Chiropractic coalface has real case histories taken from the clinic.
There is a temptation in such a file to list cases that make the chiropractor seem like a demigod, able to diagnose and treat all mysterious conditions! Such is not my intention. Each patient in the chiropractic clinic is individual, his or her condition unique, and the treatment is almost always a challenge.
Some people respond very quickly, almost miraculously, but many require hard work on the part of your chiropractor. After all the condition often relates to something that happened many, many years ago. Hard work, a conscientious approach and honest cooperation is what makes for successful outcomes.
UPDATE: Because of the enormous interest in our Coalface anecdotes this page is now full. Instead of deleting anecdotes, you can continue to find new anecdotes at:
Never trust a negative X-ray report, or blood test for that matter, when your instincts tell you: "there is something wrong." Get a second opinion.
Mr S fell three metres with immediate onset of ankle pain. Severe pain and swelling. X-rays on plain film were negative. He consulted me a year later, still with severe pain, limp and oedema. I couldn't see a fracture on the X-ray either but my instincts said otherwise.
Today the report of the CT scan I recommended. Two fractures, bad ones, right through the talus bone. And now?
Going back to the original X-ray, I can now see a suspicious line, but I would have missed it too.
This week a lady with pain, tingling and numbness in all her toes on the right foot. Two years ago she had an operation for a Mortons neuroma which did bring some relief for about six months. Then the pain returned with a vengeance.
On examination, the tests for a neuroma are negative, and I suspect there are two processes going on: metatarsalgia with possible irritation of the interdigital nerves, AND a peripheral neuropathy.
For twenty four hours she had almost complete relief of the pain after the chiropractic adjustment of the fixated medial cuneiform bone and the metatarsals, and then it returned. That tells us we are working in the right domain, otherwise there would have been no change.
I feel reasonably comfortable that she will get consistently 60-80% better after 5-10 treatments and a course of rehab exercises. Thereafter, maintenance care treatment is unavoidable, otherwise it is likely to slowly worsen again.
We watch with interest.
Update: The arrival of a grandchild has brought a hiatus in the treatment. Significant short term relief, but after two weeks, back to square one. One interesting feature: She is in the menopause and experiencing hot flushes - they increase the tingling in the feet!
Update 2: Alas, Chiropractic treatment hasn't helped significantly either. She's beside herself, another op is not one of the options. I recommend, as with all difficult conditions, an occasional, but regular treatment. Perhaps once a month.
"The biggest mistake people make in life is NOT making a living at doing what they most enjoy."
- Malcolm S. Forbes
Chiropractic Coalface - Buttock pain
Mrs G, a 72 year old woman came yesterday for her seventh Chiropractic Help treatment. A great encouragement. For nine months she has had severe L buttock pain. Walking was difficult, she had severely disturbed nights and was constantly taking anti inflammatory drugs. She assumed the worst: cancer or a hip replacement.
Fortunately, neither. The key sign: Kemp's test and a fixation at the corresponding level, L5 are pathognomic of a degenerative lumbar facet. She's a very large lady and, so certain was I of the diagnosis, that I suggested five treatments before taking X-rays, sometimes the wrong decision.
Yesterday she beamed. One mildly bad night, completely off the medication, and able to walk again. And she's lost 7 pounds. A large lady, I strongly warned her that something much worse than cancer or a hip operation is on the way. She's taking me seriously. With a Body Mass Index of 37 she's high risk...
Chiropractic Coalface Warning signs
It's fairly uncommon for the body to suddenly produce severe conditions without prior warning signs that somethings is about to happen. A heart attack and stroke are exceptions perhaps, but even there raised blood pressure and cholesterol, and homosysteine levels are usually the precursors. But with backs there are usually warning signs. Mr T broke several rules. And is paying for it. He first consulted me a year ago with a severe slipped disc in the lower back; he had regularly had lower back pain for several years. Fortunately he took my advice seriously, came for the treatment, slowed down, did the exercises, and recovered completely.
Mistake 1: After several months of relatively little trouble, he missed his 6 week, "onder controle" maintainance care treatment, vital as in any serious disease process. Diabetes, kidney disease...
