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My first visit to the chiropractor

Posted by wendyn on 11/02/00 at 21:06 (031850)

I've had a lot of lower back pain lately..so finally today I broke down and went to see a chiropractor. I am so sick of doctors and telling my story that I've been putting this off for a long time. I went to a clinic near my house that's been recommended by a few friends.

I filled out 3 pages of forms and then I was sent to an examining room. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when the doctor walked in. He was a young - exceptionally attractive man. Now, I don't mind a good looking doctor - but most of you will recall that my experience with doctors has been that the more attractive they are, the more useless they are. I'm sure there's no scientific reason - just my own strange personal coincidence.

ANYWAY.

My buff doctor questioned me on my lengthy medical history. He was very nice and asked lots of questions. I was rather impressed that he gave his nod to the Birks but suggested orthotics would be better (as all doctors do). He also stressed the importance of not going barefoot, and I believe he is the first doctor of mine to mention this. (Big points for this).

When we got down to the actual exam, he found the same areas of concern as the PT and my other doctors. T5 through T9, my right shoulder (too much weight training) and my SI joints. He had me stand and lift my legs up, with my knee bent. This works great on my left side, but it's very locked on my right. Exactly the same routine as my former PT.

He cracked my lower back, and tried to crack the thoracic area but it was really tight. He also attempted to adjust my feet by yanking them down. It didn't really hurt - but he told me they also were too tight.

He wants me to come back 3 times a week, and also mentioned possible ART to break up scar tissue in my ankles etc. I've heard so many horror stories here about ART, I'm not too sure about that. I guess I'll see how I am in a few days and decide whether or not to go back!

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Barbara TX on 11/02/00 at 23:09 (031854)

I too have a buff chiropractor. He was very helpful to me in loosening up my ankle and great toe joints to give me mroe flexibility, but the ART really just inflamed things beyond my being able to tolerate it. Dr. Z even commented that my chiro did a great job with the flexibility thing. So, at least that I can recommend. I find that the handsome ones are more helpful... and hey, that Dr. Z has GREAT HAIR. B

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

john h on 11/03/00 at 09:53 (031865)

not to be outdone by you ladies about 5 years ago i went to a chiropractor for my back. 'she' of course was a babe. i liked it when she grabbed me around the waist to adjust my back but wo to me my psyche felt good but back got no better

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Julie F on 11/03/00 at 11:30 (031867)

Hi Wendy

I'm glad you've taken the plunge, and I hope your handsome new chiropractor proves the exception to your rule (and follow's Barbara's). I don't know what ART is, but if you're not sure, wouldn't it be best to wait and have a few more back treatments till you know whether or not you have full confidence in him? I hope your back feels better now since the treatment.

All the best, Julie

Re: what's the problem with ART?

alan k on 11/03/00 at 14:08 (031874)

Hey Wendy,

I don't remember horror stories about ART. Or was it just that people said it was painful during the treatment period?

I went to a couple chiropractors, one of which was really insistant and persistant, and handsome. Every time I tried to suggest discontinuing treatment he would go into long speeches about everything he would do for me. When I tried to cancel an appointment with their secretary at a time I thought he would not be in the office, the secretary said 'Let me get my book' and then put him on the phone. It was very hard to break up with him. Then he sent me letters.

I would give it a try though, but also realize that sometimes chiros can be a bit fanatical. Joint mobilization may indeed be good for someone like you with clear mechanical problems, and ART probably wouldn't do too much harm to try.

Just some thoughts.

alan k

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:05 (031898)

I know that ART stands for Active Release Therapy. I have heard mixed reviews here about it. When I questioned him about the sense of massaging an area close to an irritated nerve. He explained that I would no doubt have a lot of scar tissue in the area and this would not help my situation. The idea is for ART to break up the scar tissue.

Yes - this will be one of those things that we look at - later. Once he proves he not just nice to look at

Re: On dealing with doctors

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:35 (031900)

Thanks Alan!

I really appreciate everyone reminding me about all the things I should consider.

With respect to fanatical doctors etc.

