Many spine problems can improve without anyone’s help or with non-surgical treatment. But there are some problems and symptoms which may represent emergencies, and some spine conditions will only worsen when left untreated. This blog post will provide you with some guidelines for what to do for each common symptom.
PAIN RADIATING INTO THE ARM:
Pain that radiates into an arm below the elbow can be a symptom of a disc herniation in the neck. That being said, many times radiating pain can be successfully treated with specific chiropractic methods without the use of surgery. Radiating pain is a symptom which should be seen by a chiropractor within two weeks of its onset.
NUMBNESS/TINGLING/WEAKNESS IN THE ARM AND/OR HAND:
Numbness or tingling in the arm or hand is a more serious symptom that is NOT appropriate for you to watchfully wait for it to go away. Left untreated, this symptom can become permanent. You should seek out evaluation from a chiropractor within 5 days.
PAIN IN THE LEG:
Pain that radiates into a leg below the knee can imply a herniated disc in the lower back, among other causes. Most times, radiating pain can be successfully treated with conservative chiropractic care. Radiating pain should be seen by a chiropractor within two weeks.
NUMBNESS/TINGLING/WEAKNESS INTO THE LEG AND/OR FOOT:
Numbness or tingling in the leg or foot can be a more serious concern and should be evaluated and addressed by a chiropractor within 5 days of onset.
LOSS OF BOWEL OR BLADDER CONTROL:
THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SYMPTOM that needs attention immediately by a spine surgeon within 48 hours. If you experience these symptoms at night or over a weekend, go to an emergency room. If not treated quickly, you may lose control over your bowel and bladder permanently.
FEVER, DROWSINESS, SEVERE HEADACHE, NAUSEA, VOMITING, UNUSUAL SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT:
These symptoms when found in combination are relatively rare, however they could be serious symptoms relating to a neck injury. To be safe, you could consult your family physician promptly to determine the cause of the symptoms.
PAIN LIMITED TO THE NECK:
Neck pain can be caused by traumatic injury, like whiplash from a car accident, or muscle or ligament strain. If pain persists beyond a week, you should seek out an evaluation from a chiropractor to determine the underlying cause.
PAIN LIMITED TO THE LOWER BACK:
Pain that is limited to the low back can often be the result of muscle strain. While pain spasms can be excruciating, muscle strain problems do not require surgery. Contact us for specific stretches which can be helpful. If pain persists beyond a week, it could imply something different than a muscle strain, and you should see a chiropractor to determine an underlying cause.
PAIN RADIATING BELOW THE KNEE:
When pain radiates below the knee, it could imply a herniated disc. While many times this can be treated non-surgically, you should seek an evaluation from a chiropractor within 5 days.
FOOT DROP/WEAKNESS IN THE FOOT:
If pain, weakness or numbness extends into the foot so that you are unable to lift your toe as you walk, this can be an emergency alert symptom. You should seek care from a spine specialist within 48 hours. If not treated promptly, this condition could lead to permanent weakness in the leg.
My goal as your chiropractic physician is to quickly determine whether I am a good fit to manage your pain or problem. If I can help, I’ll work to eliminate your pain as quickly as possible. If I am not your best choice, I will make the appropriate referral or will let you know what you need to do next. Your first choice for evaluation of spine pain should be your chiropractor. Chiropractic has an enviable success rate for most common nerve/muscle/joint challenges, and studies have shown that chiropractic is the most cost effective method of dealing with spine complaints. Call us today at 864-292-6777 for your first visit!
Neck Pain? Greenville Doctor David Mruz offers relief: Study reveals better than drugs
Moderate and acute neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit their family medical doctor. In many cases, pain and stiffness occur without any obvious cause, and treatment at a medical facility may involve the use of NSAID’s, or even narcotics. A new study from The Annals of Internal Medicine revealed something that doctors of chiropractic have experienced in their practices for many decades. In one of the few head-to-head comparisons of the various treatments for neck pain, chiropractic care has provided more effective and longer lasting relief than relying on pain medication. Chiropractic also provided the benefit of no harmful side effects or requirement for ongoing increases in dosage observed with participants of the study.
The study involved a large group of adults with neck pain that had no known specific cause. The 272 subjects were recruited from a large HMO and through advertisements. The researchers split them into groups and followed them for over 3 months. A group was assigned to visit a chiropractor and members of this group averaged seeing this doctor for 15 visits. Another group was assigned to take common pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and in some cases at the discretion of the doctor, narcotics and muscle relaxers. After 12 weeks, the people in the chiropractic group had significantly better changes compared to the medicated group. In fact, 57 percent of those who received chiropractic care reported at least a 75 percent reduction in their pain, compared to only 33 percent in the medication group.
“These changes diminished over time, but they were still present,” said Dr. Gert Bronfort, one of the authors of the study. “Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation (chiropractic) and medication groups.” The comparisons after a year were that 53 percent of those in the chiropractic group still were experiencing at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, vs. those in the medication group having a 38 percent reduction in pain.
In addition to their limited pain relief, another down side for those in the medication group was that people kept on taking them. ” The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow up period, up to a year later.” Dr. Bronfort said. “If you are taking medication over a long period of time, then you are running into more systemic side effects like gastrointestinal problems.”
The take away from this study is simple; chiropractic care offers superior results in the resolution of the common causes of neck pain.
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