I have used Chiropractors pretty often and Orthopedic Doctors as well. When a person has a back problem they are forced to make a choice between these two types of practitioners. The wrong choice can result in not only more pain than you began with, but also great expense.
Some people make the decision based on cost. Generally a Chiropractor cost less for a visit than an Orthopedic Medical Doctor. Some Chiropractors even give you a free first visit. This decision would be a mistake plain and simple. I went to a Chiropractor for a pain in my neck which radiated all the way down my arm to my fingers. Each visit was $60. However, I went twice a week for 10 weeks for a total expense of $1,200. Even though the Orthopedic Doctor cost $120 for each visit, only 3 visits were involved so the $360 expense was less than one third the cost of the Chiropractor.
The cost is the same even if you have medical insurance which covers Chiropractors. Generally the co-pay for a Chiropractor is $20 or $400 out of my pocket for the 20 treatments I received. The co-pay for the Orthopedic Surgeon was also $20 or $60 for my three visits.
Other benefits for going to a Doctor in some cases are. They take X-rays or do other procedures which tell you what is really happening with your back. They are covered 100% by my insurance but check your own insurance to make sure it is covered or at least partially covered. In my case the Chiropractor did not have any X-rays done so my treatment was his best guess for what he thought ailed me. He was only partially correct.
I went to the Chiropractor first and after 20 treatments my neck still hurt. He said it would take another 20 visits to fix the problem because I had waited too long before coming to him. Why not just have me sign over all my financial assets. My insurance paid for the first 20 visits minus the $400 co-pay. However, they refused to pay for 20 more visits.
So I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon next. He did X-rays and he found out that two disks in my neck were had degenerated to about ¼ of their normal thickness. The nerves coming out of my cervical vertebra were being pressed and inflamed because the opening for them had shrunk as the disk thickness had diminished. This is simply known as a pinched nerve.
You might be thinking that since this Doctor was an Orthopedic Surgeon, he would recommend surgery. He did not. He said if my condition did not get much worse the problem could be solved by a single injection of cortisone, and some anti-inflammatory medications if I started to feel pain again. The injection worked like a charm. The pain has disappeared and not come back in 3 years. He gave me several strengthening and stretching exercises to do as well.
This same experience occurred in my lower back as well and because of that I consulted Austin Texas Orthopedic Surgeon and the reason is all the task that they perform to diagnose the problems of back are done on a high-tech machines that is more likely to be as good as an magnetic field range machines.
My Mother suggested a Chiropractor. She said she had the same pain and went to several Chiropractors. However, the pain got worse. However, she said she found a new Chiropractor who helped her back pain go away. So her recommendation was to find a good Chiropractor. How do you do that? With my luck I would be like her and have to go to three bad Chiropractors before I found one who could work miracles, no thank you.
I am off to my Orthopedic Surgeon again. At least I will find out what is really causing the pain in my lower back and how to effectively treat it.
I am not a Doctor and can’t make this call for you. However, my experience favors the MD both for cost and technical reasons. Who knows, he may refer you to a good Chiropractor if that is what you need.