Inspirational stories are stirring accounts from the chiropractic world.
In 2008 popular British science writer, Simon Singh, together with arch
critic of chiropractic, Dr Edzard Ernst, suggested that the British
Chiropractic Association was being deliberately dishonest in claiming
that its members could help children suffering from Infantile Colic and
other conditions, when there wasn't a jot of evidence for Colic treatment by a DC.
The BCA sued for libel and won in a high court ruling in 2009.
I personally heard Dr Ernst say on Dutch television that you could
"probably add a couple zeroes to the number of chiropractic patients
generally acknowledged to have had a stroke after treatment; about 500,
according to Dr Ernst without the slightest substantiation of his
That would be equivalent to me saying that you could probably add a couple zeroes to the 14 000 patients who died in one year in the USA from a gastric bleed after taking antiinflammatory drugs (ie 1.4 million people if we add a couple zeros). Really, Dr Ernst, and you call yourself a scientist? Or just the master of innuendo and slur? What's more he makes no mention of Stroke risk factors with painkillers ... always it's the chiropractors who are the quacks.
BCA. People who make these outrageous statements need to be firmly put
in their place. Come up with the names and dates of these 50 000 people
had strokes after Chiropractic treatment, Dr Ernst. And how about a book
now on the trick or treat of antiinflammatory drugs and painkillers.
latest twist in the saga is that Singh won his appeal, winning the
right for scientists to question what they call bogus science without
fear of litigation.
There are many inspirational Stories from the Coalface. Here are a few.
Today a granny whose daughter at three months preg developed breast cancer; now a year later, despite the best medical treatment, the cancer has metastasized to the ribs and lungs. Granny is preparing to foster the babe... grannies are such inspirational people.
I saw an elderly man yesterday who in September was determined to finished the last stage of a pilgrimage that starts in the very north of Holland and ends in Santiago in Spain; it's a long walk, 7557 miles, done in stages obviously, over thirty years.
With declining health, and increasing years he was very anxious that he might not complete the last stage. Only last month he had a difficult and painful meralgia paresthetica, with pain radiating into the groin and thigh. Fortunately the upper leg pain responded well to chiropractic. He did it, despite my doubts. Two hundred kilometre walk over 10 days? Not such a good idea after a bout of severe hip pain. But the determined man finished the long Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. Not bad at 75. Good for him; it's not likely anything you or I will ever achieve.
young man consulted me with a seven year history of low back pain. It's
been the easiest case of the last few months. The underlying problem
was a very short leg. This put his sacroiliac joint under great stress. A
few exercises from Chiropractic Tips ..., then fix his leg length inequality and a
sacroiliac joint adjustment and within weeks, hey presto, all fixed. He
came in this morning after a month, all smiles.
A 62 year old woman with meralgia paresthetica consulted me this morning for her eight week followup. We've now extended the next to 10 weeks. Prima! She consulted me six months ago with severe pain in the groin radiating into the front of the thigh. Ouch. Worse, she had had lower back and leg pain for eighteen months, despite various treatments; she certainly qualifies for one of our many inspirational stories.
It turned out to be a
rather simple case. All she required was a chiropractic adjustment of an
upper lumbar vertebra (L1), a set of exercises and some very painful
treatment in the groin. Within three weeks the pain was fifty percent
less, and now she has no pain. All we are concerned is with maintenance
to make sure she doesn't slip back. Chiropractic Help, it works. MERALGIA PARESTHETICA ... is a not uncommon complaint, but must be differentially diagnosed from a slipped disc in the upper lumbar spine.
Mrs P, the 52 year old daughter of a some very aged patients consulted me two weeks ago, with her husband in tow. She was very tearful. Six weeks earlier she kicked a cupboard and broke her little toe. Out-patients did a great job of taping her toe up, and it's healed fine, but it's no inspirational story from Medicine. They only did half the job. The easy half.
What they could not have known at the time was that the force of the blow to her little toe drove the metatarsals smack up against the Cuboid bone in her foot.The little toe had healed fine, but she could hardly walk. What made her tearful was her doctor was completely nonplussed offering only more painkillers.
I'm not knocking him - I would have reacted in the same way faced with a case of pancreatitis or an acute appendix. He was just out of his depth, not knowing too much about Cuboid bones. What made it worse was the pain started radiating up into her calf, and her odd gait had given her a terrible headache, something she hardly ever suffers from.
