even remotely touches it - so that's out of the question.

    One of the cops at work asked her chiropractor and he said he would use some sort of gun-like object to 'push' the upper vertebrae in, as someone like me would tend to slump over. I already feel the loss of flexibility and my shoulders are starting to come forward. I'm developing 'old woman neck' ... or maybe I'm just paranoid ... that there's a lump forming there.

    I'd like to try this once, then a massage therapist. A friend who's quad swears by her massage therapist.

    The only thing holding me back from a chiropractor is a horrible story I read about a walking woman who had her neck manipulated, suffered a stroke believed to be from the chiropractor's adjustment and later died. This only happens though once in a million, right? RIGHT!?!?

    Experiences?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

    #2
    lookup Network Chiro

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      #3
      Lynn,

      I was attending chiropractic school -- presumably one of the better ones -- at the time of my SCI. My injury resulted from the hemorrhage and subsequent strangulating clotting of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). The AVM was discovered during emergency surgery subsequent to my paralysis. However, I had episodic symptoms of spinal cord involvement prior to my paralysis and every chiropractor at my school I had contact with missed the red flags which should have resulted in an immediate referral to a neurologist and depriving me the opportunity to have been evaluated, diagnosed, and treated before that fateful day, now 21 years ago. My AVM was entirely operable.

      It's hard to know whether chiropractic treatment would help you. Despite my less than triumphant experience with it, I'm sure it has its applications. My issues are not about the efficacy of chiroptractic but with the competence of chiropractors. You'd have to be a very experienced and savvy consumer to be able to weed out the competent from the incompetent. I bet you could bring your symptomatic profile to 10 chiropractors and you would get 10 different treatment approaches. In fact, many years ago, one of the TV news magazine shows did a segment on chiropractors and demonstrated just that.

      The gun device you referred to is called an "Activator." Some chiros use it because they claim it delivers a preset, measurable degree of thrust to an adjustment. Sounds scientific, right? Other chiropractors, however, slight those who use activators as clinicians who just lack the skill and finesse to deliver an adjustment manually. They argue that they need to feel directly what they're manipulating rather than introducing an appliance that separates them from the immediacy of patient's body.

      Yes, there are competent chiropractors out there, but the question is, How are you going to be able to identify which is which? Don't get treated on a whim or instinct. You must first get yourself very educated. If you want to play this conservatively -- and that's my recommendation -- I would seek out a highly qualified physical therapist and/or message therapist before choosing chiropractic care.

      Hope you feel better soon,
      Stephen

      [This message was edited by Stephen NYC on 10-31-04 at 01:05 PM.]
      stephen@bike-on.com

      Comment


        #4
        Time Magazine
        Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002
        Back Off, Chiropractors!

        Recent research suggests some chiropractic techniques may be dangerous for patients

        BY LEON JAROFF


        Chiropractors have been taking their lumps lately. And not all of the criticism has come from their usual critics in the medical profession. Indeed, some chiropractors themselves are cautiously calling for reforms.

        The most recent and most disturbing news (at least as far as chiropractors are concerned) was announced at a recent meeting of the American Stroke Association in Texas. There, neurologists from Toronto University reported analyzing 156 cases of stroke and finding that nearly 40 percent of them had apparently resulted from chiropractic neck manipulation. This hands-on treatment had caused tearing in the inside walls of the neck arteries, resulting in clots that blocked blood flow to the brain, bringing on the strokes. The neurologists called for a ban on the procedure.

        Chiropractors immediately challenged these findings, claiming that earlier studies had verified the safety of neck manipulation. Yet even the doctors who concede that spinal manipulation can be beneficial for lower back pain and stiffness generally exclude neck manipulation from their endorsement.

        Doctors find many of the other claims and practices of chiropractic questionable, if not downright objectionable. Most chiropractors, for example, believe that "subluxations," or minor dislocations of the spine, put pressure on spinal nerves, resulting in a wide variety of disorders. Spinal manipulation, they claim, can effectively treat these disorders and, some even suggest, strengthen the body's defenses against infectious diseases.

        Chiropractors differ widely in their methods of treatment, some attempting to adjust only one specific vertebra at the top of the spine, others concentrating on a lower vertebra and still others focusing on the entire spine. All this despite the fact that no uniform criteria exist for even identifying a subluxation, let alone what it causes.


        Chiropractors also employ a bewildering variety of weird practices to diagnose their patients. Some use applied kinesiology, a muscle test that supposedly can diagnose allergies and diseased organs. Hair analysis and iris readings are commonplace in the profession. Even sillier are many of the treatments that chiropractors use and recommend: homeopathic potions, colon irrigation, magnetic therapy, enzyme pills, colored-light therapy, and something called "balancing body energy," among other mystical procedures with undocumented effects.

        Even more troublesome, all too many chiropractors urge their patients to eschew such widely-accepted health measures as immunization and fluoridation and to be suspicious of anything medical. Are these guys for real?

