On May 3, 2018, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the resolution of neck pain and hand numbness in a patient undergoing chiropractic care. According to the study authors, neck pain is one of the more common pain conditions in the general population.
Estimates show that at any given time, nearly 13% of the population suffers with some form of neck pain. Overall, nearly 50% of the population will suffer with neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain is one of the more common condition that people seek chiropractors for. About 25% of all patients that see chiropractors did so because of neck pain.
According to the study, neck pain is more common in people whose work requires performing repetitive static tasks, or physically demanding work. Neck pain is also more common in people who have had previous neck trauma, and those suffering from other conditions such as depression, low back pain, or headaches.
In this case, a 28-year-old man suffering with neck pain and tingling in his hands sought chiropractic care. The man reported that his neck pain started about five months earlier, though he could not recall any particular incident that brought on the problem. He also reported that he did not remember when his hands started tingling. He had not seen any other type of doctor, and was not taking any medications for these conditions.
The man described the neck pain as a dull achy kind of pain in his lower neck that he rated as only a 2 out of 10 in severity. He noted that his hands felt like pins and needles with the feeling be more prevalent in his right hand. Although he felt that these annoying conditions did not prevent him from performing normal daily activities, he did state that these issues prevented him from working out as hard as he used to.
An examination was performed at the chiropractic office which included checking his vital signs, orthopedic and neurological exams, cervical static and motion palpation, along with range of motion tests in both the cervical and lumbar region. A postural analysis did reveal some abnormal positioning as well as limitations is specific motions of some neck vertebrae. Cervical thermographic scans showed irregularities. X-rays of the neck showed malpositioning of cervical vertebrae in addition to moderate disc degeneration and spurring in the neck.
Based upon the finding of the examination and x-rays, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started. After the first adjustment, at his subsequent visit the patient did not report any improvement. Care was continued based upon specific findings that indicated the need for a chiropractic adjustment.
On the sixth visit, the man reported that his neck pain was gone and he only had some minor neck stiffness. He also stated that his hand tingling had reduced to only occasional tingling in his fingers. By the seventh visit, the man reported no neck pain or stiffness, and his hand tingling was completely gone. He elected to continue chiropractic care for correction of subluxations.