Mistake 2 (mine): I never phoned him to remind of the missed appointment.
Mistake 3: He stopped doing his exercises EVERY day.
Mistake 4: When his back started to niggle, for two weeks he did nothing, trying to up the exercises, but still not EVERY day.
Bang! Severe lower back pain, again in an antalgic
posture. The Slump test was again strongly positive but he came quickly,
the same day, so there was no tingling in arms and hands and feet.
Fortunately for Mr T several factors are in his favour. His
weight is perfect, he is extremely fit, and his chiropractor has now got
his back figured. Adjusting L5 with a spinous push technique, whilst
lying on his right side, does the trick. But for six weeks it's going to
be weak again.
Virtually every back that goes for surgery follows a pattern
something like that above. In short, lack of attention to detail,
essential in any severe conditions.
Want to avoid surgery? Follow the slipped disc rules ...
Chiropractic Coalface - SHOULDER PAIN
I'm afraid that every profession has its bandits. Highwaymen in white coats. Mrs M is a 32 year old woman with two years of shoulder pain. Surgeon told her she has an acromial spur and needs an operation. I thought it unusual, young folk don't usually get spurs, and sure enough none to be seen on X-ray. After only two treatments she declares her shoulder is 80% better. Miracles we do at once, the impossible takes a little longer.
Her problem is a complication of a cervical rib that is affecting the " inter scalene triangle " through which the artery and nerves to the shoulder pass.
More difficult is going to be her hips. Both granny and her
mother have had hip replacements, and she is already getting groin pain.
X-rays reveal a hereditary condition that you can read about at this Femoro Acetabular Impingement syndrome case file - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Can Chiropractic help with hip arthritis? Certainly, though not always. Nothing works all the time.
A missed diagnosis is the dread of every doctor including chiropractors; there's not one of us that escapes. Right now I have a good friend, one of the best, who is dying from five metastases from prostate cancer to his spine; for five months he was just given painkillers by his medical doctor. I'm glad to say he was not treated by a chiropractor; living overseas he never consulted me either.
One of medicine's big beefs with chiropractic is that, by consulting an alternative or complementary practitioner, an important diagnosis may be missed. And I have to admit, it's true. But, this week, I've had two interesting cases.
The first a woman with pain in the groin and front of the thigh. Because she has a history of cancer, for three months her doctors have turned her upside down, taken her through the wringer, as they say in Holland, looking for the villain. No one thought to examine her back.
The second, a man with severe upper lumbar pain, also radiating to the front of the leg. Again, no one thought to examine his spine. Exhaustive tests found nothing wrong with his kidneys. Both have disc injuries in the upper lumbar spine, impinging on the Femoral nerve, giving pain in the groin and anterior thigh. A visit FIRST to a chiropractor would have saved them both a lot of pain, and unnecessary expense. Now to fix them!Update:
The first case got better very quickly, luckily, a doctor's wife! The second decided, when he wasn't fixed after two treatments, to go elsewhere. Sigh, was Rome built in a day? I hope all is well with him. Perhaps I should call.
Speaking of my friend's prostate cancer, there is so much we can do to prevent this very painful and disabling condition; impotence is one of the first indignities.
Did you know that men who eat a tomato a day have half the prostate cancer of men who eat very few? It's in the red colouring; a phytochemical called lycopene.
Add to that the scientifically proven benefit of capsaicin in the chili family, lignans in 100% whole wheat flour, and your greens and you give yourself excellent protection against the most common non-skin cancer of men.
You can get all this is in one meal by enjoying eight colours eggs Florentine every morning for breakfast; I do without fail, seven days a week. That's why my urologist was astounded to find my PSA was less than 1.0. Amazing in a man of 68.
Failed back surgery is not a chiropractic diagnosis; it's in medicine's own backyard. I must confess failed back chiropractic exists too, but the consequences are rarely so common.
This month in Holland it's been difficult sciaticas after back surgery.