        Confronted about these therapies and theories, chiropractors like to claim that they do not represent the mainstream of chiropractic medicine. But Jaroslaw Grod, a faculty member at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, has undercut that argument. "We're trying to get the profession to look at itself critically," he says. With two associates, Grod collected and evaluated informational brochures from nine leading chiropractic organizations in Canada and the U.S. (In other words, the "mainstream.") Their conclusion, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies, was damning. All of the brochures, they wrote, made claims "that are not currently justified by available scientific evidence or that are intrinsically un-testable."

        None of the more bizarre advice and treatment that chiropractors often give their patients was repeated or described in these brochures, most probably to fend off any government censure. Yet Grod's group found repeated and dubious references to subluxations as the cause of many problems, and discovered scores of assertions unproven by scientific testing.

        Some examples:
        "80 percent of all headache sufferers obtain substantial relief from chiropractors."
        "A chiropractor could prevent...arthritis from developing in the first place by reducing their subluxations."
        "A spinal malfunction can interrupt this internal communications system and cause pain, muscle and organ dysfunctions and other imbalances."

        Pulling no punches, Grod's group concluded that "the distribution of patient brochures involving unsubstantiated claims for the healing art meets several of the formal criteria for quackery."

        Strong words. But they are highly appropriate and badly needed for a profession that has lost its way. Chiropractic, heal thyself.
        stephen@bike-on.com

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          #5
          Lynnifer - I absolutely agree with Stephen; my x-husband is a chiropractor; was there as he went through the 'all western medicine is wrong' school, then with the weird diagnostics and unproven herbal formulas. Had my own neck 'worked on' extensively by students, and now have some problems in my neck that could easily be attributed to my neck being manipulated every which way.

          I'd recommend a PT and/or massage therapist, too, and perhaps even a visit to a neurologist first, to be sure everything's okay. Ya only got one neck!

          _____________
          If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa
          _____________

          Comment


            #6
            Now I don't know if this is true but the head doctor at the Rehab hospital my son was at told us that there are 10 quads a year caused by chiropractors. Ouch.
            "A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner"

            Comment


              #7
              Do you by any chance have very large breasts?

              It's OK not to answer that question on a public forum, but if you do, it could be at least part of your problem.

              I also have the upper back and neck pain and have been looking into a breast reduction. Everyone I've talked to thats had the procedure is happy with the results. Taking 3 or 4 lbs off the chest will take a load off your back and shoulders and neck.

              I used to go to a chiropractor for my upper/mid back but now I have my kids walk on my back. It works just as well for me. Although, I'm sure a lot of other people really benefit from chiropractic treatments.

              I really don't like the neck adjustment - it gives me the eebee geebies.

              Good luck.

              Comment


                #8
                oops

                Comment


                  #9
                  Lynnifer,

                  I would suggest calling around and speaking to different chiropractors, tell them your situation and see what they say. I found one earlier in the year who said he would do no physical adjustments, but would use a technique (I forget the name) where he would place cushions at various places and it would allow my body to readjust itself. Maybe that would help you.

                  Tina
                  C5-C7 Walking Quad
                  Aug '03
                  Tina
                  C5-C7 Walking Quad - Very Incomplete
                  Aug '03

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The rehab told me not to use a chiropractor, I have backpain and I wanted to try but they told me to use a manuell pt instead.

                    TH 12 incomplete 12-12-69.
                    TH 12, 43 years post

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My Spine surgeon Told me before I ever left the Hospital,"Never Ever go to a Chiroprator" Even though sometimes I hurt I am not going to one!!

                      We had one who was going to cure a family member from cancer, needless to say it didn't happen, he was treating her for back pain and it was the cancer hurting her all along.

                      So I definatley think I will stay away from them!

                      Doug

                      Comment


                        #12
                        i had the activator done on me years ago, i thought it was a joke.
                        i would go with pt or a neurologist or both
                        cauda equina

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Some are crocks & very into new-age stuff... but there are excellent ones as well.

                          I've been seeing one weekly since last December & he has without question helped me. I went in with a an abnormal curve in my lumbar region (i.e. the back bowed out instead of in), and it is now reversed & curved in the correct direction. My back pain is now reduced, although not eliminated. Sitting in a chair all day causes compression of sorts, which isn't helping the pain.

                          My chiro has background in neuro, and understands how the nervous system correlates with the rest of the body. He's the only chiro in town I trust... and believe me, I rail him with questions... and he has answers every time & can back them up by showing me exactly what is happening on models, diagrams, etc. He thinks outside of the box & knows his stuff.

                          Liz mentioned "Network" - that stuff is a joke, IMO. It works for very few situations, although you'll hear it talked up.

                          just my $0.03. (inflation)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I see a chiropractor occasionally .. he is a guy I know and saw often before my accident. My low back gets stuck at L 4-5 and in the sacro-iliac joint and he helps free it up. Hew also worked out swme stiffness and loss or range of motion in my right shoulder. He does use the activator on my neck down to about C4, staying away from my fusion. It helps my neck flexibility. He is also very careful with me because I am mildly osteoporotic.

                            I don't think, however, that I would go to a cheropractor now if I didn't already know this guy.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It's sounding like a resonating no here ... lol
                              Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                              T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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