Spinal arthritis With Corrective Chiropractic
Spinal arthritis as discussed in part 1 https://essentialchiropractic.sg//spinal-arthritis-chiropractic-biophysics/ , is getting more common in our aging population. Presenting here is a case of a 62 years old man that experienced hand numbness and neck pain. Upon physical examination and pre-existing radiology imaging, his clinical symptoms are closely related to the spinal arthritis of his cervical spine. Corrective Chiropractic is the method we used to assist this patient to regain his health.
A Case Report on Spinal arthritis
This patient presented to us with bilateral neck pain and numbness to the hand. Neck discomfort was more pronounce on the left side. Neck motions were very restricted and patient was in pain whenever he turns his neck to the left. This has been on-going for a few months and the quality of sleep was disturbed. Conventional medicine approach from hospital reviewed and concluded the case as “normal” aging process and nothing can be done. So, physiotherapy sessions were carried out on the patients but with minimal help. As a result, the patient was then discharged from care because “nothing can be done” there. Attached below are the MRI and radiology report from hospital.
What did we do differently with Spinal Arthritis?
Upon accepting this case, we disagreed to the conventional approach of nothing can be done to improve his condition. Although spinal degeneration is part of the aging process, yet this doesn’t mean that a person should suffer the pain and discomfort. Moreover, the patient is still a healthy individual apart from this musculoskeletal complaints that has caused him great discomfort in the past months. So, our Chiropractor examined his spinal x-rays from a bio-mechanical perspective to explain the source of his pain and numbness. Our approach was to improve his spinal bio-mechanics through structural correction of his neck alignment. To understand further why proper neck alignment is so important and how it affects pain and disability, please refer to the article from: https://essentialchiropractic.sg//treat-neck-spine-causing-neck-tension/
* Even though both the MRI and X-rays report from the hospital reported loss of normal neck lordosis (curvature), But no treatment was attempted to restore or at least improve this fundamental problem.
Patient’s decision to improve neck curvature with Corrective Chiropractic
It has been made clear that 100% correction is not realistic due to the severity of degeneration observed on the cervical x-rays. However, the patient felt that his concerns have been properly addressed and wished to receive treatment from us. He wanted to get rid of the pain and decided to undergo spinal corrective rehabilitation treatment in our practice. After a few sessions, his range of motion has improved significantly. Furthermore, he experienced reduction in numbness and pain. With his improvement in spinal motion, our Chiropractor then started corrective spinal traction to enhance his neck curvature. Corrective spinal traction is to traction the spine into the normal curvature. This is a huge difference as compared to conventional spinal traction technique used in physiotherapy rehabilitation setting. The long axis distraction force applied through the conventional spinal traction is to reduce compression force to the spinal joints, discs and surrounding tissues. While this method may sometimes provide great relief to some individuals, but still do not address the root cause of the problem – loss of normal curvature. Corrective spinal traction through Chiropractic BioPhysics is the most advanced and researched spinal rehabilitation method to address such problem. As the treatment goes on, the patient became more adaptable to the neck traction. After a few more session, he no longer experience hand numbness and only felt pain at the end range of neck rotation (neck turning).
Total reduction of pain and numbness
He continued on the structural corrective rehabilitation and achieved full recovery from all the primary symptoms that he presented initially. At the end of rehabilitation program, the patient went for a radiologic examination to verify the improvement of symptoms are related to the spinal alignment. The positive changes through corrective chiropractic care observed on the BEFORE and AFTER x-rays was impressive. Patient achieved 50% of structural changes in the neck alignment despite the presence of degeneration formed in the spine. This clinical outcome is we would typically expect with corrective chiropractic through Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP®) technique. The astonishing part from this case was that – the severity of bone spurs formation didn’t hinder the healing process and correction. Furthermore, it took only four months to achieve such amazing change.The pre- and post- X-rays are as below:
It was very encouraging to witness how conservative treatment like Corrective Chiropractic is able to help a person with such condition. Therefore, eliminating factors that contribute to the clinical symptoms is essential in helping the patient to regain their health. Moreover, spinal arthritis is not a condition that you have to live with great pain and discomfort. Certainly, it is not a condition of “nothing can be done”! This case also shows the importance of neck alignment and its close relation to multiple health concerns. The patient in this case demonstrates forward head posture adds excessive pressure to the lower neck, especially C4-7. With such extra pressure to the area, arthritic changes speed up. As a result, this can cause symptomatic discomfort to the individual. Through reduction of unnecessary pressure to the lower neck can therefore improve the person’s presenting symptoms. Most importantly, all these can be achieved through conservative treatment and proper spinal rehabilitation.
Prevention is better than cure
Arguably, we have also helped to slow down the progression of his arthritic changes as we significantly improved the neck alignment. If this is left untreated, not only the pain and numbness may deteriorate, also there may be a higher chance that the spinal arthritis can progress faster. In Part 1, we discussed how spinal stenosis can develop as spinal arthritis get into its more advanced stage. With such correction in the neck curvature, this also means spinal stenosis can be prevented and nerve involvement can be avoided. Therefore,if you or someone you know are suffering from neck pain or hand numbness, don’t hesitate to give us a call to find out how we can successful help you with Corrective Chiropractic care.