Hi, I had a bad fall around 2 years ago. I attended A&E and they said I had pulled a lot of muscles. No x-ray was done. However I suffered pain for a long time especially on bending, when I felt a shearing pain across my back and couldn't straighten up again as the pain was so bad. Eventually I was offered physio but this seemed to exacerbate the pain, this led to me being sent fr an x-ray around 8 months after the fall, this showed a wedge fracture at T12, with loss of height of around 25%.
I am having problems with my bladder and I wonder if this could be the cause. It's not all the time, but sometimes after sitting, or driving when I satnd my bladder let's go and I have no control over it, it doesn't happen all the time and otherwise my bladder control is fine and i have no leaks or anything, my pelvic floor muscles are strong too, but on the occasions this happens I have no control in stopping it at all.
As you can imagine this is quite stressful and embarrasing. I am having bladder investigations done and they are treating me for overavtive bladder, which I don't think is the case as apart from this happening I have perfect bladder control and have no urge or dtress incontinence.
I would appreciate your advice as to whether or not the fracture or surrounding nerves could be causing this.
Hello Kath, Yes, that fracture certainly could be the cause of what are known as "cauda equina" symptoms. An opinion from a neurologist would be a good idea.
I take it these symptoms started after the fall, and prior to the injury you had none of these distressful symptoms.
It's a dilemma in every practice: when do you X-ray. Because I too have missed a T12/L1 fracture in my early days (that's where much of the force is transmitted when you fall on the buttocks) I always order X-rays if there is specific thoraco-lumbar pain after a fall, particularly in the woman of 60+.
Apart from affecting your bladder, it could set up a "Maignes syndrome" too, with pain radiating to the buttock, groin and antero-lateral thigh.
I would start the basic lower back exercises you'll find at C-H, and then look at the "maignes syndrome exercises" but beware. They are quite tricky, you really should have professional help in doing them.
Use the Search this site function at C-H for more help on these terms.
1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.
2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.
3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree.
Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.
4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.
He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.
5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.
6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.
7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.
8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.
9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.
10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.
11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.
12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.
13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback
since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he
has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments
he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?
And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.
Greetings, Dr B. You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.
The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.
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Issue #49: Consulting a locum / Green salad /Eggs Florentine
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Issue #46: Lower backs and ankles/ kaempferol and cancer prevention
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