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Chiropractic: Science or Pseudo-Science

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by knayrb, Sep 4, 2010.

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What do you think of Chiropractic?

Poll closed Oct 4, 2010.
  1. Real Science

    39 vote(s)
    65.0%
  2. Pseudo-Science

    21 vote(s)
    35.0%
  1. tacomathom

    tacomathom Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the High and Mighty a movie about aviators?
    Lieutenant, I don't believe in chiropractic. I don't believe in god, ghosts, magic or anything supernatural.
    If I insulted any TW members or their beliefs, I apologize. I am sorry.
     
  2. piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    Thanks. I admit I don't buy into the full belief thing about all problems caused by the spine. I also don't believe in religion or other things I can't see or feel. Much like you I imagine.

    However I DO believe you can live healthier with a properly functioning body. Does that mean chiropractic work cures illness? No. Does it mean you don't get sick as often? Maybe? :notsure: I know I used to get sick all the time in high school. Even with my mother being a nurse. She'd give me meds when I was sick, vitamins, and herbal supplements to "help" me stay healthy. But I still got sick. Then I went to college and NEVER got sick. No cold, no flu, no coughing, sore throat, nothing. Why? What changed? The only thing I can think of is I didn't have TIME to get sick. In high school I hated being there and wanted out. In college I wanted to be there, and knew I couldn't afford to miss a day due to the amount of work I had to do. My mental attitude changed. I could no long "allow" myself to be sick. It's the same thing now. I have a wife and 3 kids relying on me to bring home money to pay all the bills, put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads, etc. Again I can't afford to be sick and not do anything. So I believe many illnesses can be avoided by having the right mental attitude. I imagine it's something like the inner strength you may have needed to draw on to get through whatever training you needed to complete to get into the coast guard. You didn't give up and quit. You pushed yourself through despite lack of sleep, hunger, dehydration or whatever else you had to deal with.

    For me, chiropractors are an extension of that. Re-align your spine and the pain goes away. Pressure on nerves is reduced so they work correctly. Do all of that and your body works better. If your body works better you feel better and are healthier. Just like maintaining a truck. Change the oil, lube the drive shafts, replace the brakes, and it works better. Proper maintenance is key to everything working better: boats, houses, guns, computer equipment. The human body is a machine that needs maintenance like any other machine.

    Now, I haven't always believed in them either. I didn't actively disbelieve mind you, but in 30 years I'd never bothered to even talk to one. Finally after a few visits with a "normal" doctor about my lower back pain I decided to try a chiropractor in a desperate attempt to get results. My lower back had been hurting/throbbing around the tailbone area for years. Longer than I can remember. The chiropractor did an xray just like any "normal" doctor would, but saw my right leg was half an inch shorter. He recommended a half-inch wedge insole under my heal. Since I've had that in my shoe I can feel my hips moving smoother when I walk, and the back pain is gone. That's been over 6 months. That's 6 months without pain I have for 15+ years without any medication! I don't really care what the person that figured that out for me calls himself! :laugh: I'm just a little frustrated/confused about why "normal" doctors couldn't figure that shit out sooner! Here I was running 5-6 miles on concrete and asphalt during high school cross control and track with one leg shorter than the other. I eventually stopped running due to knee pain. Gee, I wonder why! What else did that cause? Had any other medical professional I saw thought like a chiropractor I could have avoided 15+ years of pain.

    So now I'm more inclined to believe at least some of them know what they're doing. I love my MD, but she has me on steroids to deal with sinus congestion my chiropractor could alleviate by popping my neck bones back into place. So I snort this burning, nasty tasting spray to breath clearly because I can do it at home, and it doesn't cost me $30 each time not because I want to. However, I did learn to hold my head up higher, and tilt it back to get the sinuses to drain when it's really bad from the chiropractor's suggestion. So when I can move my neck and FEEL the crap drain down the back of my throat and the headache fade away I know there's something to it.

    Not to mention, I can relate to it. I can visualize it like the fuel line on my truck. If it's bent or kinked fuel doesn't get to the engine so it can run. That makes it easier to believe I guess as it's something I can grasp and understand.

    Now when I fell and broke my arm I didn't go to the chiropractor. I went to the hospital and ended up with an orthopedic surgeon putting a plate in my shoulder to hold the bone together. So I go to whoever has the skills to fix whatever problem I have. I use both as needed. My wife had chronic pain. Doctors and pain management specialists could do nothing to help her that didn't knock her out or make her too high to do anything. At that point it was time to try something new. ANYTHING new really. Acupuncture, chiropractic, whatever as long as it WORKS. :D

    I do think where you go matters though. Like anything else, there's shady people in the business. My place is in a small town so if they f'd people up they'd be out of business FAST. Two other clinics in the area would gladly absorb their patients. Now in a larger city with other chiropractors and much larger population shady ones could easily slip in. Just like used car salesmen. ;)
     
  3. piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    That's something I was getting at too. My wife was in that situation. Doctors couldn't help. Pain management place gave her drugs that made her feel like she'd smoked 3 bowls of pot... She could barely drive to work let alone function AT work on that crap, and she was only taking it once a day! (Pain management place was trying to get her up to 2 or 3 times a day!)

