Bimnia- youre not silly at all. Chiro care is NOT recommended for MS patients, due to the fact that nerve damage which is already an issue- can be made worse. You and I have a similar dilemma.
I have cervical pain and herniated discs cervically. I spent 5 months getting tens treatment and had absolutely NO relief at all...further investigation (another MRI) showed worsening of the herniation. My neurologist thinks that a good bit of my pain is from lesions- not the discs. My Spinal doc is agreeing with him...
Recently I had a trigger point injection, done by my Neurologist, which helped take the edge off the pain. It actually took quite a bit of edge off....today, i went and saw a pain specilist who does epidural spinal injections, under flouroscopy and got her advice. SHe felt that the Tens woudnt do a thing for me and advised against it, is certain that the epidural shot will help tremendously, but wants to wait until the trigger point injection wears off which is expected to be 5-7 months from now...until then, if Im comfortable, and I am (mostly) then im to grin and bear it....like most MS things! Although there is definate spinal issues- my spinal issues are not pressing on the spinal cord, they are simply herniated...which, in her opinion is not causing the numbness in my fingers/ arm...she thinks thats MS....and she strongly advised me to stay away from chiropractors. (I had done 6 months of PT also, with absolutely no relief)...
So, no- youre not silly....and you have every right to be cautious. Have you seen a pain specialist about shots- not drugs?? Seems everyone was pointing me in that direction these days. I also got allot of info here on healthboards in the spinal injury section...
It seems I've hit good timing to get your, and your pain specialist's opinion too.
I asked my neurologist, he said yes I can. I asked my Chiro, he said no, I shouldn't. It would be less confusing if my doctors would agree.
My instinct says "caution".
My orthopedic surgeon recommended a series of facet joint injections. The thought of a foreign object in my spine made me chicken out. Another doc suggested cortisone injection. I've done neither that, nor pain medication.
Pain specialist recommended SSRI, which turned me into a zombie who could only focus on pain, not much else. So Chiro it was ........
I have mildly bulgeing discs and loose bone fragments, Tens have helped me a lot, although not for long. Depending what I'm doing 6 - 10 days that I can get to move my head free up and down, no crunching and popping noises, diminished pain. Ahhh bliss! I do miss it.
Chiropractic did not help numbness in my arm, but stretching did. (Insane amounts of stretching time each day) With a normal EMG I now wonder how it really relates to my SCI. It is amazing how quickly I can assume something from knowing nothing.
Great line, assuming something from knowing nothing.....actually, I think you know quite a bit. And, it sounds like you are doing everything right. Weighing your options, listening to your body and learning as you go....what more can we ask?
Heres my take on this. As a MSer, stretching is absolutely one of the best things you can do for yourself...however, as a person with a spinal issue- you have to be careful to stretch the RIGHT way. Im going to assume all this intense stretching you are doing, which you say helped, was done correctly.
You mentioned the cortisone injections...thats what I had done, I think. Mine were called Trigger Point injections and they were cortisone and another steroid mixture...it was done between the muscles of the back, in the area where the discs are, but NOT in the spine itself...truthfully, it really helped and it didnt hurt at all to have it done. Explore that option further...if its the same thing, id recommend trying it. You get anywhere from 3-9 months of relief from it...depends on how much drugs they actually inject.
MY next step will be to explore spinal injections- they are like epidurals...only done with spinal blocks which not only decrease inflammation but also control pain. Its more invasive, but from what I gathered today, very common and low risk factor. They even said I could drive myself home- although this one is done in an outpatient facility, because its done with a radiologist (flouroscopy) attending...the above mentioned one was done right in the doctors office.
As for chiro- thats going to be totally up to you, however I would definately talk to my MS doc at length before agreeing to any kind of manipulation. yes, a spine guy (orthopedic) is going to say its not going to hurt you (and usually they say it wont help you) but all chiros will tell you they can FIX what is wrong...most of them cant...some of them can actually worsen the problem and not many of them truly understand that having MS means we already have a messed up nerve signal, and NOT EVERYTHING is spine related...some of it is MS damage.
And for the record, all nuerosurgeons push surgery...which in my opinion is an absolute LAST option and not one Im anywhere near ready to expore. As for pain meds- again, not knowing you- thats subject to interpretation. I am in sales and I have to be alert and oriented at all moments of the day...I cant afford to be doped up, or dependent on pain meds. I have, however, taken a few muscle relaxants when things were really bad at night...they have helped, which makes me all the more cautious NOT to use them during the day. Im too afraid of dependency...
So round and round we go. You said in your first paragraph that it would be easier if all your doctors agreed...and no truer statement has ever been said; however keep in mind one thing: a Chiropractor is not a medical doctor. Your Neurologist is trained much more then he is in nerve damage and MS related pain.... your chiro may or may not be educated on the BIG picture and might only be looking at the immediate problem of pain and buldging discs....so keep that in mind when making up your own mind....also, when all else fails a independent third party might help. If you go that route, I suggest talking to an Ortho guy who ISNT a surgeon...one who has nothing to lose by telling you that this is fixable, that isnt. One who would refer you to a Neurosurgeon if you wanted surgery- not one who would perform it himself. This way, you get another option and independent opinion, not based on what the doc can make off of you and your insurance.
Consider the cortisone injection...ask more questions of how it would be done and where...and what you can expect. It really wasnt painful and it really did help, and honestly, I do believe its the least minimally invasive thing you can start with.....its a start, right??
i wish you the best. Honestly, the very best. This is horrible. Having to deal with MS is one thing, but complications which no one can determine if they are MS related or "something else' is almost too much to juggle. I know- Im going thru it with you. To think that 4+ years ago, I had a numb tingling hand which resulted in a MS dx and to find out a few years later Ive got severe spinal injury, now it makes me wonder...I know I have MS, but would I have just lived with it forever, not knowing? Or would something have happend had I not started my Rebif when I did? Its really one of the questions that has been going thru my mind constantly in the past week. Let me know what you decide....
We are having a snowstom, I was just replying and lost my post when the power cut and my computer shut off. GRRRRRRRRRRRR! So now a shortened version of what I had to say.
I was shocked to see your long reply. I read it several times, iand then printed it out. It helps greatly to read about your experience, thanks for sharing this. You gave me a lot of food for thought.
After the accident I had carpal tunnel, both arms. Physical therapist taught me these stretching techniques: thumb out at 90 degree, hand flexed, arm stretched out and back, head tilted in the opposite direction. Chiro taught me same. The effect was good, I didn't question if there could be potentional harm from it.
also, I didn't think of stretching anything else. Vision, balance and problem with walking needed attending, I learned how to stand up and fight confusion from movement. Streching wasn't a part of it.
Ortho-surgeon would have done the injections himself. He didn't think surgery was needed and said the bone spurs would eventually get absorbed by tissue. Maybe they were, pain got better but didn't go away.
Neurologist gave the go-ahead on chiropractic, chiropractic didn't recommend adjustment. He didn't specifically mention TENS.
Neither had underlying financial interests. I have to say that my chiro provided many physical training tips, such as resistance training for muscles to support my bones. He has helped me beyond the demand of his job.
I must admit, I am sooo tired of going to doctors, tend to ignore warning signs until the problem rears its head and yells in my face.
Honey, i get the "whole so tired of doctors" thing. Not only do I deal with them all day long at my job, I spend way too much time dealing with my own personal stuff! Hey, we are probably in the same area if you had the storm we just had. Im in North Jersey, and we just got 22 inches over the last 24 hours. This, after 18 inches less then 10 days ago....
Anyway, you DO sound like you know what you are talking about, so dont stress any more, Take it one day (or one symtom) at a time..okay??