From the June 2004 issue of the peer reviewed scientific journal, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, comes a documented case study of a 70 year old woman who was injured in a side-impact motor vehicle accident. The report noted that within hours of the accident, the woman developed headaches, neck pain, and a burning sensation on the left side of her face and the entire left side of her body, including her arms and legs.
She was taken to the emergency room where an MRI was performed and she was initially diagnosed as having had a CVA (cerebral vascular accident or stroke). Later she was seen by a neurologist who felt that she had not suffered a CVA and after additional tests her diagnosis was changed to "cervical myelopathy". Cervical myelopathy is a form of spinal cord injury resulting in spinal cord compression. A cervical MRI was performed and revealed significant spinal stenosis with spinal cord deformation.
The patient started chiropractic care two weeks after the accident. She stated that her goal was to avoid spinal surgery. Her symptoms included headaches, neck pain, and a problem she described as an "odd sensation like my left face, body, arm, and leg are hot and burning."
Specific chiropractic care was initiated and the patient was adjusted each office visit for 18 sessions over 55 days at a frequency of 3 times per week for the first 2 weeks and then once per week for the duration of the treatment period. Within just two weeks the patient reported that her burning sensation had decreased by about 90%. She also experienced quick resolution of her muscular aches and pains. In just under 2 months the patient had reported complete resolution of her symptoms.
In this study the author concluded, "Resolution of the signs and symptoms of cervical stenosis with MRI-documented spinal cord compression through chiropractic techniques is reported." In other words, this patient was spared surgery and the quality of her life was dramatically improved