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Symptoms after chiropractic adjustment

My 25 year old son went to a chiropractor a few months back.  He has right sided thoracic scoliosis which forms an S with a lumbar curve and spina bifida occulta.  He was having some back pain so he went for a free consultation.  He brought a previous xray and the dr. took an xray while he was there to compare to.  The dr. felt there was no change in the curvature and that he could help loosen things up.  My son only went for three visits because the adjustments were too painful.  The adjustments were pretty rough.  ( I was there during the first one.  One of the adjustments was to have him lay on his stomach and the doctor moved his legs from side to side.  Another adjustments involved him having to stand up and the doctor did something to the thoracic area which caused a lot of pain.)  Since his last visit, he has been having shortness of breath, and a bloating feeling right under the bottom of his left rib cage area.  He especially feels this after eating.  He also has a more back pain when walking, or standing, and he has to sit after a short period of time.  Is it possible that the adjustments actually misaligned him?  He feels that his left ribcage is actually sticking out more now?  He has been to a pulmonary doctor since and they ordered an MRI and found a thoracic syrinx from T3 to T10.  His pulmonary doctor referred him to an ortho doctor who was really useless.  The ortho doctor is wanting him to go to a neuro doctor.  In the mean time he is suffering and not sure why since symtoms started after his adjustments.  The xray taken at the ortho office shows how twisted he appears, but the doctor didn't really take the time to go over all the xrays to compare. I'm going to post this in the spine and syrinx section also.  Thank you for any input.
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Avatar universal
I was wondering how your son is doing.  I happen to be a Chiropractor and a friend of mine, whom I have known since I was in high school, contacted me 2 days ago.  He experienced an on the job injury, where he was trying to use the pull start of a motor to try to get it to start.  The motor was a 30 h.p. engine and required a pretty strong guy to get it to start.  While giving an intense pull, the motor backfired, releasing the tension on the pull cord.  He subsequently injured himself and immediately felt a heat in his arm and neck which has since caused a whole myriad of problems...one of which I believe is a traumatic induced Syrinx.

He came into my office for care and I did try to treat him, but I couldn't apply any pressure to any parts of his spine which (under normal conditions) I palpated as to have a problem and to try to adjust him.  I normally use a hand held (percussive) massager on the patients back (to the muscles of the spine, shoulder, lower back, etc.) prior to the adjustments.  This way, it relaxes the patient ad I can also feel whether or not the tissues are absorbing or transferring the vibration.

When I got to certain parts of his back, he not only said it hurt, the pain was almost completely unbearable for him.

I was hoping you could possibly post something about how your son is doing, where you went, who you saw or what sort of treatment they did for your son.  I would really like to help my friend, but I don't think his case is something which I can do much for.  I certainly don't want to make him worse!  ANY sort of help would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar universal
Yes, I figured they are the experts who have the most experience dealing with this.  I have done so much research that I feel well informed when we go the the neurologist appointment.  Thank you and I will keep updating.
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620923 tn?1452915648

  Glad u sent ur info to the Chiari Institute....I went there and was well pleased with my Dr and my surgical outcome....no regrets they know just how to help us....Good luck and do keep us posted on what u find out.
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Avatar universal
Hi.  Thanks for your response and suggestion.  After lots of research, I have found a neurosurgeon in our area who has trained under the main neurosurgeon in the state of Florida.  We have an appointment.  My son's curve since his 3 chiropractic adjustments Nov and Dec increased from 37 degrees to 55 degrees in a couple of months.  The Chiropractor took an xray, which he compared with the one we brought in from 2010 where my son's curve was 20 degrees.  The chiropractor compared the 2 xrays and said there was no change in the 3 year period so he went ahead with the adjustments.  We took the Chiropractor's xray luckily.  When we went to the ortho doctor in February he measured that xray and said the cobb curve actually had changed and it was 37 degees.  The Ortho doctor took and xray and the curve was now 55.  From what I've read, a syrinx can be cause by trauma and the manipulaion to the thoracic area was extremely painful. When we go to the neurosurgeon, he should be able to tell if there is recent trauma.  I don't know if it possible for a curve to increase 18 degrees in two months without trauma.  

Thank you for your kind wishes.  Wish you luck also in finding an experienced doctor.  We have also sent a copy of the MRI to the Chari Institute in Great Neck, NY for their input.
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Avatar universal
I would call your insurance to see which neurosurgeons they cover first. Then research those doctors. We are having the same problem in ohio. But with only 8.4 diagnoses per 100,000 people (if I remember correctly) I don't think we will be likely to find more specialists. Also, I have learned that having a syrinx is called syringomyelia. I believe you said before that they already ruled out chiari, and from what I have researched, the scoliosis could have actually caused the syrinx. Most times they do not operate unless it is causing extreme symptoms but it is typically at the level of the cause of the syrinx. If scoliosis is indeed the culprit, there may be very little they can do surgically beyond shunting to relieve the pressure which comes with it's own inherent risks.
I hope your son finds relief, and again I think my first step would be to call the insurance.
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620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi,,with the syrinx and other issues ur DS has I would advise to avoid a Chiro until he gets more answers on his condition....as  those of us with Chiari are told if the chiro is not familiar with all the conditions u have or some not yet seen, more damage can be done so avoid manual manipulations like this for now....

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