Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Does Relaxin Enhance Chiropractic Adjustments?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

I began seeing a chiropractor awhile back for low back pain, which I no longer have. After giving birth, I revisited the chiropractor and x-rays were made. He showed me the x-rays and said that I'd had a whiplash injury between 9 and 15 years of age and that I have bone degeneration in my neck, which would get worse if not treated. I am 29 years of age. He said my neck is too far forward and will eventually cause my shoulders to star hunching forward. He said I should come in three times a week for 8 weeks and then be re-x-rayed. He told me that since I have the "relaxin hormone" in my system, this is the best time for chiropractic adjustments.

I went to the chiropractor three times a week for 8 sessions when I was pregnant. Now he wants me to come in again three times a week for 8 weeks. Would it be harmful to my neck to have such frequent adjustments? Is my neck problem something that can be "fixed"?

Answer

If you are not having neck pain, you do not need neck treatment, and your neck should not have been x-rayed.

Don't worry about the "degeneration" in your cervical spine. This is not uncommon and is usually not a problem. Chiropractic adjustments are not going to prevent further degenerative changes from taking place and will not change the structure of your neck.

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Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient's Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic's history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This page was posted on August 27, 2002.