Chiropractors/Neck popping and numbness
I recently experienced recurring numbness on my right side that warranted a trip to the ER. After two days, a CAT scan, EKG, blood tests, an MRI, and consistent monitoring, a prognosis was not identified. However, the upside was that stroke and heart attack were ruled out.
In driving home from work this evening it happened again, but this time, I was able to draw the parallel. The numbness occurs after my neck pops. The pop seems to be drawn from a small sudden movement (like flipping my hair out of my eyes).
The movement doesn't hurt but has an uncomfortable linger and seems to move up the back of my head and then the numbness subsides. I am 47 year old female and don't believe that my joint was stuck in any way.
The following other symptoms seem to follow the neck popping:
Hand or arm pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness
Symptoms on half of the body
All of which have occurred with hand numbness and tingling being the most prevalent and a slight discomfort in the lower back of my head.
I'm looking to understand what type of doctor to begin with as well as how serious these symptoms are. Please help.
I am glad that you went to the ER to rule out more serious problems, although I am sorry that you continue to have symptoms of numbness and tingling and weakness in 1/2 of your body.
There are issues with the neck that can cause spinal cord compression. If you find that you are having numbness and tingling and weakness in your body following a popping or clicking sensation that you have in the neck, it is time to have imaging studies of the neck, and to consult with a neurologist.
X-rays of the neck might show fractures or dislocation in the neck region. A CT of the neck would have a better chance of finding hidden or hard to find fractures in the neck.
An MRI study of the neck would help to see discs, or the pads of specialized cartilage between the neck bones. It would help you to know if one or more of them are bulging or herniating and compressing or touching up against the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. The MRI would also help to rule out any other abnormal soft tissue growths. These types of things can also cause cord compression, although they are much less common than disc bulging, disc degeneration, and Disc herniation.
Both an MRI and a CT scan could help you to know if you are experiencing what is called spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal through which the cord travels.
I would avoid rolling the head around and back. If this is compressing the cord or nerve roots, you do not wish to continue the irritation until you are aware of what is going on.
Some of these issues can be things that you have had all of your life. Others are things that come on after injury or over time. In either case, it is definitely time for your physicians to turn their attention to doing a good work-up of the cervical spine or neck.
I hope that this helps you to start forming ideas and thoughts.
Keith Biggs, DC