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Chiropractors/Should I continue chiropactic Sessions if the nerves are more tensed after four sessions


I have been going to a chiropractor for last one month for my back pain. There is still a lot of pain in my shoulders and around the shoulder joints. Today on my fifth visit since, pain was not reducing(though it did shift , but still I had high pain and sourness and muscle tightening) I asked my chiropractor o do the scans again. Though, the static EMG scan shows lower level of tension in the muscles  but, rolling thermal scan NCM bar graph shows high increase in the level. Previously one month back before starting  the treatment I had no red bars, however, today I found four red bars and more blue bars . Is this normal or should I change my doctor.

ANSWER: Hi Seema,

It depends on what your original diagnosis was that you were treating for. If you had a typical neck and back pain without complicating factors like bulging/herniated disc or muscle injury, then you should be feeling better. Every chiropractor is different and I'm not sure if yours is using any other procedures besides chiropractic adjustments. Is he doing any muscle therapy (electric muscle stimulation, laser, muscle massage) or just manipulating the bones? The surface EMG scan is only reliable to indicate muscle tension or inflammation in the area but not to diagnose any conditions. If your pain is not decreasing or is getting worse, it may be time for further diagnostics (xray, MRI, etc.) especially if pain is getting into shoulders or into arms/hands. I hope this helps you and feel free to follow up with questions.

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QUESTION: Hi vishal,
The chiropractor didnot tell me what the diagnosis was. However, yesterday I clearly told him I was not feeling good and we should do another EMG and thermal scan(my x ray was done earlier, it showed straightening of neck). This time' on the fifth visit we saw red bars on C2 so he gave me some adjustment. Now I am feeling little better, but loosing faith in chiropractor as I think he could have taken the scan earlier on third or fourth visits. Though the level of tension on EMG has reduced from first visit however the level of tension on thermal scan NCM bar graph has significantly increased from first visit. For example, on C1 the initial value was .7 now it's 5.4.

I would like to know is this normal. I asked my chiropractor and he said its very normal for the nerves to get i to tension when the muscles are trying to get aligned themselves. The pain today is less however, for last two weeks I was in tremendous pain.

Thank you

It sounds to me that you are experiencing normal tissue healing in the neck based on your scan and results. When a treatment like chiropractic is first done to any area, you will experience what feels like relief of symptoms and then a subsequent increase in muscle tension and/or inflammation. It is not a bad thing, just uncomfortable. If the EMG is reduced this will indicate a decrease in muscle activity in the area. The thermal scan though will indicate an increase in circulation/inflammation(heat) in the healing area. Again, that is normal for muscle, nerve, ligament, etc.. Stick with the chiropractic for a few more weeks but insist on getting proper muscle therapy (stretching, exercise, etc) to continue to remodel and heal your neck for the long term. Chiropractic by itself is good but with proper physical therapy the treatment can produce long term results. Good luck.


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Vishal Verma DC CCSP


I can answer questions about acute and chronic pain and their conservative management, sports injuries, back and neck pain, extremity pain, herniated/bulging discs, sciatica or other neurological issues, rehabilitation and fitness concerns, spinal decompression and cold laser therapy. I can't answer questions about specific medications and their prescription. I can give general information about them at best.


I have years of experience in sportsmedicine and conservative care of musculo-skeletal injuries with the use of chiropractic, rehabilitation, and fitness/exercise as well as the use of advanced technologies such as spinal decompression and low intensity laser therapy. I have private practice experience as well as experience within an integrated medical setting with concurrent care of patients with both medicine as well as alternative therapy. I am a board certified sports chiropractor and have treated athletes of all kinds in the conservative management of sports injuries and performance enhancement.

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