I think that I really threw this guy for a loop just with my knowlege of anatomy and foot problems. I'm unfortunately all too familiar with all the questions and treatments etc. He asked me if I'd ever had pf, and then started to explain what it was. I nicely told him that I'd had it twice - but I don't currently suffer from it. Later he asked about how my feet feel first thing in the morning. My answer was 'If you mean do I have that ripping feeling first step like with PF - then no, I do not have that pain. My feet are stiff in the morning but it is not the same'. He just sort of said 'Oh. Well, it sounds like you've really been through everything with your feet'. I assured him that I had.

When he brought up the subject of orthotics, he mentioned the place in the same mall that does the Footmax (I posted here about that place when I found it a month or two ago). I was a bit ready for that, because I know that they (the office in my mall) are affiliated with a chiropractor and it may even be him or his clinic.

I very nicely, but very plainly told him that I had checked that office and those orthotics out. I told him after extensive research I had narrowed down my potential next orthotic maker to two places and I gave him the names and brief description of why I thought I should go there. He seemed quite content with my answer, (or at least not about to argue with me) and I don't think he'll be recommending anything else to do with my orthotics again in the near future. I stressed to him that I feel my last orthotics were possibly a principal factor in developing TTS. If need be, I was ready to pull out the big guns and tell him that my foot and ankle surgeon had made it clear that he didn't feel orthotics could be made by walking over a mat - and there was a fine art involved.

I think the real key in not being manipulated by a doctor or anyone - is to lay some firm ground rules and boundaries right in the beginning. I think that I feel comfortable at this point that we're headed in the right direction, but I appreciate the reminder about how easy it is to find a doctor taking complete control over decisions that should be made by the patient..

I still believe that this is much easier to have happen if you are in more pain. I know that my assertiveness level drops as my pain level goes up. Fortunately for me, most people would say that perhaps I am a little on the over-assertive side (I can just hear my husband laughing hysterically at this understatement) - so I have a fair ways to slide! After all I've been through with doctors and specialists, I think I've learned an awful lot about how to and how not to deal with a doctor,,,

It DOES help to know correct anatomy terms and to use them appropriately.

It DOES NOT help to tell your doctor that you read ANYTHING on the internet.

It DOES help to tell them that you have done a lot of 'research'.

It DOES help if you know all the names of the tests you've had done and why.

It DOES NOT help if you tell them you think all doctors are idiots.

It DOES help (mentally) if your doctor looks like a doctor from General Hospital (the soap opera).

It DOES NOT help if you suggest a possible diagnosis or say you think you had the same thing that your Aunt Martha had.

It DOES help if you discuss only the facts in objective terms, and explain your symptoms clearly.

It DOES NOT help to cry, have tantrums, throw things, or threaten to sue.

It DOES help to laugh, or inject humor in the conversation. (I use humor a lot to deal with people).

It DOES NOT help to tell knock-knock jokes.

It DOES help to get a written copy of all test results and doctor referrals/follow ups. And keep them. Forever.

It DOES help to ask questions and educate yourself.

It does help to be honest. 'I'm not comfortable with that procedure right now. I need some time to think over the risks and benefits and come to a decision on my own.' will get you a lot farther than 'All you doctors are bunch of QUACKS!'

Re: Buff???

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:37 (031901)

I thought of that when I read my post later. 'In the buff' usually means naked. But 'buff' (at least here) usually means well toned/muscular. Hmmmm....the buff doctor in the buff? That's a subject for another board!
x

Re: Buff???

Barbara TX on 11/03/00 at 23:31 (031903)

I wish! I suppose then they would charge double for the view. B
x

Re: On dealing with doctors

alan k on 11/04/00 at 07:18 (031914)

That's great advice Wendy. I wish I knew all that before seeing my first doctor. Of course, I know you of all people can handle yourself. I just like telling that story about how difficult it was to break up with my chiropractor.

alan

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

JudyS on 11/04/00 at 09:56 (031927)

Hi Julie - ART is the acronym for Active Release Therapy. It's a method of deep massage that is designed, more or less, to 'break up' scar tissue. I had it done by a Chiropractor last summer for about six weeks and it was the first treatment I'd had in this PF battle that seemed to really work. It was very, very painful. Then, lo and behold, my Pod sent me back to Physical Therapy where, guess what, the PT did the exact same massage! This deep, pain-producing, massage seems to have several titles. I've been in PT for 3 months now starting with 3x/week, now at 2. I believe that, even though quite painful, there are marked results

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Lois on 11/04/00 at 10:54 (031932)

I have been going to a chiopractor for about 4 years off and on. Sometimes he helps my back and than again i think he hurts me more. He is good to look at too, but i sure can cast that aside when i make decisions. He also really wants me to return. I say when should i come back and he says when you think you need to or once a week. I sometimes think he doesn't know either and just wants the money. He worked on my heel too and it didn't do anything. The exercises are the best for me anyway. Good luck. Lois

Re: On dealing with doctors. Wow!

