I had a fascinating case a few weeks ago. A gentleman in his 40s came to see having suffered for some time with mid back pain. The symptoms came on years earlier after he sustained an injury in his martial arts class. He is a practitioner of Wing Chun (a southern Chinese kung fu type of martial art) and had been thrown to the floor quite heavily.
He had been left with lower thoracic back pain which was fairly constant. He was also quite debilitated by constant headaches which were associated with disturbance in hearing and vision. These symptoms contributed to his experiencing episodes of disorientation. He was troubled by unexplained sweating episodes which affected his face, torso, hands and feet.
It would easy to assume there were lots of separate processes contributing to this mix of symptoms but I suspected there was a common link between his ongoing problems. I quizzed the chiropractic student who was observing my sessions; he drew a blank.
I explained to my client that I thought the root cause of the problem was the injury he had sustained years earlier. Once we had discussed his report of findings, we agreed on a course of spinal manipulation, working around the site where he had been hurt.
The first treatment immediately alleviated the mechanical pain he had been experiencing but, also relieved the sweating symptoms and the headaches. This initial session also settled the visual disorientation and tinnitus type sensation that had been affecting his hearing. He completed a course of manipulations and remains symptom free with an occasional maintenance session.
I suspected that the longstanding spinal dysfunction had also had an effect on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The effects that we might expect with spinal irritation would be pain and reduced function. What is less known is that the cord dysfunction can affect the nerve supply to our internal organs (the SNS). Disruption of this system could certainly cause the visual and sweating symptoms
The best part of my job is the satisfaction in providing relief of symptoms. In this case, the complicated nature of the presentation made me pleased to have met the challenge (and it’s always good to impress the student with the management of a complex case!)