Thanks for the tips! I am planning to tell him about the possible loose ligament thing and try to avoid high velocity adjustments. I think today will just be an evaluation, as my dentist said any adjustments will not hold if the splint hasn't been adjusted as well. Of course, the dentist is closed today and the Chiro will be on vacation all next week!! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif It never fails!! I'll check in later. Again, good luck tomorrow!! One other thing...this morning it seems like when I take my splint out that I start to get a really bad headache. Since the splint is not helping any more than my original bite, I don't understand this. I sure hope wearing this thing hasn't made it to were when I take it out I am going to be in a lot of pain!!
I saw a Chiro for an evaluation (if you can call it that) this morning. He seemed knowledgeable, but was VERY BUSY!! I waited an hour and a half before he came in and he spent about 10 minutes with me. He felt around especially my neck a little and said since there was no trauma and I was probably too young to have arthritis (right!) that I didn't need an x-ray right now. He said after he did a few adjustments to my neck (low velocity --after I expressed concerns) then he would decide if I needed an x-ray or not. He said that many people have misalignments and no symptoms and basically that he couldn't be sure that aligning the neck would help. He thought the neck could be contributing, though. I really want an x-ray, why won't somebody just give me an x-ray already!!!!!! I may see him week after next, but I am also seeing the other Chiro on the list Monday morning. I want to see which one I feel most comfortable with. The first one has been practicing for 23 years, but he talks so fast it is hard to understand him--and this from someone who talks fairly fast herself! Maybe the next guy will do some x-rays. The first Chiro (who didn't look at my back or overall alignment at all--only my neck) wants to do twice a week adjustments for at least 2 weeks--well, does that mean I have to drive to my dentist and pay for all those tests again TWICE A WEEK. That is over $100 out of my pocket each visit!! Not counting the Chiro co-pay.
Is this a normal first visit for a Chiropractor? He was busy and leaving for vacation in the morning. Let me know, ok?
The first thing that comes to mind is that you said he didn't look at anything other than the neck. I know for fact (and so must he) that if the pelvis - or even the feet have imbalances - this can impact all structures. For an initial eval, I would have expected him to do a full and comprehensive exam of your entire body. Many of the chiros are busy - and too many work on volume - loading patients in rooms and running from one to the next with quick adjustments. Beware of these types - if you suspect this may be the case.
With all you have going on, you need someone who will really focus on your individual case - and not be rushed. I am glad you explained the possiblity of loose ligaments - and he knew enough to be gentle (so as not to make anything looser). Boy I wish I'd been that wise bacck 9 years ago. I'm not sure what to say about the fact that your dentist wants to adjust your splint with each chiro adjustment....it does seem a bit nuts to be running yourself all over the map - spending $ at the same time...hey what was all the talk about money trees??? I need one too!!!!
Did the chiro claim to have any great expertise with regard to tmj care in paraticular. Did he know anything about trigger point work (Janet Travell) - and how to massage the intraoral muscles to deactivate any triggerpoints that exist there? Or - was he more fixed on your neck?
Oh...x rays --- I have a feeling you won't learn much from a plain film on your neck. Likely you will just see a lack of lordosis (curve) - which indicates spasm, headache or whiplach injury. The MRI is much more specific - and would show the condition of the soft tissue (discs). Xray by itself would only be helpful if you had an actual bone problem (ie" arthritis). I have had both MRI and xray of my neck...and do have buldges of discs - and lack of curve. If you have a study called "flexion/extension" done, they can see if you are slipping one vertebrae over the next (instablity). I have some of this as well. So do jaw problems lead to neck problems....or is it the other way around?? I don't begin to know??! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/redface.gif
I'll think about this some more.... in the meantime, let's see what you feel about the next chiro. I think you deserve more attention than you received today.
