Sunday, November 15, 2009
Excruciating Low Back Pain and Upper Cervical Care
From: A Day in the Life Vol 6
By Dr. Jack Stockwell
Appeared in the August 2007 Palmer Beacon
Being an upper cervical doctor is not as easy as one would think when dealing with the whole human frame. It is often thought that the only way we, upper cervical docs, can influence a spine is to adjust the top bone and “hope” that somehow this can “spread” throughout the body in some mystical magical way.
Consider Patrick's case. He came into my office on all fours, literally. He was presenting with, as many a chiro calls it, a “hot” lumbar. Somewhere in his lumbosacral complex hell was breaking loose and coming after his poor self. I could barely hear his cries for a quick and painless death through his screams for help.
We had helped his brother earlier and he did not want to go to the emergency room, as a close friend had recently died under trauma care in a nearby hospital, for, I must say, a completely unrelated condition of the heart. We were his only option and we had never before met. But there he was. On the floor crying. Too weak to stand. Too subluxated to do anything for himself. Somehow he showed up in my consultation room with his knees bent over the couch with his face in pillows.
He was able to calm down a little sitting in my x-ray chair waiting for films. His pain had been coming on for a little while but not nearly this severe. He is a golfer. He is also a very wealthy fellow owning a chain of thirteen home improvement stores. He is in his fifties, overweight by thirty pounds, and has the worthless diet of the modern teenager he thinks he is.
I took films and analyzed them and determined a vector to correct his upper cervical misalignment. “His upper cervical misalignment you ask?” Yes. That is where I start. I told him I didn't know if I could help him or not. I said that the worst thing I could do would be to kill him and he said, “bring it on!”
I worked on him for a few minutes and took him back to the x-ray room for more films as I had to be sure I got it all and that there was no misalignment left, detectable on x-ray. He was still crying. He could bend his leg, but still crying.
I told him the seriousness of his condition and that if it was as bad as I thought, he could lose urinary and bowel control. I told him he needed to go to a MRI imaging center that I send patients to and get his lumbar spine examined as soon as possible. He was still crying.
The post x-rays revealed a rather admirable correction to the spine. I was happy. I said, “Patrick, get to Western Neurological immediately. I will call them and tell them you are coming. Go now. Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 bucks. Go now.” To my amazement, he took himself promptly from my office and went where I sent him. I asked the radiologist for an immediate reading, he promised one by the next afternoon.
This was a late Friday afternoon and I told Patrick to return Monday morning for more care. Saturday the radiologist called my cell phone and gave me his report, which report I have Patrick's permission to share. The herniations of the bottom three discs were of such a nature and to such a degree that he could not tell where the free-floating fragments of formerly whole discs had originated.
There was pressure against several nerves from L3 to L5 and a severe decrease in space in the neural canal. Wow…I was right about the urinary and bowel stuff. The resultant twisting of the pelvis out of its normal relationship to the sacrum was putting severe muscular pressure against the sacral nerves as well. Hence the feeling of his feet being crushed. This man was meat for the RD's (real doctors).
I told him, that Saturday afternoon, that his golfing days were over and that he had some major surgery ahead of him as he needed some serious fusions in his low back, and that I would have a surgeon to refer him to by Monday morning, two days later. He said, in all seriousness, “I thought you could fix this, my brother said you could, my mother said you could, and my sister, all of whom you have helped, said you could. So, are you giving up on me already?” All I could think was “I guess so”. I didn't answer him, I just told him to come in Monday morning.
Monday morning he walked into the office under his own power and could bend over and touch his toes. His legs were even, his pelvis was level. His shoulders were now level as well. His head and neck were straight. His anatometer readings were completely in the green. His pain level had dropped from a 10/10 to a 2/10.
He checked clear and I did not work on him, as there was nothing to work on. I told him to come back that Thursday, as I would probably work on him then. He didn't show. He didn't come in because he was playing a warm up round for a golf tournament in Mesquite, NV., that was to begin the following day. He played all three rounds of eighteen holes each day, the first round being played one week after he received one upper cervical adjustment.
How is that possible? Easy. Child's play. Body balance controlled by the upper cervical spine. Patrick's experience was three years ago. I have worked on him less than six times in three years. His testimonial is featured in my office brochure. And one more thing, his experience is typical of upper cervical care. I have many cases like Patrick's. I have come to believe that the pain does not come from the herniated disc. The herniation is just a symptom of a subluxated spine. Reduce the subluxation, the pain goes away, while the herniation remains, to heal over time.
Such a little touch, such powerful results! Upper Cervical Care is amazing!