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CASE STUDIES: Pain in Neck, Back, Limbs and Joints

Please 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.

Female, Age 28, Neck and Back Pain

This 28-year-old female was involved in an auto accident on the freeway travelling at 75 mph. She swerved to miss an animal in the road and lost control of her car. She was examined after the accident by her doctor and was told everything was fine; however she struggled with chronic neck and back pain that was not present before the accident. She worked as a photographer and often had difficulty working and carrying her cameras due to pain. After having constant pain for 6 months, she underwent an upper cervical chiropractic examination.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was mostly likely caused by her auto accident. After two months of treatment, all of her pain was gone and her spine was stabilized.

Male, Age 33, Headaches, Vertigo, Blurred Vision, Neck Pain

This 33-year-old male was rear-ended in an auto accident 5 years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. After the accident, he felt his neck stiffen up and he suddenly required glasses to read due to blurred vision. Prior to the accident, no visual problems were reported. Three years later, he reinjured his neck when his neck suddenly spasmed to the point that he could not turn his head. He began suffering from a number of new symptoms including headaches, dizziness, worsening of his visual acuity and increased blurring, pain shooting down his right arm, loss of balance and coordination, "cracking" sounds in his neck, muscle twitches in his left leg, pressure at the base of his skull, and pain between his shoulder blades.

During his upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from his auto accident. After the first upper cervical adjustment, he reported a substantial improvement in all of his symptoms. Within one month, all of his symptoms were greatly improved. By two months, all symptoms were absent, including the blurred vision and the need for glasses. After his neck stabilized, he reported feeling the best he had felt in 2 years!

Male, Age 34, Severe Neck Pain, Headaches, Dizziness

This 34-year-old male was hit hard on the head by his garage door. One month later, he woke up with severe pain in his neck and base of his skull, headaches, and dizziness. He went to the emergency room and multiple tests were performed including MRI's, Xrays, and a spinal tap. He was told that his tests were normal and he was prescribed heavy doses of pain killers including vicadin, which did not alleviate his pain. After seeing a neurosurgeon, who told him there was nothing that could be done, he saw another neurologist, who prescribed more pain medications and steroid anti-inflammatories. His pain was rated as a 5 or 6 on the 1-10 scale daily and the pain medications weren't working. Finally, he took Imitrex, which lessened the pain somewhat, so he took one every morning and one every night. He eventually sought help from a naturopath who referred him for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

At the time of his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, he had suffered from daily neck pain, headaches, and dizziness for six straight weeks. During his evaluation, an injury in his upper neck was discovered, which had likely stemmed from the blow to the head by the garage door. Within a month of care, all of his pain, headaches, and dizziness were absent. Months later, his condition remained stable and no symptoms were reported.

Female, Age 21, Low Back Pain

This 21-year-old collegiate tennis player had been unable to train or participate on her school's tennis team for the past three years due to severe, chronic low back pain. She had sought assistance from all of the health care practitioners available to her from her university's athletic program (including medical treatment, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, etc.) but still was unable to play tennis at all.

During her initial evaluation, a spinal injury was discovered with the primary site being located at her upper neck. The injury was causing her entire spine to remain in a stressed, weakened posture that put tremendous stress upon her lower back vertebrae. Once she began upper cervical care, she began noticing a lessening in her lower back pain. As she continued to improve, she began a rehabilitative training program with her university's athletic trainer and began to get herself back into shape. Eventually, all of her symptoms were absent, and her strength was back through her training, so she was able to participate in her final tennis season as a senior.

Male, Age 7, Severe Leg Pains

This 7-year-old male suffered from severe, unexplained leg pains since he could verbalize around age 2. He had undergone many evaluations but a specific diagnosis was never rendered. The pains typically occurred at night, were severe, and caused the boy to experience extreme fits of screaming and crying. After undergoing allergy testing to elimate certain foods that caused reactions as well as taking homeopathic remedies, the legs pains decreased in frequency to approximately two episodes per month.

During the boy's initial evaluation, an injury in his upper cervical spine was discovered. When questioned as to possible causes of the injury, his mother recalled a fall at age 2 in which he hit his head hard against the floor as well as a difficult birth in which the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

After upper cervical care was administered, no further leg pains occurred.

