Dynamic Chiropractic - April 11, 1990, Volume 08, Issue 08|
Neck and Arm Painby -- Rene Cailliet, M.D.
Softcover -- 162 pages (this book available only in a set of seven volumes, please see pages XXX on how to order)
On the cover of Rene Cailliet's book, Neck and Arm Pain is a picture of a hand holding onto the neck in an obvious expression of discomfort. It's funny how a picture or word can key memories so vivid that they can never be erased.
While I may have related this story before -- the occasion of this review prompts a retelling.
Some years ago I got a frantic call from my stepfather that my mother was in the hospital. Apparently, she had suffered a sudden and very intense pain in her neck and shoulder. It was of such severity that medical advice was sought and, after a cursory examination, she was incarcerated -- or -- I mean sent to the hospital.
With dispatch I went to the hospital to find this little lady locked into a cervical traction unit that was loaded with enough weight to make a horse cry for relief. Quickly I took her out of the traction and adjusted her cervicals to give her some relief and then asked her to call the nurse. When I identified myself as a doctor of chiropractic I thought she might faint. what i wanted most at the time was to see the x-rays. Unfortunately, the series that had been taken was not complete, with the physician who had put her in the hospital excusing the fault by remarking that she was admitted on the weekend, "and you know what it's like on the weekend."
They were ready to operate on my mother's neck. Since I felt that I was too close to the case to be objective, I prevailed upon a chiropractic orthopedist to visit the hospital and give her an examination. He was discovered just finishing the exam when the surgeon and his staff entered. After examining the chiropractor's notes, the surgeon told the staff that my mother should be released right away and sent to a chiropractor. She was literally saved from surgery at the last moment. It goes almost without saying that with a few adjustments she was without symptoms.
In retrospect, it seems a pity that the admitting physician hadn't been privy to the information in Cailliet's book. Once again I must remind the reader that Dr. Cailliet seems to be neither a friend nor foe of chiropractic. What you need this book for is the simple and concise manner in which the text is presented by work and complemented by illustration.
The nine chapters offer an extraordinary compendium of information so concise in construction that it makes you wonder why all books of this character aren't presented in the same manner.
It has always been my feeling that anatomy is the most important aspect in the training of a chiropractic physician. For this reason chapter one on functional anatomy was my favorite. This is followed by rather brief but excellent chapters on pain originating in soft tissues and on diagnosis. Chapter four on cervical disc disease was another favorite of mine, with an excellent illustrated summary on the evaluation of diagnostic procedures pertaining to the location of radicular compromise. Chapter five on subluxations and "whiplash" promulgates interesting theories on the mechanics of the forces indigenous to such injuries and is well worth our attention.
Degenerative disc disease is covered in chapter six followed by a chapter on cervical spondylotic myelopathy. While chapter eight on the treatment of cervical pain was excellent in what it said, it was disappointing in what it omitted. Only slight mention was made on the value of manipulation, with all references on the subject being from medical, never chiropractic, sources. Still -- it had exceptional merit. The final chapter on differential diagnosis made a satisfying completion to an excellent text.
Professional chauvinism be damned -- this is a medical text by an MD we all can learn from. Since information seems to travel in only one direction due to mindless medical bigotry, we may be the recipients of the wisdom of others, while they in turn are the ultimate losers -- an example we hopefully will never emulate.