Yesterday a young man with nasty pain down the leg, and no back pain,
after three surgeries when he was less than 30 years old. I wonder if we
can help. A woman who had a severe foot drop after surgery and couldn't
walk without a walker for two months (in her lower fifties), a top
financier with nasty leg pain. And several more...
Each of these cases have to be handled with care and
consideration. None are ever easy. So far we are winning with all of
them, oh except one. The pain in his leg was completely gone, then a
shower of sneezes... back to square one.
I won't pretend that chiropractic wins with all these cases, but before going for yet another surgery...
BACK SURGERY ALTERNATIVES
Chiropractic Coalface - CAN'T WALK
It was only today, after three months of care, that Mr A
finally admitted his greatest fear: That his sacroiliac condition would
have meant he couldn't walk again.
At 82, he was an extremely fit man, playing bowls and golf every
week. Until his back struck! Months of struggle to no avail with medical
treatment which brought no improvement and finally (though he didn't
tell me) he had accepted that his sporting days were finally over. Even a
short walk around the garden was agony.
It proved to be no simple case. There was slow but steady
improvement at the Chiropractic Coalface - and then he shook out the
bedcovers, and did a mischief to his lower back all over again.
Depression set it. Perhaps cortisone (his doctor refused), perhaps
surgery, but finally common sense prevailed. Continuing with
Chiropractic Help wasn't throwing good money after bad.
Within two weeks he was up and about again. Now he comes once a
month for a 'grease-and-spray', does his exercises faithfully and has
been playing bowls and golf again for the last six weeks. EXERCISES FOR SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN ...
Chiropractic Coalface : SEVERE HEADACHE
J is a beautiful thirteen year old girl with a severe problem. Nine months ago, for no known reason, severe headaches began for no apparent reason. She's been examined from stem to stern by the doctors to no avail. Nothing helped.
Three things were interesting in the consultation: Bruxism - she grinds her teeth at night. She has the pain on the side of her head and forehead. She has upper neck pain. On examination, a fixated jaw joints, a red hot Lateral Pterygoid muscle in the mouth radiated pain to her forehead, the left side of her face was actually numb, and an Occipital fixation in her upper neck.
There have been no miracle cures for this young lady. After eight treatments, she declared this morning that her headaches are about 40% less. I have asked her dentist to supply a plate to be worn at night. What is good is that the numbness on her face has gone. I'm thinking of a very nasty condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia... TMJ Ear pain … Her mother starts tomorrow as a new patient. She is taking 10 painkillers a day, 70 per week she assures me for lower back pain and headaches. That will kill her quite soon ...
Chiropractic Coalface : SCOLIOSIS ...
My first patient yesterday was an 82-year old lady with the worst scoliosis I have ever personally seen. She was returning for her second consultation. Mrs M is well acquainted with chiropractic. In fact she was treated by my mother Dr Unity Lewis DC, until her death in 1992, and my father Dr Dick Lewis, DC before that. Since then she has seen a variety of chiropractors whom she said were too afraid to adjust her, medical specialists, physiotherapists but for two years she has had unremitting low back pain radiating to the posterior right thigh.
Touching her toes (not recommended) relieved the pain, and bending backwards caused excruciating pain. Sitting relieved the pain. Walking was very difficult, and she arrived in a stooped, forward bent position.
These are signs of a horror condition: Lumbar Spine Stenosis LSS. Happily, I was able to adjust her back with ease, and she reported the pain was 20% less. Extension was markedly better. I'll be making a webpage of this case in the future.
"Action is the antidote to despair."
Chiropractic Coalface : Osteoporosis ...
My first four patients yesterday were aged 63, 79, 86 and 77. All four (three women) were osteoporotic to one degree or another... Medical sites give tacit support to Chiropractic now that researchers have proved that manipulation is more effective than what Medicine has to offer for many joint conditions. But uniformly they state that osteoporotic patients should stay away from chiropractors. I will admit to having contused about six ribs in thirty years in practice... but how many osteoporotic patients have been helped? The most difficult of the four interestingly was the youngest, and certainly the fittest. She walks regularly but ever since a slipped disc was poorly managed two years ago she has suffered from low back and leg pain.