    I finally told her to try a chiropractor when conventional medicine obviously had nothing more to give her. Sure enough it helped! :D
     
  4. primer

    primer Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of people are missing the point of the question. It wasn't does chiropractic work. For a lot of things it does. The question was is it science. If you look at all the evidence it's hard to argue that it has a good foundation in science.

    Spinal malalignment can and does cause pain and sometimes serious neurologic problems. Manipulation probably can have some impact on that. But groups of chiropractors typically can't agree on exactly where this malalignment is - and more advance imaging often call these findings into question. Does this mean manipulation doesn't make people feel better? Nope. But we have a hard time explaining why.

    I haven't studied this in depth for a while, but most good studies tell us that back pain is very common - and that the majority resolves within 6-12 months no matter what we do. Sometimes it never comes back, sometimes it comes back off and on, and sometimes it's progressive. It is hard to know how much impact we can have on that. It's especially hard when you realize that the ideal way to study that is to take a large group of people with exactly the same problem and treat groups of them differently - ideally in such a way that neither the researcher or the patient know how they've been treated - and then see what happens. That study can't be done, so everything we do is something of a compromise. That's true of everything in medicine.

    Again the difference is that medicine based in science uses the best methods available and acknowledges when it appears that we had it wrong. The idea that EVERYTHING can be explained by these spinal malalginment issues is not supported by the majority of the evidence. Persistent adherence to this belief means to me that it can't be science. Doesn't mean it doesn't work, doesn't mean I don't occasionally tell patients to try it (for musculoskeletal things - not general medicine, don't even get me started on that), but it does mean it doesn't have a good scientific basis.

    p
     
  5. piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    Exactly. Chiropractors have to do nearly the same amount of school as other doctors. Massage therapists do as well. They have to learn about muscles, bones and nerve endings to do their job without hurting the patient.

    Hell even conventional doctors can't agree on back issues! :laugh: Probably because it's impossible to get the ideal case study like you said. Conventional doctors couldn't agree about my wife's back surgery. She finally went with one that thought he could fix her problem for her second surgery. A couple years later she was in pain again, and had numbness down her left leg. She got bounced between several "specialists" before ending up at the pain management place. To me that was their "I don't know wtf to do, so just drug her up and make the pain go away" answer instead "let's figure out the *real* problem and fix it" answer. The only general consensus between the specialists was that surgery was pointless because she already had the nerve damage surgery would have prevented. So there was no point in putting her through a 3rd surgery that would accomplish nothing and risk further damage.

    The conventional "science" said she had nerve damage and would never get feeling back in her leg and foot. So what does it mean when she started getting feeling back after visiting the chiropractor? Does it mean their "science" is better than the conventional "science"? :notsure: I would say results speak louder than words.
     
  6. tacomathom

    tacomathom Well-Known Member

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    Hey Lieutenant, I went on www.triwest.com and chiropractic WAS NOT one of the medical specialties listed that TriCare pays for.
    Now I want to ask you, do you know what chiropractic really is and do you believe in it? Or are you just playing devil's advocate?
    Me? I do not believe in chiropractic.
     
  7. Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    I respect both my orthopedic surgeon and my chiropractor. Due to their medical care, I now have a brand spanking new awesomely working knee with a stryker implant thanks to the M.D. referred to me by the chiropractor. Surgery was Jun 14, I was out mountain biking & motorcycling this holiday weekend pain free :woot:

    As said there are good & bad in every profession unfortunately.
     
  8. solus

    solus HOME!!!

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  9. tacomathom

    tacomathom Well-Known Member

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  10. Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    1) I was on the TRICARE site and it is clearly covered. TRIWEST is NOT Tricare. Your retired/VA benefits and/or benefits in the West region may be different- but the link I posted pretty clearly says that you can receive chiro care based on Tricare rulings.

    2) I do know what you claim chiropractic to be (from the fringe definitions that you choose to use to try and make your argument), and what many "mixer" chiropractors believe (see the definition that I posted previously). I have yet to find any definitions that state "Fixing the spine fixes everything" or any variation of that related to any of the major chiropractic professional organizations. They do claim that all body systems are inter-related and they the goal is to improve that working relationship.

    I don't believe that a chiropractor can cure any illness-but I don't believe that a conventional doctor can either. I KNOW that it relieves pain, minimizes headaches,stiffness,soreness, and other physical issues (because I've received those benefits from it-even tho you don't want to see the "anonymous testimonials" that clearly fly in the face of your "it's not real" argument.)
    On the flip side- I don't believe they are "quacks" and I know that they proscribe to the scientific method and the same sort of ethical mores that normal MDs do. They are also significantly smarter than I am when it comes to matters of skeletal/joint/muscle issues.

    So- No....I don't believe in the "straight" chiropractic theory that fixing subluxations fixes everything...but I do believe that many of the techniques/concepts help improve quality of life (in addition to normal medical care and proper nutrition, exercise, and other socially and medically accepted "good living" techniques.) And I do believe it is a science, just as much as any other medical profession.
     
