Neck Injury from Chiropractor
I hope this is the right forum for this. I am desperate for help.
About 2 months ago, I went in for a routine chiropractic adjustment. I had been getting adjusted on a roughly weekly basis due to having a rib out of place, but my chiropractor had been adjusting my back and neck as well even though I wasn't having neck problems. My normal chiropractor wasn't in, so I saw the other chiropractor in the office. The new chiropractor was much rougher than my normal one. When he adjusted my neck, he was extremely aggressive and the adjustment itself was very painful, which is not normal for me. My neck was sore immediately after.
When I got home that night, my neck pain began getting significantly worse and I developed a severe headache. I also started having chills, spiked a fever and became extremely nauseous/started vomiting a lot. I attributed the latter to acid reflux, although I hadn't had acid reflux in awhile. When I woke up the next day, the fever was gone but I still had very severe neck pain/headache and was vomiting uncontrollably. Throughout the day, the pain in my neck was so horrible that I was unable to do anything besides lie on the couch. When this continued for a third day, I called my doctor and chiropractor. The chiropractor insisted that my symptoms were normal and told me to come in for another adjustment. I came in to see my normal chiropractor, who said that my neck was very far out of alignment. He wanted to adjust it again so I reluctantly agreed to let him adjust it with a device that applies mild force to the neck instead of with his hands. After this, I had somewhat less pain but was still in enough pain that I couldn't drive or work. I also began having pains on one side of my neck/head and experiencing severe headaches arching from the base of my skull to my temple. The nausea went away at this point.
I was able to get in to see my primary care several days later for a checkup. She seemed to think that the injury was not serious. I expressed concerns about the possibility of a dissected artery and she pretty much dismissed them. She did order an x-ray, as my spine was extremely tender at the base of my neck. The x-ray ended up showing no evidence of a fracture, so I was just told to take ibuprofen and use heating pads for the pain. The pain continued but eventually became intermittent and manageable. I started a new job about 2 weeks after the injury and was able to basically function at work if I took a lot of ibuprofen and used icy hot gel/patches. Sleeping and sitting (or any activity that put pressure on my neck) were both very painful and turning my head was painful and difficult. Walking around was better. I had to sleep propped up on my couch for a couple of weeks after the initial injury.
Up until the first weekend of this month, my pain was getting better. On the 4th, I decided that I was feeling well enough to go mountain biking. I took a few hard landings and was pretty bumpy terrain while I was riding, so I was in pain but able to manage. Later that night, however, the pain went back to being excruciating and awful, almost as bad as the first night. Since then, it has only mildly improved. I have been taking ~1,000 mg of ibuprofen and ~600 mg of Tylenol every day, in addition to using Icy Hot about 4-5 times per day. I have horrible pain, especially at the base of my neck and top of my upper back. I have muscle spasms in my shoulders and moving my head feels painful and sometimes causes me to feel lightheaded. Driving, sitting and sleeping are painful. Doing my job is extremely difficult; I have had to call off work twice in the last week and need help for coworkers to lift objects and open doors. Working out and playing sports are completely out of the question. The pain radiates down my arms, legs and back — more on the right side than the left — and I sometimes feel pain and tingling in my right hand. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I've also had a lump in my throat for several days, accompanied by minor difficulties swallowing and breathing at times. I've also had to pee much more often than usual and have been extremely constipated since this injury occurred. My neck clicks every time I breathe deeply or move in certain ways, which never happened before. I have also had tenderness and pain at the sides of my neck as well.
I had an MRI last Friday and was able to see the pictures, but I am not able to diagnose since I'm not a doctor. My neck looks relatively straight and my spinal cord doesn't look damaged, though I can only see my neck in one position. I'm still waiting on the results.
I guess my question is, what could be wrong with me? Why am I in such horrible pain after this seemingly minor incident? Should I be concerned about my safety? Should I be pushing hard to see a specialist?