Aside: One of the criticisms of chiropractors, perhaps not unjustified, is that we don't refer patients, or not soon enough, when it's apparent that they are not responding to treatment, and another opinion is clearly in order. But that applies equally to Medicine.
Fortunately it's a story that ends well. Unless the bone is actually bruised, a fixated Cuboid responds remarkably well to Chiropractic. After only three treatments yesterday she declared that it's 75% better, and she could walk quite normally. The headache lifted after the first treatment of her foot. Should the diagnosis of Chiropractic Headache include an examination of the foot? Yes sir!
Now if it
wasn't for her parents ... Mrs P would have no inspirational stories to
tell. Love your Chiropractor? When did you last refer a friend or
colleague. Or your daughter?
Foot pain and Chiropractic.
Pain under the sole of the foot. PLANTAR MYOFASCITIS ...
We are a little sneaky sometimes in Chiropractic. When a new patient comes in, we invite the spouse to join us for the Report of Findings. It's not totally sneaky because the partner usually wants to know 'well, what did the doctor say?' and it's best to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. The partner of course is a potential new patient if things go well. Then we have two INSPIRATIONAL STORIES to tell!
Things did go well for Cees, but I had no idea what a handful his wife was going to be. At 75 years of age, Connie after two back operations had twenty years of misery under the belt. Could I help?
The long and the short of it is that Connie, having witnessed the modest miracle in her husband's back, has more confidence it seems than I have in chiropractic! She stuck with the treatment programme where others would have given up. The regular treatment over a nine month period is really bearing fruit. She remarked this week that the pain in her leg that she has had for years has completely abated, she can turn in bed at night without pain, and dressing in the morning is no longer a misery.
She does the exercises very faithfully, and we have now increased the interval between treatments to five weeks. She's happy, and I'm happy for her. Cured? By no means. What would the eight treatments per year advocated by many managed care networks do for Connie? Precisely nothing. In fact it would have been a complete waste because after eight treatments there was almost no decrease in the pain. But now after eighteen treatments in nine months, she declares that she has 60% less pain than she has been experiencing for years, and her quality of life has improved dramatically. Gardening is once again an option, though I'm shaking my head!
Well done for sticking it out, Connie.
Our inspirational stories takes a different twist this week. In Italy, 33 years after the founding of the Chiropractic Association, and 17 years after the first attempts to gain professional recognition, the Italian parliament has fully recognised Chiropractic as a primary health care provider.
Despite extensive lobbying by the Italian Medical Association and the opposition of the Minister of Health, the Camera has finally passed legislation giving Chiropractic full access to its nationalised health care system.
What finally made the difference? Convincing evidence presented by Senator Lusi to the House Budget Committee that inclusion of Chiropractic would be cost-effective for the financially burdened health care system. For many conditions, there is strong evidence that Chiropractic can do it cheaper and faster, and get the patient back to work sooner.
Well done Italy!
Arthur Lundh suffered terribly, but survived WW1. He decided to study Chiropractic in the United States, becoming the first chiropractor in Norway.
He was soon brought to court for "quackery", bringing with him six patients to testify on his part. All six were medical doctors, including a medical professor. Lundh was acquitted of all charges.
Today Norway has amongst the finest chiropractic legislation in Europe, allowing chiropractors amongst other things to order MRI studies, refer patients to hospital and study at a state funded post-graduate level.
Looking back we find inspiration and energy to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. Well done, Dr Lundh! We remember you.
Inspirational stories for anyone wanting to know more about chiropractic; you would find this informative.
In France, a first is the invitation from the official medical body HAS to the French Chiropractic Association to participate in a study concerning the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of neck pain.
Well done, France! (with thanks to BACKspace, newsletter of the ECU.)
Inspirational stories are an everyday event in every chiropractor's clinic. Here are a few more from mine.
Mrs H* is a youngish woman in her mid thirties. She consulted me on the recommendation of a friend. Her body language told much of the story: this woman was in severe pain. She had had blinding headaches and severe pain on the side of her face for about six months. A neurologist diagnosed Trigeminal Neuralgia, one of the most painful conditions known to man, and suggested she had to learn to live with the pain. Other than killing the nerve, there is no known treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Patients have been known to commit suicide because of the intense, unrelenting pain.