I just don't know what to do. I'm glad I am checking out the other Chiro too. I think around here all these guys do are adjustments--no stretching, massage or other therapies. They seem the type people who hurt their back at work would go to. As for specific TMJ type problems--I don't think so. I did tell the doc today that he will not be allowed to touch my jaw. I have read more today about how dangerous adjustments to your neck are--even a M.D. who used to be a Chiro said he would recommend you NEVER get your neck "adjusted" due to the possibility of strokes from stretching that artery back there. I'd feel much better if I thought the Chiro really knew what was going on in the neck. He did say he thought I needed the neck adjusted, but couldn't say it would help anything!! Oh Lord, I am at the end of my rope!! I am so scared that I am just going to make myself worse. What do I do? I am starting to wish I had just left everything well enough alone. All I need is to have a stroke or something trying to get rid of these headaches! When I mentioned my fear of paralysis or something the doctor said "23 years and I haven't paralyzed anybody yet!" This doctor actually said that the back couldn't effect the neck, etc. That's wrong isn't it? I've heard different views on this from different experts. Who knows what is right anymore. I feel like I have to rush into this Chiro thing in order to get the splint fixed. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/tired.gif
My Chiro ALWAYS does c-rays of new patients before they decide on a treatment plan. The x-ray will show arthritis, narrowed discs, and even spinal stenosis. I'm sure thee are other things, but, I'm not a doctor. Usually an MRI is not required unless you are in sigbificant pain or are not getting better. I've had all the tests over the years. There was a time I was in PT for 18 months straight. I even had the epidurals under fluroscopy at the hospital. So, i know what is wrong with my neck ...but, I have no pain, so, I'm not going to do anything about what they found on the MRI. I said no to surgery 9 years ago. I have been going to the chiro to keep the mobility in my neck and that's very important ...even if you have arthritis. I have a friend with plates and screws in her neck and she still gets adjusted by my chiro. You just have to go to someone that is experienced in treating all types of patients problems. Do you have a yellow pages? Look up chiropractors and find one that does more than just crack your neck without x-rays. Sometimes they even have payment plans. I know every Chiropractor around here has a monthly or family plan...and it's a whole lot cheaper than individual visits. I pay a fixed amount each month and my entire family can go if they need to. Also, we have insurance, but, for only so many visits a year ...so, i still pay the monthly fee and that takes care of my deductable, co-pays, everything. Maybe if you feel comforatble with chiro, you can ask if they have plans? Don't be confused TC...Be informed and ask questions. By the way, my Chiro adjusted my atlas and ear the other day and my ear symptoms were a whole lot better by the next day. Even when I went to an orthopedic specialist to have my knees looked at yesterday,and I mentioned the crackling in my neck ...the ortho specialist said that my chiropractor should be able to help me with that. There's a reason the TMJ specialists are sending patients to chiropractors. They are the ones that can treat neck and spine problems conservatively and answer our questions. Mine even helped me with stomache pain that endless hospital tests and trips to doctors couldn't. He adjusted a valve on my stomache that was causing my pain down the legs and everything. It was amazing..and it worked. My chiro helped me with the pins and needles in my arm and hand (gone), and many other ailments. My youngest son, who is a competitive gymnast, gets adjusted regularly and is hardly ever sick. Again, you have to be selective. You should not have been treated the way you were today. My chiropractor schedules new patient exams and consultations. He meets with you and discusses everything in detail. Then you get sent down the hall for x-rays and other tests. Then, they come back in and review your x-rays with you and discuss a possible treatment plan. Also, every 6 visits they do a re-eval of your progress and treatment plan. Every January, every established patient gets new x-rays taken and a consulation of progress, etc, What you got today, doesn't even come near what an initial exam should have been. Before you make another appointment with anyone...Call first and ask what they do on the initial consultation/exam.
Gosh, I sound like your mother ...but, I only have your best intereste at heart TC!