Mrs P had a very stiff neck for six months and was told she had arthritis and there was nothing to be done. Only one treatment brought a 50% improvement in the cervical facet syndrome and after 3-4 treatments she has almost no neck pain. Yesterday she stepped in a hole unexpectedly, and now has low back pain...
Mr B the eldest of the group is one of those miracles-we-do-at-once, the-impossible-takes-a-little-longer cases. He has had carpal tunnel bilaterally and for a year hasn't been able to do up buttons or sign his name. After only one treatment he could do buttons again, and after the second could sign his name for the first time in a year.
Mrs T fell on a rock 8 years ago and has sacral pain ever since. She's a new patient so we won't do any boasting!
MY point? We adjust our techniques and power with the elderly.
Very occasionally it does go awry. But if one was to apply the same
logic, then nobody would ever be taking anti-inflammatories. Just last
week a friend had a severe stomach bleed after taking voltaren daily for
six months. 14 000 patients per year DIE in the USA from
gastro-intestinal bleeds directly caused by anti inflammatory drugs. Have NSAIDs been banned? No sir!
CAUSES OF OSTEOPOROSIS ...
Chiropractic Coalface : Pulled hamstring ...
Mr A is a 34-year old Fitness Fred. He'a a triathlete, but two weeks ago he pulled a hamstring, or so he said. Why was I concerned? Because pain in the posterior thigh on bending can be caused both by a sciatica AND a hamstring. Which was it? Fortunately there are some simple orthopaedic tests to distinguish between them, and indeed he was right. Braggard's test was negative, though Straight Leg raise was strongly positive, and what clinched it was a test called a Resisted Isometric Muscle contraction: clearly a hamstring.
What was interesting was an extremely fixated sacroiliac joint on the same side. So, some basic chiropractic and by the end of the session the Straight Leg raise was nearly normal, and more important he could walk without pain. After the second session he reported no pain with ordinary activities, though I haven't yet allowed him to run. He's going crazy...! Stick to swimming and cycling meantime, Mr A whilst we're busy with sacroiliac joint treatment and Active Release of that hamstring. Next session we'll start with rehab. SACROILIAC JOINT TREATMENT ...
Chiropractic Coalface : Whiplash Chiropractic
A new patient, a young woman of 32, in the practice this morning is typical of what happens in a whiplash. Six months ago they were hit from behind on an MVA. She had no inkling, and had no time to tighten her neck muscles, as her husband had - he saw the speeding car in the mirror.
She had immediate pain in her neck, but not severe. She was examined the next day by her doctor who found nothing. The pijn gradually diminished, but 4 weeks ago it became very severe, radiating down her left arm which had a very "heavy, tingly" feeling.
A hernia was quickly ruled out: The Upper Limb Tension Test was negative and compression tests were negative. But... pinwheel testing revealed that her whole arm was 30% more sensitive than her right arm. And "Adson's" test for a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome was positive. What's that?
Chiropractic Coalface : Colic Chiropractic ...
Little Damian first came three months ago. He was 9 months old, and had been screaming his head off for four months. It all started when he was five months old, suddenly he wouldn't sleep normally, and yelled like a stuck pig. Their doctor said it would go away with no treatment - but in Damian's case the Infantile Colic was getting worse and worse. The cause? A subluxation in his lower neck.
Taking a shirt off his head made him scream in pain.
What I love about treating children is how quickly the respond.
Just one treatment and Mama swore he was 50% better. Now he's scampering
around the clinic, full of beans, only he doesn't like his chiropractor
any more. The moment he saw the activator, he thought an injection in
the bum was coming, and screamed his head off!
Next consult: 4 months. And still medicine is dubious. None so blind as those who WILL not SEE.
CHIROPRACTIC HELP baby colic cures ...
Chiropractic Coalface : Headache Chiropractic ...
It was good to see Shaniqua yesterday. What a beautiful child, only 10. Two years ago she started getting terrible headaches for no obvious reason. First her mother came for treatment for a nasty case of Tietzes syndrome since being viciously attacked (ten years previously) and kicked in the rib cage.
