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Neck pain worse after seeing chiro!

I was rear-ended almost a month ago. Didn't have any pain or obvious symptoms but went to a chiro to get checked out just to back sure. He did elec-stem / some manipulations to my back and neck for a few weeks and I was doing fine. Then 5 days ago I slept on the sofa and woke up with a stiff neck that limited my mobility. I applied a heating pad for 45 minutes but that made it worse.

Now I can barely move my neck at all. I went back in today and he cracked my neck sideways in both directions [like before] but this time it only felt worse. The pain / stiffness seems to stem right where my spine meets the skull and all of the surrounds muscle tissue on either side is tender and extremely tight. I've had about 7 treatments but feel how he's treating me is no longer beneficial. I'm looking into a massage therapist to reduce the muscle inflamation along with finding a neck / spine specialist just to see what the root of the problem is. I saw my orthopedic but that was before these recent issues. He felt I would be fine. Neither took x-rays.

What should my next steps be, both in seeking a 2nd [3rd] opinion and what can I do at home to improve my condition? Thanks!


  • My understanding is that a chiro won't do anything without first looking at a current x-ray. The neck is too complex to take a chance on.
    Give it a rest and see if it settles down after a few days.
    Wait until then before massage, too as if it's too tender they can't really work on it.
    Try hot or cold packs, perhaps a warm bath, and try to generally rest the neck.
    Definitely get an x-ray, and find a more competent chiro if you still need treatments.
    You may also consider seeing a physiotherapist to see if the problem can be found by touch.
    I use physio, chiro and massage for my neck. I also take magnesium for my muscles-best thing ever!
  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
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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
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  • Hi MothAudio,

    Be careful with chiro's. I went to two different DC's over the years and was x-rayed from top to bottom by both. Both subsequently adjusted my neck. Although I did not experience problems such as you (got lucky) I later found out (by MRI) that I had a previously undiagnosed fractured odontoid (C2) which both DC's failed to find. Unknowingly I risked very serious injury by receiving cervical manipulation. I have even read reports of cervical chiro adjustments that severed the vertebral arteries of patients which resulted in their death. Get an MRI. I lived with the fractured C2 for 28 years before it was diagnosed. You might want to read my post from this morning Re: Nonunion Fractured Ondontoid (C2) with Increasing Instability.

    Good Luck,

    Train Wreck
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