Thank you so much for the information. I already have another appt with the "other" guy on Monday. I will ask for x-rays and mention the spinal stenosis--it is what I had been worried about, but couldn't remember the name. I guess I will just have to say that, while I don't want any more radiation than necessary, I will not be adjusted without x-rays first. I am going to tell this guy I want an evaluation of overall alignment too. I told the other guy, but he just dismissed it and said that the back couldn't effect the jaw and vice-versa. Chiros DO do the overall alignment thing, don't they? This is the whole reason my doctor sent me. It sounds like your Chiro is so wonderful. I wish I could go to him. Does he know of anyone (not his patients I'm sure) that has had a stroke of other problems after having a neck adjustment? I know it HAS happened. I just don't want to be the 1 in 500,000 or whatever.
I hope your son feels better. Take care of yourself.
I agree with Navy in that if you are going to embark on chiropractic treatment.... be very selective. There are too many in this field that are running a mill - you do not want this. If you can't find the right fit with these chiros - another thing you can consider is a physical therapist who practices MANNUAL THERAPY. These guys have an osteopathic orientation and do know a lot about alignment and even do mannual adjusments. It's not the pt who puts you on heat, ice and tells you to walk on the treadmill. It's a one on one appointment -usually 45 minutes long... they do soft tissue massage (or myofacial release) - and then check your alignment. Now a good chiro will do this as well. I have been to both pts and chiros who understand the concept of alignment - and the whole body. As I've said, unfortunately - I'm so damn loose that I don't hold the adjustments -- but I've experienced them - and they are amazing. You will likely hold your adjustments and do well. I wish you lived here... and I could help guide you this way. Today's 10 minute appointment with the chiro was an insult. I really didn't want to be that harsh before --- but you do deserve better. One thing you could ask when you are calling chiros is if they are familiar with Janet Travels work (myofacial pain and trigger points) - the ones that are, would most likely not be the 3 second crack - your done type.
Hope some of that was helpful... hang in there --- we will figure this out!! I'll be sure to squeak in as many questions as I can tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!
That scare has been around for years. Chances of that happening are very very far in between. I've had surgeons tell me that Chiropractic wouldn't be beneficial to me ...some even tried to scare me. I don't think they like to advocate anything but surgery. Well, I was in pretty bad shape 9 years ago, when they wanted to do surgery ...and 9 years later, I haven't had surgery and I'm moving my neck fine, and painfree. The crackling only started about 6 months ago ...and I'm convinced ir's related to the TMJ and muscle spasms. There is no arthritis showing up on my neck x-rays. A good chiropractor will do a complete exam and x-rays and medical history before starting any type of treatment. They want to know exactly what your concerns are and health condition. They will be careful with your adjustments if you are prone to ligament problems. There are many ways to adjust or treat you.
[This message has been edited by navy2 (edited 07-12-2003).]
What RobynRose said is right. There are really good PT's that do manual therapy, myofacial release, and trigger point therapy. as well as massage and hands on work on your neck (for the crackling too). I've had all of that at one time or another ...and more. Also, if you can find a PT facility with a pool ...It is much easier on the joints to do the exercises in the water ...Noooo not the jaw exercises though ...LOL ..Just the ones for your spine, etc.
I guess I've been fortunate to always go to PT's that are top notch and have really great training in all areas. I guess the main thing to remember is to call and ask questions before you go to the appointment and open your pocket book.
Good luck with your appointment on Monday. If you can. call them first and ask questions about the consultation/exam. You sure don't want to get into another 10 minutes and your done situation!
I really do appreciate your understanding and advice. Navy, you can edit that other post if it makes you feel more comfortable. I will check that out. Take care ladies and feel better fast!! That last sounded kinda like a commercial didn't it. Sorry!!
If you need a third opinion, STeve Kraus at Physiotherapist Assoc. is well thought of in the "pain" community of docs. He is well versed in TMD and may have some connections to Shepherd Spinal Clinic (not positive about this). He is a physical therapist., does TENS, some trigger point and the rehab type of work. If it helps to have another option, consider him. My best.