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X-rays are revealing...where to now?

Hi there, brand new here :)
I've pretty much suffered from a tired achey back for as long as I can remember, never really thought much of it. I was rear-ended in 2007 which apparently caused more damage than was apparent at the time. I went to chiro and physio and massage until the pain finally went away. I never had any x-rays but I do remember having a CT on my neck and all that I was told from that was that there was soft tissue damage and I was sent on my way.

I went virtually pain free until October 2012 when I woke up in the night with serious pain in my neck that just never seemed to go away. I started having pain in my upper back and right shoulder when I was at work (computer related). I went to chiro and doctors and massage and nothing was helping. I wasn't able to sleep because I was in so much discomfort. I saw so many different people and everyone had a different answer but nothing was helping. My dad convinced me to go and see a new chiropractor who actually x-rayed by whole back as well as my neck. I will try to explain the results as best as I can.

I have cervical kyphosis in my neck (sort of a scary sight). I've been told that this is for the most part correctable with chiro and I've been told to change how I sleep (which I've been working on). The only explanation I've been given is that it's probably from my car accident.

The x-ray of my spine was fairly eye-opening. Around the T-5 T-6 by spine veers off to the right (I don't know the degree...) and sort of wiggles back and forth up to my neck. The most obvious 'kink' if you will is around the T-5 T-6 and makes it looks like my body from that point up tilts over.

Soooo it's been suggested that the deformity is causing some nerve impingement (I've not had an MRI or anything to confirm this) which is causing the discomfort in my right shoulder (sort of near the shoulder blade area). I've also been told this deformity has probably been there for about 10 years and will never be corrected. My chiro told me that he thinks it's manageable once we sort out the nerve impingement but I'll have to see a chiro for the rest of my life.

I lead a very active life and am training to be a police officer so I'm terrified I'm going to have to re-plan my life if I can' get this under control. So I guess I'm mostly here for some advice and guidance. This is all fairly new news to me and I don't know who I can trust. My dad, my spouse, and my father in law have all suggested I look into surgery as an option because they think going to the chiropractor for the rest of my life will be a huge burden and may not even correct anything significantly. I don't know what I think! Surgery seems like such a drastic options but I've never talked to anyone about it so I have no clue. I also feel like there might be more options out there that I don't know about.

If anyone here has some helpful advice, insight, experience, they would like to share with me I would be so grateful. And if anyone could suggest some appropriate boards for me to be on and check out I would also be very grateful!

Thanks in advance :)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • hi welcome to the forums...

    X-rays aren't gonna show any nerve problems or protrusions in your spine. Chiropractors are good for maintenance on the spine but they aren't super good for repairs. I would recommend talking to a doctor and having them redder you to a neurosurgeon or an orthepidest and get an MRI, ASAP! As far as being a police officer, you can but be realistic about your timeline you might have to delay the academy until you can recover.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 04/23/2013 - 1:18 AM
    My T5 is wedge crushed and I broke some ribs through a trauma accident, my spine never got better and if it's muscle and nerve damage and twisting makes it worse try immobilising it. Mine never had a chance to get better because I was twisting every day at work, computer based, so my muscles and nerves didn't get a chance to heal in the correct place. In fact they never got a chance to heal at all. The chiro wouldn't touch me, the osteopath said I needed an operation. I tried everything but had to give up work which I don't think would have happened if I'd been braced in the first place. It's taken me 7 years to realise why I was in so much pain. With a brace have had a couple of pain free days for the first time in 7 years.I had a very active life as well before this, and tried to fight the pain and still do stuff that put me in agony. I think when you are normally active you can't help doing things you know will put you back in pain.
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