First Visit to a Chiropractor Adjusted Her Opinion

First Visit to a Chiropractor Adjusted Her Opinion

I was excited to go to a chiropractor for the first time. I saw an ad on Facebook for one close to home who was offering a $300 free voucher that included an adjustment, X-rays, total exam, physical therapy and provides an ongoing treatment plan. What a perfect opportunity!  

For my first appointment I had to fill out a million forms about my diet and health history; then I got a tour of the facility. When I got to meet the doctor, he began by explaining vertebral subluxation, of which I never had heard. Basically, it is the result of vertebrae that do not move properly, or are out of position, which causes a breakdown of nerve communications between your brain and your body. He said we all need adjustments, or tune-ups, much like an automobile. Almost everything that has moving parts needs maintenance or repairs at some point.

After some X-rays, we talked a little more about the results. He said he definitely could help me. My hips weren’t aligned and my neck didn’t have any curvature. My shoulders were a mess, too. I would need aggressive treatments, but I would feel so much better in a few weeks. He was surprised more people with fibromyalgia don’t get treatment from a chiropractor because of the relief the adjustments can provide. He had me run through some quick exercises with a physical therapist, and I was given a handout of the exercises so I could do them at home.

They had me come back for the treatment plan and one adjustment. When I went back a week later, the doctor showed me the X-rays and explained my issues more in depth. He told me I would need to come in three times a week for four weeks, and twice a week for three weeks. Treatments included chiropractic adjustments along with physical therapy.

Then it was time to find out how much this was going to cost. I checked into my insurance coverage, and I would have to meet the $2,000 deductible before they would cover up to $500 per year!

He had his assistant come in. She broke the news to me. To do the entire plan he had mentioned would cost me only $5,400. I was floored! Not at all what I was expecting. That price included my insurance. If I didn’t go through insurance, I could buy a supplement plan for $49 a year through their office, and the bill would go down to $2,400. I said that was more than I was planning to pay. We “negotiated” to just the four weeks of three treatments per week for $580 paid in three easy payments. I told him that I would have to think it over and discuss it with my husband.

After that shock, the doctor came back in and did a quick adjustment. Getting an adjustment for the first time can be downright scary. Between the sensations and the popping and cracking noises, I can see where it could be intimidating to some. He worked on my shoulders and lower back for a total of four different adjustments. I felt some relief right away, which made me want to come back to see what a full appointment could bring.

After discussing the treatment plan and cost with my husband, we both checked with our friends and co-workers to see what they thought. Everyone thought the same as we did — too expensive. However, my husband found out the wellness center his employer runs provides free chiropractic care for people on the insurance plan. So, guess where I went?

Getting to meet the new chiropractor was a wonderful experience. No pressure at all. He felt I only needed once-a-week adjustments and he cautioned me that it could cause me to go into a flare. The other doctor did not mention that possibility at all. His aggressive treatment plan could have been disastrous for me.

Stay tuned for next week’s column, where I will discuss more about how it went with my new chiropractor, and my experience with chiropractic care in general.

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

19 comments

  1. Hi Carrie!! My name is Sandi & I’ve been waiting to hear someone talk about the chiropractor & if it would actually help me with my pains I’m having in my neck, shoulders, and back! My pain has been so bad for months now and I’m at a loss of what to do! My rheumatologist seems to not want to help with anything except for Enbrel for my rheumatoid! I was sent to physical therapy and it has done nothing but hurt me even more so I had to stop going!
    I’m waiting for your update on your appointment with the chiropractor & I’m praying it helps you!! This I do believe will be my next step in finding a relief from this constant pain!!
    Thanks for sharing❤️

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Hi Sandi! I’m so sorry you are suffering so much! Thank you for your prayers! I pray you are able to find some relief! I had awful pain in my neck, shoulders and back too. I do feel so much better after only 4 visits! I am amazed at how much better I feel. The pain is still there but it is way more tolerable. I am so glad I took the step. I will admit it is not for everyone. Try to find someone who advertises that they treat fibromyalgia or chronic pain. I am lucky to have gotten into a pain management program that is entirely natural. I still take gabapentin (way too many a day!) but I’m hoping to wean off of them entirely. Please give me an update when (or if) you take this step. Best of luck to you and gentle hugs!!

    • Raylee Heading says:

      Hi Sandie, i am 73 years of age and i have been seeing a Chiropractor for the past 38 years and i receive great relief from my pain. I usually see him once a month otherwise i suffer with terrible headaches caused from bone spurs in my neck and he helps me with my fibromyalgia pain.He doesn,t crack my back because i would be to sore afterwards but he uses a applicator which is like a small gun and it pops your bones in place without any pain.

  2. HJ says:

    I’ve spoken to two people who have been harmed by chiropractors and will not take the risk. My own mother is one of them. I asked some doctors and a physical therapist what they thought. Most responses I got were negative, with the most hopeful being, “Well, there are good chiropractors and there are chiropractors you really need to avoid.”

    … and there isn’t a sure-fire way to know which ones you should avoid. I’m sorry… you could say that they take X-rays, they helped a friend…

    … but you won’t convince me. I’ll listen to my mother. She had bone spurs that were cutting into her spinal cord. The chiropractor never should have touched her.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      First off, I am so sorry your mother had such a horrible experience! I am a firm believer in trusting your instincts. Don’t do something you have reservations about, especially when it pertains to your health. I would never try to convince someone to do something they have serious concerns about. I’ve had 2 spinal fusions and a rod and 6 screws in my back (which I finally had to have removed due to pain). I was very concerned about seeing a chiropractor and had been warned NOT to see one. I made sure I only saw someone who would take x-rays and I made sure to discuss my surgeries with both doctors I saw. I had to feel comfortable with them and I had to feel I could trust them before I proceeded. I could have ended up in a situation like you mom, but I’m very fortunate that I saw 2 very good chiropractors. I’ve seen pretty bad traditional doctors and surgeons too. Some that were downright awful and shouldn’t be practicing medicine. You will find these issues in any field. Best of luck to you!

