It may surprise you, but a chiropractor is the last person you should see if you have back pain (or anything else for that matter) and what’s more… a chiropractor can do absolutely nothing to repair your back.
Why Not a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors perform a type of physical therapy known as spinal manipulation. This spinal manipulation is a very aggressive and violent method of moving the bones of your spine – supposedly – back into alignment. (Or, as some claim, to get stuck vertebrae moving again.)
But wait a minute… if you’re like 90% of us… you don’t have a bone problem at all. What you have is a SUPPORT STRUCTURE problem, which simply means that something is wrong with the muscles, discs and ligaments surrounding your spine… rather than something being wrong with the bones themselves.
You see, the bones of the spine do not support themselves. They are supported by the surrounding soft tissue… namely the muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs that I just mentioned. If something is wrong with these surrounding SUPPORT STRUCTURES, no amount of adjusting or manipulating the bones is going to change that.
Chiropractors Cannot Align Your Spine
Moving the bones once a month will not correct the problem. The bones will simply return to whatever position the support structure dictates even before you leave the doctor’s office.
On the other hand, if you restore the disks, ligaments and muscles you will restore the alignment of your spine. It’s that simple. That’s what rebuilding your back is all about and anything less is really just a waste of time.
So, if the chiropractor isn’t correcting the alignment of your spine, just what is he doing? We’ll take a closer look at that next…
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation
If you’ve ever received chiropractic treatment then you’re no doubt familiar with that satisfying little pop your back makes at the hands of a skillful chiropractor.
Well, it might interest you to know that the sound you hear when a chiropractor adjusts your back is not the sound of bones being re-aligned at all. What it is is nothing more than the sound of a temporary vacuum that is created whenever any joint is suddenly separated.
To put it in a slightly different perspective, it’s the same sound you hear whenever someone cracks their knuckles.
And – just as with knuckle cracking – the two bones will immediately return to the exact same position they were in prior to this little popping event. (At least you better hope they do because, if they don’t, you’re going to be in excruciating pain with a dislocated joint.)
Chiropractic manipulation may feel good, but it’s entirely unnecessary and has nothing to do with re-aligning your spine. In fact, it can be harmful (and potentially dangerous) especially for someone with osteoporosis.
So Why Do Chiropractors Do It?
Simple… I believe they do it for show.
I believe they do it because you can’t do it yourself and because it makes you think they’ve done something really spectacular something your back needed in order to recover.
And since you can’t do it yourself, doesn’t this make you entirely dependent on the chiropractor for this magic little pop?
Exactly… they now have a patient for life.
Chiropractic Psychological Manipulation
The chiropractor knows that it’s this magic little pop that tricks you into believing that chiropractic is real. He knows that it’s this satisfying sound and brief pleasant sensation that puts you under his spell and keeps you coming back again and again.
How Chiropractic Damages Your Spine
So far we’ve seen that it’s anatomically impossible for a chiropractor to “realign” your spine simply by manually moving the bones. We’ve learned that it is the support structure surrounding your spine that determines the shape and position of the bones, not the bones themselves.
We’ve also examined the fact that chiropractic adjustments are nothing more than an illusionist’s trick designed to fool you into thinking you’ve just had a “medical procedure” when, in fact, all they’ve done is crack your knuckles. It may create a momentary “feel good” sensation, but it really has no healing powers.
The biggest problem with chiropractic isn’t that it just doesn’t work or that it’s simply a hoax. No, the biggest problem is that it is damaging your spine and even putting your life at risk.
How Chiropractic Damages Your Ligaments
How often have you heard your chiropractor casually warn that you “may feel some discomfort” after the adjustment and your pain may even increase for a day or two. Not to worry, this is normal.
Why does he do this?
What is it about spinal manipulation that causes him to issue this veiled warning?
Torn Tissue Fibers
What most chiropractors won’t tell you (either because they don’t know or because they simply don’t care) is that the high velocity thrust he is about to use on your spine will often cause microscopic tearing of the ligaments (including the annular ring of the intervertebral discs).
There is no doubt that the immediate feeling of release after a successful manipulation does bring about a sense of well-being. However, cracking like this is often too rough. Too many tissue fibres are broken Microscopic scarring forms around the joint… 
This constant tearing (even though on a microscopic level) of the discs and ligaments is counterproductive and can only serve to make things worse. It contributes to degenerative disk disease, hypermobility in the joints and some doctors are even starting to identify this condition as “over-manipulation syndrome.”
As one former chiropractor warns:
Rotation manipulations to the upper cervical and thoracic spine can create progressive hypermobility in the capsular ligaments. Consequently, chiropractors utilizing these procedures indiscriminately without valid assessments to diagnose legitimate ligament contractures put their patients at risk for iatrogenic hypermobility 
So we see that – instead of improving your situation – spinal manipulation does just the opposite. It actually tears tissue fibers and degrades the health of your spine. This is especially true for people over the age of 40.
All manipulation should be avoided for older individuals who are more prone to permanent ligament deformation. The most likely area to be injured is the capsular ligaments of the lower cervical spine since they have the least protection and are vulnerable to rotational thrusts. 
The facts are clear; chiropractic manipulation is not a smart choice for treating back or neck pain. It causes — at best — microscopic tearing of the annular ring of the disc as well as the surrounding ligaments. This repetitive injury to the support structure of your back is going to leave you stiffer and more prone to injury the longer this abuse is allowed to continue.
But that’s not the end of the story. For you see, if you do have any form of degenerative disk disease (and almost everyone over the age of 20 does to a certain extent) then chiropractic spinal manipulation is the worst possible thing you can do as we’ll see next.
Not only does HVLA (High velocity, low amplitude) manipulation contribute to degenerative disc disease, but also recent studies have shown conclusively that it causes herniated discs and even nerve damage.
Chiropractic vs. Common Sense
Your back needs to be stretched and exercised frequently throughout the day, every day if it’s truly going to get better. And it should be mobilized gently… not in a way that’s just going to add to your troubles later on down the road.
If you recall in the previous article we asked the question, Don’t I Need a Chiropractor? By this time I hope you’ve already arrived at the obvious answer.