Hello - I am new to these forums but have a problem I hope someone can helpme with. Over a year ago I fell very hard on my tailbone and then hit the back of my head very hard. Since then my vision has been very blurry, testing at 20/200 at two different optometrist's offices. CT and MRI of my brain and several different tests on my eyes have all come back completely normal. I've been told I've been seen by the very best neuro-ophthalmologists in my area. I have been told by all that my vision will return to normal eventually since they can find no damage. Quite by accident, I was advised by a relative stranger to see a chiropractor because falling on my tailbone so hard could have jarred my spine causing a nerve to get pinched in my neck somewhere that could be controlling my vision. Does anyone have any experience with a chiropractor and getting their vision improved? Wouldn't the pinched nerve (if there is one) have shown up on some other test? Other than the CT and the MRI, the doctors just "looked" into my eyes with their bright flashlights after dilating my pupils. Thank you in advance for any help you might be in finding a solution to my vision problems.
There is absolutely no way that a pinched spinal nerve affects your vision. Adjusting your spine is not going to improve your vision.
Vision is through the optic nerve and the brain working together. If that optic nerve is damaged or inflammed then you'll have problems. If the brain and the optic nerve are unable to work together, i.e., such as having a condition like alzheimers or ms or blunt trauma to the eye or head.
If you are having blurred vision it is unrelated to an injury to your tailbone. I would avoid any adjustments of your neck and spine by a chiropractor if you indeed do have any type of pinched nerve. The adjustments and pinched nerve will cause you damage. Best to have physical therapy for your tailbone injury.
The back of your head had trauma and your eye doctors have examined and ruled out any damage via MRI and examinations. They've ruled out eye inflammation, eye hemorrhaging, etc? I don't discount that you are still experiencing blurred vision but it isn't from a pinched spinal nerve. Keep searching for answers and good luck!
Thank you for replying to my post. You sound so certain that there is no way a pinched nerve (even if it's in my neck?) could cause any vision problems. I've been trying to find the answer to my problem for 14 months now and I was really excited that I may have found a new path of treatment to follow in hopes of my vision returning to normal. I'm not having any trouble with my tailbone now - it was painful for a time but got better eventually. The person who told me this in the first place later gave me a print out of the spine showing that Vertebrae C1 and C2 affect the eyes and optic nerves. How can you be so sure she's way off base here and that I would be, too, to look for help from a chiropractor? By the way, I have an appointment set up for May 10, but now you're scaring me. Please advise. Thanks!
I did some reading and it appears this is a chiropractic theory. I am not against chiropractors. I've received excellent care but believe that manipulation of the cervical spine should be avoided--and especially if one has a pinched nerve. MDs warn that if you have a pinched nerve avoid chiropractic care. Neurologists and neuro-ophthalmologists would disagree with this concept/procedure.
I can understand how it is tempting, but again with manipulation of your cervical spine, I would be careful.
I can accept that if you were hit in the back of the head that an eye injury could be possible (contrecoup). I do believe you. Maybe you'll get more responses on your original post. Didn't mean to burst your hopes--just be cautious with your neck/spine. Glad that your tailbone has healed!
The following user gives a hug of support to californiasunflower: CystIssues (01-31-2011)
To make a long story short, because I've been without income for so long, we are now having to declare bankruptcy. The person giving me this advice is the real estate agent who came to appraise our home. She asked why the bankruptcy, I told her, and she asked if anyone had suggested I see a chiropractor because she was in an auto accident over a year ago and still suffering some numbness and tingling in her hands and fingers and she was sent to a chiropractor a few months ago. He discovered a pinched nerve, and now she is getting traction/therapy and says she is getting better. She's not a doctor, I know, but it worked for her and I was hoping it might work for me. No one I have seen in the medical field has searched beyond my eyes for a possible reason for my blurred vision other than when I applied for social security disability and they sent me to a psychiatrist who actually diagnosed me with conversion disorder. I don't want it to be a "mental" problem and find that hard to accept, so I'm grasping at any other physical cause my blurred vision could possibly be the result of. Thank you for your concern and help.
I'm sorry that you've been going through a really tough time. Well I know that you're going to make the visit on May 10th. Good luck. Be sure to share because I am interested in what happens for you. You might ask the chiropractor if he has any specialists (eye doctors and neurologists) that he uses for referrals. Find out who he uses and their understanding and beliefs on this matter.
That's interesting about the real estate agent. What kind of accident did she have?
If you can, you might want to try researching for case studies (medical research papers) with regards to indirect trauma and/or injury to back of head/neck affecting vision.
I am sorely disappointed of the conversion disorder as I believe that is unfair for you and unlikely too.
