Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Pain In The Neck (part 5)

...continuing the case history of my neck problem in which I 'miraculously' avoided an invasive surgery and found an alternative solution...

The Chiropractic Concept - Neck Traction

I didn't realize what would happen to me on day 2 of therapy. I wasn't feeling much better, but when the doctor asked, I lied that I felt slightly better to avoid telling my long story of how it sometimes felt better but sometimes it became worse. I also didn't ask him why when I drove the car I felt much less pain than when I sat in the car and someone else drove it. I'd observed a few times that after we arrived at work, I had to bear the pain for almost the whole day and even the 250mg Ponstan didn't help much.

He noticed my company name on my uniform and told me he knows my boss' wife who happens to be the landlady of the clinic space he occupied. While still chatting, he proceeded to give me the warming up twists and turns then passed me over to an assistant.

The assistant proceeded to give me an electrical massage and then led me to the traction room. She told me to lay on my back put my head into a neck traction device, closed it and pumped it up. It was a repeat of the first day's neck bending except that she didn't release the f**king thing!!! She left me lying on the bench, clenching and unclenching my fists and gritting my teeth in agonizing pain, while she went off to do something else. I prayed. I thought about my toes, wriggled them and imagined trying to grasp an imaginary coin with them. After about forever, she came back and took off the thing and told me to get up. I staggered over and sat down on another bench she motioned at. She plugged the same wires on the same spots as the other day and I proceeded to shrug my shoulders again.


Today, I just did some research by myself and I found out what the neck bending device was and what it actually does:


The disc compression and protruded cervical disc is reduced, due to be elongated intervertebral discs spaces and foramina by Cervical traction function.

Cervical traction elongates intervertebral disc spaces and reduces protruded (herniated) discs, resulting in the decompression (release) of the irritated nerve roots. Traction promotes great results in reducing discomfort and symptom relief.

There two mechanisms that may help reduce protruded discs

1. Negative Pressure of the disc spaces that is created during traction, which sucks the protruded disc back inside.

2. Pushing effect of the posterior longitudinal ligament that exists on the back of the vertebral body and disc, which is straightened during traction."

So, logically it's not an overnight cure. As the doctor recommended, it's a 12 session thing. As the Americans say, 'it's a 9 inning ball-game'. You haven't lost the game yet after losing the first few innings. You'll know only when the game's over. Therefore it's not right to think I'm supposed to feel better after the first or second session. On thinking back, that long time in the traction device actually was the start to that opening up of the cervical disc space which is supposed to retract the herniated disc thus relieving the pressure on the nerve root. I realized, about half-way through the 'torture' that the pain had started to ease off, which could only mean that the concept actually works.

We'll see what happens after the 3rd day.

Don't go away, I'll be right back...

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