  3. Tracy says:

    I have been considering going to a chiropractor. My rheumatologist actually referred me to one. But I put it off because of all of the horrible things that I hear.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      I understand. I actually feared chiropractors for most of my life. I’ve had 2 major back surgeries (both spinal fusions) and I was told by my orthopedic surgeon to NEVER see a chiropractor. You have to be ready and you have to want to do this. It is a big step. For me, it worked out but I’ve heard the horror stories as well. Unfortunately some chiropractors don’t know what they are doing and can do more harm than good. Best of luck to you and I hope you are able to find some relief!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Thank you! I totally agree with you! I found the same situation with massage therapists. No two practitioners are alike. You need to find someone who not only knows what they are doing (which can be the hardest part!) but someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.

  4. Denise Bault says:

    I am blessed to have found a chiroprator who’s not only excellent, he’s affordable – as insurance doesn’t usually cover this type of care. I’ve been to many over the years and just like other docs, chiropractors are not all good at what they do. I’ve learned to stay away from the ones that require repeated visits for weeks on end. When I see mine, I go in, he does an adjustment, and I may not see him for another 6 months! I see him only when I feel out of whack. He only takes walk-in appts. and the cost per visit is $45. I do not like the ones that use an instrument to adjust. I believe a “hands on” chiropractor is the best. (They can feel where the adjustments need to be made.) Bonus – I also get a short 15 min. massage after my adjustment! Talk about irony…I had a chiropractor be the first to suggest I had fibromyalgia and another one tell me I NEEDED to file for disability!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad to hear that there are affordable options out there for those that don’t have insurance that covers this. I agree with you on the instruments. Mine uses it for just a few minutes but otherwise he’s mainly hands on. That massage is a very nice bonus indeed! I will take that up with my doctor!

  5. Em says:

    BEWARE!!! All of the C’s are not honest and many are QUACKS! Do your homework. Advice from one who was nearly crippled by one of the quacks. They are all not all created equal and many have the ethics of a viper. For many it is all about the Almighty Dollar. Profession and a plaque on the wall does not equal ethics.

  6. Mandy says:

    I understand the reluctance of some people and I’m sorry that others have had bad experiences. I have been under chiropractic care for the last six years (before my car accident and fibromyalgia diagnosis), and it’s an integral part of my wellness plan. I have a 45 minute massage therapy session and then an adjustment once a week and the combination seems to be good for me. I have gotten occasional flare-ups from adjustments and even massages if the treatment was a bit too aggressive, but I let them know about my reactions and we adjust the treatments accordingly. You need to be an advocate for you own treatment and speak up if you react negatively! A good practitioner will listen to you and make changes. No one knows your body better than you do!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Mandy, Thank you for your comment and the excellent advice! You are so right. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to tell a practitioner if something isn’t right or it hurts.

  7. Tamara Shurling says:

    I went to a chiropractor that wanted to do twice a week for 8 weeks and every time I went it made my fibro flare so I quit going. They were even doing a machine that was like a tens unit only bigger plus ultrasound therapy. I don’t know if it was just too much or what but I couldn’t handle the aftermath each time.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Hi Tamara, I understand. My next article, which will published tomorrow afternoon, is about this subject. I found that it is worth it for me but I can’t handle more than one session a week. One is enough! I have my adjustments on Friday afternoons so I can recover over the weekend.

  8. Margaret says:

    So glad I read this!!! I’m in the midst of a horrendous flare. Just started PT for an old neck and shoulder/posture issue. Met with a chiropractor yesterday who uses the KST method, which doesn’t involve the popping/manual adjusting. I’m looking forward to starting, but she wants to see me 3x week & I also worry that’s too much for someone with FM. Plus, on top of 2x/wk PT, my job, motherhood, etc it’s a lot to drive the 30 mi 1-way 3x week on top of everything esp when I’m feeling so lousy to begin with. Look forward to reading more!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Margaret, I’m sorry you are having a horrible flare! Gentle hugs to you! You may find my article from last week helpful. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/03/03/chiropractic-adjustments-are-they-worth-the-flares/

      I’m so glad I didn’t go through with the 3X a week. It would have killed me! The second doctor I saw only recommended once a week and that is working out great. I have the adjustments on a Friday or Saturday to give me a little time to recover before heading back to work on Monday. I find that the adjustments have helped me tremendously and plan to keep going as long as necessary, I have a hard time balancing everything and I don’t have children to worry about so I really feel for you!! I wish you the best of luck and hope you are able to find a treatment plan that works for you!!

  9. Karen says:

    It took me nearly 5 years and about 12 different chiropractors until I found the one that worked for me. For the last 4 years I have had an adjustment once a week and I have joked with my chiropractor that I will keep going to her until one us dies. My insurance doesn’t cover it so she gives me a cash price that is very reasonable.
    If you are searching for a chiropractor, don’t go to the ones who want you to buy their vitamin supplements, or the ones that want you to pay thousands before you get treatment, or those who claim they can “cure” fibromyalgia. They can’t. The good ones are out there, but you have to be willing to try a few to find your best match.

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