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Is Chiropractic Primary Care A Medically Necessary Therapeutic and Preventative Treatment for Initial Mild Neck Pain?
Often, a patient will present to chiropractic-care-for-initial-mild-neck-pain in St Paul Minneapolis with a full blown and common cluster of otherwise preventable symptoms associated with dysfunction biomechanics of the neck.
Vertebral Subluxation Syndrome is the clinical name for this complex of interrelated chronic injuries to the zygopophyseal [facet] joints, damage to spinal ligaments, overstretching of neck muscles and weakening of the intervertebral discs of cervical spine.
Colloquially speaking, when this complex of symptoms has developed, the horses [cervical vertebrae] have gotten out of the barn [subluxated] and are romping around without management in hither and yon fields [causing much adverse stress upon cervical spinal nerves].
The first sign the horses, or misaligned vertebrae, are pushing at the bars on the gates/fences [cervical ligaments/intervertebral discs] are minor degrees of neck pain and or muscle stiffness. But by the time even these mild symptoms are noticed, perhaps up to 20% of normal arc of motion between any two adjacent cervical vertebrae has been lost. This is the definition of a vertebral subluxation; loss of normal motion with the complete motion segment potential between any two adjacent cervical segments.
If unattended by a primary care chiropractic provider, initial condition of spinal subluxation or misalignment may silently progress over a period of years. Then out of ‘nowhere’, when the initial neck pain is forgotten or repeatedly ignored over many years, an obstinate pattern of neck pain down the arm [brachialgia: brachial plexus irritation], wrist weakness and loss of sensation in the fingers.
The purpose of this article is to inform people that primary chiropractic care for initial and apparently mild cervical pain and stiffness is medically necessary.
The center for Medicare and Medicaid defines medical necessity as: “a service, procedure or supply, provided by a health care professional that is required to identify or treat a beneficiary’s illness or injury. And this service is determined by the carrier/contractor as: a-consistent with symptoms, b- consistent with diagnosis of injury/consistent with treatment of the injury, c-appropriate under standards of care to treat that injury, d-not solely for the convenience of the provider, e-most appropriate service that is safely provided for this condition and f-which most economically achieves the desired clinical outcome.”
For my readership who have experienced seemingly mild and transient neck pain or stiffness, I encourage you to settle the restless horses before they break the fence and run far afield. When you are informed and know what to otherwise expect of progression and chronic symptoms which follow the initial neck pain, why not take corrective action to prevent ongoing weakness/instability of the cervical and associated debility of the cervical spinal nerve roots?
Dr Robert C Slater BA, MSc, CME, DC
635 Cleveland Ave S #1
St Paul Minnesota