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Is neck manipulation by a Chiro a "no no?"


Patricia
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Hello everyone,

I believe this was a topic on the NDRF forum a long time ago, but I could not find many posts on it. The debate was whether manipulating one's neck by a chiropractor could be dangerous because of the possibility some people's dysautonomia could originate from the brainstem area and also some may have undiagnosed problems with their spine ie. Chiari. Does anyone have an opinion or know factually? I am having great shoulder pain and this Chirpractor, who does not know anything about dysautonomia, discussed manipulating my neck. I am trying to seek guidance if this is a safe path.

Appreciate any insight!

Patricia

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If you in anyway suspect that your spine or brainstem may be contributing factors to your ANS issues, then, you are correct in recalling that manipulation is off limits.

I have generalized hypermobility--and my spine is too mobile too. My neuro would refuse to continue treating me if I choose chiropractic because he explicitly state that I was not to do it.

Nina

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I guess you would need to have tests to determine if such a condition existed.

I've been using chiropractic for years. I had never heard of chiari malformation or any other such problems associated with dysautonomia until recently. (In fact, I only learned of dysautonomia about 3 years ago, even though I've dealt with the huge number of symptoms my whole life.) So I guess it's a good thing chiari, etc., wasn't part of my picture.

Without chiro, I'd be miserable. My neck and mid-chest area of my spine will not stay in place since ending up with whiplash (car accident) a few years ago. Even before that, I had used chiro as an alternative to the medical world.

Have some tests done so you can proceed appropriately.

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Patricia,

I was told by my doctors that Chriopratic therapy may worsen my symptoms. I saw a chiroprator for a couple of months and my lightheadedness and dizziness were much more severe.

I now go to physical therapy twice a week and have a therapist who specializes in head and neck issues. I have had positive results from this. It is not as drastic as chiropratic for me. I have better range and less symptoms since seeing this physical therapist. It may be something to look into. The doctors at Cleveland recommended my therapist after being diagnosed with POTS in November 2003. I hope you have some relief soon from your symptoms.

Susan

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Thanks for your responses everyone ;) I think physical therapy may be a safer route for me, but I am going to keep my appointment with the Chiro on Monday and see if he can offer exercises, massage; things "non-invasive." It was a relief to have everyone respond so quickly so I feel more confident on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Patricia

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I would have said the same ... no chiro ... at least until you find out the source of your pain. If you can, get your doc to prescribe a cervical spine X-ray and/or MRI to find out why you're experiencing so much pain. (Even if you go the chiropractic route, the practitioner would then know what s/he is dealing with and how to target therapy!) I'm getting physical therapy now for bulging disc/arthritis/reverse curvature of cervical spine ... and the massage & manipulation & traction--coupled with exercises I do on site and at home--are making a huge difference.

Best,

m

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Merrill,

When I had an MRI of the head and neck a year or so ago to rule out Chiari, it revealed a bulging disc at C5/6 and reverse curvature. Nobody ever told me how the reverse curvature came about or what the implications were. The only thing I found out about the disc is that it's probably what causes my arms to go to sleep at night.

Have your docs told you what the reverse curvature is due to? Any idea if it impacts your POTS or anything else?

I researched it, but didn't find much on it except that often it was due to poor posture...

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If you're joints are hypermobile then traction is not a good idea in PT. Traction is actually what set off a medical crisis for me, which lead directly to spinal surgery.

Nina

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I'm far from hypermobile, so that's not an issue for me, Nina. And Tex (mind if I call you Tex? :) ), we have the same diagnosis except I have a big bulge at C5/C6 and a smaller bulge at C6/C7 ... and arthritis (I'm 43). I asked my PT today about the reverse curve (we were reviewing together my MRI and Xray films) and he said it comes from years of sitting like this: (I can't draw a picture here, but if I could, I'd draw a picture of my PT sitting slouched forward with chin protruding and head bent backwards... a common and [unhealthy not to mention ugly] posture people assume when sitting in front of the computer or driving... two things I do a lot of!)

So the short answer to your question is yes, I was told it was postural. I think the arthritis is also brought on by posture stuff as would be the bulging disks.

As for pots, I can't say. I have had tons of problems with fingers and sometimes the whole hand falling asleep--no, going completely dead-to-the-world--during the night... for about a year now--long before neck pain set in. I assumed it was pots ... and since it still happens, I still don't know the cause. I've been getting PT for a few weeks now, tho not completely out of discomfort...

Everything's a chicken/egg question for me ... Pain causes some autonomic functions to work improperly anyway (bowels, for example) -- so while constipation and runs can both be influenced by pots, so can they be influenced by severe pain. (Constipation anyway.) See what I mean?

Take care,

m

PS I hope you're getting some PT for your neck!

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Chiropractic is a very big field, with so many different techniques with different training. I think it would be very hard to give a blanket answer across all basis. I have an amazing chiropractor and have seen him for over 10 years. But he is really very special. He has lots of devices and techniques that go beyond the traditional -- crack your neck -- approach to problem solving, including ultrasound, massage, hot or cold packs and some accupressure moves -- he even has aromatherapy. Ahhhhh breath deep and enjoy.

There is also a "new breed" of chiros coming up through the ranks who call themselves "no force" chiropractors. They insist they can "adjust" you with no more than the gentle press of a single finger.

Good luck finding a team of practitioners that can work with you in your healing journey.

EM

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Earthmother,

What you describe, the methods beyond traditional, is what I will see he if he is willing to do when I speak to him, hoping it is enough to help the problem. This is my first introduction to chiropractic work, and I am obviously "green" on the subject! Thanks for your input.

Patricia

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I was only referring to the "crack your neck" manipulation for my response above.

Ultrasound, massage, soft tissue work, etc. were not things my neurologist and neurosurgeon nixed.

Nina

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