Curing Neck Pain on a road in India

Sometimes cures for medical ailments come in the most unlikely ways. Hearing my patients’ stories about how these cures happen is one of the enjoyable parts of medical practice. I’m always willing to learn something new, plus I like a good story. 

Today’s story is about Mary Beachman, who has been having neck pain and stiffness for the last 6 to 9 months. Now Mary is a spry 80-year-old, but her neck x-ray did show the expected osteoarthritis. I treated her the standard way with different anti-inflammatory medication. She also received physical therapy and manipulation. She really didn’t improve that much, although the pain did not incapacitate her. 

I offered her further options for treatment, but she declined, because she was getting ready to go with her husband on a return trip to India, where they had spent much of their life as missionaries. 

Well, I am happy to report that not only did she and her husband have a great time traveling, and visiting old friends, she was cured of a major part of her neck pain. You see, the roads in India are full of potholes. And even though the speedy taxi drivers are quite adept at avoiding many of these potholes, they cannot avoid all of them. Mary Beachman describes their taxi driver hitting one of these potholes at a good rate of speed, feeling her neck go “Crunch”, followed by immediate relief of her pain. Definitely an added benefit to an already great trip.