Question I visited a Chiropractor because of right shoulder pain and arm weakness. She was very confident that an intensive treatment plan would work. The problem was demonstrated on the thermal scan results as stemming from my cervical vertebrae. C2/C3 Red bars readings 3.3. C4 to T1 Red bars reading 2.5-1.8. Meanwhile I was having vertigo ear pain and occipital headaches so was waiting for MRI results requested by ENT consultant. I explained all of this at my initial chiropractic assessment. After the 1st visit my right shoulder improved but was still painful, before my 2nd visit my left shoulder became acutely painful also left arm/elbow. I was miserable and needed to go off sick. The chiropractor adjusted my head/neck and the middle of my back. I felt ill that afternoon nauseous/ vertigo/ head pain and the continuing shoulder pain. I phoned and was reassured that this wasn't unusual. Then I got my MRI results which show a Chiari Malformation, Tonsillar Ectopia at the Foraman Magnum. I am waiting for a neurology appt.
Will chiropractic adjustements be safe to continue? should any have been done at all without the MRI results? will they make this condition worse?
Answer Hi Debbie,
The simple answer is no you should not continue with chiropractic adjustments until you are cleared by the neurologist. At least not in the cervical region. Chiari Malformation puts pressure onto the vertebral arteries and nerves and can be aggravated by manual adjustment. You cannot "fix" the malformation by the adjustment anyway so just avoid that area until you have your neurology visit. Your case initially sounds like a general neck issue so the chiropractor probably went about it as such. Even the ear pain and headaches are common for cervical issues. MRIs and/or xrays are typically done if trauma or pathology is suspected. Adjustments to the thoracic spine won't aggravate the area but it sounds as though the Chiari malformation is the cause of your symptoms so you must manage that first. Feel free to follow up.
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.
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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.
Organizations American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physicians
North American Association of Laser Therapists
Publications Your Health Magazine
Alternative Health Magazine
Northern VA Womens Magazine
Education/Credentials Doctor of Chiropractic
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician