On Hypochondria and Dangerous Alternative Treatment

I can be clumsy at times, and while I can’t always remember what I specifically did to cause every little bruise or scratch on me, I don’t cause real injury without paying attention.

So when I woke up yesterday morning in too much pain to move my neck even fractional amounts, I was both befuddled and highly concerned.  I spent nearly the whole day flat on my back in bed loaded full of ibuprofen and muscle relaxants with a heating pad mashed around my neck.  The pain was so intense that Thrack made me a bourbon sour for breakfast and held it to the side of my head so I could sip it through a straw.  If we’d had a sippy cup around the house, I don’t doubt that he would have filled it full of whiskey for me.

I also read much more than I should have about meningitis, and worried over probably nothing.  I had been feeling rather crappy last week, but as I had no fever and wasn’t currently feeling barfy, I knew consciously that it was some fluke muscle stiffness that would go away eventually.  But that didn’t stop me from thinking about the horrors of meningitis as I lay flat being bored out of my mind.

Someone on Twitter suggested that I go to a chiropractor if it didn’t improve and it was all I could do not to unleash rashes of links hir way explaining why a chiropractor is where I’d go immediately after I walked through a nuclear reactor without any protective gear, particularly for neck problems.

I wouldn’t go to a chiropractor for neck problems because:

  1. I don’t want to die
  2. I don’t want a stroke
  3. I don’t want arterial damage
  4. I don’t want an aneurysm
  5. I don’t want medically unnecessary x-rays
  6. I don’t want to be paralyzed

I’m constantly baffled why people aren’t more aware of the dangers of chiropractic treatment, specifically with regards to one’s neck.  While I won’t tell someone never to go to a chiropractor if they are suffering from back pain (notoriously difficult to treat completely), I would recommend they compare all options with a risk/benefit/cost analysis first and ensure that the practitioner does not ever touch the neck.

The suburb of Salt Lake I live in has a highly disproportionate number of chiropractic clinic and it makes me highly uncomfortable; who are they treating and are those people forgoing real medical care?  I wonder if we should start making medical data on what is effective and safe part of biology education people receive in high school.  Because how many people actually know what resources are out there to educate themselves?  How much money do people waste and how many risks do people take with their health simply out of ignorance?

I’m showing distinct improvement today, so continuing to take it easy while keeping up with pain medication and muscle relaxants (don’t worry, I’m not driving!) will get me back to normal soon.  But if I needed help, I would go to an actual doctor or physiotherapist to ensure that I was getting evidence supported medicine rather than this pre-germ theory madness.

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