How can you tell a bad chiropractor from a good one? My story

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When seeking a chiropractor there are a few factors to consider. Just like any doctor or health advisor, you definitely should make sure the person has your best interests at heart. Make sure they’re well versed in their field and have a passion for helping people. A good chiropractor also massages the area a bit in order to help the muscles not tense up. But above all else, the person must not be rude or disrespectful to you or your body.

This is my story regarding a chiropractor in my area. I didn’t know if sharing this story would help anyone, but after the past few months seeing how he has done the same/similar things to others, causing hurt and pain for others… I felt it was time to share.

“You can leave my office. Find another chiropractor and never come back.


Less than a year ago I came in to Dr. P’s office and my upper back/neck was out. I had gone to P before about five times because someone told me they really liked him. Granted after this verbal abuse event I’m about to share with you, I observed the person who recommended him more closely and they were not improving one bit, as they complained daily their back was still always hurting, and getting worse, despite P’s work. They recommended him due to the fact he charged less for them. Should’ve seen that earlier. Whereas the amazing chiropractor I shall mention at the end of this article had clients who actually improved. 🙂

Before I continue, I want to add that I am a young female adult and I come from a family of holistic health awareness, lifestyles, and so forth. I’m also well versed in anatomy and natural health due to that. Therefore, I’ve been to many chiropractors, (though during my time with P I was exclusive to him so as not to counter-act his work) and I know my body pretty well. 

So, anyway, I happily went to Dr. P and got several adjustments from him. I was always smiling, cheery, kind and respectful. However he was not exactly kind or cheery. In fact he was quite rude, but I figured that he was just a very focused professional and his rudeness wasn’t intentional. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because of my friend who wasn’t phased by his rudeness. Perhaps because of the discount? I don’t know what. 

As the weeks rolled on, I felt overall steadily worse.

See, he (along with some other chiropcators, and it can be effective if done correctly) has this method where he doesn’t work on the part of you, or near the part of you, that is in pain or feels needs to be adjusted. He works on a completely opposite part of the body and tells you to keep coming back so he will eventually work on the spot that is in pain. At least this is what he did to me, and as I later found out to many others as well. 

I asked a friend of mine a few weeks after his verbal abuse and when I left, if he did that method to her. She said yes and she was surprised that he did that which is why she also stopped going to him before even knowing my story. She explained she also felt she was getting worse physically. This method is something I’ve not heard from other chiropractors. In my opinion it seems he’s more after keeping his clients forever, than he is his clients getting well.

So one day it was really bad. Each time I went to him I would feel just a tad better after the massage table which relaxed the muscles, but then worse after his adjustment. After about four weeks of going to him, I was not feeling good. My neck and upper back was in terrifying pain. To the point where I wanted to throw up it was such sharp pain. 

I came in and my upper neck was really in agony. I told him, even though he did not ask how I was feeling or what was in pain which a good chiropractor tends to do. He did his whole bed thing (the massage table I mentioned earlier) where you get on a table and it vibrates and heats you up to loosen muscles, which is a great idea if the chiropractor really adjusts you properly afterward. 

Then he adjusted me very, very, very minimally, (which is normal for him to do) but didn’t adjust my neck or upper back at all, and I still felt horrible. I actually felt worse. His method is not to “over adjust” but his under adjusting actually makes the muscles tense up. Which undoes the table’s hard work.

Then I kindly said “I’m sorry, but my neck still hurts. Could you maybe do something else?” and he gave me this mean look as though I was wasting his time. He looked disgusted and said “we’ll get a pillow” and got me a “neck pillow” and told me to lay there on the pillow. The pillow was shaped poorly and made my neck hurt more.

I told him it didn’t feel very good, but he coldly said it would feel better so I trusted him. He left my room and I heard him laughing and chatting about redundant things for a long time with the person next door (the walls are thin) as I lay there feeling worse. The neck pillow bent my upper back in a way that didn’t feel good. He finally came back, after a long while, and told me to get up. I got up and still wasn’t feeling any better. In fact I felt a tad  more nauseous too.

