T Nation

ART/Chiro for Neck/Back Pain

Here’s my problem:
I am having continued pain (as in stabbing pain) on the left side and clicking in my neck. It started sometime in September and continues to plague me. I went to a doctor, had x-rays (of my neck only) and was told I had a little mild arthritis and no other sign of injury. I was set up with a PT who basically gave me some stretching exercises and told me to take anti-inflammatories. That was six weeks ago. No real improvement. It seems to wax and wane.

Due to a pre-existing condition, I cannot tolerate large doses of NSAIDS and have to be careful about the use of tylenol or other pain medication. I’ve tried changing my sleeping position, but that just seems to make me think too much about how I’m sleeping, so I don’t sleep well.

I have an appointment tomorrow with an ART/Chiro practitioner that I have seen in the past and wonder if an adjustment (I’ve never had one) will help. I do have some minor back pain that seems to be lingering and more localized that usual.

And here’s the scary part - it may all be in my head, but I think I’m feeling a slight “tingling” in the bottom of my left foot. So I’ve also made an appointment with a spine guy, but I can’t get in until late December.

Any of you “mature” readers every experience something like this. It definitely has made me very edgy and cranky.

I was suffering from some pain around my left scapula/shoulder blade. (I understand this is entirely different from the pain you are feeling.) In any event, in an effort to relieve the pain, I got several deep tissue massages - no help. I changed the side I slept on - no help. I had accupuncture with deep tissue massage - no help.

Finally, I went to an ART chiro. All he performed was one hour of ART w/o any adjustment. I am going back for my second session this week.
I have to drive over an hour to see this guy and his fees are high. Nevertheless, the stuff he did works.
Good luck.

I have had great luck with a Chiro/Acupunturist for a shoulder injury. Physical therapy only helped to a certain degree. The Chiro/Acupuncture treatments really seemed to bring inflammation and pain down quite a bit.

However, I credit the Acupuncture more than the Chiropractic. It is lucky I guess that I get both during the same treatment session.

My mother-in-law, who is as cynical as they come, has gotten great relief for arthritis and lower back pain from an acupuncturist as well. FWIW

I would recommend reading Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers before going for paramedical services. It’s sometimes nice to go in with a general idea of what could be ailing you. The research promotes a more thorough assessment of your condition.

I used to experience chronic Para spinal and neck pain. After reading anatomy trains I determined the cause of the problem were tight hip flexors.

If you need more info/help, feel free to PM me.

Jus

[quote]gojira wrote:
I have an appointment tomorrow with an ART/Chiro practitioner that I have seen in the past and wonder if an adjustment (I’ve never had one) will help. I do have some minor back pain that seems to be lingering and more localized that usual.

[/quote]

If the guy is good, a few appointments with him will probably take care of it.

The antiinflamatories are a waist of time for this type of thing and they’re not good for you either.

Gojira

As a disclaimer, I don’t fit in to the over 35 category, but I do have some experience with injuries and rehabilitation.

An accurate diagnosis cannot be made without a physical assessment. That being said, hopefully I can give you some ideas as to possible questions to ask or areas of possible further investigation.

Was there any specific event that precipitated the neck pain or did it come on insidiously? Where exactly on your neck do you experience the pain? Does the stabbing pain travel in to your head or down your neck (in to shoulders, back or arms)?

Is there any pain with the clicking? Does the clicking come on with specific movements (rotating head to left/right, nodding head up/down, tilting head to either side)? Is there any time of day when it is worse or better?

Another important factor to take in to consideration is any computer/desk work you may do, or any other activity with your head in a fixed position for extended durations.

The ART/Chiro should assess your joints along with your soft tissue mobility/restrictions. If you have joint restrictions, you may find relief with the adjustment. When done properly an adjustment will return joint osteo/artrhokinematics (movement between joint contact areas) as well as affect proprioceptive changes.

If there is soft tissue restrictions, the ART should increase tissue circulation and as well as return tissue length/motion to more ideal levels( break down adhesions and allow tissues to slide over each other).

You should inform your Chiro about the tingling in your left foot as well as the lingering back pain. There are many instances where these signs/symptoms are interrelated.

Many times, when the source of the problem is treated, all the concomitant issues tend to resolve (via removal of compensatory mechanisms/postures).

Hope that helps.
dc

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[quote]gojira wrote:
Here’s my problem:
I am having continued pain (as in stabbing pain) on the left side and clicking in my neck. It started sometime in September and continues to plague me. I went to a doctor, had x-rays (of my neck only) and was told I had a little mild arthritis and no other sign of injury. I was set up with a PT who basically gave me some stretching exercises and told me to take anti-inflammatories. That was six weeks ago. No real improvement. It seems to wax and wane.
[/quote]
I have no medical background but have a similar story. The continued pain, x-ray shows nothing, and the PT were identical. This happened when I was 36, didn’t lift, and experienced no traumatic events that led to a ruptured C5/C6 disc.

After a physical examination I was diagnosed with a muscle strain in the neck. There were no improvements from PT and no pain relief from heat, cold, or massage. After months and no treatment plan changes except for increased ibuprofen dosages I kept switching doctors in my HMO until I found one willing to perform further diagnostics. After getting an MRI my new DR said “you’re in pain, aren’t you”. The ruptured disc was pinching the nerves that exit through the vertebra and impinging on the spinal chord.

After procrastinating surgery for several months I had a discectomy and fusion of the 2 vertebra. Fusion was accomplished by harvesting a bone chip from my hip to take the place of the disc and immobilizing the neck in a rigid brace for 8 weeks while the 2 vertebra and chip healed/fused together like a broken bone. A soft brace/whiplash collar followed for 6 weeks (I was told for assurance - since no pins, wires, or screws were used).

When I woke up from surgery all pain was gone. I lost a few degrees of my range of motion when tilting my head toward the shoulders. My only regret was that I didn’t get the surgery sooner.