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cervical subluxation?

NeckOuchieNNeckOuchie Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I recently received a report from an x-ray I had done--the report was from a chiropractor who specializes in radiology. In the report, he said that he could not rule out rotational subluxation at C5 and that I have rotational malposition from C2 through C5. I brought the report to my spine orthopedist who immediately poo pood the report because the guy who did it was a chiropractic radiologist. He said, "You do NOT have a subluxation. If you did it would be a medical emergency." He also said that there is a big difference between medical and chiropractic terminology. So, first of all, who do I believe? Second, if it is a chiropractic term and not medical, how serious is it? My symptoms are as follows: Headaches in the back and top of the head, bad neck pain, bad left trapezius pain and spasm, left shoulder, tricep and forearm pain (dull), and the right tricep burns. I have burning in my right leg as well but I don't have low back problems. I did have cervical surgery a year ago. My pain is horrible now, though it was much better for a time after surgery. I am completely miserable, I am having a hard time concentrating...other than that I am fine lol.
SOS! All advice accepted!


  • I would think with previous surgery and pain in your head and shoulders would entitle you to an MRI. I wonder why he would give you an injection before your MRI? I would get a second opinion from another Neuro or OrthoSurgeon. Not saying that the Chiro doesn't know his bones but he can't do an operation. My Chiro wouldn't touch me with a herniated disc or without knowing what disc problems I have. Can't your Priamry order an MRI? I wish I could help out more with the sublaxation meaning. Must be some info online or videos. Best wishes and keep us posted. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • What you don't seem to have considered in your search for causes and solutions, is the huge role that your muscles play in working with the spine.
    Any spinal problem can cause the muscles to react in either a protective way or a futile attempt to do their job properly.
    Either way they can soon become very tight and sore, with symptoms exactly as you describe.
    Tight upper back muscles contract and then pull down on the neck muscles, making the neck and scalp sore.
    Other spinal problems can affect the hips, pelvis and legs.
    I have had these sorts of pains for many years, and have at last found the cause and treatment. No cure though.
    My cervical spine is 'worn out,', I'm told (65 years) and is getting stiff. This means the muscles are having problems doing their job moving and supporting my head. As a result I get awful headaches, sore scalp to sides and top, stiff neck, sore shoulders and arms.
    The treatments that have worked for me are:
    1.phsiotherapist examination of spine and loosening up of all joints.
    2. 2-3 weekly remedial (or sports) massage.
    If I don't have these massages, I can't function.
    A remedial masseuse has to learn the body physiology, how everything works, how to treat problems.
    A regular masseuse may have 2 weeks training only, so be picky.
    I think you will be amazed, as have others I've mentioned this to, just how much your poor muscles are hurting, and how simple it is to get relief.
    Bear in mind, the treatment will be ongoing.
  • What does your ortho think is causing the pain? I don't particularly trust Chiros based on my experiences. So I don't think your ortho is wrong to discredit thta report but what does he think?

    Muscle could very well be the problem and they can take months, years or even be a forever problem. A few weeks of PT should show improvement.
  • What does your ortho think is causing the pain? I don't particularly trust Chiros based on my experiences. So I don't think your ortho is wrong to discredit thta report but what does he think?

    Muscle could very well be the problem and they can take months, years or even be a forever problem. A few weeks of PT should show improvement.
  • Kris-NY: Thank you for your comment. My OS believes that C6-7 is blown. It has been showing wear and tear for years and is almost bone-on-bone. He thinks I will need surgery eventually. In the mean time, and epidural is in the horizon. He agrees it is just a band aid, but something is better than nothing.
    Peter B: Thanks for your comment as well. There is no doubt that my muscles are involved. When I exercise they "lock up" almost immediately making exercise tedious and something I dread. I think you are right that I need frequent massages. I wish this was all over with, it is becoming unbearable.
  • Good Morning NeckOuchie,
    I have been told I have subluxations, too. Subluxation is a scary word and I am not exactly sure what it means either. I have had neck pain for years withthe relatively new symptoms of numbness and tingling in my hands. I'm not sure what all of this mens but I am certainly concerned about my spinal cord and worry about being a c-4 quad if these symptoms progress. I know chiros have their point of view and surgeons have theirs. And, of course there is the competition between the two and their conflicting opinions. I have an appt with the neurosurgeon this month but I am very skeptical that there is a surgeon who would tell anyone they don't need surgery. PLease keep us posted as you continue on your journey.
  • I recommend doing research on dry needling. I have severe muscular pain following several neck surgeries explained in another post on this forum, and the only true relief I have had was with dry needling. Myofascial therapy helped some, but dry needling is the only thing that has been successful in releasing trigger points that cause referred pain. Unfortunately, mine come back very frequently so it is an ongoing process for me but that is due to severe complications I had with one of my surgeries following a nerve injury during surgery which resulted in R arm paralysis for several months and permanent muscle damage. Good luck, and I hope you can get some relief!
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