Case Studies

  • Her workstation is contributing to her pain.
    A 55 year old woman presents with neck pain and difficulty turning her head of a few months duration.

    On examination, I find inflammation in her right lower neck area with associated joint fixations (loss of discrete motion). The gross range of motion in her neck is dramatically reduced in all planes but especially in lateral flexion (tipping to the side). In addition, the muscles around her right scapula (shoulder blade) are hypertonic (tight) and the costovertebral joint of her 5th rib is locked. She has a chronic cervical (neck) sprain.

    Upon questioning, I discover she probably has a poor ergonomic set up at work which is aggravating her condition. I arrange to go to her workplace so I can give her recommendations. With treatment and following the ergonomic recommendations I provided, she becomes pain free with full function of her neck in 10 visits. [top]
  • This surprising neurological problem is coming from her spine.
    A patient brings in her 6 year old girl, reporting the girl has frequent potty accidents, throughout the day and night. She thinks this is probably a psychological issue, an attempt to get attention.

    On examination, I find her right pupil is not dilating. When questioned, she reports she hit her head lightly that morning. However, on examination, I find significant loss of joint function at L2, consistent with bowel problems.

    After a few visits the patient becomes able to tell when she needs to go to the bathroom and the accidents stop. [top]
  • He has both a disc lesion and hip pain.
    A 51 year old male patient returns after 5 years of no problems because he injures himself lifting. He presents using a cane and reports having low back pain and pain radiating from his hip down the front of his leg to mid shin.

    On examination, I find he has two problems - aggravation of his disc condition and abnormal function of his right hip.

    Treatment is to heal the disc, reduce swelling and muscle spasm, and to restore joint function and he reports 95% improvement after his 1st visit. [top]
  • She has arch pain and toes that are curled.
    A 24 year old woman presents with right arch pain of 2 years' duration. She states she has always had toes that were curled up, especially the 2nd toe on both feet.

    On examination, I find her right pupil is not dilating. When questioned, she reports she hit her head lightly that morning. On examination, I find multiple joint fixations (loss of normal motion) in her pelvis and in the bones that form the arch of her right foot. On standing, she has severe supination of the right foot and reports she obtained orthotics from another doctor which she doesn't wear because they hurt her feet.

    Treatment corrects the multiple joint fixations and the curling of her toes also improves. On her third visit she reports her pain is nearly resolved and on her 7th visit she has fully healed. [top]
  • An elderly woman has a surprising problem
    I see a 74 year old patient on my day off because, although she is complaining of her usual headache and nausea, she seems to be in more distress.

    On examination, I find her right pupil is not dilating. When questioned, she reports she hit her head lightly that morning. I immediately take her to the emergency room one block away because I suspect a head injury. They do a CT scan and she has a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain) with a midline shift (indicating it is severe).

    Surgery is successful and she recovers completely. [top]
  • We make it possible for him to continue working
    A 58 year old self employed man presents with back, right shoulder, and heel pain. He works as a stinging insect exterminator and is required to wear a heavy backpack and reach overhead all day. His main concern is not the pain, but being able to continue his work until he is able to retire. He reports his doctors have nothing to offer.

    Examination reveals chronic sacroiliac (pelvic) inflammation, right shoulder strain, and Achilles tendon sprain.

    We see him periodically over the next four years, keeping him pain free and functional, until his retirement. [top]
  • Patient travels from Oakland to get relief
    A 52 year old female patient returns to my office with right hip pain. She has moved to Oakland and, although she has seen two Chiropractors there, she has had no relief. She has a spinal abnormality, a spondylolisthesis, and also complains of weakness in her legs.

    On examination, I find edema around the coccyx (tail bone) and sacroiliac (pelvic) fixations (loss of normal movement). The buttock muscles are hypertonic (tight) on the right.

    Stretching the tight muscles and adjusting the coccyx and sacroiliac joints relieves her pain and weakness in one visit. Due to her spinal abnormality, she returns about every four months for a check up. [top]
  • We help him to win his tournament +
    A 31 year old male professional bowler presents with severe low back pain of 3 weeks' duration. He is very concerned about his tournament in 2 weeks.

