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Physio, chiropractor or osteopath..?

Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
edited January 2010 in The bottom bracket
Well I've done my back in :cry: (lower back when using shovel) and i'm wondering which one of these are the best to see. Anyone had any good or bad experiences.

Thanks
Homer J

Posts

  • Chiro will rape your wallet. Don't bother. Never had a good experience from them and I've been to a few.
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    Hey Homer...

    I have struggled with my back for a few years now....

    First thing I tried was a chiro....it definitely helped in the very short term, but as drew says, relies heavily on repeat appointments to have a consistently good back.

    Next I tried Osteo....they are different from chiro mostly because of the spelling....they say that it is less severe than chiro, but my experience was that they used very similar techniques..again relied on repeat appointments.

    Next I went to the doctor who referred me to a physio and gave me co-codamol (100 x 30/500) and diazepam (or valium if you prefer..but 2mg tablets..)

    The pills helped.....but I couldn't do anything else while taking them (couldn't concentrate enough to even read, or watch tv...)

    Physio...mostly worked on core stability and for me this has has the most long lasting benefits, however it has still not cured my back pain...

    Next step is to go back to the doctor and make lots of noise about getting some kind of scan to find out what is really going on.

    So..Hopefully yours is more topical than mine (i.e. just a minor injury caused by your spadework) and easily curable. I hope this has been helpful.

    Good luck!

    cee
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • Hi, I am a physio and my advice would be to go by reputation. Osteopaths are great for joint related problems, physios when there are more soft tissue components involved, muscle or nerve. I will not comment on chiropractors but google simon singh and chiropractor.

    I know of physios who are great at peripheral problems and shocking with spines. If you can wait the NHS physios probably have access to the most complete packages of care, from exercise classes to cognitive sessions and manual therapy to hydrotherapy in some hospitals.

    Above all get a good one. If you are not progressing (do not expect to be cured) after 4-6 sessions ask for a more senior physio to do a joint assessment. That said if it is a stability programme it could take 8 weeks to get under control and then longer to resolve.

    Good luck whatever you do

    Andy
  • A good physio is really worth his/her weight in gold. They seem to pick on imbalances much better IMHO.

    Good osteopath's seem to be hard to find, most of the male ones use brute force to crack your back, I think female ones are better personally in that respect.

    In terms of success rate I'd say that so far the physio has been better for me.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,266
    The chiro will sort out the immediate pain (mine took about 3 sessions at £30 a time) but mine then recommended an exercise programme at his inhouse gym - £15 a session (about 20 minutes), twice a week for an indefinite period! My credit card took it for 3 weeks. I also got charged at my initial consultation for xrays which revealed a herniated disc and " a back that looked like it belongs to a 60 year old" (I was 35!). When I injured my neck in a cycling accident I got seen by an osteopath who did the same manipulation treatment but didn't recommend any further work, I then went to the GP who referred me to a pysio at the hospital. Their advice was for me to stand properly!!! :?

    Basically they all have a vested interest in prolonging your treatment. I would say get the initial spasm sorted out by either a chiro or osteo and then get along to a yoga / pilates class to work on your posture / core strength to take future strain off your back.
  • shaunosshaunos Posts: 84
    After years of back problems, I would recommend using a Physio. If you get lucky with a decent GP you could get seen on the NHS..................!!

    I knackered my back 20 odd years ago, GP at the time diagnosed pulled muscles. Several months later, the tablets were not working, and Mrs advised seeing a Chiropractor. I had actually slipped 2 discs.

    I have used Chiropractors on and off for years as the problem had never completely gone away. (Not like the cash in my wallet!!!)

    A couple of years ago it went again BIG TIME. Different GP diagnosed correctly and sent me to Physios. Over a period of 6 weeks I was sorted and not had a problem since.

