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curvature of the neck
9/26 8:58:18

I recently visited a chiro for a 'posture assessment' with no prior pain besides consistent knots and 'clunking' through my neck and shoulders.  I was given a laundry list of problems including loss of curvature (my neck was completely straight in the x-rays) and slight degeneration in my neck which requires immediate treatment to reverse.  I was then given a schedule of adjustments 3 times a week for 3 months followed by bi-weekly appointments for the rest of the year - payable monthly installments at a discounted rate, chargable at full retail if I drop out of the program.  Because of this shady pricing and after reading some of your other answers on this site I've canceled my treatment there because I'm no longer convinced that it's not a total scam.  In your opinion, can regular adjustments correct my straight neck, and should it take a whole year?  I was given the old orthodontic analogy that if I stop going, it would go back to the way it was.  

Dear Lori,

Three times per week for three months is excessive care and unwarranted.  Adjustments alone have never been proven to restore neck curves. It is not known if restoring a neck curve is essential to good health.  We may assume it is, but this assumption is not worth months and months of treatment at significant costs when it may not change your health or your future neck pain probability.  You're right.  It is shady.  If your symptoms involve "knots", then get the knots worked out with a soft tissue method (or with the combination of ultrasound, soft tissue mobilization, and joint manipulation, for example).  This should take weeks to improve to a point of maximim improvement, not a year.  The orthodontic analogy is erroneous.  We don't straighten bones of a spine like an orthodontist straightens teeth.  Unlike straightened teeth, that stay in place, our spines are in a constant state of movement, under daily stress and fatigue, and prone to malfunctioning over time.  This is relative to your body mechanics, your genetics, injuries, postural constraints, and maybe even gravity.  Even if your chiropractor created a perfect neck curve after a year of treatment, there is no way you would be protected from the above physical effects.  While our bodies could use periodic therapy to work out the accumulation of symptoms, it is quite unreasonable to prescribe excessive care with the sole purpose of creating a mythological ideal curve, or permanently straightening your bones like an orthodontist.  You deserve a quality chiropractic examination and a logical, rational approach to treatment.   There are so many talented chiropractic doctors available.  I hope you find a good one.  

'Best regards,

Dr. G

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