STUDIES: Disc Disorders
note: Case studies summarizing patientsí responses
to care are intended for educational purposes
only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit.
Individual results may vary, depending upon several
factors including age of the patient, severity
of the condition, severity of the spinal injury,
and duration of time the condition has been present.
Age 36, Lumbar Herniated Disc
36-year-old female was diagnosed with a lumbar
herniated disc. She complained of chronic low
back pain (10 years) in the center of her back
when she awakens every morning. She often experiences
periods where she is "immobilized" due
to pain and can't move for days or weeks on end.
Each time a bad episode occurs, she tried treatments
recommended by her doctors such as traction and
physical therapy. She also underwent acupuncture
and generalized chiropractic care with low back
adjusting. Unfortunately, her symptoms persisted.
her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation,
an upper neck injury was discovered. The injury
was affecting all of her spinal musculature down
to her lumbar spine. After only one month of treatment,
all of her pain was resolved and never returned.
Age 33, Lumbar Herniated Disc
33-year-old male was diagnosed with a lumbar disc
herniation after years of working as delivery
person carrying heavy boxes. His symptoms included
back pain and stiffness; shooting pains down his
leg; midback stiffness; and neck stiffness. He
described himself as being unable to bend over
and put on his shoes most mornings. His physician
was concerned that he might be unable to return
to work and recommended a course of physical therapy
and then surgery. Prior to undergoing surgery,
he underwent an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
his evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered
which was affecting the function of his entire
spine including his low back. After two weeks
of treatment, he was able to return to work. After
one month, all symptoms were absent and no surgery
Age 31, Cervical Herniated Disc
31-year-old female was diagnosed with a lower
cervical herniated disc in which surgery was recommended
by her physicians. Her symptoms included severe
pain in her neck, upper back, and arm and numbness
in her arm (cervical radiculopathy). Her pain
was so severe that she was unable to function
without prescription pain killers. Even then,
the pain was still difficult to bear and she was
unable to work or sleep.
her initial upper cervical evaluation, an upper
neck injury was discovered. She recalled a few
falls/accidents in her past that could have contributed
to her neck injury. Within the first week of care,
she reported an overall lessening of pain. By
the third week, she was able to discontinue pain
and sleep medications and reported a marked decrease
in the numbness in her arm and hand. Within one
month, her symptoms were resolved and she was
able to return to work. No surgery was necessary.
Age 25, Lumbar Herniated Disc
25-year-old male was involved in an auto accident
in which his car rolled over at 55mph and was
totaled. Two weeks later, he experienced his first
episode of severe low back pain that shot down
his right leg. The pain eventually subsided but
reoccurred approximately six months later while
playing volleyball, a sport he played his entire
life. He immediately sought help from an orthopedist
who ordered an MRI of his low back. He was diagnosed
with a lumbar disc herniation and prescribed pain
pills and physical therapy. During physical therapy,
he was put through a series of exercises, stretches,
and traction for over six months. While the therapy
seemed to help somewhat, he was plagued with chronic
low back pain and stiffness and was unable to
resume playing volleyball. His orthopedist recommended
disc surgery. After struggling one year with chronic
low back pain and wanting to avoid surgery, he
sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.
his initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury
was discovered, which most likely stemmed from
his rollover auto accident. Within his first month
of upper cervical care, he noticed increased strength
in his spine and less pain. After two months,
he was able to incorporate exercise back into
his life and noticed his back was feeling well.
Several months later, he resumed regular activity,
including volleyball, without pain, and was very
happy to have avoided back surgery. One year later,
he remained symptom-free.
Age 61, Cervical Herniated Disc
61-year-old female was diagnosed with a herniated
disc by her neurologist after an MRI showed a
central disc lesion at C6-7. Her symptoms included
neck pain, numbness in both arms and hands, and
headaches. Her neurologist recommended surgery.
The neck injury possibly stemmed from an auto
accident one year prior in which she was rear-ended
and knocked forward three car lengths.
this patient's chiropractic examination, an upper
cervical injury was discovered-probably the result
of whiplash during her accident. After several
months of upper cervical chiropractic care, her
neck injury healed. She no longer felt pain, numbness,
or headaches, so she was able to avoid surgery.
Age 46, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Herniated Disc
This 46-year-old female suffered from migraine headaches for the
past 5 years. She thought they started after she performed a headstand in yoga class because
she felt compression in her neck and stiffness. The headaches began occurring every 2 weeks
with nausea and vomiting. Often, she was bedridden for 2 days due to the nausea and pain. Three
years after the headstand, an MRI indicated that she had herniated a disc in her lower neck (C7).
She tried steroids, physical therapy, traction, and ultrasound, but the headaches and pain
continued. She complained of constant neck pain, right arm weakness, and pain in her right
During her upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper
neck injury was discovered. In addition to the headstand, this patient also recalled an auto
accident at age 20 that could have caused her neck injury. During the accident, her car flipped
and rolled down an embankment. After only one upper cervical adjustment, she never experienced
neck pain, arm pain, or migraines again.