Arm Pain Snake Bite

Arm pain snake bite tells of a fearful injury to a man's upper limb; don't mess with these reptiles.

This page is not for the fainthearted! The puff adder is one of Africa's most venomous snakes and whilst I have seen many, never one this large.

The combination of the very toxic venom and the damage done by the awesome fangs makes the puff adder a very dangerous reptile. The puffadder is responsible for more deaths than any other snake in Africa.

Puffadder attack

A puffadder attack is a fearful thing. Nevertheless we should try not to kill these creatures; they do much good in the environment too.

A giant puff adder.

This young man was attacked by a puffadder and it stripped off the skin from his left forearm revealing the flexor muscles supplied by the median nerve, but miraculously the the median nerve itself and the radial artery were not damaged.

One can only salute the incredible skills of the trauma surgeons who attended to him.

Arm Pain Snake Bite

The dire consequences of a puff adder bite.

This damage is from the sheer force of the strike, the long fangs penetrating deeply and stripping off the skin.

Those are the median nerve supplies the flexor muscles of the forearm and hand. These muscles flex the wrist activate the fingers and some of the muscles of the thumb.

The thumb interestingly is so vitally what gives humans the dexterity and ability to undergo so many tasks, that it is supplied by all three of the major nerves that supply the arm.

So even if the median nerve had been irreparably damaged by this nasty arm pain snake bite, he would still have had partial use of the thumb.

Note the skill of the surgeons who not only saved him from massive infection and injury to the nerves, muscles and blood vessels but with skin grafts managed to restore his arm.

The venom is cytotoxic, destroying the cells of muscles, skin and other tissue. There is massive local swelling and tissue necrosis, as well as spread along the lymphatics.

Human death usually occurs after about 24 hours if the condition is not carefully managed.

Why on a chiropractic help website you may well ask. Well, I just found it interesting, working with these nerves and muscles from the other side of the skin, on a daily basis.

And it's good to be reminded of the dedication and skills of other healing professions.

Astonishing. Whilst obviously his arm will be always partly disabled, it would have been very interesting getting involved in the rehab of this arm.

An arm after rehabilitation following a puff adder bite.
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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.