Prolapsed disc in the lower neck case study

Shuma, a 32 year old businessman, was involved in a car accident. He had a side impact collision, which affected his neck at the time but after a couple of sessions of physiotherapy, he thought symptoms had cleared up. He returned to the gym after a lay-off from the injury but with each session his neck pain became worse and then after the eighth session, he began to experience strong pain radiating down the right arm.

On the first visit he was barely able to lie down. He had some loss of strength in the right arm and loss of reflexes. I wrote to Shuma’s GP and suggested he organise an urgent MRI scan. As suspected, this revealed a disc prolapse in the lower neck. The orthopaedic specialist was not keen to operate as it is a risky and technically difficult procedure.

With some time off work and painkillers, symptoms had calmed down to a point where he could now return for osteopathic treatment. By addressing the tension in the upper back and around the shoulder blade, I created enough ‘space’ for the symptoms to further improve. With the addition of corrective exercises, he was able to return to work and finally to go back to the gym with a more balanced programme of weight training.