Do you need spinal surgery?
Jonathan, a 49-year-old male presented to our office with neck, left shoulder, and left arm pain of two weeks duration. The pain had been constant and severe since its onset. It began without any obvious injury, a few hours after getting up one morning. Lying down was the worst position for him, although every movement increased pain. He had been sleeping in a recliner with a neck pillow, because lying down made the pain even more severe. He had been given Tramadol and Oxycotton by his family doctor, which helped him sleep, but did not significantly help the pain. An MRI was also ordered (which he never ended up getting).
Examination revealed that his head was in a forward position, because straightening up significantly increased his neck and arm pain. Pain was felt with all neck motion, except left rotation, and with palpation to the neck region and left shoulder. Along with the pain in the left upper arm was weakness and decreased sensation to touch. Mechanical Diagnosis revealed that one specific “Mobilization” technique could be administered which actually began to decrease his pain and improved his overall posture and range of motion within minutes. He was instructed to perform this technique hourly at home. He was diagnosed based on x-rays and exam findings with a left sided C5/C6 disc bulge which was compressing a spinal nerve and a treatment plan was developed by our Medical Team.
Jonathan returned every day for the remainder of the week for treatment. After the first week of treatments, neck pain had reduced enough that he was able to sleep a few hours in his bed. He also noted a decrease in arm pain and the numbness in his fingers.
At his 6th visit, his neck pain had reduced by 65% (based on pain assessment scores). The “Mobilizations” were continuing to decrease symptoms, his range of motion was improved, and his left thumb was no longer numb. He had no pain with palpation of his neck.
At his 12th visit his pain had further decreased by another 85%, (4/100 based on pain assessment score). He had full and pain free range of motion in his neck with just a slight decrease in right rotation vs left. His muscle strength was back to normal in both arms, as were his reflexes and sense of touch. He has been able to sleep in his bed all night and was just having slight discomfort when rolling over in bed. He was able to ride his motorcycle to his appointment this day without pain.
The conventional medical approach to a patient with this problem is to order an MRI, perform epidural spinal injections, and possibly spinal surgery. We believe that those things should only be considered when other more conservative approaches have failed. A strong integrated medical team can help you to overcome many health issues, avoid costly and unnecessary medical procedures, and regain your health.