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Neck discomfort/popping post-chiropractic treatment

mikee5mmikee5 Posts: 1
edited 06/01/2015 - 9:06 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a 21 year old male and about two months ago I visited a chiropractor (for the first time) for some upper back discomfort and minor posture issues. While performing the conventional adjustments on my back and hips, I didn't feel any relief. It actually felt uncomfortable and sore. He then proceeded to rotate my neck, something that I've seen countless times performed on Youtube. I researched the risks but never considered something would happen to me, a healthy young male. Anyway, he performed most of the adjustments swiftly, and the neck 'crack' felt even more uncomfortable.

After leaving the chiropractor's office, I left feeling extremely dizzy and disoriented. I felt episodes of severe vertigo and my neck felt 'tighter'. I had tingling sensations all over my body and felt nauseous. I eventually returned home and almost fainted, with arms my feeling numb and suffered a major panic attack. The next few days were groggy and any neck movement would trigger a 'pop' or 'crack', encouraging cognitive decline, stiffness, sleepiness and vertigo. These symptoms eventually subsided but if I strained or rotated my neck too fast, it'd typically 'pop' and trigger the same symptoms.

A few days ago I completely rotated my neck and heard a loud pop, and most the symptoms I described earlier returned. I feel like there's limited rotation and movement in my neck, and the adverse symptoms are a little confusing. Neck cracking usually relieves tension and encourages blood flow. Any opinions? I'm concerned and I hope that no damage is done.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,693
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • I have had a chiropractor adjust me so aggressively that I suffered whiplash symptoms that took weeks to go away. I don't know if that is the case here. In any case, maybe go talk to your primary doctor. They might be able to prescribe some treatment. In the mean time I would maybe ice your neck to help with any inflammation he may have caused.
    It is possible you were borderline with a disc issue and maybe the adjustment pushed it over the edge. I really don't know. Your symptoms almost sound like a concussion, but that isn't what happened.
    I would recommend you go see your primary and whatever you do, don't go back to the chiropractor.
    Keep us posted, and good luck!
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  • I think that all adjustments carry a risk especially when things can change in your back fairly quickly. Did the chiropractor do any pre-assessments before making adjustments? xrays are done by some. But a pre-assessment should have been done before just going in there and doing the adjustments. I'm guessing that there was a reason that you started going to a chiro in the first place so maybe the adjustment was just enough to make it worse. In lots of cases though it takes several adjustments before you really feel the difference. Not all chiro's are bad. There are a lot of them that are good out there. I started seeing one last year because of reoccurring neck and shoulder pain and spasms. I also had some minor issues in my mid to lower back. He was able to help me with those but not the neck and shoulder. He was very gentle and worked hard to figure the shoulder and neck issues. He wasn't able to but he was doing more than my PCP ever did. My Chiro ordered an MRI and found that I had a severely herniated disk in my neck. He referred me to a neuro spine specialist and I ended up having surgery. I am seeing him again now 9 months after my surgery. He is being careful as ever. Maybe chiro's like this may not be that common everywhere but there are good ones out there. Having said this though, he had someone fill in while he was on vacation and I swear the guy was trying to kill me and just about snapped my neck completely. And you better believe I told the regular chiro about it. I wont have adjustments by anyone else.
    I do believe that even though you don't want to have another adjustment, you should at least talk to the chiro about what happened after the adjustment. They should be aware of it. I also think talking to your PCP is a good idea also. If they are not willing to do anything then possibly going to the ER might be the only way for you to get something done if it gets really bad. You really shouldn't have to go that route but I know how a lot of doctors work lately.
    Tracie C
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