Then I said to P “My neck is still in a lot of pain, is there anything we can do?” I pointed pointed out exactly where it was hurting and where I felt it would be good to adjust. He said that my neck was fine and continued to say “I’ve already done your back, if I adjust more you’ll get worse” even though it was already quite bad, then I said with disappointment “I understand, but it really does hurt. You barely adjusted my back and didn’t go near my neck” at this point I was really hurting and I knew he could get it back in if he would just do something. 

A second passed and I said “is there any way you could adjust my neck?” And he said with a scowl “I’ll try something” and then he had me stand there, and he lifted me quickly to get my neck adjusted, so it seems, but it was just a quick stretch really. No crack. I said “It still is in pain” and I pointed at the location, he said “I’m not doing anything more.” I said “there isn’t anything else you can do? It just seems like it needs one little crack” and he angrily says “No. Your neck is fine.” It didn’t feel fine.  

This all happened in a span of minutes. I try one last time to convey that I feel really off, I said “I just wish something could be done. It is so painful. Isn’t there any other way to crack my neck?” Since I did know most chiropractors have several methods for adjusting similar areas, our old chiropractor (who became a family man and moved the business) would do one adjustment and then the other would go deeper into that issue. Which most chiropcators I’ve been to usually do. But…

P then looked at me, rolled his eyes and scoffed, smugly, then raised his voice, nearly shouting, angrily and said “You don’t know anything about what I do. Your back and neck are fine!” Including that he was the chiropractor and I’m just the client, and then said “If you don’t like what I do, you can leave my office. Go find another chiropractor and don’t come back.” 

I was shocked. I’ve asked chiropractors in the past to adjust me a little more or told them that a certain part hurts, and they’ll graciously do what is needed to help. A good chiropractor will want to know how you are feeling, where the pain is, and they will also feel out the spine and body to see other parts of the body which could be causing the pain. They’ll see the holistic aspect, see the whole body and also ask for the persons input. Dr. P does not. He just wants you to think his minimal adjustments nowhere near the problem, are miracles. Personaly, I wasn’t rude or pushy, I just explained my pain.

He said angrily “look at me” I looked up slightly but not in his eyes and he said “look at me, look me in the eyes”

Then he looked at me as I was almost in tears, and said “listen to me” and I looked down because I was so scared of his attitude and he said angrily “look at me” I looked up slightly but not in his eyes and he said “look at me, look me in the eyes” and I said “I don’t want to” and he raised his voice a little more and spoke firmly and loudly about how  I didn’t know his method and how my neck was fine. 

After what P said I started to truly tear up. He then said with haste, “if you don’t like my method don’t come back again”. He then showed me the door and walked out of the room.

I left his office with immense pain in my neck/upper back… and in tears, which I wiped off on my dress quietly.

Needless to say, I will not recommend P as a person or a chiropractor. He will fool you with being “nice” and “family oriented” but it comes with an agenda. Honestly, it feels like a long-term scam, and when you slightly indirectly call him on it he snaps.

What I observed is that he is the type of chiropractor that wants you going there for life. Not a seeker for a cause or cure.

The day after this event, my neck still hurt so much that I went to a different chiropractor, Dr. U who now is my go-to chiropractor if anything goes wrong, and I told him my neck was hurting. I pointed out the locations, he massaged the area to loosen the muscles (which is a must) found the spot, cracked my neck and upper back in a few different ways to get it in properly, and I haven’t had pain there since.

The lovely thing about U is you can tell him something hurts, and where it hurts, and he will immediately find the cause and go for it. If you don’t feel better, he will do anything to get it to feel better and he succeeds in doing so. He doesn’t over adjust, he actually adjusts. Of course one should not over adjust, but one should not leave you in pain and throw you out of their office as well. 

My experience with P was cruel at best, and I hope my story shows you what one type of bad chiropractor looks like, and what a good one looks like. So that in the future you know you’re not alone and there are amazing chiropractors out there, so don’t worry. You are loved. 🙂 

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Zenia

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Zenia is a young musician, actress, natural health advocate and environmental activist supporting movements, foundations and people who want to inform to transform the world. She aims to help people live from their heart through the power of music, art, lifestyle changes and awareness.
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  1. This is a well-written story. I hope all chiropractors read it. I firmly believe that a chiropractor must adjust when a patient asks for it. And, of course, without kindness, helpfulness and politeness what is the purpose of being a doctor at all? I am sorry that you had to go through this.

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