Chiropractic Errors Medical Negligence Solicitors – Compensation Claims

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

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Chiropractic Errors

Chiropractors are allied health professionals that operate independently. They specialize in the areas of musculoskeletal injuries and spinal injuries. The mainstay of their work is the adjustment of segments of spine which have become subluxed. These subluxations are considered to be minor dislocations of transverse processes and spinous processes in the spinal vertebra. Over the course of days to weeks, the subluxations gradually become more stable, resolving the patient’s pain. The chiropractor also makes use of ice therapy, heat therapy and massage therapy to affect improvement in the musculoskeletal pain.

The chiropractor, like any healthcare provider, can make mistakes. Some of the mistakes can be minor, while others are major or even permanent. An example of a mistake would be to misread an x-ray. A chiropractor is responsible for reading of the complete x-ray and not just the bony parts. If the x-ray shows an obvious bone cancer, that is the responsibility of the chiropractor to identify. Such a chiropractor must know that he is far from able to cure the patient’s pain with adjustment alone.

The subluxation must be a precision movement on the part of the chiropractor. If the chiropractor over-rotates, he can do more damage to the vertebrae than he would have done having done nothing at all to the spine. The patient is in greater pain and may have greater spine injury. This might need longer treatments or treatment with an orthopedist.

The patient can suffer an injury to the spinal nerves. These are the nerves that come out on either side of the spinal cord at each dermatome. In the process of subluxing the vertebrae, there can be excess tension on the spinal nerves, even to the point of avulsing the nerve from the spinal cord. Such an injury is irreparable and the patient will have paralysis and numbness in the affected dermatome or dermatomes. The only way to medically assess this condition is to do a nerve conduction study and an EMG. If the nerve conduction study shows zero passage of nerve signals from the spinal cord, an avulsed spinal nerve is likely the situation.

The transverse processes can be fractured from overaggressive subluxation. Some chiropractors have a rather aggressive means of subluxation and this can damage the transverse processes to the point of fracture. This can be seen on a post-subluxation spinal x-ray. Hopefully, no displacement or nerve damage is found after this type of injury.

There are two major areas the chiropractor works on. The first is the cervical spine and the patient’s symptoms are headache, stiffness of the neck and an inability to move the neck at all in a particular position. The second area of spinal involvement that is common is the lumbar spine. The patient almost always has lumbar pain, difficulty walking and pain traveling down the leg (sciatica). The chiropractor performs subluxation in the neck and lumbar spine but the neck movements are finer so as not to do damage to the delicate spinal nerves. The lumbar subluxation is firmer and more forceful. These parts of the vertebral bodies can handle the pressure of the subluxation without a fracture or spinal nerve damage.

There is some evidence in the popular press to indicate that spinal manipulation in the cerebral spine can lead to strokes in patients who receive such treatment. After a research of the medical literature, this evidence has been refuted.

Chiropractors carry a great burden to manipulate a patient’s spine in such a way as to fix subluxations but not to damage the components of the vertebral spine or the nerves that run through them. Patients are urged to get a second opinion or the opinion of a loved one before undergoing their own subluxation.

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