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Seeing a Chiroproactor


So I've been seeing this chiropractor for several months, and was wondering if i should start seeing another chiropractor.

Basically after i told him that i do heavy squats and deadlifts without a belt, he freaked out and told me that i was going to blow a disk. I explained to him that i use very strict form, and i squat to parallel and don't use straps on deadlifts so that i can only do so much weight (on either exercise i never do more than 300 lbs).

His response was that i should always use a belt, never do deadlifts again, and that when i want to squat, use the smith machine, and don't go below 90 degrees. WTF? I just nodded and said sure.

Basically what this guy does is some massage/ART work on tender spots in my upper back, and then cracks my upper back in a couple of spots and cracks the neck in each direction. Is this basically what all chiropractors do?

My back and my posture have been doing great since i've been seeing him, so i don't think it's that imperative that i switch Chiropractors, but i'm just suspicious now because of the lifting advice he gave me.



If he is so confident in making demonstrably false and ridiculous recommendations, then it's hard not to question the rest of his skills since it's likely he puts the same level of critical analysis (very little) into the rest of his career and education.

In other words, he sounds like an idiot and I'd find another one. Better yet, I'd find a great masseuse and don't bother with having someone crack your neck around, which as I understand is a common cause of stroke in young adults.


Imagine how many people come into him for back problems, that lift. I bet they say they got injured doing one of these lifts. Chances are, during your lifting life, if you train heavy, you will have a back injury related to one of these two lifts. He is looking out for your well being, he isn't your strength coach. If he is helping your posture and with your neck, which to say he is going to cause a stroke in you is ridiculous, this is a trained professional with an advanced bs degree in science and three years of chriropractic college, then i don't see the problem. The truth is putting hundreds of pounds directly on your spine is dangerous, but if you are using correct form, which he cannot be certain of, then you will be at a lower amount of risk. To assume that he puts very little consideration into his career, which he has dedicated at least seven years of his life without even knowing him, is absurd. Keep in mind this person probably deals with 65 year old people with degenerated disks.

Bottom line, did you go to this guy to improve your back health or get a training split? And if you do get injured because of those lifts and you are going to him for help do not have to much pride to tell him what happened.


I can see two reactions to your chiro:

1) You realize he has little lifting experience and knowledge and move on to another chiro who has lifting experience/knowledge and hopefully is as good of a chiropractic clinician, or

2) You stay with this chiro and take him for what he's worth, just using him for adjustment purposes and ignore his lifting advice.

When it comes down to it, it is GREAT to have a chiropractor who understands the demands and techniques involved in strength training, but ultimately for what you are using the chiro for, you just need the adjustment for postural purposes. So I would say just use him for what he is worth - the soft tissue manipulation and adjustments.


Dude if you want advice about your Chiropractor talk to Clay Hyght on this site, he's a DC. I'm currently studying Chiropractic and I never use a belt unless I decide to test my maxes. Disc herniation is usually involved with flexion and rotation. So if you use proper form and keep a flat back with your ass down you should be fine. BTW Franco Columbu is also a DC and he's been documented doing stupid-heavy deads without a belt.


And I would also look for a DC that has some athletic experience, I go to school with a lot of pansies. They will also unfortunately make it through school and become practitioners. To each there own...


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This seems like pretty good advice. I've been seeing a chiro who has limited knowledge about lifting (though I'm only a novice myself) and while I was happy with the adjustments she was making, I wasn't really happy with the rehab/prehab exercises and selfhelp techniques (or lack of) she was giving me. I was fortunate enough to have a session with BBB and it was extremely reassuring that he's an experienced lifter and fully understands the stresses lifting causes on the body. He was able to give me a good self help routine, which I'm already feeling the benefits of after a couple of weeks, BUT at the end of the day, the adjustments he made were the same adjustments my usual chiropractor makes. I guess I'll continue to see my usual chiropractor for adjustments but now I'm armed with some good self help stuff I'm much more confident about my fixing my issue.

I guess I'm trying to backup what LH said; it depends what you want out of your chiropractor, if its just regular adjustments then does it really matter if he doesn't know that much about lifting?


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To those who scoff at the suggestion that neck manipulation by chiropractors has been associated with increased risk of stroke in young adults (less than 45 years old), a quick Google search returns a lot of different studies and sources pertaining to the evidence surrounding the topic.


While I'm open to hearing explanations as to why the existent evidence and concern is invalid, it's at the very least a serious issue that needs to be considered before one dismisses the possible danger of having someone crank your neck around to help with pain.


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Oh, most definitely... you've got such a tender touch! :wink:


Well said BBB! I'm not even a chiro or osteo and I found that statement pretty misleading and slanderous in nature.

All medical treatments have some sort of inherent risk. I just find it funny that one will call out the "stroke" complications (which you stated are 1 in 1,000,000) and ignore the complications of high blood pressure medication, statins, anti-depressants, and even cortisone injections.


To the OP, I am a chiropractor and I'm a competitive powerlifter. If a chiro tells you to stop squatting and deadlifting and you have no real contraindications, find another chiropractor.

You want to find a chiropractor who is evidence-based, someone who keeps up with the science and treats mainly musculoskeletal pain and injuries. If you are in Maryland, look for Jay Greenstein's Sport and Spine group. He's a great sports chiro and guided by the evidence. If you need someone closer PM me, I know the best chiros in the world, and if I don't know someone in your area, I know someone who does.

To Socrastein, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19251066. There's much more, but the Cassidy paper pretty much put this to bed.

Classically chiros have been synonymous with spinal manipulation or adjustments because we do it better than everyone else. But we have a full arsenal of manual therapy techniques from manips to mobs to soft tissue to rehab and PT modalities at our disposal. We don't just manipulate everything that walks in the door. If a person has a neck complaint or HA then I screen them out prior to any cervical manipulation via thorough history. If I still feel uneasy and they have imaging red flags then I refer immediately for MRA. Just did this last week with a patient and her MRA came back clean. We actually caught a dissection in progress a couple years ago in our sports clinic. Saved the woman's life.


Yeah about chiro's adjusting the neck and VBAI... malpractice insurance rates don't lie. There is a reason a chiro's malpractice is so low (mine is less than $2000 a year). If we were stroking people out left and right I'm pretty sure my malpractice would be up there with an anesthesiologist.

And boondoc is right, there a lot of times where c-spine adjusting is contraindicated... the good ones will know when to pull the trigger and when not to.


Physical Therapists are pretty good too although i am biased because I am one lol


I've only spoken with one PT who studied Manipulations. How much training do the PTs actually receive in SMT?

I admit that I have stolen a few adjusting techniques from PT books, but from what I can tell they are taught very differently about it than a chiro, (basing that off limited knowledge of speaking with one PT and reading a PT books).