Male, Age 29, Achilles Tendonitis, Uneven Running Gait

This 29-year-old runner had run during high school and college, but had to stop in recent years due to chronic achilles tendonitis. He had tried many forms of treatment but was unable to alleviate the pain unless he stopped running altogether. He also described himself an having an "uneven gait" when he ran. He claimed that he felt like he struck harder on one leg compared to the other side.

During his initial examination, a spinal injury was discovered, with the primary site located at his upper neck. The neck injury was causing his spine and pelvis to shift into a stressed, weakened posture, that was putting greater pressure on one leg compared to the other. After having his neck injury corrected, all Achilles pain healed and remained absent so that he was able to once again resume running 60 miles per week.

Male, Age 58, Neck Pain, Arm Weakness / Tingling

This 58-year-old male was concerned about his career as a pilot because of pain stemming from his neck, that traveled down his right arm, causing weakness and tingling in his arm. The weakness was most problematic in his right tricep muscle and right shoulder. He was extremely concerned that if the problem didn't resolve, he would have to retire from flying.

At his initial chiropractic evaluation, a spinal injury stemming from his upper neck was discovered. After his first upper cervical adjustment, his symptoms decreased dramatically. Within one month, all symptoms were absent and he was able to continue his career as a pilot.

Female, Age 37, Tennis Elbow

This 37-year-old female had struggled for several months with tennis elbow. While she was a tennis player, she played only a couple of times per week and did not understand how tennis elbow could have developed. Once the symptoms began, she stopped playing tennis regularly to let her elbow rest. She also began icing her elbow and receiving acupuncture. After she had let her elbow rest for two months and the pain was still there, she sought out help from upper cervical chiropractic.

During her evaluation, an injury in her neck was discovered. It was explain to her that nerves traveling from her neck to her arm were being compromised, therefore, preventing her arm from healing fully. After her first upper cervical adjustment, she stated her arm improved until completely healed within a week.

Male, Age 25, Low Back Disc Herniation

This 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.

During 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.

Female, Age 50, Back Pain

This 50-year-old female fell down the stairs and landed on her upper back. She visited her medical physician who recommended she get the area massaged and told her the pain would go away. Unfortunately, two months later, she still experienced severe pain in her neck and upper back. Upon advice from her massage therapist, she sought help from upper cervical care.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from her fall. After her first upper cervical adjustment, her pain was reduced by 50%. A few weeks later, she was completely free from pain and the problem never returned.

Female, Age 30, Head and Neck Pain

This 30-year-old female suffered a body surfing accident in which she landed hard in the sand on the right side of her face. The impact caused a black eye and immediately triggered headaches and pain at the base of her skull / upper neck region. The pain at the base of her skull awakened her at night. She also felt a decrease in her energy and claimed she just didn't feel very well.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an injury was discovered at her upper neck that likely stemmed from the body surfing impact. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all headaches, base of skull pain, and neck pain were absent.

Female, Age 25, Neck and Upper Back Pain

This 25-year-old female described a history of constant neck and upper back pain since an auto accident two years prior. During the accident, her car was hit at approximately 45 mph. She was hospitalized for two days following the accident and released. For the previous two years, she had struggled with chronic pain and was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation by her massage therapist.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her auto accident. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all of her pain in her neck and upper back was absent.

Female, Age 50, Neck, Arm, and Back Pain

This 50-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents; one in which she was hit from the side and another where she was hit as a pedestrian. As a result, she suffered pain in her neck, back, and left arm. After suffering for two years and trying different therapies, she sought help from upper cervical care.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from one or both of her accidents and unfortunately had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After her first upper cervical adjustment, she began to improve. Within two weeks, her pain was substantially reduced, and within a month, it was completely gone.

Female, Age 36, Neck Pain, Headaches, Knee Pain, Anxiety Attacks

This 36-year-old female suffered from neck pain and headaches since an auto accident 15 years prior. Her neck frequently "pinched" and caused headaches. After the accident, she was given muscles relaxants and physical therapy for four months with no results. Finally, she was prescribed cortisone shots in her neck and back, which also provided little relief. She eventually discovered activities that aggravated her neck, including carrying her sons, holding the phone at her ear, lifting overhead, or certain exercises, and tried to avoid those things as often as possible. Unfortunately, the pain continued year after year. In addition, she suffered from chronic unexplained knee pain on the left. She enjoyed running on a daily basis and was forced to stop running due to excruciating pain. At the time she sought help from upper cervical care, she hadn't run in two years. Also, she suffered from anxiety / panic attacks for the past 6 months that were triggered during stress, being in crowded rooms, and flying on airplanes.

