Monday, June 26, 2006
  My Trip to the Chiropractor as a Teen

When I was a teen I got teased. I'm sure it had at least something to do with my less than stellar social skills, but there were also two things that made me a target for a trip to the chiropractor as well.

My rear end was a little too much rearified (Okay, my butt stuck out), and I ran funny. My parents worried that these things might cause problems so they took me to the chiropractor. One had previously treated my mom for severe, recurrent migraines rather successfully.

At the office, I recieved several x-rays. The chiropractor determined that I had moderate scoliosis. He then informed my parents that scoliosis has a high likelyhood of getting worse over time. However, if I went there 3 times a week and then 2 times a week for six weeks, he could reduce the likelyhood of it getting worse to 20%. (Remember that number) All together, it would cost $2000 (in the 80s.)

Of course, my parents agreed to it. They really couldn't afford it, but what else was there to do? They couldn't let that scoliosis get worse and cause me pain and start squishing all my organs.

But what about what had caused us concern in the first place? Well, the treatments would take care of that too. But I still felt like he kind of brushed that problem aside, even though it was the main complaint.

While there, as well as undergoing adjustments to the neck and spine and a bunch of leg yanking, I also got ultrasound treatment on my neck. Oh, yeah... my neck didn't have a proper curve. I was never given any exercises to do.

Anyway, I endured six weeks of this. I rode my bike to the chiropractor and back three times a week. My lower back often hurt after the treatments. I don't remember if I reported this or not. I do remember thinking: this is supposed to help me - why are things worse? A friend of mine at the time, also with scoliosis diagnosed by her chiropractic uncle told me that he said to come in only if it bothered her, for a single adjustment.

About a year later, I was in the school library reading Discover magazine when I came across an article about scoliosis. 80% of diagnosed cases never worsened and were typically asymptomatic. Remember what the likely hood of me getting worse with treatments was? 20%. Yeah.

As for my big butt and funny running: those reported symptoms which the chiropractor brushed aside did end up causing me pain as I grew older. I have abs of steel now and wear shoes designed to correct overpronation during my runs.

There is an upshot to this story. It was the beginning of my skepticism regarding alternative medicine.
Hi there Big Granola,

you need to send this post over to Clark Bartram at, he sees red everytime he here's about another chiropractor case in which somebody got ripped off.

You could also send it to Pediatric Grand rounds.
Oh don't worry ex utero, I have already added a daily serving of granola to my diet. And this would be a great post for the PGR.

Scoliosis is a extremely common diagnosis made by chiropractors leading, as in this post, to adjustments of varying intervals. I have heard many horror stories much worse than this unfortunately, and read about many more. These chiropractors fail to recognize that no amount of twisting the spine in the office will ever have any effect on the degree of curvature of the spine. It is a scam plain and simple.
Great post! I hope you submitted this one to Grand Rounds! :o)
Thanks guys. Maybe I will submit it to PGR.
Being the parent who had the migraines...and they responded remarkably well to the chiropractic treatment...and who agreed to having you treated, I feel I need to give you a bit of history you may not know. I have a cousin who was diagnosed with scoliosis in the early 60's. Not by a chiropractor, mind you, but by a regular MD. As I was only a year or two older than her, I do not know if said MD was a specialist or a gp. Given my family background, he was "The Doctor", a person who was not quite, but very close to being, omniscient. Her treatment was a several week stay in the hospital in traction complete with holes drilled in her skull to hold her head up properly. She then got to wear a full body cast for another couple of months, with what looked like rebar rising out of the front of her cast and screwed into her forehead. I have a school picture that was taken of her during that time...painful to look at even now. Bear in mind this was about the time we were entering the strange world called puberty. It made quite an impression on me. Actually, when the chiropractor said you had scoliosis, it scared the living daylights out of me. I would have tried anything to spare you the agony I saw Chris go through.
Chiropractic treatment is one of the best methods for treating numerous health problems naturally. After years of experience being a chiropractor, I have found that it is a powerful way to solve many pain conditions, like headaches, neck pain and back pain, as well as many non-pain condition as well, such as fatigue, sleep problems, and sinus problems.
chiropractic conway
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who feels this way. Chiropractors seem to view themselves the same way a doctor in a hospital would. I'm not sure all the same rules apply though. They certainly have vastly different goals.
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A Mormon housewife who loves truth, science, rational thought, and reasonable action.

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Location: Utah

Granola is a mix of things: grains, nuts, bits of dried fruit, maybe some coconut. There's some fat in it, and it's a good source of fiber to keep those arteries and colons clean.

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