Fortunately, he was wrong. She had a relatively simple Temporo-mandibular joint condition. The joint on the side opposite to where the pain was, was fixated, and the lateral pterygoid muscle, deep in the pteryoid pocket was red hot. We used to think it a coincidence, but there is a strong neurological link between the upper neck and the TMJ: she also had a severe subluxation of the axis bone in her neck.
She had an extreme reaction to the first treatment, which I had warned her might happen, but within 10 days was 50% better. It's now six weeks since her first consultation ( 8 treatments) and she has no facial pain, though she is still having occasional headaches. We are into the rehabilitation phase (I wrote this page so she could read and do the TMJ exercises correctly) and is a different person.
TMJ pain can be severe.
* Names are for obvious reasons fictitious.I hope you find these inspirational stories interesting. They give me an eerie feeling in the pit of the stomach. A sense of awe.
Inspirational Stories from the Coalface.
Mrs T, a forty-two year old woman, consulted me a month ago suffering from severe dizziness of five years duration. Today I have another of our inspirational stories to report. She had tried everything, and finally was bullied by a neighbour into consulting me. While she experienced the disorientation at all times of the the day, for her the yardstick was that she was quite unable to drink alcohol.
That gave me a clue, but it turned out to be a red herring. I jumped to the conclusion that her dizziness was an inner ear problem. The semi circular canals contain fluid high in potassium, in contrast with the surrounding fluid called perilymph which is low in K. Alcohol affects this ratio too, causing the typical drunken gait.
However all the inner ear tests were negative. So convinced was I that it was an inner ear condition, that I decided to treat the inner ears in any case, but it made not the slightest difference; of course.
So we moved to plan B; she also had a marked subluxation of the occipito atlas joint at the base of the skull. I never cease to be surprised by the power of chiropractic. One adjustment of the occiput made a dramatic change in her dizziness, and this week she reported that over the weekend she had two glasses of wine. For the first time in five years, it had absolutely no adverse affects; on her dizziness, anyway.
A general caution to Chiropractors. I strongly advise not doing the Epley manoeuvres for the inner ear as well as adjusting the neck on the same day. In nearly thirty years in practice I have had only three patients who reacted really badly to a cervical adjustment. In all three the reaction was temporary, but one of them, the most disturbing for me, was a lady on whom I did the Epley, and also adjusted. She started vomiting almost immediately, and it lasted for several hours. Scary.
But to be realistic, three bad reactions in several hundred thousand adjustments, makes cervical adjusting a very safe procedure. All three patients recovered within 24 hours with no injurious effects.
Mrs T is elated and so am I, of course, and very happy to add her to our inspirational stories. Five years is a long time to suffer from a condition so easily fixed by a chiropractor. It's early days of course. She has to go through the rehab that I insist patients do, and we have yet to show that the improvement is sustained. Watch this space!
Update to INSPIRATIONAL STORIES. Mrs T is doing fine. Wine she has to be cautious with, but she has almost no dizziness.
INSPIRATIONAL STORIES about two brothers with lower back and leg pain is not in itself unusual; it's a hereditary condition.
They consulted me about a month ago at the chiropractic coalface, both around the 60 mark.
Brother ONE, let's call him Mr BL, works in a high stress job and broke a basic health decree. RULE I: Before going on holiday, take a couple days rest at home. For you see, many people get sick on holiday, and the solution is to relax for a few days before continuing the mad rush of life, and dashing off on holiday.
Brother TWO, Mr DL, was suffering from a chronic, debilitating pain in the hip and low back that was threatening to go down the leg. The nagging lower back and leg pain was getting worse, and quite distressing. He also broke another basic health decree. RULE II: Don't ask a family member to treat you. Mr DL lives in a remote part of the Dominican Republic where there are no chiropractors, and the doctor's pills weren't helping. Worse, they were irritating his stomach. His brother, a chiropractor from the Netherlands, was on a family visit.
Brother ONE, actually Dr BL, developed a very sore back within a day or two of the 12 hour flight, and a nasty bronchitis and high temperature. He tried desperately to do various exercises, about which he was knowledgeable, but to no avail, knowing that he was breaking a third decree! RULE III: Any doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient and an idiot for doctor.
After two days of bed-rest, the bronchitis passed without medication, and although the back eased a little, it continued to trouble him.