During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered that most likely stemmed from her auto accident 15 years prior. After only two upper cervical adjustments, all neck pain, headaches, knee pain, and anxiety attacks were gone.

Male, Age 51, Arm Numbness, Asthma

This 51-year-old male fell while skiing. Afterwards, he experienced numbness in his left arm. The arm stayed constantly numb for three months before he sought help from upper cervical care. In addition, he experienced asthma and allergies since childhood and frequently used an inhaler for chest congestion.

After the first adjustment, the numbness in his arm decreased to an intermittent occurrence. One month later, the numbness was gone. He also noticed correction of an injury in his left shoulder-- he no longer had pain there. Finally, the chest congestion reduced substantially. He claimed his allergy symptoms improved 80-85% since the beginning of care.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"I am writing to thank Dr. Elster for all the good work she's done on my neck. The tingling sensation in my arm that I got from my ski accident is almost completely gone and that is a big relief. Even more important for me, however, is that my allergies and exercise-induced asthma are much better. I had looked at Dr. Elster's literature before I went to see her, and understood the connection she made between spinal cord irritation and allergies. In my case, the connection seems to be very much there. My hay fever started to diminish within the first three weeks of neck adjustments, and continued to improve all summer. I've had less trouble with hay fever this summer than any summer since I moved to Colorado. The hay fever improvement is easy to notice, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that my other organs have been helped by this treatment as well. So, thank you for changing my life. " Brian, age 51, October '99

Female, Age 61, Herniated Disc--Cervical Spine

This 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.

During 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.

Female, Age 46, Neck Pain

This 46-year-old female suffered from chronic neck stiffness and pain. The symptoms occurred on a daily basis and she couldn't get help despite trying many therapies. She wasn't sure exactly when the problem started although she frequently rode horses and thought perhaps she hurt herself while riding.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which possibly stemmed from a fall or jolt to her neck while riding. After only a single upper cervical adjustment, her problem was corrected and never returned.

Female, Age 58, Neck Pain, Tingling from elbow to fingers, Headaches, Hip Pain

This 58-year-old female experienced neck pain, headaches, tingling from her left elbow down through her fingers, and right hip pain for 2 months before seeking help from upper cervical care. When discussing her medical history, she recalled two falls where she tripped while trail running several months before her symptoms started.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found-- most likely stemming from one or both of her falls while running. After only 1 month of upper cervical care, all symptoms healed and have never returned.

Male, Age 58, Asthma, Shingles, Arm Tingling

This 58-year-old male suffered with asthma for the past 3 years. He used daily inhalers (4 puffs per day each of 2 inhalers for a total of 8 puffs per day) and still had difficulty breathing while running or frequent talking. He also had an outbreak of shingles on his torso and had been taking an anti-viral medication with no results. In addition, he had been experiencing tingling down his right arm into his hand for many years.

After the first upper cervical adjustment, the sores on his torso began healing. Within two weeks, the lesions were gone. Also his arm tingling never occurred again after the start of upper cervical care. His use of asthma inhalers was reduced to 1 puff per day instead of 8 after several months of upper cervical care.

Female, Age 40, Headaches, Neck Pain, Clavicle Pain, Numbness in Fingers

This 40-year-old female suffered with neck and clavicle pain and numbness in her 3rd and 4th fingers of her right hand for the past 6 months. Her right grip strength was weak and she complained of pain in her right elbow. Her neurologist gave her a possible diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) but had no treatment options. She also suffered from headaches, approximately once per week. The neck injury possibly stemmed from two different auto accidents she experienced eight years prior.

This patient was adjusted only three times and had complete correction of her neck pain, clavicle pain, headaches, finger numbness, and grip weakness within two weeks of upper cervical care.

Male, Age 53, Neck, Arm, Leg Pain, Arm Tingling

This 53-year-old male suffered for many years from neck and upper back pain, tingling down his left arm into his left hand, and a painful and swollen left leg. His job required for him to work at a computer for many hours over the past 25 years.

While this patient assumed that his computer work was to blame for his symptoms, he underwent an upper cervical exam. A neck injury was found so he began upper cervical care. After only a few short weeks, his leg pain healed so he was able to resume long walks after work. Also, his arm tingling stopped and his neck pain healed. He was symptom-free in just a few short weeks after suffering with pain for many years.

