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View Full Version : Neck Pain: Doctor or Chiropractor?


FedererForehand
12-28-2009, 06:51 AM
I've been experiencing some semi-severe neck pain off an on for the past month or so and its been more steady and intensifying the last week or so. I have a feeling its caused by the way I am sleeping but am not completely sure. Should I go see my GP doctor or head to a chiropractor?

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-28-2009, 06:57 AM
I would never go to a chiropractor under any circumstances.

MNPlayer
12-28-2009, 07:27 AM
I would never go to a chiropractor under any circumstances.

Agreed, there is little/no evidence that chiropractic works and almost certainly some level of risk in having your neck manipulated enthusiastically.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447290/

mikeler
12-28-2009, 08:46 AM
Get your GP's opinion first.

FedererForehand
12-28-2009, 04:41 PM
Interesting... I know several people who go to and swear by Chiros. It is an alternative form of medicine and most of which do not have statistics to show their effectivness.

WildVolley
12-28-2009, 06:13 PM
This is an interesting question. I've found doctors who are general practitioners usually to be very poor at dealing with sports related injuries and things such as neck pain. In my experience, they mostly just prescribe pain killers and rest.

Chiropractors can give almost instant relief to some neck pain. I've experienced it myself. It definitely isn't a placebo effect, but I'm not sure if it is actually dealing with the problem or simply affecting the nerve impulses temporarily. Getting adjusted once rarely is going to cure a problem. I expect chiropractors these days to be physical therapists who prescribe exercises and stretching. Cracking the bones isn't a permanent fix for anything, and doesn't necessarily heal damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments.

In either case, I look for someone who is willing to take the time to try to properly diagnose the problem and is willing to suggest changes to what may have caused the injury and exercises as part of the treatment.

MNPlayer
12-29-2009, 05:04 AM
Interesting... I know several people who go to and swear by Chiros. It is an alternative form of medicine and most of which do not have statistics to show their effectivness.

This one has a growing body of statistics demonstrating its ineffectiveness as referenced in the link I posted above. I have personally experienced the satisfaction of having my back cracked by a chiropractor years ago, so I understand the allure. But there doesn't seem to be any evidence of medical benefit or pain reduction (when compared to a placebo).

MNPlayer
12-29-2009, 05:08 AM
This is an interesting question. I've found doctors who are general practitioners usually to be very poor at dealing with sports related injuries and things such as neck pain. In my experience, they mostly just prescribe pain killers and rest.
Chiropractors can give almost instant relief to some neck pain. I've experienced it myself. It definitely isn't a placebo effect, but I'm not sure if it is actually dealing with the problem or simply affecting the nerve impulses temporarily. Getting adjusted once rarely is going to cure a problem. I expect chiropractors these days to be physical therapists who prescribe exercises and stretching. Cracking the bones isn't a permanent fix for anything, and doesn't necessarily heal damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments.

In either case, I look for someone who is willing to take the time to try to properly diagnose the problem and is willing to suggest changes to what may have caused the injury and exercises as part of the treatment.

Perhaps pain killers and rest are the most effective way to deal with minor injuries and overuse problems? It was the only way I eventually got my wrist to heal after trying various physical therapy type things and a wrist brace. 6 months off will do wonders for many problems, as unpleasant as it is.

WildVolley
12-29-2009, 07:02 AM
Perhaps pain killers and rest are the most effective way to deal with minor injuries and overuse problems? It was the only way I eventually got my wrist to heal after trying various physical therapy type things and a wrist brace. 6 months off will do wonders for many problems, as unpleasant as it is.

This is sometimes true. But you don't need to pay a doctor $300 for this advice. See, I just saved someone a lot of money and the time of taking a trip to the doctor: rest and take some pain killers.

It can really pay to see an expert who knows sports injuries. When I was running track, I had knee pain and my doctor didn't give me any useful advice. I talked to a kinesiology major who had been working with athletes and he was able to precisely identify which tendons were strained, what was likely causing the injury, and exercises for rehabilitation and strengthening.

Kevin T
12-29-2009, 07:38 AM
Go to an MD. A good one won't just say "rest and pain killers". Mine set me up directly with physical therapy. I requested a PT (most of whom have an MS with PhD now required the last few years) with athletic experience and with similar history of herniated disc issues. The guy worked my tail off for six weeks and it was exactly what I needed and what worked. Chiro is akin to getting a massage/rub down, IMHO, but that's what most people want. They don't want to accept the fact that you have to work through issues, not just lay back and relax. I've had back pain since my college football days and Chiro care only worked temporarily. The red light for me is that so many chiro offices these days also peddle nutritional supplements (which they are not qualified to recommend), holistic health practitioners (whatever that means), etc. No thanks. I'll go with the research/data and choose MD/physical therapist.

MNPlayer
12-29-2009, 07:55 AM
This is sometimes true. But you don't need to pay a doctor $300 for this advice. See, I just saved someone a lot of money and the time of taking a trip to the doctor: rest and take some pain killers.

It can really pay to see an expert who knows sports injuries. When I was running track, I had knee pain and my doctor didn't give me any useful advice. I talked to a kinesiology major who had been working with athletes and he was able to precisely identify which tendons were strained, what was likely causing the injury, and exercises for rehabilitation and strengthening.

Good points. No argument from me. It was a doc who set me up with PT and a a pretty good anti-inflammatory called sulidac. I decided on my own eventually to just lay off on the tennis until I could play without major pain. Ran a marathon instead :) Much of my problem was probably due to poor technique which has been largely corrected via tennis lessons...

Panic492
01-10-2010, 06:46 PM
The cervical spine is one area you must respect, go to an MD. One wrong adjustment can cause you harm the rest of your life.

cphstennis
01-10-2010, 07:39 PM
go to your doctor first and figure out the details of whats wrong. i had a bulging disc or two in my lower spine last year. i went to a manual chiropractor first which could have made it worse. i later found out that all i needed to do was do some therapy and get traction treatment