  11. tacomathom

    tacomathom Well-Known Member

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    1. TriWest Healthcare Alliance is the TriCare contractor in the West Region. So yes TriWest is TriCare. I've been on both web sights. Chiropractic is not even listed on the TriWest web sight and TriCare.mil states "TriCare does not cover chiropractic care for most beneficiaries". Why is that? Is it because the United States government knows chiropractic is not a real medical discipline? Or does your healthcare manager want you to see an orthopedist or a neurologist or even get physical therapy. You know, real medical help.

    2. There are no double blind studies conducted by any legitimate medical research group or university with the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine that show chiropractic does anything. None. True there are lots of testimonials, even in this thread, but they are not proof. All these cures could have just as easily been the result of prayer, meditation or "drinking some wine, eating some cheese and catching some rays". Or maybe the pain just went away by itself after awhile.

    You say you KNOW chiropractic "relives pain, minimizes headaches, stiffness, soreness and other physical issues, but really, you only BELIEVE it does. I'm glad to hear you don't believe in "stright chriopractic", those guys ARE quacks and you place your health in danger by getting their "treatments"!
    Did you read the posts by primer? He's a MD (or claims to be), he thinks it's pseudo-science.
     
  12. Brunes

    Brunes abides. Staff Member

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    1) From the TriWest website:
    That's pretty clear...They are different and the Triwest folks are free to make decisions for their region that may differ from the overall "allowed" Tricare system policies.
    As far as your argument about how the Gov't wants BENEFICIARIES to seek "real medical help" but it wants the ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS to receive treatment from chiropractors...That is the stupidest argument ever. Think about it for a second....Gov't spends a fair bit of money getting GI Joe/Jane trained up and deployable and then puts them in the hands of a chrio to deal with problem X,Y,or Z...but they won't let the wifey go see the same specialist?? That just doens't make any sense at all. It's merely a money issue...Same way members/dependents have to make choices regarding Tricare Prime versus Standard. Stop trying to make things up to seem like the gov't is against Chiropractic care...It's clear that the Tricare/Military medical system accepts it's use as part of a total well-being plan.

    2) For someone who believes in things that are real you are offering up a lot of "what if" type scenarios. There is a pretty clear cause and effect in all of those testimonials. While I won't be seeking to cure the cold I'm getting with a straight chiro- I don't think anyone would be in any danger going to them. The gov't that knows all wouldn't let someone who was going to cause you harm practice their craft You want to deny it tho- feel free.

    I do know it. I went to PT for 3 years off and on after a car accident. Never got the stiffness in my left shoulder or the headaches to stop. Two months of chiropractic treatments and my shoulder ROM had improved and the headaches were nearly gone (I had some before the accident...so I guess having some after is normal). Only thing that changed during that time- Chiropractic care, including some exercise modification suggestions and a recommendation to get a regular massage therapist.

    I did read primers posts... And while he is a doctor- that doesn't make him the final approving authority on "scientific or not"...Again I'll point you to the poll which is the "general populations" feelings. There are a lot of opinions about what it is and is not.
     
  13. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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  14. macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the "mind over matter" statement. Completely unrelated to the chiropractic topic...Do you think your mom's house could have had some sort of allergens (possibly mold) you were unaware of and when you moved out and went off to college you were no longer around those allergens anymore and started to feel better? Just something I thought about when I read that statement.
     
  15. piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    Maybe. No cats in college, and now I have 4 cats, a dog, 2 chinchillas, and a bird. And I'm congested. I wasn't congested in SC and assumed it was the environment, but thinking back now I didn't have cats in my apartment.
     
  16. tacomathom

    tacomathom Well-Known Member

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    That sucks (the auto accident), I'm glad you're feeling better.
     
  17. FoxySandChick

    FoxySandChick Well-Known Member

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    My MD couldn't fix my back/neck pain and suggested I try a Chiropractor. My Chiropractor has helped me with a lot of my back/neck issues, but there is 1 that is persistent so my Chiro said to go back to the MD and request an MRI so they could both try to figure it out. I've had x-rays, tried various medication, life-style changes and the pain doesn't get any better nor any worse. I start PT in 2 weeks, so I admit I'm willing to try anything to not be in pain every day. If it works then great if not well then I tried and I'll just try the next option.

    I have pain in the T12/L1 area, can anyone suggest how to make it go away? :)
     
  18. badguybuster

    badguybuster Well-Known Member

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    I go to a chiropractor once a week. Does wonders for me. Absolutely no complaints.
     
  19. badguybuster

    badguybuster Well-Known Member

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    Oh, Foxy. Perhaps it is time to have that MRI?? Try a different chiropractor or a specialist. I was getting paralysis in my face and left arm after getting kicked by a horse. My regular MD and chiro had no luck with it. Had an MRI. Still no luck. Went to a different chiro who made an adjustment in my neck and viola'. No more issues. Apparently my spine was not centered into the hole that goes up in your skull and was pressing on the nerves.
     
  20. BuckNakedBooda

    BuckNakedBooda There's no place like 127.0.0.1

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    Have you given accupuncture a try ?

    I myself have been going to an accupuncturist for over 20 years and try to go every 4 to 6 months.
     
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