Male, Age 25, Neck Pain, Headaches, Numbness in Hands, Fatigue

After an auto-accident, this 25-year-old male experienced spinal pain, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and numbness in his hands for 6 months. After the first adjustment, his symptoms improved substantially. One month later, all of his symptoms were completely gone. Eighteen months later, the symptoms were still gone.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Elster for her outstanding chiropractic care. I had been suffering for 6 months from chronic fatigue, restlessness, numbness of fingers and hands, neck pain, and headaches after a car accident. Upon referral from my girlfriend, I decided to set all skepticism aside and visit Dr. Elster's office. Even though Dr. Elster noted my skepticism right away, she continued to explain the possibilities available for me. I do have to admit that I did not believe that her care would help to relieve my numerous symptoms. After she explained the reasons for my discomfort through x-rays, experience, and acquired knowledge, I agreed to treatment. The treatment itself was comfortable and I could see positive results within a short period of time. The only thing I still don't believe about Dr. Elster's treatment is that all of my symptoms had nearly disappeared within one week -- after only ONE adjustment! My only regret is that I did not seek Dr. Elster's help sooner. I would highly recommend her services to anyone. Thank you very much, Dr. Elster!" Dennis, age 25, December '97

Female, Age 48, Numbness, Pain, and Tingling down Extremities

After an auto accident 10 years ago, this 48-year-old female experienced neck pain, numbness and tingling down her arms and legs, and headaches ever since. After the first adjustment, all of the numbness and tingling was gone. A few adjustments later, she was pain and symptom free.

Female, Age 56, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue

This 56-year-old female suffered from chronic neck pain, headaches, and fatigue for years. She thought the problems may have started sometime after an auto accident she experienced 14 years before. During the accident, she was hit head-on and totaled her car. The pain bothered her on and off for years-- sometimes on a daily basis and other times a month would go by without pain. She tried many practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors and received some relief but still the problem continued year after year. Finally, after struggling over a decade, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her auto accident. Unfortunately the injury had never been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After only 3 upper cervical adjustments, her neck injury was corrected. All neck pain, headaches, and fatigue healed and never returned.

Female, Age 16, Spinal Pain, Headaches

This 16-year-old female was a high school track star until an auto accident. Following the accident, she experienced neck pain, low back pain, and headaches. The pain hindered her performance in track. In addition, her performance in school was affected-- her grades dropped and she had trouble concentrating in school.

Within a week of care, her pain disappeared and she began running track better, winning races, and eventually won her team's most improved award. Her ability to concentrate in school also improved and so did her grades.

Female, Age 37, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Headaches, Thumb Pain, Low Back Pain

This 37-year-old female suffered from pain since a fall backwards on a slip & slide 15 years prior, in which she fell flat on her back and suffered a whiplash/concussion. She had constant pain in her neck, back, right arm, right thumb, right sacro-iliac joint, and daily dull headaches ever since. She had been told her pain was due to arthritis so she was prescribed arthritis medication that provided no relief.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her fall on the slip & slide. After 3 months of upper cervical care, all pains and headaches were gone.

Female, Age 36, Neck, Upper Back, Trapezius/Shoulder Pain, "Hunchback"

This 36-year-old female suffered from pain since a whiplash auto accident 12 years before seeking help from upper cervical care. The pain worsened after a second accident, five years after the first, in which she suffered a concussion. She suffered many days at work on a computer in which her neck spasmed and forced her to stop working. In addition, she was forced to stop exercising due to pain, which caused her to gain weight.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her two accidents. She also had a severe curve in her upper back (kyphosis), which she called her "hunchback".

After six months of upper cervical care, all pain was gone. She resumed exercising including weight training without pain and was able to work at her computer without pain. In addition, correcting the neck injury had improved her spinal strength and function so the hunchback disappeared.

Female, Age 48, Head / Neck Injury

This 48-year-old female was involved in a ski accident three years prior in which another skier ran into her at approximately 15 miles per hour. She sustained head and neck injuries and could not work a full week for the past three years. Before upper cervical treatment, her complaints included headaches, neck pain, low back and left leg pain, fatigue, mental confusion, and frequent episodes of what she termed "brain shutdown" where she could not function.

After several months of care, she improved substantially. She no longer had periods of brain shutdown and resumed a full workweek. She rarely reported headaches or neck pain. The pain in her low back and leg was completely corrected. Her mental clarity and energy level were much improved.