Shaniqua had a simple straightfoward subluxation
in her upper neck. I've now discharged her for two months. Such a
bright face... I love treating children.
She doesn't love me though. She's one of those kids who is anxious about being adjusted. She's happy about having no headaches, though.
Chiropractic Coalface : Headache - could it be coming from your jaw joint?
It's not every day that I have a referral from a pediatrician. Anja, aged 15 was referred to me some 6 months ago with severe headaches. EVERYTHING, but everything had been tried. Finally, in desperation Dr X shall we call her, said to Anja's parents: "Try a Chiropractor". I happened to be the nearest. It was a pleasant surprise to get a very nice letter of referral from her pediatrician.
The long and the short of it, is that just touching the right
Tempero mandibular joint, the temporalis muscle and the external
pterygoid muscle were red hot. I won't pretend the treatment was fun,
but Anja was much improved within weeks. She now comes for treatment
every two months - today was one of those days. She has absolutely no
Update: Anja came in for her 2 monthly adjustment this week. It's
been so good we have made her next appointment in three months. It's
now two years down the road - quite a dishy young woman in the making!
The change in her demeanor without headaches is really quite amazing.
Neck pain - do you know the SIX MONTH RULE?
If you've had neck pain and headaches for more than six months, research shows that it will probably never go completely away, no matter what you do. So, you have a six month window to deal with your neck pain.
We don't in chiropractic promote the idea that you must run off to your doctor for every snivel, or your chiro for every little pain. But, if you neck pain hasn't subsided after a decent period of time, please don't wait 6 months and then expect a miracle from your chiropractor. You probably won't have it.
Miss P a very attractive 23 year old young woman consulted me three months ago with headaches and suboccipital neck pain of about six months duration. Fortunately just in time. She had an atlas subluxation from an an old fall off her bicycle. She came in this morning for her 5 week follow up, and has had no headaches at all. So we are spacing the treatments further out.
Miracles we do at once. The impossible takes a little longer ...!
Neck pain anatomy >>
Chiropractic Coalface :
MERALGIA PARESTHETICA - pain or numbness in the upper thigh
It's not often I get really mad, but this week I was cross. And sad, because it was all so needless. About 6 months ago, in the same week, two women, we'll for convenenience call them Mrs A and Mrs Z, consulted me with the same problem, one of the less common conditions, called Meralgia Paresthetica. A pinched nerve in the groin that can either cause just plain numbness on the side of the upper thigh, and sometimes on the anterior thigh, and frequently a severe tingly nerve pain. Electic shocks. It belongs to what we call a "double-crush" syndrome - almost invariably the nerve is affected in both the high lumbar spine and the groin. Now that I understand it, it's become a condition that I treat with great confidence. More about UPPER THIGH PAIN, MERALGIA PARESTHETICA ... CHIROPRACTIC COALFACE
Both responded well in the first week with much reduced pain in the leg, but the family of one of the women, Mrs Z, persuaded her that she ought also to consult her doctor. I had no good reason to disagree as Meralgia Paresthetica is (rarely) also caused by a tumour or abscess lying deep in the pelvis. Mrs Z stopped coming - her doctor said it was far too serious a condition for a Chiropractor, and in any case "no treatment medical or otherwise has been scientifically proved to work". That in fact is so.
Mrs A continued to respond well. She has no pain any longer and now comes in every two months for maintenance care.
But Mrs Z phoned yesterday to inform us she's having a back operation next week. Sigh, so needless.
POSTERO MEDIAL DISK HERNIATION - look like the Leaning tower of Pisa?
Dutch men are the tallest in the world. An oft used expression is: Tall trees catch much wind. Mr S is a very tall man and has a horrid back. He regularly goes into an antalgic posture.
There are two main kinds of lumbar disc antalgias:
The first, the so-called Postero-medial disc protrusion is much easier to manage from a chiropractic standpoint, but both types take 6 weeks to heal. This P-M type is thus prone to relapse.
