Recently, we had a patient who had been complaining of pain down his left arm and some general weakness there. The problem had been occurring on and off over the past few months. He’d been receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, icing the area and taking ibuprofen if the condition flared up. After each adjustment, he said he felt better and was able to continue his daily routine.
The condition was being managed and he didn’t want to delve any deeper into the cause at that time.
However, an incident occurred where he jarred his neck and for a few days after, each time he sneezed, he felt a great deal of pain and tingling across the back of his neck, down his arms and his chest. The first time he sneezed, he put it down to not being prepared for it and the sneeze had caught him off guard.
The next day, he felt a sneeze coming on, so he better prepared himself in order to prevent any further jarring. This time he said the pain and tingling happened again, but went down to his legs as well.
He iced the back of his neck and took ibuprofen for the next couple of days. When he sneezed next, he said the effect didn’t hit him as hard.
What could it be? Well, these are classic symptoms of a herniated disc. He was right in icing and taking ibuprofen to help reduce the inflammation in his neck and thus reduce the effect of the potential herniation.
This is a common complaint that we see in patients, particularly middle aged and up. While the prognosis looks to be a herniated disc, we want to ensure that this is indeed the problem. The next step will be to get x-rays and then an MRI and/or CAT scan so that we can see what exactly is going on. Once we have that information, we can create a plan of action.
There are several treatments for a disc herniation before we even think about surgery. Depending on the severity of the case, we may look at doing the following:
- Continue chiropractic care
- Some physical therapy
- Specific stretches and exercises to help the area
- Spinal decompression
- Therapeutic ultrasound, TENs, cold laser therapy
We want to explore all conservative and non invasive treatments before we even consider the patient looking at surgery. Having a full understanding of the problem through listening to the patient’s concerns, their medical history, a thorough examination and all relevant images will we be able to determine the most appropriate course of action.
And that’s what we always aim to do at Back and Body Medical. We treat each patient and each patient’s condition uniquely and create treatment plans according to the patient’s needs. Our doctors and therapists always collaborate with one another to determine the best course of action.
This is what makes our practice so special. We have multiple treatments to hand all under one roof.