Posted On: June 8, 2017
This is the thirteenth case review from my past practice. I am Dr. David Johnson a chiropractor and physical therapist in Highland Park and Lake Bluff. I am the director of North Shore Spinal and Sports Rehabilitation. I started as a chiropractor in Lake Forest, Il in 1988. I integrated physical therapy into my practice in 1990.
This is case of a 60 year-old male that was involved in a low speed rear impact collision. He was a freelance pharmacist that was hit from behind when he was stopped in traffic. He had been a patient in the past at my clinic for previous episodes of lower back pain and had always responded to physical therapy and chiropractic manipulations in the past. He was an ideal patient, one that would do all the exercises and postural modifications that we would prescribe.
He was bothered this time with neck pain and with some upper extremity referral which started after the motor vehicle accident. He did not go to the ER but rather came to North Shore Spinal and Sports Rehabilitation in Lake Bluff. I examined him. He had very limited cervical ranges of motion with pain on extension and right rotation. When I combined these movements together it referred pain down his right upper extremity. Neurologic testing showed slight loss of sensation of his right hand over the thumb and index finger. His deep tendon reflexes and pathologic reflexes were normal. He also had signs of a left rotator cuff impingement syndrome.
On further questioning he reported he was turned to change the radio station with his left hand on the steering wheel and his head turned to look down at the radio. This positioning helped me understand how he got injured.
I took x-rays and he had a fair amount of degenerative changes in his cervical spine and some osteoarthritis of his shoulder in a joint called the acromioclavicular joint.
I diagnosed him with a cervical acceleration/deceleration injury (whiplash) leading to a right cervical radiculopathy and left rotator cuff impingement syndrome.
I put him into therapy where we performed manual traction to his cervical spine, home traction, progressed him into ranges of motion, cervical strengthening, rotator cuff and scapulothoracic exercises. This was combined with manual therapy to include myofascial release and manipulation. He did not respond as well as hoped but unfortunately that can occur with whiplash cases. He made some gains but never got back to the level of function he once had.
An MRI of his cervical spine showed he had degenerative disc bulging but no distinct herniation. We treated for months and arranged to have epidurals and did everything in our power to get him out of pain. He consulted with neurosurgeons and they did not have an option for him.
I sent him to a chronic pain treatment center but in the end he had to learn to live with his chronic pain. To add insult to injury he lost his court case and ended up paying his own medical expenses. To his honor he paid everyone that tried to help him. I run into him from time to time and he still has the pain but he has accepted it and always is appreciative for the help I provided him and that I did my best in court to present the facts of his case.
North Shore, Dr. J and the staff were great. I started out with a pinched cervical nerve which was causing extreme pain and numbness in my arm. Surgery had been ruled out by the neurosurgeon after an MRI. My physical recommended a regimen of physical therapy which I undertook with NorthShore in November. At that time I had consistent pain in the range of 8-9 out of 10. I had trouble sleeping, driving and performing most normal daily activities due to the constant pain. I have now been through two series of physical therapy sessions with North Shore over a couple of months and the pain and numbness are completely gone. Based on my experience I would highly recommend North Shore for physical therapy treatment and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful as a bonus! Jon HeintzelmanJonathan Heintzelman
All aspects of the rehab program were done with professionalism. Intake evaluation, exercise program, massage therapy and exit evaluation were all excellent and yielded excellent results for me. All of the staff are friendly and efficient. Dr. Johnson, Jeannette, Cyprian and Mary are friendly and make an otherwise difficult experience much more tolerable. I have gone to them on two occasions over the last several years for different injuries and, in both instances, my problems were resolved. I highly recommend them.Lee Eddy
I was a patient 6 years ago, with lower back pain and herniation. My PT was excellent and I was back to exercise and resolution of pain and herniation. Recently I have had hip pain and and tingling down my leg. My evaluation with DR Johnson was very thorough and spot on. The PT with Dre was incredible. I am now pain free with a resolution of the tingling as well. I will definitely return for any future problems that may arise!Barbara Bank