Get A Proper Exam First

It amazes me when a patient calls my office and wants me to adjust them without me ever having examined them. Some of them come from out of town and have the idea because they are under the care of another chiropractor, I should just have them come in and adjust them without an exam. Certainly, their home town chiropractor may be a really great doctor. However, ultimately, I am responsible for who I work on. To that end, I want to share a recent story about why it is important before you let anyone touch you, to make sure you “Get A Proper Exam First.”

Below is recent image of a patient who I found had a post traumatic spinal cord injury.

On the top to bottom view-image on the left, you will notice a white dot in the center of the MRI image.  The dot is in the center of the spinal cord and represents an abnormally enlarged space filled with spinal fluid.  On the side view- image on the right, you will see a white streak between C6-C7.  That streak is in the center of the spinal cord and represents the same abnormally enlarged space filled with spinal fluid from the side.  

Spinal Syrinx

To find this, I simply took the time to listen to the patient, perform a thorough exam and order an MRI.  Unfortunately, before the patient came to see me, the patient went to another provider-a supposed expert in personal injury. The provider failed to take a proper history and did not perform a thorough exam and so did not order the MRI.  The provider did however manage to take non diagnostic x-rays whereby the bone, which is supposed to appear white, was black. The provider then went on to manipulate the patient’s neck. The patient reported this increased the already severe pain in the neck. Just imagine what could have happened to the patient (now knowing from the MRI the patient has a spinal cord injury) if I assumed because the patient was seen by another provider that the provider did a thorough job and so I could just start adjusting away.

Fortunately the patient was referred to my office and received a thorough exam. Who knows what might have happened if the provider kept treating the patient when a neurosurgeon was needed for further evaluation? Anyway, the purpose of this blog post is not to scare you, but rather educate you about the importance of a thorough evaluation before you get adjusted regardless of who you see.  Rest assured, when you come to see me, you can be certain I will examine you properly first.



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