Female, Age 44, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Neck Pain

This 44-year-old was involved in an auto accident in 1973 in which she hit her head on the windshield. Several years later, she had her first episode of neck pain in which her neck seized up and laterally flexed to the left. Over the years, she sporadically woke up in tremendous pain due to her neck seizing up. In the last year, the neck pain worsened with more frequent episodes. She also suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for the last year and experienced depression as a result of all of her discomfort.

After only a couple of weeks of upper cervical care, her neck pain and irritable bowel were completely gone. She returned to normal eating and normal exercise. Because she was feeling great, the depression was gone as well. Years later, she had no return of symptoms.

Female, Age 50, Chronic Neck Pain

This 50-year-old female had neck pain since the age of 10 when she dove head first into a sandbar in the ocean. The pain worsened over the last 5 years to the point that she hardly could turn to the left at all.

After one month of upper cervical care, her neck pain healed and was gone.

Female, Age 28, Dizziness, Neck Pain

This 28-year-old female suffered from dizzy spells for the last year, and they had been increasing in frequency. Her neurologist ordered an MRI a year ago and there were no significant findings. She also had been suffering from neck and shoulder pain. Neither of these complaints had existed until an auto accident several years ago in which she was thrown forward against the windshield.

After only being adjusted twice, she was free of dizziness and pain. In fact, she never had another dizzy spell after her first adjustment, which was over one year ago.

Female, Age 30, Spinal Pain

This 30-year-old female had 2 different traumas 2 years ago and suffered with spinal pain ever since. The first was a fall on ice in which she hit her head on the pavement and the second was an auto accident in which she was rear-ended and thrown against the windshield. The spinal pain had been severely hindering her training and performance as a marathon runner.

After approximately 2 months of care, the spinal pain healed and she was able to train and run pain-free. Over a year later, she still trained without pain.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"After a head/neck injury from falling on ice and a rear end collision (where I was thrown into a windshield) two years ago, I suffered from spinal pain and tried chiropractor after chiropractor with minimal results. I was able to continue with my training (marathon running), but with a lot of pain and frustration.

After only two weeks in Dr. Elster's care, I felt progress. Being a marathon runner takes its toll on my joints- especially my back. With the adjustments that Dr. Elster has made, my running has improved and I can run without pain! Also, she is training my spine to hold its position so I can continue injury-free!" Tara, age 30, March 1998

Female, Age 65, Neck Pain and Stiffness

This 65-year-old male experienced neck pain and stiffness for 6 months before seeking help from upper cervical care. He described difficulty in turning his head to the left and right. During his upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found.

After only 1 upper cervical adjustment, his neck injury was corrected. All neck pain and stiffness healed and cervical range of motion returned to normal.

Female, Age 16, Back Pain

This 16-year-old female suffered with low back pain for the past several months. The pain bothered her daily. She did not recall suffering any spinal injuries other than a history of falls during gymnastics as a child.

During her chiropractic exam, a neck injury was found which was causing her back pain. Her mother recalled several gymnastics falls in which she had landed on her head or neck.

After upper cervical care, her back pain was corrected. She has been pain-free and has not needed an adjustment in over six months.

Male, Age 33, Bilateral Knee Pain (Tendonitis)

This 33-year-old runner suffered from knee pain for five years prior to upper cervical care. He ran competitively since college and often trained five days per week. Unfortunately, he had to substantially decrease his training due to persistent knee pain. He sought out the help of many specialists over the past five years including running trainers, orthopedic surgeons, general chiropractors, massage therapists, etc. He was given orthotics (insoles) for his shoes, strengthening exercises, icing techniques, and a heel lift because he was told he had a "short leg." His diagnosis was bilateral patellar tendonitis. Some of these suggestions helped but none eliminated the pain. He thought about resorting to knee surgery. On suggestion from his massage therapist, he underwent an upper cervical chiropractic exam. It was discovered that he had a neck injury-- which had interfered with the proper biomechanical functioning on his spine, pelvis, and consequently, his knees.

After having the neck injury corrected (one month of upper cervical care), he reported that this was the best his knees had felt in five years. Because the pain was practically gone, he was able to resume his regular training schedule.

Male, Age 60, Bilateral Shoulder Pain, Hayfever

This 60-year-old played volleyball and handball regularly. During the two months prior to upper cervical care, however, he had been experiencing pain in both shoulders and had to stop participating in sports. Due to his left shoulder pain, he was unable to throw a ball. The pain bothered him daily and kept him awake at night. He was taking daily pain medications. He also suffered from hayfever for the past five years and took sudafed daily. His massage therapist recognized that in addition to his shoulder pain, he also had very tight neck muscles so he recommended an upper cervical chiropractic exam.

