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When should I see a Chiropractor?

This page explores the question people often have regarding when it is a good idea to see a chiropractor. I will start off by discussing whether you should consult with your regular doctor beforehand, and then go further in depth regarding what conditions are amenable to chiropractic treatment.

Recently when I was mountain-biking in the Mission Trails area of San Diego, I made a new acquaintance, and when I answered his question about what I do for a living, his response was, “you know, I get this nagging neck- pain and I think it’s just from bad posture along with my bike saddle, but the pain is now lasting a little longer than it used to. I was thinking about seeing a chiropractor for this.”   I asked him a few basic questions -- probing to uncover some important diagnostic information. As I did this and we talked a little, he became more candid with respect to his concerns regarding seeing a chiropractor, and they boiled down to concerns many people have had in the past.  

This gentleman, I’ll call him “Joe,” for the sake of this article, ended up being a great patient. Joe, I discovered, is highly analytical, and, apparently, sometimes cautious to try new things, or at least he was cautious about first trying out chiropractic.Since he had not previously received chiropractic treatments, his understanding of our role in healthcare was vague at best.  “I think I might need to check with my regular doctor before seeing a chiropractor to make sure it will be safe for me,” was his first concern. Actually this concern is really an expression of two separate concerns regarding receiving chiropractic treatment: Whether chiropractic will be safe for a particular condition or person; and, whether one should check with his/her regular doctor first before seeing a doctor of chiropractic.  (I will handle these issues together).  After we talked about his belief that he should get a clearance from his regular physician, we talked at length about all the issues he had over the years from his participation in extreme sports.