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    Legitimacy of Chiropractic Care,,, what other approaches have you found helpful?? Any advice is appreciated!
    An_255006 posted:
    HI there,

    This feels a bit silly be cause I am somewhat young to be worrying about back issues but after three years of back pain in college I recently decided to go to the chiropractor and was shown an x-ray of how my spine is somewhat curving, I tend to lean to one side as well as stick my chin out farther than normal, and it has caused a lot of pain and tension in my lower back and my right shoulder ( I also wonder if it has to do with carrying heavy backpacks or my having done dance for a few years when I was in high school) To the point where on a few occasions I will turn in a certain way and the horrible sensation of a pinched nerve or inflamed nerve on the back of my neck and back of my right thigh will bring me to tears (and I don't cry easily, I was literally apologizing through my tears at one point but couldn't stop because the pain was so bad!)

    The chiropractor told me I would need a year or so of adjustments, which I was not going to do so willingly, so under the advice of my mom (yep still in college soo mom an dad are the truth lol) went to a back specialist who prescribed physical therapy. Long story short I did it and it helped my posture somewhat (balancing my muscle strength etc) and reduced the amount of cracking I hear in my lower back,, but the PT told me I could not correct the problem only stop it from getting worse, is this true? I feel like if I went to a better chiropractor and combined a minimum number of adjustments with regular muscle strengthening exercises it would do me better?

    Frankly I am a bit sad because I though the physical therapy would really solve the problem but now I just feel like I've wasted my parent's money and I just want to find a concrete solution before it gets worse, any and all advice appreciated! Thank you in advance!
    bj1208 responded:
    Hi and welcome to the support group -

    First of all - unfortunately what we do to our backs when we are young tends to show up later in years (or as early as college years). There are several factors involved:

    1) fist would be back history of family members - mom, dad, uncles or aunts on their side, grandma's and grandpa's - degenerative disc disease is a common factor that can be hereditary

    2) any injuries sustained at a young age can affect us later. i.e., take me for example - I rode horses and was bucked off many times, landing on the small of my back. this was done at early ages between 8-13 yrs old and the last one was when I was 22 my lower back swelled up like a beer belly from being bucked off. so even the most minor or major trauma can affect later

    3) car accidents - whiplash not only affects the neck but the entire body can sustain this

    4) dance, karate (I was in this for 10 yrs) carrying a backpack incorrectly etc. plus a number of other problems can occur over periods of time.

    Now for the rest - your mom and dad know what they are talking about by sending you to see a spine specialist (either Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist) is best to see - they can examine you, order tests (X-ray, MRI, CT Scan etc) to see what is going on with your spine. Once they review these items they can give you a diagnosis and from there offer a treatment option(s).

    As for Chiropractor treatments - yes they are a good source for treatments, HOWEVER it's best to be seen by a Spine Specialist FIRST to get the proper diagnosis and to get the Spine Specialist's recommendation as far as treatments. - some back issues will require just a PT while some other ones may say either or - depending on what you feel is better.

    Now I do have a question for you -

    Did the spine specialist give you a diagnosis? besides the curvature of the spine? Also did they say what degree the curvature is?

    Here is a site you can review curvature of spines -

    Once you find out what your diagnosis is and the degree of curvature is please write us back so we may help you further with questions. Take care~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    An_255006 replied to bj1208's response:

    Thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate all of the great information you have given me! And I read through your story, I am so sorry for all that you have gone through, but God bless you for using what you know to help others!

    Actually the chiropractor is the one who took x-rays and from those I was able to see the small abnormalities in my spine. After that, I visited the specialist who only did a simple mechanical test (had me bend over and reach this and that way etc) and told me that my problem is an imbalance in muscle use, so using one side more than the other, sitting with my back curved to the left and legs curled under, etc has caused me to use my right side more than my left, so my left shoulder is higher and tense while the left is relatively normal. This caused my cervical spine to be relatively straight and forward rather than the usual small curve usually seen, and my upper and lower back have a slight curve to the right. They did not give me a specific diagnosis though. Does this help at all?
    As far as family history, no disorders or back issues there. But personally, on top of every other factor that might contribute, I use to ice skate when I was younger, so when the back problems began my mom brought up that I once busted my butt on the ice pretty hard and that may have contributed as well. Hope this helps to clarify!
    davedsel2 replied to An_255006's response:

    I have been a member of WebMD for over 10 years. Due to problems in these forums I decided to have my account deleted a few weeks ago. When I saw your post, I decided to create a new account so I could reply.

    I have had serious spinal problems for well over 35 years. My symptoms started when I was in my late teens. I am now disabled and unable to work due to high levels of chronic pain and limited functionality. Every inch of my spine has multiple problems so pain management solutions are hard for me to find. I live with chronic pain levels that average to a level 6 on a scale of 1-10.

    One thing that has worked well for me is a regular chiropractic adjustment about once per month. I have been seeing my chiro for over 10 years. and my neurosurgeon has said that he is helping me to keep me functioning and out of a wheelchair.

    Joy has given you excellent advice, as always. You really do need to know and understand exactly what your diagnosis is - what condition(s) are causing you pain. Once you have an accurate diagnosis from a good spinal specialist you can seek the proper pain management treatments. You can also do research on-line and become familiar with these conditions and their treatments.

    I do not see where you have had an MRI. This is an essential diagnostic tool for the diagnosis. You need to have a spine specialist order the test and then go over the results with you. As wonderful as chiropractors are, you really need to get this from the spine specialist.

    I pray you can get answers and relief soon. Please come often and keep us updated on your progress.
    trs1960 replied to davedsel2's response:
    First, hi Dave! I've been AWOL for awhile too. Too much stress and not enough time. Trying to fight through national health care. Or go back to work and risk further deterioration to keep my family insured....enough about me.

    It seems there's a lack of clarity with the term specialist. As Joy said, neurosurgeon or orthopedic.

    Dave hopefully scared you enough to go to a proper MD as mentioned above, or a physiatrist (MD) to get a proper prognosis before proceeding with possibly harmful treatments. I have mixed emotions about chiro, it's like cutting your body... In the right conditions it's called surgery. On the other side of the coin you could be stabbed by someone in a street fight. My brother in law is a chiro and good ones can help.

    As for your parents money, I would bet being a college student you're on their plan. Going to an MD probably cost less than a chiro?.

    Best of luck to you. Take care of your health and it will take care of you. Keep in mind were all different and a spinal misalignment may cause intractable pain and degenerative disc disease for some while others may life a normal life. There are many factors. It's been shown that 50% of people with visible disc herniations on an MRI have no pain. 50% of people complaining of back pain show no cause on an MRI.


    An_255006 replied to davedsel2's response:
    Thank you so much! You all are so very helpful! I will definitely make the MRI and specialist my first step before taking any other action. As bad as it sounds I am delaying treating the problem at the moment because I have many exams etc coming up, but come this time next month I will start looking for a good back specialist in my area and continue posting on what works and what doesn't, hopefully I'll be able to give some great advice to the next person as you all have given to me!
    An_255006 replied to trs1960's response:
    Thank you for your input! You are definitely right about the money situation, continues chiropractic care can stack up, so hopefully our insurance works to cover majority of the M.D visits! I will definitely with a specialist and an MRI!

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