Recommendations for a twin cities chiropractor
January 9, 2006 4:38 PM   Subscribe

So, I went sledding new years eve, and went off the big kid's jump at the bottom of the hill... and did a real number on my back. I've already been to the doctor, who said that "it's just muscles" but I've had "just muscles" back pain and this is a pain like I've never felt before (very specific, almost a point source of spinal pain). So, no, I don't want medical advice, I just want recommendations for a good chiropractor/spine doctor in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Preferably one who can see me tomorrow, ugh.
posted by the_W to Health & Fitness (20 answers total)
Oh, and my health insurance network is health partners. I'm not trying to get out of doing any research on this (because I have), I'm just looking for people who went to doctors or chiropractors who can give me a good recommendation.

posted by the_W at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2006

Have you tried asking this question at the forums at Craigslist? Sorry if you have, just trying to point you in the direction of somewhere more suited to regional questions like this.
posted by cellphone at 5:10 PM on January 9, 2006

Forgive me, but chiropractor doesn't equal spine doctor. If you're concerned, get a second opinion from another MD and/or visit a proper back specialist.

Worst case: check into an emergency room and get a proper MRI right away.
posted by aladfar at 5:32 PM on January 9, 2006

Agreed...if the pain is serious, get thee to an actual medical doctor, and don't take the "just muscles" excuse if you don't believe it. They'll be more than happy to do an xray to prove it.

Don't trust a chiropractor with a real medical problem.
posted by griffey at 5:56 PM on January 9, 2006

Coming from someone who has a serious neck injury, go see an orthopaedist. You may have broken something. That would cause your muscles to hurt like crazy because after injury the muscles will often tighten up to protect the injury.
posted by radioamy at 6:44 PM on January 9, 2006

Get x-rays and seriously consider an MRI before you go to a chiro for an injury. A friend of mine was near crippled by her regular chiro last summer after he tried to adjust a broken bone in her back. That was over 6 months ago and she still can't work.
posted by fshgrl at 7:36 PM on January 9, 2006

Chiropractic is snake oil. The first thing they do is ask you to sign a waiver releasing them from responsibility if they injure you. That was the point where I walked out of the room, although my hackles had been raised previously by the practitioner having me stand on two weighing scales and then informing me that I must suffer from general health problems because I put an ounce more weight on one foot.

Although they call themselves Dr, Chiropractors are not doctors of medicine and do not have any medical qualifications. You have to study at a private chiropractic school. The discipline was founded by a so-called 'magnetic healer' (not a medical doctor) called Palmer around the turn of the century, who believed that 'subluxations' of the spine caused 95% of illnesses, and claimed that the idea had been given to him during a seance.

The central theory of chiropraxy, that 'subluxations' (kinks) in the spine cause generalised health problems, is *completely* unscientific and is neither within the medical mainstream, nor any kind of folk medicine tradition dating before the late 1800s.
posted by unSane at 7:49 PM on January 9, 2006

NB Wikipedia has a decent article. If you want a laugh though, read up a bit about chiropractic and *then* go see a practitioner. The squirming that goes on as you ask them about their qualifications and the scientific basis of what they do is deeply entertaining. There comes a point where they can't get you out of the door fast enough.
posted by unSane at 7:52 PM on January 9, 2006

Second the negative opinions about chiropractors.

You should however consider seeing an osteopath, though unfortunately I don't know of any in your area. Osteopaths are kind of like chiropractors, in that they help heal joints and muscles through touching, pulling, and stretching, but unlike chiropractors their practice is founded on scientific knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. Several members of my family swear by them.

An example: my brother, a professional musician played tuba in a marching band for a summer and developed a slight lump in his side just below the ribs. It was painful when he stretched. He went to see several doctors who told him to rest it, and that if the problem persisted he might need surgery. At the recommendation of my mother who has chronic back pain he went to see an osteopath.

The osteopath was able to diagnose the source of the problem: whenever the marching band came to a stop, all the players kicked up their legs and stomped the ground hard in unison with their right foot. That repeated stomping motion created stress on the joints which propogated through the body and eventually caused some strain in the muscles where the lump occured. My brother was given some simple stretching and breathing exercises to do at home and within two weeks he was as good as new. Furthermore, the osteopath noticed and help him correct some problems in his posture and breathing and he claimed an immedate and remarkable improvement in his air capacity, very important for a musician.

