What does this all mean ........extra info to previous letter


I have found my MRI scan results and wondered if you could ellaberate on some of the points.

Some straightening of the normal cerical lordosis
Degenerative discal changes and osteophyte formation of moderate severity seen at c5-c6. The lower neck is particularly vulnerable after a whiplash type injury. If a ligament called the PLL is stretched or torn it allows a change in the posture of the neck: straightening of the lordosis.

What simultaneously frequently happens is loss of movement (in chiropractic jargon a "fixation" or subluxation. This loss of movement results in "immobilisation arthritis": osteophyte formation. Because the disc is also in part hyaline cartilage, dependent on movement for its normal nutrition, that fixation also results in degeneration of the cartilage: Degenerative discal changes.

Slight encroachment on the exit foramina of the c6 roots bilaterally slightly more so on the left than the right. (please explain) The nerve roots escape from the spinal canal via a "foramen". Those osteophytes mentioned above can encroach the foramen and threaten the nerve. It's a not uncommon finding after a neck injury. The net result is tingling and sometimes pain in the arms.

This is due to degenerative disk bulging and osteophyte formation. (why has this happenend) sometimes from the injury itself, but more usually as a result of the immobilisation the disc cartilage slowly degenerates.

There is a focal right sided disc prolapse at the c6-7 level which is effacing the right c7 root to the exit foramen. Over and above the narrowing of the foramen due to the osteophytes, you also have a bulging disc that is encroaching the nerve that supplies the middle finger.

Now that you have more details of my problem is there still a possibility that i can be helped through the work of a chiropractor. It's a problem we deal with every day, Alison. It probably won't be easy though and you will have to be patient and work with your chiropractor. I personally think that cervical traction (a home unit) also helps in conjunction with chiropractic, though the research suggests there is no benefit.

I have enquired at one place near my home town, but am wondering if i can be helped as my physio did say that there was nothing else he could do for me. I would give it 4-6 weeks before submitting to surgery. Good luck! Let us know in a month or so how your are doing. Take all your scans with you. And this letter.
Thanks Alison

Comments for What does this all mean ........extra info to previous letter

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Sep 08, 2011
More of my progress or not!
by: Alison

Hi, been having two treatments a week with my chiropractor. When she first started to treat me the pain moved down to the lower part of my back, then back up, then back down and now it has gone back to it's usually place. At the moment i am in a middle of a flare up. This flare up has lasted well over 7 days and is STRONGER than any flare ups that i have had before. I am in tears with the pain and the intense headaches and just cannot get on with everyday life. Everything i do is agony although i do do things just to keep going. I have noticed that my pain seems to be alot worse when the weather is colder is this typical? My chiropractor said to go and see you before an appoitment is made if pain is worse however these treatments do not come cheap and i am not working. Would you know if i can get a chiropractor on the NHS and what would i have to do for this? Alison

Gosh, Alison, it's really hard for me to comment. It's about style...

With a neck problem, I personally start with the neck, unless there are very strong reasons to look at the lower back first, or simultaneously. However, many chiros do things differently.

How about if you ask her to leave your lower back alone for the moment.

Have you had any exercises?

When there is lots of pain after the treatment, I like to schedule a longer period between visits. Obviously because of the degenerative change, the treatment itself is working on painful tissue.

So, perhaps ask her if you can now go once in 10 days perhaps. How many treatments have you had altogether? Or even longer if you've had 10 or more treatments.

Obviously I have to be careful of interfering - your relationship is with your chiropractor, not me, I'm only here as someone for you to throw questions and ideas to.

If your gut sense is that these treatments are really not helping, then another chiro might be an idea. We all work differently. I had a new patient this morning who wasn't satisfied with the progress under her other chiropractor.

Good luck, hope this has contributed. Discuss what you have told me openly with your chiro, it is important that as two adults you can talk freely. Old style doctors don't like it, of course. "I'm the doctor, you're the patient, do what you're told, and don't ask any questions." But that's very out of date today.

Dr b

Jul 28, 2011
My Progress
by: Anonymous

Have booked appoitments with a chiropractor. The first appointment that i had didnt feel too bad the day after. Had a bit of discomfort but nothing i felt i couldn't handle.

The second appoitment was a different story. Pain in my lower back like i have never felt before, and a lot of pain in my right arm and in my right shoulder blade. The chiropractor said that i had tennis elbow and golfer's elbow in my right arm.

She did alot of cracking on my back from which she suggested that is where the problem started? My muscles are extremely tight and knotted. I have another two appoitments with her and she said that she would refer me back to my doctor if she felt she couldnt help me any further. I will let u know how i get on.

Hello Alison,
With a long a difficult history like you have, don't expect miracles. It's going to take hard work, and extra care on your part.

Often the pain increases with chronic conditions in the short term, don't be put off by that. Ice is your best friend for the treatment of after-treatment pain.

Ask for exercises and stretches, and whatever else you can do to help yourself.

Keep at it! Rome wasn't built in a day...

Dr B

Jul 20, 2011
Tingling in arms and hands
by: Alison

Tingling in arms and hands

You mention in your reply that my neck injury could be due to a whiplash type injury. I havn't had any type of injury of whiplash or anything like it. Is it possible that this could happen through getting older? By that i mean wear and tear or is it more severe than that?

Is this something that will always be with me and just get to a stage that it can be managed and more comfortable?
Regards Alison

Hello Alison,
You have almost certainly (in fact, I would say CERTAINLY) had a whiplash type injury, but that doesn't only happen in car accidents. A fall off a horse, down the stairs, diving into shallow water... there are many possibilities.

And it was definitely a long time ago. How long is difficult to say, but a long time. I would guess more than ten years, and it could be fifty. And it could be several smaller events. It's not just 'aging'. It's injury PLUS aging. It's exactly why we believe EVERY whiplash needs to be seen by a chiropractor, to prevent exactly what you have.

Yes, I'm afraid this is not going to go away completely whether you see a chiropractor, go for surgery, take pills... I would start with a chiropractor if I was you. Look for someone with experience, and a reputation for being thorough and careful. Talk to your doctor, friends and family.

Let me know in a month or two how you get on.

Dr B

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