Chiropractic is commonly known to be linked with the spine and spinal health but Chiropractic care is not limited to the spine only! Read on as we explore a case study of a patient presenting to the clinic.
Female patient (aged 31) presented to our office complaining of left thumb pain with numbness also present. She had suffered these symptoms for the last 15 years beginning in high school. Chiropractic examination and X-Rays revealed a likely link between her left lower neck causing some nerve aggravation. She had tried a number of treatment modalities over the years with no success. After a course of 12 Chiropractic treatments, her thumb had improved immensely as was reported at her first progress examination. Following a short series of follow-up treatments at a reducing rate, her thumb pain, after 15 years, had totally resolved.
A recent study analysed the outcomes of a spinal manipulation (adjustments) vs. a nerve root block injection in the cervical spine in patients presenting with MRI confirmed cervical disc herniation’s (Peterson et al., 2016).
What were the results?
- 3 months after the treatment those who had been treated with adjustments and were subacute or chronic sufferers were statistically and clinically significantly more likely to report improvement than those treated with nerve root block injection.
- There were no adverse events associated with spinal manipulation
- The cost of treatment was similar for both treatments
What does all this mean? Put simply, if you are suspected to be experiencing a disc lesion in your spine or maybe you’ve had persistent neck and arm pain, then you are far more likely to report greater improvement through a course of chiropractic treatment. Better yet, it won’t break the bank and would cost as much as an alternative procedure.
“Persistent neck and arm pain? You are far more likely to report greater improvement through a course of chiropractic treatment”
With a thorough examination of the spine, shoulder, elbow and wrist/hand, we are able to determine at which site along the length of the nerve that the aggravation is occurring. Specific Chiropractic adjustment techniques can then be applied to the shoulder, elbow or wrist as indicated in addition to any spinal adjustments, to achieve the best patient outcome. Sometimes a nerve can be irritated at multiple sites and will therefore require treatment at more than one area; as was the case with this particular case study involving thumb pain and numbness.
Got thumb, finger, wrist or hand pain or numbness? Be sure to mention it to your Chiropractor!
Peterson, C., et al. 2016. ‘Symptomatic, magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed cervical disc herniation patients: A comparative-effectiveness prospective observational study of 2 age- and sex-matched cohorts treated with either imaging-guided indirect cervical nerve root injections or spinal manipulative therapy,’ The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(3), 210-217.