During the exam, it was discovered that he had a neck injury-- which seemed to be interfering with the proper functioning of his shoulder joints. After having the neck injury corrected (one month of upper cervical care), his shoulder pain healed so he resumed playing his favorite sports. In addition, his hayfever was corrected so he no longer needed medications.

Female, Age 5, Asthma, Neck Pain, Headaches, Sinus Congestion

This 5-year-old female frequently complained of neck pain and headaches. She also had been suffering with severe asthma attacks for the past 3 years in which she was frequently taken to the emergency room. In addition, she explained that her nose was constantly plugged and that she had difficulty smelling. This child's neck injury most likely stemmed from the birth process, as her birth was difficult and premature.

One week after her first upper cervical adjustment, her mother reported that she began to sleep through the night without wheezing or coughing. The 5-year-old said she had not noticed any trouble with her neck or headaches and she demonstrated that she could now breathe through her nose. She was also able to discontinue asthma medications.

Male, Age 45, Chronic Neck and Low Back Pain, Allergies

This 45-year-old male suffered with chronic neck pain since a neck injury in which he dove into a shallow pool. The neck injury also created numbness in his fingers. He also suffered from daily low back pain for the past seven years. In addition, he was plagued with chronic nasal and chest congestion and coughed frequently.

After upper cervical care, his neck and back pain healed, the numbness disappeared, and his allergies were reduced 90 percent.

Female, Age 40, Sciatica

This 40-year-old female experienced sciatica down her left leg since childhood. It came and went and was most severe after exercise such as hiking or racquetball. Often she avoided sports for several months at a time due to pain. She had various chiropractic adjustments to her low back over the years that provided some temporary relief but didn't fix the problem permanently.

During her initial exam, her left low back, buttocks, and hamstring were sore to the touch. She had limited range of motion while bending side to side. After only 2 upper cervical adjustments, her sciatica was gone. One year later, she was still pain-free and enjoying her favorite sporting activities.

Male, Age 28, Chronic Neck / Shoulder Pain

This 28-year-old male had neck and shoulder pain since a crash snowboarding a year ago in which he fractured his left clavicle. After surgery to repair the fracture and a sling for several months, the pain in his neck and left shoulder remained and he felt it daily. He tried many therapies including exercises and massage that hadn't relieved the pain.

After several months of upper cervical care, his neck and shoulder pain were gone. He returned to his favorite activities, such as golf, pain-free.

Male, Age 44, Ankylosing Spondylitis / Arthritis

This 44-year-old male was diagnosed approximately 16 years ago with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory arthritic condition of the spine that can result in spinal fusion. Over the years, he noticed a decreased range of motion in his spine, primarily in his neck. There had been no medical treatment available to him other than extensive dosages of anti-inflammatory medications that caused stomach bleeding. He also tried various forms of massage to help keep his spine loose; however, the inflammation, pain, and loss of range of motion worsened. At the time of his initial exam this past spring '98, his 2nd through 5th cervical vertebrae were fused, resulting in a very limited cervical range of motion.

After the first 4 weeks of upper cervical care, he noticed that the inflammation had decreased, therefore relieving the pain in his spine and allowing a slight increase in the range of motion. After 4 months of care, he survived the entire summer with no flare-ups of inflammation and described this period as the most stable his spine had been in a long time. He was able to participate in a triathlon and felt fluid and smooth in his motion that would have previously been stiff and painful. While no reversal of the fusion in his spine is possible, upper cervical care will keep his immune system functioning properly and prevent further inflammation and fusion.

Female, Age 50, Chronic Neck Pain

This 50-year-old female had neck pain since the age of 10 when she dove headfirst into a sandbar in the ocean. The pain worsened over the last 5 years to the point that she hardly could turn to the left at all. After one month of upper cervical care, her neck pain healed. Female, Age 34, 18 Years of Low Back Pain This 34-year-old female suffered with low back pain for almost 2 decades. The pain originally began during gymnastics in junior high school and forced her to stop gymnastics. Since then, the right side of her lower back felt "bruised" most of the time. When the pain got aggravated, it became sharp and could take anywhere from 24 hours to 1 week for it to return to the bruised level. The pain also traveled down the back of her right leg. She tried physical therapy, exercises, and low back chiropractic adjustments, but nothing helped.

