Thursday, April 05, 2012


So I had my first chiropractic treatment. 

I arrived buzzing thinking "this is it, we're going to get stuck in to the root cause of my numb weak hands, sore neck and pelvis, general stiffness and occasional shooting pains down my left leg".

I had weighed up the cost of treatment. €45 for half an hour. We can't afford it at the moment, but I figured a couple of hard-core sessions would make a difference. It's time to give something back to me, fix me so I can be a better mum to my 3 kids...

"Just sit here and watch this video" I was told. 

I was left to endure 15 minutes of the smarmy pyschobabble of CJ Mertz or Coach CJ as he likes to be called. He is American and a spokesman for chiropractors. 

This is a trick, I was thinking. Why do I have to sit through this? How many times has he mentioned "vertebral subluxation"? Christ if he mentions "vertebral subluxation" again I think I'm going to go crazy. Why do I need to know this stuff anyway, chiropractor training will not fix my ailments, getting stuck into treatment will? This is a very annoying repetitive video, it's not endearing me to treatment one little bit.

Come on, where are you? TREAT ME PLEASE!

Then I was shown my Xrays and left for 5 minutes more to ponder the beautiful black and white of my bones. 

Yes lovely, they're bones, brilliant, but come on now, let's get started. I'm paying €45 for this!! The clock is ticking, that's 20 minutes so far!

Eventually, I was asked to lie on a bed and given a few crunches, then told to lie back on blocks and move my legs for 5 minutes (bit like pilates that I could do at home), then one twist of my neck, and I was done!

Is that it? At most, I got 5 minutes of hands-on treatment!!

I'm left feeling frustrated, still aching all over and concerned that I've got myself into something that is going to cost money that we don't have.

No doubt on my next visit, I'll receive 10 minutes of treatment and be told I need a course of 10 more sessions @ 10 minutes of treatment @ €45 per visit.

I've already paid €135 for an Xray that the chiro insisted was critical. Yet the xray didn't tell her anything that she didn't already know after the evaluation session. So what was the point of wasting my money?

My husband who is seeing an osteopath recently, was told that xrays are pointless, they don't tell you anything that an expert can't tell already. He got a thorough treatment in his first session, and then in his second, he received 40 minutes of hands-on crunching that made a big difference to his body.

Have I picked the wrong back specialist? Would a physio or a osteo be better? I'd love to see results sooner rather than later. It seems chiros prefer the long-game. I'm talking to so many people about this at the moment and doing a lot of research. There's a lot of negative stuff on the internet that is making me question whether chiropractic care is all that Coach CJ claims it to be. 

Shall I bail out before it makes me even more cynical?

I'd like to get fixed. 

So far I've paid €180 for nothing. 

I'm feeling a little bit powerless and frustrated today. 


Mitchell said...

It sounds like you don't have much money. I am a chiropractor in Saint Louis and would refer you to a clinic where students getting ready to graduate would treat you for free. You can try self treatment with stretching and heat and maybe Naproxen or Ibuprofen. It is true that X-Rays rarely effect treatment-most likely you would have had the same treatment with or without X-Rays. X-rays are overutilized driving up the cost of healthcare and exposing patients to unnessary radiation.

kelly @kellynaturally said...

I've had good & not so good chiropractic experiences. My current chiro - she's wonderful. She spend about 30 minutes with me - about 15 with heat packs & relaxation (sound machine & lights off) - and 15 minutes hands-on time. If there are specific problems I'm having, she'll focus on those areas. Otherwise, it's a bit of back massage, then chiro treatment/adjustment (that part only lasts like 5 minutes). I've never had xrays at a chiropractor - I've had an ultrasound before, but never xray.
I'd suggest keep looking if you're not happy. I drive 45 minutes to see my current chiropractor, with two kids in tow, because she's that awesome. And when I miss my appointment (I see her about 1/per month), I can tell.