Spinal Dysfunction

I have finally seen Grahame Brown (Birmingham) about my WRULD symptoms in both arms, and he said it is Spinal Dysfunction, i.e. the muscles running the length of the spine are shortened causing disruption to the Autonomic nerves supplying the arms, hence the symptoms. He has recommended a course of acupuncture (Intramuscular Stimulation, IMS, to be exact) and some spine-stretching exercises such as Yoga or Pilates, and I wondered if anyone else has had a similar experience? I knew I had a neck problem, but as far as I was aware, the rest of my back was OK. WRONG. The whole of my spine is a problem. I’ve had the first acupuncture treatment and, fingers crossed, I feel a little better already.

Comment 1: Yep, You’re not alone. Mine has a lot to do with my spine. Whilst a physio tried to tell me I had true RSI (whatever that is!) in my wrists, I wasn’t convinced because it kept moving… It also couldn’t explain why my big toes hurt occasionally! Incidentally I see a chiropractor at the University of Surrey Teaching Clinic. I’ve had more sense from there than anywhere so far.

Comment 2: Very interesting. I have suffered back trouble for a number of years and have pain in my left thumb hand and wrist, also some pain up to my elbow. Maybe it is liked to my back? Something I’d never considered.

Comment 3: Do you know how this treatment differs from “normal” acupuncture? Where did they stick the needles as far as you could tell? Who did you get it off? Are these people specially or differently trained from TCM ones? As a general point, can you get acupuncture on the NHS now? I know some GP’s were training in it, but is it something you can ask to be referred for if you think it might help? And what about any other forms of “alternative” treatments such as osteopathy?

Comment 4: I went to see a chiropractor when I first developed my wrist/thumb problems – before I was diagnosed as having De Quervains. A friend of mine had been seeing him for a back problem and had told him about my problems/symptoms. I was offered a free consultation. The hospital here was very slow in getting me an appointment with a physio so I went to see the chiropractor. He told me that I had problems with my spine, around about my 6th vertebrae, and that I had a ‘rotation’, whatever that is, and that this could be affecting the nerves in my wrist/thumb. The chiropractor offered to treat the problems in my wrist/thumb by working on the spine first. I was very surprised as I have never experienced back pain in my life! Not long after, I received an appointment with a physio so I never followed up with the chiropractor – was this a mistake?

Comment 5: I am now pain free mainly due to having a lot doing a lot of work on my spine! If my hands hurt I have my spine dealt with!

Comment 6: Acupuncture and Inter muscular stimulation are different. Acupuncture doesn’t go in very deep and needles follow meridian lines. IMS attacks areas of damage and the needle go in a LONG way!

Comment 7: I too am in Birmingham and have seen Graham Brown, but found that the acupuncture I had with him didn’t help. But I have a much more diverse problem including arthritis in my neck, back, knees and hips, as well as various other problems in shoulders, elbows and wrists. Unfortunately, he was so busy when I saw him that I think he may not have had the time to really listen. I am a violinist in the CBSO, so play for 5 hours a day, and although the problems I have neither are nor caused by the job, they are made much worse by it! I have physio 2x weekly which includes ultrasound to my inflamed tendons, adverse neural tension stretches for the arm/shoulder pain, and then gentle mobilisation on my back. If I didn’t have this treatment on a regular basis, I would not be able to work. I hope you do get some real relief from Graham’s treatment: he is certainly a very experienced doctor, and acupuncture does seem to be a specialty of his. Many people do find it really helpful-even though I didn’t; I know many of my colleagues who have had RSI type problems have found it really helped. PS: I have Hypermobility Syndrome which was only recently diagnosed and makes me more prone to RSI injuries and joint pain.

Comment 8: Almost certainly not! I see a very good chiropractor who treats my back and though it still HURTS has done wonders for it (both my upper back and my lower one), and for my posture. He has never suggested treating my De Q.’s, or suggested his work on my back would help it; he hasn’t suggested working on my bad knee (which will be treated at a hospital physio dept soon) or suggested that’s caused by a bad back; or indeed anything else. I have met patients of his with massive manual-labour + work injury WRULD and other injuries involving the shoulder and upper back and neck and arms he has helped greatly. I conclude that it’s best to check chiropractors and osteopaths with care — this time I didn’t as he was so very well recommended, but when I got there I saw he belonged to all the right organizations and had leaflets about the current and new state regulation of chiropractice.

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