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Chiropractor or Orthopedic Doctor
Old 01-20-2020, 11:20 AM
  #1

I have sciatica caused by a compressed disc. I started going to a chiro who my neighbor recommended. He is very nice, ordered xrays, doing a lot of noninvasive things to improve the pain. I like him a lot, but not covered by insurance.

I made an appointment with an ortho doctor who sees back problems. I haven't gone yet, but was thinking about keeping the appointment. He is covered by insurance.

Which would you recommend if you have had back problems? The chiro seems to think I will need monthly appointments even after this resolves.


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Old 01-20-2020, 11:27 AM
  #2

Does your chiropractor offer a self-pay option? Mine charges a flat rate of $25 to patients without insurance. My insurance covers 26 visits a year. When I went over once after an injury, I also paid the $25 rate.

My chiropractor really helps my sciatica.
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Sorry you have this back issue
Old 01-20-2020, 11:29 AM
  #3

Seeing the Orthopedic Doctor can't hurt. I say give it a try.

I would also talk to someone about what exercise you can do that would help the pain. If you start exercising start very, very slowly and build up for more flexibility, strength an endurance.

I hope you get some relief. Back problems make us walk differently so you might want to see a foot doctor as well and get advise on what sort of shoes you should wear to feel your best.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:29 AM
  #4

He does, but it's $50 per visit. He just doesn't bill any insurance providers. His receptionist told me that when I scheduled.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:34 AM
  #5

Can your ortho recommend PT that would be covered by insurance? I feel like that might be a good compromise.


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Old 01-20-2020, 11:35 AM
  #6

My DH had what he thought was sciatica. Started with a chiropractor who diagnosed a degenerative hip. Went to an orthopedist, who said it was his back. His GP prescribed Lyrica, which has side effexts.Went to a brain and spinal surgeon who said it was arthritis and a couple of bulging discs, which usually happens as we age. Spine was healthy. Told him Lyrica wouldn't help his problem and that he could stop taking it. He mentioned that brain and spinal surgeons have 7 years training in spine and brain surgery and orthopedic surgeons have 1 year. I have three friends who went to brain and spine surgeons with good results. He did do a lot of PT and used an inversion table. His advice was to stay active, and keep weight under control. Also, if an flare up occurs, take two Naproxin Sodium twice a day for two weeks to reduce inflamation. If that doesn't work he recommended seeing a pains specialist for an injection , forgot what that's called. Just our experience. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:17 PM
  #7

I have hAd severe back pain and sciatic for many years. The chiropractor definitely helps. I also get injections . I Also take oxycodone.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:54 PM
  #8

I agree with GreyhoundGirl, and very highly recommend PT. It worked well for me with a similar issue, but it's important to keep up the exercises after the sessions end.

There hasn't been much discussion about Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists on this board in the past, but with them, you get the best of both worlds. They're trained in hands-on treatment which they perform when necessary, but they also have you do an extensive regimen of strengthening exercises. My wife has also had PT with OMPTs, and her experiences have been the same as mine.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:59 PM
  #9

I was in a bad car accident in May and since then have had back pain.

Started with 4 months of PT (twice a week) and did PT exercises 1-2x per day. Definitely helped and got me from debilitating pain to moderate pain. After 4 months, started to see a spine specialist. He suggested seeing a chiropractor before looking at more invasive therapies.

Oo-la-la. I walked into the chiropractor's office a sceptic and left a believer. My pain has improved dramatically. Now that being said, I am still taking medications (muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories) and still have discomfort most days.

I don't know if I will ever be pain free. I don't know if I will have to have more invasive therapies. But I do know that for now, I will continue to see the chiropractor, even if I have to pay out of pocket (right now still covered through auto insurance).
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Same problem
Old 01-20-2020, 02:17 PM
  #10

Sorry you are in pain. I can relate to that!

For my sciatica, I decided to get 2 opinions, one from a chiropractor and one from my doctor.
Chiropractor wanted me to come once a month, even if pain resolved. The doctor advised PT twice a week for 2 months

I went with to PT.
An Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist resolved my sciatica. No meds involved. The prescribed program started out gently and slowing with increases in exercises to build core and strength. Nothing overly hard.

I left with greater core and general strength, no sciatica pain and a detailed, customized, and easy exercise plan that I could follow up on at home. I did not need to return to the PT location. My insurance paid well.


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Insurance ?
Old 01-20-2020, 02:24 PM
  #11

Does your health insurance cover chiro visits but your doctor doesn't file claims? If so you may want to find one who will unless it's not a burden to pay yourself. You could look online for reviews of other doctors.

I first went for the same thing and over the years several other problems. I consider chiropractors as a first line of defense for avoiding surgery unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:08 PM
  #12

My husband is a PT (who actually considered becoming a chiro on top of it), and would always recommend trying PT first. He always says a PT wants you to get better and leave. A chiro wants you to see them for life. Not that there aren't good chiropractors!
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