Julie F on 11/04/00 at 12:29 (031940)

Wendy, you're brilliant. I will print this out to remind me how and how not to behave, converse, and think whenever I see a doctor for whatever reason. Like you, I'm an assertive lady, but my assertiveness level drops to zilch whenever I see a doctor. Period. I always think they know more than I do (no doubt the effect of living for 4 decades in England) even when that is not true. (That's how I fell for the bunion surgery bit and worried over it for two months before getting my 'second opinion' - and third - on the Dr board.)

Come to think of it, my mistake with my pod may have been to tell him I found out about ESWT on the internet (and how and where to find out about it). Maybe I shouldn't be surprised he did nothing about it. Oh well....

Thanks Wendy and all the best, Julie

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Julie F on 11/04/00 at 12:56 (031941)

Hi Judy, many thanks for the helpful explanation of ART. I'm glad to add it to my armory of information and gladder still that it has helped you
x

Re: On dealing with doctors

JudyS on 11/04/00 at 20:41 (031962)

Ah Wendy - this list of yours is perfection! I saw my Pod the other day and was a bit taken aback when he made a fairly disparaging remark about (medically) educating oneself via the internet! I hadn't told him I'd done that - until the next breath. I then told him that I have indeed been using the internet - then I gave him some of my printouts of the ESWT info! It was his turn to be taken aback!
BTW - I'm very jealous of your snow

Re: On dealing with doctors

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/05/00 at 19:00 (032015)

Hi,

Here is what i tell my heel pain patient when they come into my ofice. My job is tell you any and everything I know about heel pain. We will talk about my treatment recommendation and then we will discuss your feelings about them. Patients seem to like this approach.
i will say that there are two sides to this discussion. I have some patients tell me that they want ESWT when in fact it isn't going to help them . I go to this approach again and tell them why I feel this way . It usually works. I had a patient refuse an MRI when I mentioned it because I though she may have a stress fracture in her heel bone. Palpation toward the back of the medial tubercle in addition to the front of the medial tubercle caused alot of pain. It is very important that patients in addition to doctor try to work together and know that it takes two people to solve heel pain. One is the doctor and the other is the patient. by the way after taking out the x-ray and showing a picture of the heel bone upside down the patient completely understood why the mri was on my mind. This patient came to my office completely prepared to have ESWT she forgot one thing my examination and determination of the need for this procedure. So it takes two to solve this very painful and difficult problem. Maybe it was the fact that this patient was a police woman and was use to telling people just the fact just the facts. (Dragnet)

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Barbara TX on 11/02/00 at 23:09 (031854)

I too have a buff chiropractor. He was very helpful to me in loosening up my ankle and great toe joints to give me mroe flexibility, but the ART really just inflamed things beyond my being able to tolerate it. Dr. Z even commented that my chiro did a great job with the flexibility thing. So, at least that I can recommend. I find that the handsome ones are more helpful... and hey, that Dr. Z has GREAT HAIR. B

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

john h on 11/03/00 at 09:53 (031865)

not to be outdone by you ladies about 5 years ago i went to a chiropractor for my back. 'she' of course was a babe. i liked it when she grabbed me around the waist to adjust my back but wo to me my psyche felt good but back got no better

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Julie F on 11/03/00 at 11:30 (031867)

Hi Wendy

I'm glad you've taken the plunge, and I hope your handsome new chiropractor proves the exception to your rule (and follow's Barbara's). I don't know what ART is, but if you're not sure, wouldn't it be best to wait and have a few more back treatments till you know whether or not you have full confidence in him? I hope your back feels better now since the treatment.

All the best, Julie

Re: what's the problem with ART?

alan k on 11/03/00 at 14:08 (031874)

Hey Wendy,

I don't remember horror stories about ART. Or was it just that people said it was painful during the treatment period?

