Case Study 2
Neck Pain and Tremors
Mandy, 44 year old Female
Mandy presented to my office in September of 2009. She had complaints of Right sided neck pain and ‘full body tremors’. The pain began approximately 4 months prior. It was a gradual onset, and thought that perhaps it was from playing tennis. She had been to her primary care doctor who ordered an MRI of her neck and blood tests. He didn’t find the cause of her neck pain or tremors. He then placed her on Alleve, Steroids and a heavy duty anti-seizure medicine/pain killer called Neurontin. She was sent her for physical therapy.
Mandy’s second complaint was what she called ‘tremors’, which began in July. She characterized them as electrical charges throughout her whole body. Nothing she knew of brought them on, and nothing had helped.
In her physical exam I found the neck pain was caused by a sprain (minor tear) of her first rib. Most people don’t realize that their rib cage starts at the level of their shoulders. There are some very large muscles that attach to the first rib. When you have tight and sore shoulders and ask someone to rub them, that is usually where these big muscles attach to the first rib. This injury is invisible on Xray or MRI, and many doctors don’t even know or believe this condition exists. I can assure you, as a doctor who has seen it dozens and dozens of times, that it surely does.
The cause of her tremors, I ventured to say, was Hypoadrenia. The Adrenals are known as your ‘stress glands.’ Please read my previous article called “Adrenal Stress Disorder (ADSD).” Mandy fit perfectly into the category of ADSD. She was very fit and healthy by all appearances, but I knew her job was high stress, and she had several other symptoms of ADSD. Here are some common findings of people whose Adrenals aren’t working properly:
- Hard time falling asleep. Mind racing. The ‘tired but wired’ syndrome.
- She woke up a few hours into sleep.
- Eye sensitivity to sunlight. Many people live in their sunglasses.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness when getting up to quickly.
- Recurrent injuries from minor activities.
- Inability to heal quickly.
- Chronic colds, flu’s and allergies.
- Tired or cranky if they miss a meal.
- Hormonal issues.
Mandy had a good majority of these problems. The adrenals produce a hormone called Cortisol. If you’ve heard of people getting injections of Cortisone, that is a synthetic version of cortisol. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory. It cools the fire of an injury. Not enough cortisol, and your body is perpetually inflamed. I suspected this to be the reason for her ‘electrical tremors.’
I began her treatment with Combination Therapy on her neck. Combo therapy is Ultrasound (a deep heater), and muscle stimulation which relaxes muscle spasm. I also used acupuncture to relieve the pain and spasm in her neck, and to begin rebuilding her adrenals. I sent her home with a nutraceutical for her Adrenals.
I saw her a few days later for a follow-up appointment. Her tremors and neck pain had diminished greatly. Over the next few weeks, we adjusted her dosage and her treatments until they were just right for her. She now comes in every few months for a tune-up.
I realize that neck pain and tremors aren’t the worst thing in the world. But imagine how devastating it would be to be in chronic pain, and experiencing tremors of unknown origin. People ask me all the time, “What is happening to me?” This woman took great care of herself; eating well and exercising. Why would her body start breaking down so suddenly? There is usually a big event that pushes your adrenals over the edge, and things start to fall apart. Fix them quickly and it’s no big deal. Let them continue to deteriorate, and you’re looking for big trouble down the line.