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Chiropractic neck manipulation and VAD


I'm going to try and keep this very short. I'm a 25yo M who started experiencing nuchal/base of skull pain in 2011. I started going to the chiropractor where he would allow my neck to rest in his palms and abruptly twist it left and right. It actually relieved some pain. Shortly after i would start feeling fatigue with cognition problems, this has lasted till now. Within that time I would continue going to my chiropractor (I didnt know this may have been an offending factor), earlier this year along with my fatigue/cognitive problems i lost strength in my left fingers and thumb for about 3-4 weeks which healed on its own. I currently have slight neck pain, but less severe and palpable mass in my right cervical area (may be lymph nodes or similar) which has never been there. I haven't been sick in the longest time, should I get diagnostic testing?

In addition, I've had countless tests done for my unexplained fatigue like: Sleep Study, Blood work(HIV, Mono, Etc), MRI of brain, Chest X-ray, Stress test.

Thank you so much for your time
6 Responses
1530171 tn?1448129593
Sounds like cervical disc herniation.

The discs are very close to the spinal cord and the nerves.
Any herniation may be accompanied by any of the symptoms you described, as the discs may push outward to the back and to the sides against the nerves, causing local pain  and also may travel to the arms and fingers causing some tingling or weakness. Release of inflammatory chemicals also contribute to some symptoms and should stress levels stay elevated, the inflammatory response stays engaged longer than necessary.

Often the herniation subsides/shrinks on its own and this would explain the fingers' weakness remission.

You need a cervical MRI that would  rule cervical disc herniation out or verify it and get it treated properly.

This is not intended as a substitute for medical advice

Hope this helps.

Avatar universal
Thank you for your input.

It could very well be a herniation but I don't see the coorelation between a disc herniation and fatigue/brain fog. What my head x-ray did show was that my skull is sitting crooked on my atlas(C1).

I'm in the process of scheduling a session with a Cervical Spine Chiropractor, they specialize in the cervical area of the spine and can image/treat it much differently than a generalized chiro. Apparently many people with my symptoms including the fatigue have found resolution in this modality of treatment.

Please voice your opinion as I am not totally familiar with their techniques.

Thanks again.
1530171 tn?1448129593
  Abnormalities in the upper cervical spine ,the C1 (Atlas) and C2(Axis) and C3 with the nerves going upward towards the top of the head- in light of your cervical misalignment from the x-ray- can cause nerve irritation, with symptoms ranging from cervicogenic tension, neck pain, dizziness to mental fog/impaired concentration, upon compression.

Middle to lower cervical spine :C4-C6 ,since the nerves from there travel to upper back, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, are associated  -upon compression- with pain and weakness in those areas.

We have to also consider that the neck being the body's connection to the head, it contains blood supply vessels going to the head, so any stretching or compression of these would result in impaired blood supply, thus less oxygen supply to the head
The consequences are obvious: Inability to concentrate,  impaired memory,
mental fog, fatigue etc.

I'm not familiar with the details of Cervical Spine Chiropractic procedures, however, personally I would still insist on a Cervical Spine MRI, to find out
more about the nature of this abnormality, before proceeding with the aforementioned treatment.

This is just my own opinion and it is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

I hope this helps establish the correlation in question.

Cheers and best wishes!

1530171 tn?1448129593
I forgot to mention that  SPECT imaging (Single-photon emission computed tomography) would be the ultimate way to determine blood flow in the brain and  is a very clinically useful way to look at brain function.
Of course, this would be an option  to be considered if everything else fails.

Just do a search for this online, if you're not familiar with SPECT.
Dr. Amen's website has a lot of information on this, should you be interested in more details.
By suggesting this, I'm not endorsing anything that has to do with services offered in his website. My suggestion is strictly for educational purposes.

Best wishes!
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the informative reply. It wasn't until recently that I even thought my neck misalignment could be causing my fatigue/cognition problems. As far as the cervical spine chiro -- I believe they have imaging systems in their office that they use before they begin treatment. I'd imagine going to a spine doctor is optimal, but all they would recommend would be PT, possible medication and lastly surgery. But, getting their diagnosis would probably be helpful with further treatments holistically.

Thanks again!
Avatar universal
I went to a chiropractor who manipulated my neck with a quick motion as you describe.  This helped somewhat, but not permanently, and I was always concerned that it would do additional damage.  I have since found a chiropractor who uses only comfortable gentle techniques, no quick motions; techniques include using an "adjuster" up and down the spine at specific targeted locations, electrostimulation, ultrasound, and "blocking" the spine in particular positions for a short time.  The first step was a thorough exam, and all the changes have been in small steps, but over a period of weeks and months the process has been extremely effective at apparently permanently curing an assorted variety of health problems.   I'd suggest, if possible, find a chiropractor with a holistic philosophy that uses these sorts of techniques and no fast motion techniques.  
Thanks for your personal story.  How long have you been seeing the chiropractor?  Did they use a device that they looks a little like a fake gun to work on you?  My issue is high up in my neck and that's what they used on me as manipulating me made me too uncomfortable.  They also used a stimulator machine where they hook up electrodes and send signals.  Believe it or not, this worked pretty well!  I guess that is the electrostimulation you were referring to. They also did ice therapy with these big ice blankets.  Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.  Did your insurance cover the chiropractor or did you have to pay out of pocket by the way?
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