After 2 months of upper cervical care, she was pain-free, the first time in 18 years. She resumed her normal activities including running, biking, hiking, and skiing without pain. One year later, she was still pain-free.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"After exhausting traditional and ineffective treatment through my health insurance, I elected to seek non-covered chiropractic services. I had heard about the positive results of Upper Cervical Chiropractic and the expertise of Dr. Elster through satisfied patients of Dr. Elster. I've suffered from lower back pain for over 18 years that has ranged in intensity from low-grade irritation to inability to walk upright or walk at all without severe sharp pain. Generally I experienced it as daily low-grade irritation affecting my mood, health and physical ability. Medical treatment prescribed ultrasound and PT exercises which were ineffective. I refused to accept that I would have to live a lifetime with low-grade suffering. Dr. Elster was confident that her treatment could cure the root problem. Initially I needed adjustments 3 times per week for a couple of weeks, and then 2 times, then 1 time, and now I've not needed an adjustment in two months. I've been almost completely pain free for over 2 months and have never felt better. " Dinah, age 34, June '98

Female, Age 28, Dizziness, Neck Pain

This 28-year-old female suffered from dizzy spells for the last year, and they had been increasing in frequency. Her neurologist ordered an MRI a year ago and there were no significant findings. She also had been suffering from neck and shoulder pain. Neither of these complaints had existed until an auto accident several years ago in which she was thrown forward against the windshield.

After only being adjusted twice, she was free of dizziness and pain. In fact, she never had another dizzy spell after her first adjustment that was over one year ago.

Male, Age 29, Mid Back Pain, Anxiety

This 29-year-old male experienced mid back pain for many years. He saw 3 other chiropractors that adjusted his mid back area that gave some relief but the problem kept recurring. After upper cervical care (adjusting only the upper neck), the pain was gone.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"Since I was 15, I've had mid back pain that bothers me when I wake up or sit too long. In addition, after a fall in the middle of a crowded movie theater many years ago in which I landed on my face, I developed a strange fuzzy, faint, anxious feeling that I would get every once in a while in public places. The feeling was extremely troubling and I was powerless to try and stop it. With Dr. Elster's treatment, some of my symptoms disappeared almost immediately, like the fuzzy, faint feelings. And sooner than I expected, the morning sore back disappeared. I really like the fact that Erin uses a reliable, technical device to check me to see if I need adjusting. I also really appreciate the way Erin addresses ALL of my health concerns. I really feel that Dr. Elster's approach and manner of treatment is a true step forward for chiropractic, a not-so-perfect science which I have never been able to fully reap the promised benefits of, until now." Andy, age 29, January '98

Female, age 33, Hypothyroid, Asthma, Allergies, Low Back Pain

This 33-year-old female presented with hypothyroid, asthma, allergies, and low back pain. The back pain resulted from a skiing accident 13 years ago and a fall down stairs 1 year ago. Her medication use included synthetic thyroid hormone, 3 types of asthma inhalers used 4 times/day, plus nasal sprays for allergies.

After 1 month of care, her asthma, allergies, and low back pain are completely gone, and her thyroid regained function.

Male, Age 25, Low Back Disc Herniation

This 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.

During 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.

Female, Age 36, Neck Pain, Headaches, Knee Pain, Anxiety Attacks

This 36-year-old female suffered from neck pain and headaches since an auto accident 15 years prior. Her neck frequently "pinched" and caused headaches. After the accident, she was given muscles relaxants and physical therapy for four months with no results. Finally, she was prescribed cortisone shots in her neck and back, which also provided little relief. She eventually discovered activities that aggravated her neck, including carrying her sons, holding the phone at her ear, lifting overhead, or certain exercises, and tried to avoid those things as often as possible. Unfortunately, the pain continued year after year. In addition, she suffered from chronic unexplained knee pain on the left. She enjoyed running on a daily basis and was forced to stop running due to excruciating pain. At the time she sought help from upper cervical care, she hadn't run in two years. Also, she suffered from anxiety / panic attacks for the past 6 months that were triggered during stress, being in crowded rooms, and flying on airplanes.

During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered that most likely stemmed from her auto accident 15 years prior.

After only two upper cervical adjustments, all neck pain, headaches, knee pain, and anxiety attacks were gone.

Female, 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 shoulder.

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.

 

 
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