Mr S has the PM type, leaning towards the pain, and responds very quickly, often coming up straight after one or two adjustments of his spine and sacrum. He thinks I have golden hands! He then has minimal pain for several weeks until the next relapse occurs. He is very thorough with his exercises, is careful, does every thing right, cannot be faulted, except ... he is a heavy smoker.
New research from the NY University Medical Centre Hospital
reveals that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis who stop smoking have
fewer swollen and painful joints, and lower CRP; this is a marker found in the serum of patients with acute inflammation.
Every chiropractor knows that treating smokers with acute joint conditions is far more difficult.
Read more about Postero Medial disk herniation …
Update to CHIROPRACTIC COALFACE: Two months ago Mr S took the brave decision to quit the weed. That, together with a heel lift for a short leg, have made a dramatic difference. He's now coming in every six weeks.
By golly. What, again? Mrs Debets is a vivacious young woman who consulted me three weeks ago with a very sore low thoracic spine after her company took the whole management team for an outing. To a golf pro for a fun day. She had never played golf in her life. What she didn't tell me was that she and her husband had been trying for over a year without success to have a child. The low thoracic spine is a vulnerable area, being what we call a transitional area from the very stable thoracic spine (because of the ribs) to the highly mobile lumbar spine. It's a common area of complaint for a condition known as Maignes syndrome ...
Such excursions are in my opinion foolish. Over the years I have seen so many injuries to persons completely unused to a particular activity. In any event, Mrs Debets developed an acute facet joint injury in her lower mid-back. In my first years in practice I tended to treat only the presenting complaint, until one day I read a research project revealing that the degree to which patients were healed of other "medical" conditions by chiropractic was dependent on how many areas of the body the chiropractor treats. On finding a profound sacral subluxation, Mrs Debets admitted to a nagging stiff low pelvic are of some years duration. She could remember no specific injury, and it was never bad enough to do anything about it. The long and the short of it is that Mrs Debets gleefully told me this morning that she is pregnant. Working back, we calculated that conception occurred the night after her second sacral adjustment. INFERTILITY CHIROPRACTIC ...
An aside. I always address smoking and obesity ONCE, AND ONCE ONLY, firmly, at the first consultation. And then hold my tongue. Happily she told me this morning that after she and hubby had repeated the home preg test three times, unable to believe their good fortune, they had both decided to quit. Smoking will knock the last ten years off your life. More if you are unlucky, and the end will be S-H-one-T.
Mr Hardeman is an inspiration to me. At 87, fifty years a diabetic on insulin, he is extremely fit and healthy. Except for one thing. A very nasty foot, with a condition called Charcot Foot, which fortunately at present is not active. He has kept healthy so long because of his commitment to the WALKING benefits .
Really the pain in his foot was not coming from the degenerative joints and soft bones, but from a severe plantar myofascitis. He is responding magnificently to chiropractic care of the foot.
Mrs de Witt has been unable to sleep properly for the last three months because of a miserable neck. And anybody without sleep is truly miserable.
Suffering from a routine Cervical Facet Syndrome, a condition that usually responds magnificently to chiropractic adjustments, her husband says she is now back to her old ebullient self.
A nasty hip bursitis that has been troubling her for six months is proving more stubborn, but we will get there. Rome wasn't built in a day. A new patient less than a month ago, she is a very happy lady.
Mrs Joure confided in me that the night after the fourth consultation she would never again consult a chiropractor. During the first three consultations of a ten-year long struggle with low back pain, I adjusted only the sacro-iliac joints. With little effect, neither good nor bad. Having cleared out the fixations in the pelvis, at the fourth I adjusted her spine for the first time for a lumbar facet syndrome .
That night she could barely walk up the stairs to bed, and the next day was pretty miserable. By the fourth day? A miracle! 80% less pain than she has been having for ten years. While this is only the beginning, with our rehab program looming,
I have realised over the years that a strong reaction to treatment is not a reason to stop consulting a chiropractor. In fact there is some research suggesting that if you don't have some reaction, you may have little benefit from the treatment.