    It seems that the Chiropractors were all "cracking" my back IN, whereas the Physios were "stretching" me OUT.
  • Lycra ManLycra Man Posts: 141
    I have has repeated success in visiting a chiropractor (on an off, over a period of 30+ years). It is true they cannot always resolve all issues on one visit, especially if you are inflamed in the area of pain and injury.
    I can highly recommend Rupert Molloy at Woodstock Chiroprtactic Clinic, just north of Oxford.

    In my opinion, Chiropractoprs and Osteopaths do a very similar thing - they will manipulate you to put back into alignment the parts (typically discs) that are 'out'.

    A doctor will probably give you a pain killer and suggest you rest and are more careful in future.

    Take your choice. I know my preference.

    Lycra Man
    FCN7 - 1 for SPDs = FCN6
  • Chip \'oylerChip \'oyler Posts: 2,324
    I had great results with a Chiro (not back related though - I was getting treatment after an accident). But I'm now doing gym work twice a week with core stabilty work - and this has really benefited me. I haven't seen the chiro in months
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  • I was seeing Chiros & Osteos for years with very limited success (and costing a small fortune). What particularly irks me now, though I didn't realise at the time, was that I was never given a full understanding of what precisely the problem with my back was. It was all rather wooly & vague.

    I then started seeing a sports physio. He fixed me up in about six sessions and for the first time It was clearly explained to me exactly what the problem was. I was taught techniques to put my back in place by myself and shown the all-important core-strength exercises which need to be practiced on a daily basis, along with stretching exercises.

    I haven't had to go back for three years now. So sorry, but I'm now very skeptical of both Osteos and Chiros. Old skool Physios get my vote.

    HTH.

    Ecto.

    Only a Pawn in their Game...
  • if someone tells you you have slipped a disc do not believe them, they cannot slip. They may bulge but cannot slip

    If they look at an xray and tell you there is a slipped disc then worse still, you cannot see discs on xrays.

    These pices of "advice" only make it harder to treat back pain because convincing someone they have not, when they have paid to be told they have, is difficult to say the least.

    Many of us on here today, slumped in front of our computers, with painfree spines may show small disc bulges if we were to have an MRI, a disc bulge is only relevant if it impinges on something, which equally cannot be seen on xray.

    Move normally as best you can with painkillers if necessary.

    Andy
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    andybott's advice at the top is critical. Go and see someone who has a good reputation. I'm a sports coach so I have a couple in oxford that I refer people to know either personally or by reputation/friends experiences. The bulk of them are utterly useless, you really need to see someone who knows what they're doing, and don't expect miracles overnight. Muscle imbalances will take a while to permanently correct.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,266
    andybott wrote:
    if someone tells you you have slipped a disc do not believe them, they cannot slip. They may bulge but cannot slip

    If they look at an xray and tell you there is a slipped disc then worse still, you cannot see discs on xrays.

    These pices of "advice" only make it harder to treat back pain because convincing someone they have not, when they have paid to be told they have, is difficult to say the least.

    Many of us on here today, slumped in front of our computers, with painfree spines may show small disc bulges if we were to have an MRI, a disc bulge is only relevant if it impinges on something, which equally cannot be seen on xray.

    Move normally as best you can with painkillers if necessary.

    Andy

    Slightly pedantic on the slipped disc front as most people call it that although my chiro gave me the same explanation for my hernaited disc :wink:

    I would disagree on the xray side though as the misalignment of the vertabrae allows the diagnosis to be made. You can also make out the disc itself though it is rather faint due to it's lack of density. On my xray the chiro was also able to explain that one area of colour was due me having just eaten! :oops:
  • Chiro will rape your wallet. .

    agree they'll rape your wallet and if you've long term chronic problems you'll have to have repeat visits by very nature of having a long term chronic problem.

