I am writing in desperation about my wife's condition. It all began a few months ago when she met with an osteopath for a jaw alignment problem following some rough dental work. He felt her body alignment could be contributing to her problem and gave her a 6 week recommendation that would help realign her jaw and drop her raised left shoulder in the process.
However, after her first treatment where he "corrected" her right pelvis to make her leg 1" shorter she complained of feeling wonky and of severe jaw pain. He assured her it would all come good as he worked up. He manipulated her left side of back to release tense muscles he said, and performed a neck manipulation for supposedly the same on visit 3. She immediately went into severe spasm which pulled her face, chin and head in all directions and has left her in a very poor state. Her spine is now completely different and a large curve is developing fast. Her neck is completely twisted away from her body, has elongated and she has no chin as a result. Her head is raised and twisted away from her neck which is bending worryingly. Her jaw has been twisted the wrong way and her teeth no longer meet. Her raised shoulder is now even more so and her collar bones are very uneven. Her tongue and windpipe have deviated in the process also. It's as though he has caused a total body collapse, and her spine has rotated the wrong way as he put her on a slant doing her pelvis.
I have no idea where to turn. Her neurosurgeon said he could only operate on a painful knee and she was left to live with the rest, which she is struggling to do as she worsens. The other departments we have gone to have either said it is too complex to treat or discharged her. She was convinced there must be another reason for her severe reaction. She wondered if her jaw infection from the dental work that triggered this whole thing off in the first place, has spread with the manipulations, but blood tests all came back clear. We didn't know if the infection was maybe in the muscles, if it would be picked up by blood tests alone and no one at the hospital would investigate further. The only other thing if it's not just protective spasm, would be neurological. But nothing was detected on MRI of the spine and cervical areas, and the neurologist could find nothing to indicate from the physical he gave her. A neurologlical chiropracter that she has seen thinks it is a misfiring cerebellum problem and that is why her body misread the adjustments she had. I am so worried and confused for her and would appreciate any advice you could offer.
This is a copy of an email I received from an orthopedic spine consultant I found on the internet. I just wondered if you would mind giving me your thoughts on what he has said:
"What you have to understand is that people can have very severe pain without a particularly serious cause. Anyone who has had a cramp in a calf muscle knows how much pain that can cause. The muscle is not damaged, not out of place, just in spasm, and it gives extremely severe pain, although there is not a serious underlying cause.
I reiterate, it is not possible for osteopaths to change the length of one’s legs nor shift the relationship of the bony spine to the bony pelvis (no matter how much they claim that that is what they try to do) . What osteopaths/chiropractors/sports masseurs/manipulative physios do is to stretch, manipulate and massage soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments to ease muscle spasm and tension. If your muscle spasm relaxes with their treatment, you feel less pain and your body adopts a more normal posture. If your spasm increases, your body will adopt a more abnormal posture. So, sometimes osteopathic treatments help pain, sometimes they fail and may even increase pain. It is possible for very vigorous manipulations to cause fractures in bone but that is thankfully exceedingly rare. What is clear is that the osteopathic treatment hasn’t helped your wife. If I have something that might help I will offer it. You might ask you GP to prescribe some Diazepam or Baclofen as muscle relaxants. Hydrotherapy in a warm pool can often help as well when there is a lot of spasm."
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