Experience From - Shawn McDonald, Rich Schick,
Rebecca Bucheit asked about the use of chiropractic care to deal with back pain. I went to a chiropractor several times in 1995-96 in dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. What I found out is that my hips were out of alignment (tilted) and that both ankles were not very mobile. The doc did several adjustments and literally "pulled my leg" to loosen up my ankles. This really helped me to get over the injury. I was much more agile on my feet and ran with a better vertical form. After the first few months of regular adjustments, I went back about every two months for a checkup. The costs of the care are pretty reasonable. The doc charged $25 per session if you went somewhat regularly. Another runner in our ultra club got a similar treatment from the doc for this PF problem. In my case it was caused by the poor structural alignment and very tight calf muscles (the latter helped by liberal stretching and a few massage sessions). In Jeff's case (Jeff Hines who has had some very good ultra finishes the past few years) the PF started due to structural problems following a traumatic accident where his back was broken. Chiropractic care is one option in treating many of the injuries and pains we long distance runners develop. Often the doc will do an initial exam for free, and then suggest possible courses or treatment. Hope this info was helpful.
My opinion of chiropractors is that a good one can do a lot of good for musculoskeletal problems. The problem is finding a good one. Here are a few suggestions to help with that task. Ask at what point they would refer you to an orthopedist or other specialist. If they say they would never be a need to do so go elsewhere. Ask if medications can be of any help, if they say no, search onward. Ask if they can treat ear infections and stomach pain with manipulations, if they say yes they're out of touch with reality.
There are some excellent ones out there but there are also the fanatics that claim that your children do not need immunizations, that spinal manipulations will protect them from measles, mumps, tetanus, hepatitis and all other infectious diseases. This is a shame because as I stated initially a good chiropractor can be very helpful at times. I have used chiropractors myself for back problems and was quite happy with the results. The medical practice I work for is currently trying to recruit a chiropractor who is willing to work as part of a conventional practice so we can offer our patients the mutual benefits of both.