    On examination, I find he has sprained the ligament at L3 and the joint is fixated (locked), slowing his recovery.

    Daily treatment relieves the pain and speeds the healing and he is able to compete in his tournament. He returns with a grin and teases me that "it is all my fault." Apparently, he had a perfect score of 300 on each of his games except the last, where he missed it by one point. And missed setting a record! [top]
  • We eliminated a spinal deformity caused by carrying heavy trays.
    A 29 year old female waitress presents with thoracic pain of several years' duration.

    On examination, I find marked deformity in the form of a hump protruding from the left side of her thoracic spine. This area has several costovertebral fixations, loss of normal function in the joints attaching the ribs to the spine. These problems are attributed to carrying heavy trays at her work.

    Treatment to correct the fixations is over 6 months, but restores the normal contour of her spine, eliminating the deformity. [top]
  • Brothers' rough housing leads to a very serious condition.
    An 8 year old boy is brought in by his parents. They have noticed a curvature in his spine and want me to evaluate it.

    On examination, I find a thorocolumbar dextroscoliosis with a total fixation (no movement) in the sacroiliac joint of the pelvis, which was developing into a bony malformation. The boy admits that his older brother, who is there at the appointment, has been "jumping on him" after they watch wrestling on television. Although the older boy had been told to stop, the younger brother did not want to get him in trouble by telling their parents.

    The older boy was taken aside and gently shown on charts how wrestling was causing his brother's organs to be crushed. Four treatments released the pelvis, producing normal motion, proper bone development, and straightened the spine. [top]
  • An inspired idea allows him to be much more productive.
    A 33 year old male classical guitarist presents with back pain of 3 years' duration. The pain prevents him from accepting more than one performance job per week.

    On examination, I find multiple muscle imbalances throughout his thoracic spine. I ask him to bring his guitar to the next appointment so I can evaluate the ergonomics involved. I find the position he is required to maintain during playing is a specific aggravator to the areas involved.

    We discuss his condition and he decides to have an endpin attached to the end of his guitar so he can play it like a cello, with minimal twisting. This is very effective and, after treatment to restore muscle balance, he is able to accept as many jobs as he likes. [top]
  • We helped her to avoid misdiagnosis and finally get relief.
    A 46 year old woman presents with wrist pain of 4 years' duration. She works at a high tech firm and has seen the company doctor who told her "company doctor who told her it was stress and she should quit her job."

    On examination, I find clear evidence that she has carpal tunnel syndrome. Questioning her about her job activities, I find she has been turning a microscope wheel repetitively for 25 years.

    A phone call to her employer is made to establish her condition as a work related injury. With modification of her work activities and treatment, she is pain free in 2 months. [top]
  • A child gets relief from an unusual condition.
    An 8 year old girl is brought in by her father. She complains of her palms sweating. This happens several times per day and is profuse. If she is at school, the moisture will soak the papers on her desk.

    On examination, I find her thoracic spine to be swollen, with severely aberrant movement when motion palpated. No trauma is reported but, with further questioning, she reveals she has been receiving "adjustments" from her stepfather, who has no training. During palpation of her thoracic spine, her palms begin to sweat profusely.

    Adjustments to correct the aberrant movement in her thoracic spine in two visits relieves the excess sweating in her palms. Her mother is consulted and asked to modify the behavior of the stepfather. This unusual condition is explained by the autonomic nervous system, with its nerve bundles on either side of the spine, regulating automatic body functions such as temperature control and sweating. [top]
  • His golf game improved dramatically with correction in his low back.
    A 36 year old man presents with low back pain of 7 months duration. The pain is localized in the small of his back and is preventing him from fully enjoying life, particularly playing golf.

    On examination, I find several Type I fixations and a Type IV fixation at L3. These areas are significantly impairing his ability to rotate his body.

    After one treatment, he reports relief of his pain and a decrease in his golf score of 10 points, bringing his score to below 100. Needless to say, he is ecstatic. [top]


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