So give them a try.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:00 PM on January 9, 2006

Forget the chiropractor and get a good back doctor; ask specifically about the back as the orthopods really specialize these days. Find someone who eschews surgery and that the physical therapists respect and work well with. You probably need one, a physical terrorist therapist. Call the Mayo Clinic and ask for a recommendation if you have no other options. If your doctor recommends surgery (highly unlikely), email me and I can get you a recommendation in the area for one of the top surgeons I used to work closely with this community, but not so much anymore, but if you are really in need for surgery I can call some people.
posted by caddis at 8:04 PM on January 9, 2006

Yes, osteopaths are great. Even an ordinary physical therapist can be very helpful.
posted by unSane at 8:05 PM on January 9, 2006

Try Lakepointe Chiropractic and Wellness, they're by Lake Calhoun in Uptown. I've seen Dr. Getzmier but also know the other two chiropractors in the practice and any of the three can help you. I know they will file your insurance too (although I believe you pay them at time of treatment and then get paid back by your insurance co). Good luck!

And btw, he wasn't asking for opinions on chiropractors, he was asking for a recommendation. So if you don't have a referral for him, I don't see why ya'll were commenting!
posted by Buck Eschaton at 8:43 PM on January 9, 2006

Slightly off-topic (but still in Minneapolis), I had a serious ankle sprain in August -- I've been getting great treatment from this acupuncturist.

I agree with other replies that you should go back to your original doctor, or get a second opinion and an Xray/MRI before starting any alternative treatments.
posted by omnidrew at 8:58 PM on January 9, 2006

I have nothihng against chiropractors in general and even see one myself sometimes, but I wouldn't go to one for an acute injury like the OP describes.
posted by fshgrl at 9:43 PM on January 9, 2006

I've already been to the doctor, who said that "it's just muscles"

Did he say "just muscles" or "muscle spasms". You could have "pinched a nerve" which really means you have some injury and swelling around the nerve causing pain and muscle spasms. The spasms aggrevate the swelling around the nerve. If that is the case the therapy is muscle relaxants (flexeril or similar), ibuprofin or a NSAI to reduce swelling, and bed rest.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:44 PM on January 9, 2006

And btw, he wasn't asking for opinions on chiropractors, he was asking for a recommendation. So if you don't have a referral for him, I don't see why ya'll were commenting!

Spent a lot of money on chiropractic, have you?
posted by unSane at 5:56 AM on January 10, 2006

As a counter-point to all the negative feedback on chiropractors here, I have been seeing a chiropractor for years and it has helped me with ongoing, chronic back pain. I rarely go see her now, as I've gotten back to the point where I can get through most days without any pain or soreness in my back.

I believe there are some bad chiropractors out there. Perhaps I've simply been lucky, but the 3 chiropractors I've seen over the years (as I've moved around) have provided real relief from pain and been reasonably priced.

Having said that, they're not the be-all and end-all of medical treatment. My chiro has weird magazines in her waiting area that talk about all sort of horseshit, but she's never tried to convince me of any of it.
posted by GuyZero at 6:49 AM on January 10, 2006

When my patients say something like "this is a pain like I've never felt before (very specific, almost a point source of spinal pain)," I always image them.

I also examine my patients, but in my experience most doctors don't know how to perform a careful physical exam relevant to the spinal column, so I wouldn't bother trying to find someone who can do this.

The University of Minnesota's neurology department is quite good - certainly there is a rather large radius circle in which it would clearly be the #2 neurology department. (It is of course in the shadow of the Mayo.)

If I were you, I'd have someone drive me out to the Mayo, although I know that won't be much fun in January. Of course, I have no specific advice or recommendation for your case or what you personally should do.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:27 AM on January 10, 2006

I've had beneficial treatment from a chiropractor but I'm still going to say that you're better off determining if there is a medical cause. If you're having persistent pain after this month, I'd suggest getting a referral to a specialist who can check for spinal damage. Going to a chiropractor while you have a ruptured disc isn't going to be beneficial, only harmful.

To anyone who's benefitted from chiropractic care, I'd ask: have you tried visiting a masseuse instead? Getting a massage is going to loosen and care for your muscles just as well without the "back cracking" you get from a chiropractor that most medical doctors either scoff at or claim will do you damage.
posted by mikeh at 8:32 AM on January 10, 2006

Chiropractors are quacks who, by and large, simply make things worse. If you're really into spending the rest of your life needing "adjustments", then go for it. Otherwise, go see an MD.
posted by Netzapper at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2006

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