Brother TWO, Mr DL, decided he had no other option. Better ask his brother if he could help. With no adjusting table, Dr BL treated his brother twice on a couch, with difficulty, and gave him a few hip exercises. There were no audible releases from the spine, and they were both disappointed. That is, until Brother ONE received an email this week from Brother TWO: "By the way, my back and R hip are much better. The exercises stop any slight recurrence.
"Brother ONE, struggled for a few days at work and had eventually to consult a colleague for help. After a few consultations at the chiropractic coalface, on a proper chiropractic table, he too is much better, and with the exercises I insist every patient should do, is having little trouble.
A couch? A proper chiropractic table? It's
all in the hands! Enjoy this if you love music. Paste into your
browser, you'll enjoy it. "Lay your hands on me."
Like inspirational stories written in music? Go to this link "Lay your hands on me".
Inspirational Stories from the Coalface.
Mrs Thomas* confessed that she really didn't believe me when I told her how quickly she would respond to the vertigo that was troubling her. After just a few treatments at the chiropractic coalface we managed to clear the debris out of the semi-circular canals and the exercises I have taught her will help if she has setbacks.
adjustments of the neck are used to treat dizziness, but with caution,
and only after certain tests have proved negative. We only want
inspirational stories to retell!
For more information on the treatment of VERTIGO DIZZINESS ...
Mr Jansen was explosively pleased. It's been a tough call at the chiropractic coalface, but then you would expect that with a problem that medicine says chiropractic cannot help. Actually two problems that overlap. Lumbar stenosis of twenty years duration giving him lower back and leg pain, and progressive arthritis in the hip.
Finally Mr J can sleep through the night, he can walk again without excessive pain, though at 75 he's never going to manage 10 kilometres again. Probably not even 5. While every chiropractor has inspirational stories to tell, we don't have miraculous powers in our hands, we do see amazing things every day.
I had to try several different techniques until I found the one that really helped. Fortunately he had the patience to work with me when there was little improvement in the early weeks. He understood well that Rome wasn't built in a day. Often there is hard work involved before there are inspirational stories to tell.
Update: I regret to say that after standing all day at a
convention, something he couldn't do for fifteen years, he has had quite
a nasty set back. Walking is again painful. We'll get there. One of the
difficulties in practice is dissuading patients from immediately
attempting things, often the ridiculous, that they have not been able to
do for years, the moment they feel a bit better.
For more information on chiropractic care of HIP ARTHRITIS
Inspirational Stories from the Coalface.
Mrs Tilbury is astonished, and I must admit that I am too, that the pain in her back, and her constipation is 80% better after only three treatments. Mostly with chiropractic, we have to work really hard with chronic cases, but sometimes ... magic happens! The pain in Mrs T's back started some 5 years ago - in the upper lumbar spine. At the same time, she started getting alternating diarrhoea and constipation. There was talk from the internist of an irritable bowel syndrome, even a colitis, that would probably end up with a stoma. 6 months ago the pain in her back became so bad that she could do nothing but except cry. Her words.
The syndrome of Maigne is one of my favourites. It responds so well to chiropractic, and interestingly that page gets far more hits on this site than any other. It's why life at the chiropractic coalface is so magical, and I have no plans to retire. I want lots more inspirational stories to tell!
Update: Mrs Tilbury consulted me yesterday for a routine part of her rehab. She is off all medication for the first time in nearly five years, and has absolutely no back pain. The medication gave her terrible bowel gas and cramps and she is very relieved to be off it. We spoke about the pectin in apple that is the best form of soluble fibre for an unhappy bowel.
Further update: We are now winding down the treatment. Mrs T has very little back pain, and her bowel symptoms are quite disappeared. She is taking no medication. Apples are also good for unhappy bowels!
For more information on Maignes Syndrome ...
So you see, it was a wonderful week at the chiropractic coalface. True, some patients don't have inspirational stories to tell. Not yet, Aachen and Cologne weren't built in a day, as they say in Holland, nor does chiropractic fix thirty years of damage in a few short weeks.
Chiropractic is full of inspirational stories, but musculoskeletal conditions are always a challenge; there are some dismal failures too.
Lying on the border of Holland, Aachen was the seat of Charlemagne the
Great. Not to be missed by those who have the zin to travel. You will
certainly have your own inspirational stories to tell!
To go FROM INSPIRATIONAL STORIES to CHIROPRACTIC CONDITIONS ...
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