Disturbing letters

Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve

Disturbing letters are received daily at the help line at chiropractic help. All is rotten in the state of Denmark, quipped one of the protagonists in Hamlet, by Shakespeare, of course.

Medical, and chiropractic greed is a large part of the problem; gross incompetence lies right alongside.

In juxtaposition, most doctors are doing their level best, but the toxic effects of many drugs, superbugs in hospitals, and yes many patients who are unwilling to alter their lifestyles add to the mess. They would rather die, or be seriously disabled than ring in the changes they know are necessary.

But, no, all is not rotten; there's much goodwill, and hard working doctors and wise patients who are ready and willing to consider advice, hard though it may be, and to use their God given common sense.

Add to that the questionable decision to spend vast amounts on yet another operation, or more cancer treatment, means that basic healthcare eludes many poorer people.

Perhaps the hardest is chiropractors who might not recognise a heart attack in progress if they fell over one, or medical doctors who have never heard that commonly the talus bone is subluxated in a sprained ankle, causing on going severe stabbing pain, and eventually arthritis if it's not reduced.

These disturbing letters bring it all out in the open.

This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 22 January, 2019.

Disturbing letters

I wish I could answer more of your disturbing letters, but at half an hour apiece, for many of them, it's just not physically possible.

Those who write using cellphone spelling should not expect a reply; Google downgrades my whole site and I have no desire to correct your grammar. Write in English, or don't bother, because you won't get an answer to your conundrums.

What follows is ten interesting letters; each week I'll add a couple more, and delete those at the bottom.

This is a non profit site; in fact running it costs money. If each person who found my reply to their disturbing letters helpful, bought one of my Bernard Preston books, at three dollars apiece, this site would be well supported.

Described by a reader as gems, funny and healthful, from the life and work or a chiropractor, I think you'll find them worth every cent.

So here are your ten most disturbing letters. This is a new page, making interesting reading, so to begin with there will only be a few.

Chiropractic help

Chiropractic help is a site dedicated to enabling you to help yourself, so you won't have to write me disturbing letters. Somethings you cannot do, but others are certainly within your grasp. Change of lifestyle, what you eat and how much you exercise is certainly part of the deal.

Couch potatoes, smokers and those who eat crap have only pain and bucket loads of pills to look forward to; sorry to be so blunt, and, yes, there are exceptions that prove the rule.

Often these folk mentioned in disturbing letters have needlessly suffered years of pain.

Trauma of one sort or another can affect us all; that might be on the sports field, or a whiplash when hit by a drunk driver, for example.

Once bones have knitted it's always wise to consult a chiropractor for an examination; trauma often also tears ligaments and muscles and subluxates bones. That could be in your spine, but also in your ankle, knee or shoulder.

Many of your disturbing letters concern tingling in arms and hands. If it includes the pinkie, then it's definitely not carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS is a very tricky condition as there are usually multiple sites of irritation of the median nerve; unless the lower neck and forearm issues are also addressed, the surgery to the wrists most likely won't succeed.

Many of these chronic conditions are not going to be cured completely. Would you be prepared to go for an occasional, but regular, chiropractic treatment to relieve the symptoms by say 80 percent?

A true cure is elusive if you've allowed it to become chronic.

Healthy living tips

Healthy living tips are a series of simple suggestions as to how you can significantly improve your health and decrease your pain; look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves; they swings the odds in your favour so you're less likely to be writing one of these disturbing letters.

These healthy living tips are from the hard core experience gained at the coalface. Follow them and you're less likely to be mentioned in dispatches at disturbing letters.

Are you an older person? At some stage, perhaps soon, you'll be facing difficult questions about elective surgery in the elderly; it takes considerable wisdom deciding whether to go for that knee replacement, or not.

› Disturbing letters

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

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?

Do you want to pose a question?

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.