Have you been able to review the report from the neuro-opthalmologist? There must have been some reason why you were sent. What was the eye dx and findings of the exam? Any pupil defect? inflammation? hemorrhaging? What was your eye pressures? Why is it you have a VS of 20/200, blurred vision, and told you'll get better? Can you see with correction or not? Does your blurred vision fluctuate or remain fuzzy all the time?
Dr Soyhan Hayreh, retinal specialist, says if you have had trauma to the head at any time in your past you should tell your eye doc whenever your eyes are checked for glaucoma. As axons are lost due to glaucoma. a portion of the optic nerve in the afflicted eye becomes thinner. Optical coherence tomography and pachymetry help track the progression of glaucoma. I reviewed a case study of a patient who had an airbag injury to her eye. It caused angle recession, scarring, and lead to high pressure and glaucoma. It took time for all of this to happen. The glaucoma was missed due to a retinal vein occlusion that developed (hid the high eye pressure). Angle recession occurs after injury. it could be from an air bag or due to a blow to the eye or other blunt injury. Have you seen a retina specialist?
The real estate agent was in an auto accident and had severe whiplash injury (among others).
No, I have not seen a retinal specialist because none of the 4 docs I've seen so far feel there is any kind of damage to my retinas.
I did see both reports from both neuro-ophthalmologists and they both report my eyes and the pathways to my brain are in perfect order. No retinal problems. No pressure problems. The 1st eye doc said he felt the trauma of the fall was causing me some stress and to seek counseling. He diagnosed me with non-organic visual loss. I then went for a 2nd opinion and the 2nd eye doc also found no problems and diagnosed me with postconcussion brain syndrome. I have had three vision field tests and a test where they put sensors on my forehead and I had to look at this light in the machine that was to measure some kind of response to my vision/brain activity. I can't remember the name of the test. Electro...something. These tests were all normal. I know I have NOT had an EMG, which was another test the real estate agent said I should have. I saw a different ophthalmologist on Feb. 2, 2004 and he reports my vision is 20/200 but can find no damage anywhere. This is my best corrected vision, by the way. I DO wear glasses, but they are not correcting my vision to what it was before my head injury (20/25). I do not wear my glasses now because my vision is more distorted when I wear them than when I don't. I can see things clearly at a distance of about 8-10 inches, after that the images and words are extremely blurry. I am sitting about 18 inches from my computer screen and I cannot read the words I am typing. (Typing/proofreading) was my profession, by the way). Something interesting to me is the discrepancy in the neuro-ophthalmologist's reports versus my optometrist and the ophthalmologist I saw on Feb. 2. Both "neuro" docs report my best corrected vision at 20/35 up to 20/60. Their reports both refer to the fact that I can "identify" letters on the 20/35 line (for example) but have trouble "naming" them. Do they speak a different language than the rest of us? I could "see" that there was a black speck on the line but couldn't "identify" or "name" it without prompting from the neuro docs. I don't think it's correct to say my vision is correctable to that level when I can't actually "see" or "read" at that level. The other two eye docs reported my best corrected vision at the level I could actually see and read without struggling to identify what I was looking at. I was in tears at the neuro doc's offices because I couldn't see what they wanted me to and they kept badgering me because it was taking so long for me to decipher the blurred specks I was trying to identify for them.
I have researched traumatic brain injury, head injury, eye injury, etc., extensively and that's what led me to this advice board. I think the docs are saying I will get better because they can't find anything WRONG. And just in case it could be conversion disorder, I have been in therapy for 5 months. I'm trying out all the options. Accupuncture and massage therapy are next on my list. I hope I've given you some more info that might be helpful. Pick my brain if you have specific questions that might not seem important to me. Thanks!
I understand what you mean about the different VS based on reading the chart. Each office I visited had their own methods and ways of interpreting the patient's ability to see. The tech or doctor should note in the patient's chart which line was read and how many letters correctly, and what was missed in the progress notes. So the progress notes should also indicate specifically what you could and couldn't discern.
The Postconcussion diagnosis appears more sound than psychiatric. A PET scan would probably help you more as it magnifies better than an MRI or CT.
Thank you, Californiasunflower, for all your input. I will contact my medical doctor about a PET scan. I don't think I mentioned before that this injury occured at work, so being a worker's comp claim, ALL the doctors I saw were picked out and paid for by the insurance company for my employer and once they had two doctors agreeing on no injury to my eyes and a couple suggesting it could be a "mental" problem, they stopped paying me disability payments. No one ever suggested a PET scan. So, I'm on my own now trying to find the solution to my vision problems. I will try to keep you informed of what happens with the chiropractor and/or PET scan. Thanks again for all your information.
