As with most jobs chiropractic can be routine sometimes. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, but sometimes you treat the same injuries over and over. The thing that keeps it fun is the different people. As amazing as our bodies are, I recognize a weakness when patient after patient comes in with the same problem. These problems are usually due to lifestyle, like sitting at computers for hours, or not exercising enough. I start to think perhaps it is more simple that I thought.
Then I get a case that is different, a challenge if you will. Recently I had one of those. It wasn’t the typical routine at all. The patient came in with neck pain that radiated down her arm. It seemed typical, and after her initial examination it appeared that it was typical. I treated her initial symptoms as i usually do with a trial treatment to see how she would respond.
Her pain in the neck eased as I had expected, but it migrated out to the muscles in the base of her neck. I thought that was odd, but further evaluation didn’t point to anything else so, being also a massage therapist I treated those muscles, thinking that her initial pain could have been referred pain from trigger points in these muscles. We got them to relax enough that on the next visit we found pain yet further out. This time her pain was under her collar bone. This still made sense because the symptoms were following the path of the nerves that go down the arm from the spinal cord.
Well it turns out this patient had a repetative overuse sprain at her collar bone. It came on gradually, and the symptoms throughout her neck and arm were a result of the body compensating and trying to prevent further injury. Once we found it we were able to treat not only the symptoms, but were also able to help her speed up the healing of the source problem.
She is now doing well, and on the road to recovery. I am constantly in awe of the human body, but every once in a while a case comes along to challenge me and remind me just how amazing these bodies of ours are.