I went to a couple chiropractors, one of which was really insistant and persistant, and handsome. Every time I tried to suggest discontinuing treatment he would go into long speeches about everything he would do for me. When I tried to cancel an appointment with their secretary at a time I thought he would not be in the office, the secretary said 'Let me get my book' and then put him on the phone. It was very hard to break up with him. Then he sent me letters.

I would give it a try though, but also realize that sometimes chiros can be a bit fanatical. Joint mobilization may indeed be good for someone like you with clear mechanical problems, and ART probably wouldn't do too much harm to try.

Just some thoughts.

alan k

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:05 (031898)

I know that ART stands for Active Release Therapy. I have heard mixed reviews here about it. When I questioned him about the sense of massaging an area close to an irritated nerve. He explained that I would no doubt have a lot of scar tissue in the area and this would not help my situation. The idea is for ART to break up the scar tissue.

Yes - this will be one of those things that we look at - later. Once he proves he not just nice to look at

Re: On dealing with doctors

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:35 (031900)

Thanks Alan!

I really appreciate everyone reminding me about all the things I should consider.

With respect to fanatical doctors etc.

I think that I really threw this guy for a loop just with my knowlege of anatomy and foot problems. I'm unfortunately all too familiar with all the questions and treatments etc. He asked me if I'd ever had pf, and then started to explain what it was. I nicely told him that I'd had it twice - but I don't currently suffer from it. Later he asked about how my feet feel first thing in the morning. My answer was 'If you mean do I have that ripping feeling first step like with PF - then no, I do not have that pain. My feet are stiff in the morning but it is not the same'. He just sort of said 'Oh. Well, it sounds like you've really been through everything with your feet'. I assured him that I had.

When he brought up the subject of orthotics, he mentioned the place in the same mall that does the Footmax (I posted here about that place when I found it a month or two ago). I was a bit ready for that, because I know that they (the office in my mall) are affiliated with a chiropractor and it may even be him or his clinic.

I very nicely, but very plainly told him that I had checked that office and those orthotics out. I told him after extensive research I had narrowed down my potential next orthotic maker to two places and I gave him the names and brief description of why I thought I should go there. He seemed quite content with my answer, (or at least not about to argue with me) and I don't think he'll be recommending anything else to do with my orthotics again in the near future. I stressed to him that I feel my last orthotics were possibly a principal factor in developing TTS. If need be, I was ready to pull out the big guns and tell him that my foot and ankle surgeon had made it clear that he didn't feel orthotics could be made by walking over a mat - and there was a fine art involved.

I think the real key in not being manipulated by a doctor or anyone - is to lay some firm ground rules and boundaries right in the beginning. I think that I feel comfortable at this point that we're headed in the right direction, but I appreciate the reminder about how easy it is to find a doctor taking complete control over decisions that should be made by the patient..

I still believe that this is much easier to have happen if you are in more pain. I know that my assertiveness level drops as my pain level goes up. Fortunately for me, most people would say that perhaps I am a little on the over-assertive side (I can just hear my husband laughing hysterically at this understatement) - so I have a fair ways to slide! After all I've been through with doctors and specialists, I think I've learned an awful lot about how to and how not to deal with a doctor,,,

It DOES help to know correct anatomy terms and to use them appropriately.

It DOES NOT help to tell your doctor that you read ANYTHING on the internet.

It DOES help to tell them that you have done a lot of 'research'.

It DOES help if you know all the names of the tests you've had done and why.

It DOES NOT help if you tell them you think all doctors are idiots.

It DOES help (mentally) if your doctor looks like a doctor from General Hospital (the soap opera).

It DOES NOT help if you suggest a possible diagnosis or say you think you had the same thing that your Aunt Martha had.

It DOES help if you discuss only the facts in objective terms, and explain your symptoms clearly.

It DOES NOT help to cry, have tantrums, throw things, or threaten to sue.

It DOES help to laugh, or inject humor in the conversation. (I use humor a lot to deal with people).

It DOES NOT help to tell knock-knock jokes.

It DOES help to get a written copy of all test results and doctor referrals/follow ups. And keep them. Forever.

It DOES help to ask questions and educate yourself.

It does help to be honest. 'I'm not comfortable with that procedure right now. I need some time to think over the risks and benefits and come to a decision on my own.' will get you a lot farther than 'All you doctors are bunch of QUACKS!'