Your absolutely welcomed! I hope that you are not having to deal with this alone but able to obtain an attorney versed in worker's compensation law. I don't know what state you're in and how those laws apply where you are, but if in CA, the consultation is free as is the service for legal representation. At the end of the award process is when the attorney's office gets paid and that is based on a set percentage. It is worth the effort to help you through this process to have an expert and that kind of support all around, if you haven't already. Good luck and keep me and the board informed!
Californiasunflower, are you still around? I wanted to update you on my vision problems. My appt with the chiropractor was changed from 5/10 to 5/12. He took several xrays of my spine and by marking it with a pencil, he was able to show me that my C1 vertebrae is out of alignment. I asked him if it could be caused by my fall over a year ago and he said he can't PROVE it, but it certainly could have happened at that time because falling like I did and hitting my head was a form of whiplash injury. There is about a 3 mm difference in the open space at C1 on the left side of my neck versus the right. He made an adjustment on my neck and advised me to come back several times to see if it helps me with my vision. I didn't ask him, but do you think he will take xrays again to see if there has been any change after a few "adjustments"? It didn't hurt, it was just a little scary to hear my neck cracking. He knows of people who have been helped with vision problems after receiving these adjustments and I have documentation I've gotten off the internet. I'm really praying this will help and I did have a lawyer helping me with my worker's comp case until an independent medical examiner appointment by the worker's comp board of the state of Indiana (where I live) also reported he could find no injury to my eyes. Several people I have talked with (in and out of the medical profession) believe I should have been evaluated by a chiropractor early on in my injury since my eyes appeared normal. I'm excited about this and hope it does me some good. I will be contacting my lawyer if my vision does improve and maybe I'll sue the socks off the insurance company for not exploring ALL the medical options they could have. I even had a nurse caseworker assigned to me to coordinate my care and she didn't think of a chiropractor. I will continue to keep you posted. If anything I've said catches your interest, please reply, good or bad. I'm very interested in what you have to say. Thanks!
The IME was for the employer's side, right? So they are going to try and find nothing wrong with you, although they have to be ethical about it as well.
I'm thinking it appears that this procedure may be considered experimental so the medical personnel handling your case may avoid referring you for experimental services. But, if other medical professionals have documented in the progress notes that you should be referred for chiropractic treatment, and the chiropractor's xrays show an injury, those report(s) need to go to your worker's compensation attorney to document injury and medical necessity for care. Is your attorney aware of your care with the Chiropractor? I think he/she needs to know what you're doing right now and be aware of any action you pursue so they can represent fully.
Also, if the Chiropractor is aware of individuals who has been helped by this does he have any cited medicals cases that he can refer your attorney to about this? Any case law that your attorney is aware of with similar situation?
With regards to your eyes, have you noticed any improvement?
I'm editing because after closing, the devil advocate came out to play and is asking these questions, which are important:
1) There's no sign of eye damage but you mentioned that you were told your vision "will return" so the medical community you were seen by admits that you are experiencing "low vision." Is that correct? How are they documenting this low vision?
2) The CT and MRI indicated no damage. Did that include C1? Ask yourself how a chiropractor's xray shows C1 damage but the imaging quality---better than xray--does not reflect damage? You need to answers because the worker's comp. people to rule out your claim will be. What is the proof that your C1 is out?
3) Ask why the medical community (neuro-ophthalmologists, neurologists, MDs, Eye Doctors) does not embrace this therapy but chiropractors do?
Be careful! You could spend lots of money plus be injured more. I know that the real estate agent referred you, but still cautioning you.
What you need is proof of your low vision by the medical community and if this Chiropractor can help you, I hope that turns out well. Did you ask if an eye doctor supports his claims? Is the Eye Doc reputable?
Hoping for the best outcome for you!
Last edited by californiasunflower; 05-15-2004 at 02:30 PM.
Yes, the IME was paid for by my employer's insurance company. Everyone was! I don't believe anyone would document anything stating chiropractic treatment might help me because once I left the emergency room on the day of my fall no one ever examined any other part of my body but my eyes and brain. I reported headaches - they all attributed it to hitting my head, which does make sense, but they still haven't gone away completely. I did say something to the chiropractor about contacting my lawyer but he suggested I wait and see if the treatments do me any good. I think I'll go ahead and write the lawyer a letter next week - just to start some documentation going. As far as my vision goes, most of the time I can see pretty well if the objects aren't any farther than 1-2 feet from me. That's looking at objects. As far as reading words on paper or books, I can read large print fairly well at about 6 inches away from my face. Anything smaller, then I need a magnifying glass. Typing and proofreading is what I do (did) for my living, so this sucks! (sorry)
That's a good idea to keep your attorney informed of what you are doing and of all medical providers. Are you suppose to get authorization from the comp. carrier prior to seeing any medical providers? You might want to call your attorney's office and ask his/her assistant who will know this if the attorney is unavailable.