View Full Version : How to help partners upper spine injury

10-01-2004, 10:06 AM
My partner has suffered for 10 years following a minor car crash and a ski fall, with numbness/tingling and weakness in arms/hands. This is made worse by repetative actions using her hands and arms eg washing dishes, using a vacum cleaner, writing etc.
Her symptoms sounded almost identical to those I had in my leggs and feet when I hurt my back and suffered from sciatica.
She has been round the houses with the treatments none of which have remotely helped. The Neural Consulatant could find no problems with her nerves in her hands. The Rheumatolagist could find no problem. Her recent trip to the physio, who felt her neck muscles were week and were causing a posture problem, resulted in a course of neck exercises which only made the problem worse, like she had done all the worst things which aggrevate the problem. The physio felt therefore the only thing she could do would be to refer her to the pain clinic and she has come away from there today after first appointment a wee bit dispondant as the physio she saw seemed to concentrate more on what I would call airy fairy things such as how relaxed she was in her life and whether she was depressed or not. The fact that her problem was triggerd by physical injury seems to be irrelevant. At no time was her back examined and she has never been sent for a spinal/neck scan. The only treatment that remotely helped was acupuncture carried out by a physiotherapist. His take on her problem was a muscle constiction of the blood supply to the nerves in the upper spine which are responsable for the arms/hands hence the pain and weakness sensation in her arms and hands. From what I could gather his stimulation with the acupuncture needles helped release the tension and hence constriction of the blood supply and for the first time in many years she was able to feel things properly and her fingers did not feel like as she describes it "fat sausages"
I am not a medical practitioner although I do have a BSc Pure Science and studied physiology, immunology and biochemistry so have an understanding about the body and can take on board explanations from doctors when describing a condition or treatment. As this impacts so much on her every hour of the day, including now disrupted sleep I feel it is time to see if there is anything I can do to help as the traditional routes seem to be drawing a blank.
I have a great deal of respect for the UK National Health service but feel the current political and financial pressures under which it is operating is not always leading to the best course of action for patients.
I hope this has not sounded like too much of a letting off steam, but I would really appreciate some direction from those with experience in this field of health care as to what I can do and if there are other areas we should insist her GP pursues to overcome what has now been for 10 years a life changing condition.