Chiro's resurgence is being fueled by high-powered CEOs, Hollywood studio execs, and A-listers—mostly via concierge services in their homes or offices or on movie sets.
"A patient of mine asked if I would leave my practice and travel around the world with him to treat him," says Los Angeles–based Brad Fazekas, D.C.
The paparazzi snapped Leonardo DiCaprio leaving a chiropractic office in New Orleans; Kim Kardashian tweeted, "Chiropractors really are life savers. . . . I'm obsessed!;"and Jessica Alba is reportedly a fan.
Why they're doing it
Because it's not just about easing back problems. Karen Erickson, D.C., a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association, says, "Besides relief of muscle soreness and pain, patients often report an overall feeling of well-being and reduced stress." Getting straightened out can have benefits for both your sedentary life and your gym performance.
When you're always on the computer or an i-whatever, the upper back starts to round," Fazekas says. "We can correct that." And because you're eliminating stiffness and pain, you will be able to work out harder.
How it works
Chiropractors ease muscle pain by unlocking stiff joints.
"We restore range of motion, and that will stop the nerve irritation and release any muscles that are in spasm," says Erickson, who adds that the chiropractic "pop" is caused by a change in pressure in the joint. "It's like pulling the cork on a bottle of champagne," she says.
You should feel immediate relief with most issues, although some take at least three to four treatments to get results. Chiropractors also recommend occasional check-ins.
What the skeptics say
In the 60s and 70s, the American Medical Association tried to abolish the "unscientific cult" of chiropractic medicine. Fifty years later, research is still lacking, and a multitude of specializations and licensing laws have made the profession disjointed.
"We've all seen the results," says Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon and the author of the FrameWork book series. "But we need scientific research that shows what chiropractors can do." For serious pain, DiNubile recommends that an orthopedic or sports-medicine specialist be your first stop.