Stupid S*!T That Doctors Say
Keep in mind that all of these conversations are second or third-hand accounts. They are reports given by patients informing me what their medical doctor told them. Or reports of a patient’s chiropractor reporting what their patient said their MD told them. I realize that this is not HARD EVIDENCE. However, the frequency in which I hear these types of anecdotes is excessive, to say the least. As a result, I’ve decided to collect these stories for others to realize that your doctor is just a person, sometimes even a stupid person. The following is the first entry into, what is likely to be an ongoing series.
The primary care physician knows her spine cannot cause headaches.
She palpated her neck on her last checkup.
*WARNING* Excessive sarcasm to follow
Yeah, I’m sure those bulging DISCS are just a coincidence and have nothing to do with headaches. It’s so clearly not related to the patient’s neck because your neck is not your head and they are very far apart and have nothing to do with each other. In fact, headaches have never been caused by neck related issues. LOL. Oh and I bet your ability to palpate pathology as a medical doctor, who likely puts her hands on maybe one patient a week, is far superior to a chiropractor who has spent thousands of hours palpating the spine and neck of his/her patients every day.
Bulging discs are a result of abnormal or excessive wear or loading from abnormal spinal structure or injury or both. It’s vital to fix the cause of this problem by attempting to reshape the cervical spine towards its optimal or normal alignment. The normal shape of the neck is a “C” shaped curve. This neck looks like a crooked lower case “l” with a kink in the middle of it, bending backward. So based on the glaring reality that the patient’s cervical spine is horribly abnormal, the neck clearly can’t be contributing to the headaches. HA!
If the patients don’t respond to conservative structurally based chiropractic care then it’s time to start considering surgery. If neck surgery is the only option left than you’d ideally want to find a surgeon that understand the important of a proper curve in the neck, both pre, and post-surgery.
Surgeons are now beginning to understand what chiropractors have always known when it comes to the spine, “Structure dictates function.” As a result, some of these surgeons are attempting to fuse the spine with a curve, something that chiropractic can do with essentially no risks or side effects as found with surgery. In a recent research, study surgeons concluded that:
“Worsening of the cervical sagittal parameters is associated with decreased health-related quality of life.” 1 Meaning, the further from a normal curve your neck is, the worse your quality of life due to pain and symptoms.
“Kyphosis (reversed cervical curve) is the most common cervical spinal deformity encountered, and its correction results in improved clinical outcomes.” 1 This means that if there was a reversed neck curve the patient was more likely to responded better to the surgery that attempted to fuse the spine with a curve. These are the kind of conclusions that every chiropractor looks at the surgeon and says “Well duh. We’ve known that for over 100 years!”
“Postoperative malalignment and kyphosis are associated with the development of adjacent segment disease.” 1 This statement just confirms that surgery often leads to more surgery. Fusing the spine with a more “normal” curve does reduce this risk, however, not as effectively as a normal curve corrected with chiropractic does since the neck is not fused.
In cases where the patient doesn’t respond to chiropractic care, having your spine fused with a curve is much better than just having it fused in an attempt to remove the damaged disc. However, utilizing chiropractic care prior to the need for surgery is a far better option. And the “need” for surgery is only there as a LAST RESORT.
The better option is to find a structurally focused chiropractor capable of making objective changes in the shape of your spine. This type of chiropractic treatment is more effective at reducing symptoms. This can be a bulging disc as well as other symptoms that are related to a loss of curve in your neck like HEADACHES, disc degeneration, degenerative joint disease, etc. It’s more effective because when you change the shape of the spine towards normal WITHOUT fusing it, you allow the spine to maintain normal motion without the risk of surgery which leaves you with a damaged and immobile spine. This damage due to spinal fusion puts you at great risk for more spinal pathologies. Possibly even more spinal surgeries later in life. The common adage about spinal surgery is that “Once you have one spinal surgery, it’s not IF you have another it’s WHEN.”
Even worse is that there is not guarantee that the symptoms will get better.
The headaches, neck pain, numbness, and tingling in your arms, etc could get worse. In fact, it’s so common for spinal surgeries to fail there are TWO separate diagnoses for failed back surgery! HINT: there are no failed chiropractic adjustment codes.
In this particular case, the complaint of headaches is not likely because of the bulging discs. The bulging discs are more confirmation of the glaringly obvious fact that this patient’s neck is not normal or healthy. The two bulging discs and headaches are two symptoms that are there because of the abnormal shape of the spine. This abnormal shape causes excessive wear or strain on the discs and muscle in the head and neck. It’s VERY possible that surgery may do nothing to address the headaches the patient is complaining of. This is why it is so important to exhaust ALL conservative options before surgery.
Maybe you went to a chiropractor and your symptoms didn’t improve or improved very little. Get another opinion! Find a structurally based chiropractor instead of a traditional chiropractor. (MORE ON THAT HERE). Once you have surgery it can NEVER be undone. The same is not true of chiropractic care. And even if it was, the risk of exacerbating your symptoms in practically non-existent compared to an irreversible surgery that is so risky there are multiple diagnosis codes to describe its failure.
1Christopher C. Gillis, MD,1 Megan C. Kaszuba, BA, 2 and Vincent C. Traynelis: Cervical radiographic parameters in 1- and 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. MD3 J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Oct;25(4):421-429. Epub 2016 May 6.