    I've had a fantastic experience with my ones but like everything else you get good and bad ones. google any number of sports stars and chiropractor for the other side of the simon singh argument (dare I mention an American multi TdF winner).

    go with what feels best for you.

    for me, after a broken neck and a Dr that did no more than get me heavily hooked on Solpadeine. Osteo painful and no good came of it. Physio - not painful but I saw no improvement at all & finally as a last resort I wen't to the one I had to pay for - I wish I'd ignored the medical wisdom route two years previously and gone Chiro, not only did/do they help with alleviating the pain but they've got me more mobile and physically active than any other specialism managed, They also worked very hard with me to help me off the painkillers. I'm drug free and far far better for Chiropractic than I ever was with GP, Physios and Osteos.

    but this is just my experience - you need to find the people that get to know you and understand your own personal injury best and go with them.
  • Chiro will rape your wallet. Don't bother.

    Based on my experiences, this is sounds advice.

    I'd see a reputable osteo or physio to address your current symptoms and identify the root cause, then embark on a self-help programme (for instance, flexibility or core strength improvements).

    If there's any Chek (i.e. Paul Chek, Corrective Hositic Exercise Kinesiology) practitioners in your area, they might be a good person to see.
  • As a matter of interest, what was the outcome of the Simon Singh story?

    Funnily enough, I've looked at training as a physio, osteo, or chiro, and I remember that the entry requirements needed (A level grades) were much lower for the latter compared with physio (highest), and osteo (slightly lower). Like Simon Singh, I'm also a physics grad, but the apparent* flakiness of chiropractic theory put me off.

    *If the BCA are reading this, I'm sure the theory is valid. Phew
  • da gooseda goose Posts: 284
    Definately physio advice/rest build flexibility/core strength something us cyclists are very bad at.........thinking outside the box look at a SACROWEDGY I bought mine after months of piriformis pain (from bad driving position/seat) but it smooths and corrects the whole back....I just wish I knew about it earlier....plus its cheaper than one visit to any specialist, needless to say none of them fixed my issue....sacrowedgy did...local footballers now using one to great success..... :lol:
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    This is quite interesting. I was in a bike crash at the end of November which I wrote about on the commuting section of thie site. Basically a feckin eejit of a driver pulled across in front of me at a junction and I slammed into his left wing at about 20-25mph. Since then I have had problems with my left hip which took a very heavy impact and I think I was lucky not to have broken my pelvis.

    I have been seeing a physio, earely on she gave me acupuncture which hurt a lot! It made it flare up, which apparently is the idea. Since then she just prods at it a bit and has given me stretches and strengthening exercises to do, but it doesn't really seem to be getting much better very quickly anymore and I'm desperate to get back to the cycling that I used to do. I haven't been on a long club ride since early Nov and can only just about manage the commute (6 miles in and 6 miles out). I also used to run a lot and I can only manage about 1 or 2 minutes at a time now.

    I was thinking that I should see an osteo or chiro, but the physio seems to think that I should concentrate on what she is doing rather than bringing anyone else into the equation.... I'm just wondering if I have knocked my spine or hips out of alignment or something....
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
    Thanks for all the replys, lots of good advice. I went to see a physio on saturday, one recomended by a friend. Turns out my back is out of line a bit and i've stressed one of the muscles around the hip.
    Physio gave me a good massage (nearly had me in tears). I've got core exersises and stretches to do. He said that it was evedent that i do censored all stretching after riding!
    Which is very true as i'm a bit lazy when it come to stretching. So giving what i've got to do it could take 2-3 weeks to get back to normal. If i don't feel any improvement i sould give him a bell.


  • I was thinking that I should see an osteo or chiro, but the physio seems to think that I should concentrate on what she is doing rather than bringing anyone else into the equation..

    She would wouldn't she, highly unlikely she's going to say, yeah you're right I'm [email protected] and making it up as I go along.

    if you're not happy try someone else or another discipline - call a few different people and find out which ones wll offer you a free initail assessment and take a few, then compare what they all say to help filter the honest ones who all tell you much the same from the cowboys that will tell you all sorts is wrong just to bump up their takings from it (either via NHS or you)

    my experience with my own big injury and my dads final illness has made me exceedingly cynical when medical people tell me something dfferent to how I'm feeling its going.
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