Mrs In het Veldt: I have been treating for some months first a young woman, and then her 7 year old daughter. Mum I suspected was a very attractive woman, but it was buried beneath 20 odd kilograms of fat. As a divorcee, her prospects I thought at any rate were poor, but now with considerable badgering, and the guidelines provided in our safe free weight loss programs she has lost 14 kg, and hey presto, the ugly duckling is indeed a very graceful swan!
Her little daughter was an altogether tougher nut. A fall from a swing one year ago resulted in constant headaches and neck pain. The real problem was not her neck but gaining her confidence to let me do something about it. Fortunately, and it's a big fortunately, she responded very quickly, and after three or four visits she has no pain, and no fixations. I didn't have to treat her today which was a relief to us both. The treatments have been a drama to say the least.
Treating even children against their will raises many ethical questions, and I didn't like tricking her into letting me adjust her. In any case, she was too smart after the first couple adjustments.
In thirty years in practice I have come to appreciate the trust of parents who let you adjust their children. Kids don't bounce - many of those childhood injuries result in a life time of pain.
There are not many more scary conditions that one called a Spina Bifida. They come into two types. "Occulta" which you ignore completely, it has no clinical significance, and "Vera" the true one. Mr Andeweg has the true one, I must say the first I have treated in 30 years. If I pressed just a little harder I could touch is spinal cord. The bone protecting it never formed. Could I help him?
Fortunately for him he was treated by an obviously excellent
surgeon, fifty years ago. He has no neurological complications which so
often accompany spina bifida vera. But he has constant low back pain for
After the examination I concluded that his pain had nothing to do
with the spinal bifida and, while there were risks, it was worth taking
on his case. We started gently, and are now manipulating his back quite
forcefully. He (and I!) are very pleased. He is responding quite
nicely, and playing golf without much difficulty.
Today a new patient presented with what is likely to be a very tough nut. This 17 year old girl fell 1.5m straight onto her head at 4 years of age. She has had constant neck pain for five years, and now also low back pain. The real problem is not the original injury, but the fact that someone taught her to manipulate her own spine, which she does 2-3 times a day. Now she has developed quite serious neurological signs in the neck and lower back. She is also a tum-sleeper. There are no real guidelines for chiropractors, but I am personally reluctant to manipulate a joint more than 25 times a year, and that may too much. She has been doing it about 1000 times per year. Self manipulation in my experience leads inevitably to neurological complications.
Illness is cumulative. Injury + self-manipulation + tum-sleeper = serious problems. The first challenge is to get her to change her habits. The next to fix the problem. Watch this space!
This week I was very pleased. Yes, with myself! A little pat on the back. Five months ago whilst successfully treating Mrs Deynoot's sacroiliac joint treatment she asked me if I could treat her grandson's bedwetting. Vincent is 15 years old. I hesitated having failed before with bedwetting. But that was before I attended a congress, and learnt some new stuff about adjusting the sacrum. What struck me yesterday, oddly, was not that Vincent, after only one adjustment, was totally cured. What blew me over was that I didn't recognise him.
Five months ago he was a miserable, almost shrunken, fearful human being. In five months, Vincent is transformed, a new person. There has been an explosion of growth, and a complete personality change. There are few things more humiliating and painful for a teenager. I literally did not recognise him. The good wife has warned me. Apparently I am on the verge of becoming a smug jackanapes!
Yesterday that was true. Today I was brought back firmly to planet Earth when a patient with a very serious sciatica with a footdrop, one that I thought we were winning with, took his surgeon's advice. He's scheduled for the knife on Monday.
In similar vein, baby Jason arrived this week for his three month check up. Four months ago Jason's mother brought the mewling, unhappy little mite to see if chiropractic had a solution to what the Dutch call a 'huilbaby' - infantile colic. The laddy was shrunken and miserable. In three months he is utterly transformed. Hours of cyring, caused by a subluxation in his low back, were really retarding his growth. A smiling, hugely healthy baby reminded me again of the power of chiropractic. And the negative power of subluxations, perhaps more obvious in children. For more about the chiropractic care of infantile colic, click here. COLIC CHIROPRACTIC ...
"Most people live...in a very restricted circle of their potential being.
They make very small use of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger."
- William James, psychologist.