Re: Buff???

wendyn on 11/03/00 at 22:37 (031901)

I thought of that when I read my post later. 'In the buff' usually means naked. But 'buff' (at least here) usually means well toned/muscular. Hmmmm....the buff doctor in the buff? That's a subject for another board!
x

Re: Buff???

Barbara TX on 11/03/00 at 23:31 (031903)

I wish! I suppose then they would charge double for the view. B
x

Re: On dealing with doctors

alan k on 11/04/00 at 07:18 (031914)

That's great advice Wendy. I wish I knew all that before seeing my first doctor. Of course, I know you of all people can handle yourself. I just like telling that story about how difficult it was to break up with my chiropractor.

alan

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

JudyS on 11/04/00 at 09:56 (031927)

Hi Julie - ART is the acronym for Active Release Therapy. It's a method of deep massage that is designed, more or less, to 'break up' scar tissue. I had it done by a Chiropractor last summer for about six weeks and it was the first treatment I'd had in this PF battle that seemed to really work. It was very, very painful. Then, lo and behold, my Pod sent me back to Physical Therapy where, guess what, the PT did the exact same massage! This deep, pain-producing, massage seems to have several titles. I've been in PT for 3 months now starting with 3x/week, now at 2. I believe that, even though quite painful, there are marked results

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Lois on 11/04/00 at 10:54 (031932)

I have been going to a chiopractor for about 4 years off and on. Sometimes he helps my back and than again i think he hurts me more. He is good to look at too, but i sure can cast that aside when i make decisions. He also really wants me to return. I say when should i come back and he says when you think you need to or once a week. I sometimes think he doesn't know either and just wants the money. He worked on my heel too and it didn't do anything. The exercises are the best for me anyway. Good luck. Lois

Re: On dealing with doctors. Wow!

Julie F on 11/04/00 at 12:29 (031940)

Wendy, you're brilliant. I will print this out to remind me how and how not to behave, converse, and think whenever I see a doctor for whatever reason. Like you, I'm an assertive lady, but my assertiveness level drops to zilch whenever I see a doctor. Period. I always think they know more than I do (no doubt the effect of living for 4 decades in England) even when that is not true. (That's how I fell for the bunion surgery bit and worried over it for two months before getting my 'second opinion' - and third - on the Dr board.)

Come to think of it, my mistake with my pod may have been to tell him I found out about ESWT on the internet (and how and where to find out about it). Maybe I shouldn't be surprised he did nothing about it. Oh well....

Thanks Wendy and all the best, Julie

Re: My first visit to the chiropractor

Julie F on 11/04/00 at 12:56 (031941)

Hi Judy, many thanks for the helpful explanation of ART. I'm glad to add it to my armory of information and gladder still that it has helped you
x

Re: On dealing with doctors

JudyS on 11/04/00 at 20:41 (031962)

Ah Wendy - this list of yours is perfection! I saw my Pod the other day and was a bit taken aback when he made a fairly disparaging remark about (medically) educating oneself via the internet! I hadn't told him I'd done that - until the next breath. I then told him that I have indeed been using the internet - then I gave him some of my printouts of the ESWT info! It was his turn to be taken aback!
BTW - I'm very jealous of your snow

Re: On dealing with doctors

Dr. Zuckerman on 11/05/00 at 19:00 (032015)

Hi,

Here is what i tell my heel pain patient when they come into my ofice. My job is tell you any and everything I know about heel pain. We will talk about my treatment recommendation and then we will discuss your feelings about them. Patients seem to like this approach.
i will say that there are two sides to this discussion. I have some patients tell me that they want ESWT when in fact it isn't going to help them . I go to this approach again and tell them why I feel this way . It usually works. I had a patient refuse an MRI when I mentioned it because I though she may have a stress fracture in her heel bone. Palpation toward the back of the medial tubercle in addition to the front of the medial tubercle caused alot of pain. It is very important that patients in addition to doctor try to work together and know that it takes two people to solve heel pain. One is the doctor and the other is the patient. by the way after taking out the x-ray and showing a picture of the heel bone upside down the patient completely understood why the mri was on my mind. This patient came to my office completely prepared to have ESWT she forgot one thing my examination and determination of the need for this procedure. So it takes two to solve this very painful and difficult problem. Maybe it was the fact that this patient was a police woman and was use to telling people just the fact just the facts. (Dragnet)