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IMO, they're all quacks (chiropractors).

Most of 'em, probably. But not all of them.

My wife has seen a chiropractor for years, and I always thought they were bunk. Well, after helping my BIL move once, I developed a stabbing pain in my lower back on one side. I thought it was a pulled muscle, and suffered with it for 3-4 days. DW convinced me to just let the chiropractor look at it, and help diagnose whether it was a pulled muscle or some other back pain.

First thing the guy did was take an X-ray, which surprised me. It clearly showed where one of my lower vertebra was twisted out of position, pinching against the one below it. He explained that this pinching causes a muscle clenching on that side of my back, which then keeps the spine misaligned, which keeps the nerves in a pinched position, which keeps the muscles clenching, get the idea. The pain comes from the clenched muscle. You have to get the muscle to let up, the correct the misalignment of the spine, and then get it to stay that way (not always easy).

He did some stimulating therapy on the muscle tissue, then a mild adjustment to correct the misalignment. I felt better after that. The next day I hurt so bad I couldn't stand it. I went back and he looked, and the vertebra had gone back to the misaligned position. Apparently, that's pretty common when recovering from a back injury like that.

He did a quick adjustment, and it was like someone took the knife out - it just stopped hurting. A few days later, it started to come back, and I got another adjustment. Much better, again. I saw him twice a week for the next several weeks. On days that my back hurt, he always knew from looking at my spine (even if I didn't tell him). On days that I was feeling better, he'd comment that the last adjustment had held up well (again, I didn't tell him). On days that I had pain, the adjustment results in lots of cracking/popping sounds. On days that I felt ok, there was little or no popping during the adjustment.

There are chiropractors out there that just want to "crack your bones" and bill your insurance company to buy a nice house/car/whatever. But there are also some out there who can legitimately help you. You just have to find one of the good ones.

Tip: If you see a lawyer's business cards on the receptionist's desk, you are not in a good chiropractor's office... ;)
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