tingling and soreness in arm after treatment.

by Elisa
(massachusetts)

Tingling and soreness in arm after treatment.

I went to a chiro for the first time yesterday at the recommendation of a friend who had used this one with great success. I have had 2 L5S1 micro discectomies in two years and have chronic damage to said area. I've tried cortisone shots, PT (aqua and land) & nothing seems to relieve it.

So I went to see this chiro. He took xrays, explained where my problem areas were and adjusted me.

Now - I had told him I get occasional headaches and get tingling and numbness in my pinkie and ring finger (left hand) usually at night. So he adjusted my neck. After I actually felt pretty good. As the day progressed I had some dizziness. When I woke up this morning my neck was sore (not unbearable) so I took some ibuprofen. That helped a little. Then I noticed I was getting tingling in my whole hand and all fingers - it even went into my arm. And my left hand is colder than the right.

When I googled the symptoms in relation to cervical spine manipulation all the results returned were about vertebral artery dissection - which of course freaked me out. I tried to call the chiro but they're closed today. I just don't know if this is normal or if I should be worried.

Hello Eliza,
Most unlikely a vertebral artery dissection; the symptoms don't fit at all.

It's a perennial question; a new patient complains of two different conditions. Do you treat both? I don't, for exactly the reasons you describe. But most chiropractors probably would.

Some after treatment pain is almost inevitable; in fact some research suggests that if there are no symptoms after the treatment, it probably won't be effective.

But this does sound like something more than after treatment pain.

I'm trying to think what I would do. Well, firstly examine your neck and arm very carefully, and especially Adson's test. It's a difficult and subjective test and if he isn't familiar with it, then there's no point.

When a nerve root is affected, you'll get tingling in just certain fingers. If it's affecting the whole arm, then I'd be looking to the first rib and scalene muscles; the so called Thoracic Outlet.

If the problem is there, then both the artery and whole brachial plexus is affected, causing the tingling and temperature changes you are experiencing.

I'd go back, but before any treatment, very specifically express your concerns. If your feeling is that the chiropractor is not taking you seriously, doesn't listen, does not take the time to examine your neck and arm very thoroughly, then I'd decline any treatment, and leave.

I'm a great believer in gut feel; what are your instincts telling you?

I hope this contributes; let us know how you get on.

Sorry this is late; I've been away for three weeks, with a huge backlog.

Dr B


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