Extreme lower back pain and legs giving out

by Liss
(Rock Creek Oh )

Are you looking like the Tower of Pisa? It's called an antalgia.

Are you looking like the Tower of Pisa? It's called an antalgia.

I woke up Tuesday morning and couldn't get out of bed; the pain was like none I've ever experienced before.

I called the chiropractor and got in as soon as they opened at 9 am; he aligned me and suggested a back brace and ice; as well as a natural anti inflammatory.

By the early afternoon I was at the local emergency room; a CT SCAN shows some arthritis around the sciatic nerve.

This is day 3 and I can still hardly move; the pain is horrific and now my legs are completely giving out trying to walk at all.

Dear Liss,
I'm sorry this has taken a few days to get to. Don't panic; this too will pass, but you have to take some stringent steps which you can find at our slipped disc rules page.

Firstly, think back to what you had been doing earlier in the week; there is a cause; see if you can locate it, so as not to repeat.

Mostly, but I'm guessing, I'll admit, an attack like hasn't come out of the blue; have you been getting some warning signs? That arthritic change didn't suddenly arrive on Monday night; actually it's probably not very significant, and the problem is often elsewhere; a red herring.

Firstly, and this is controversial, just put yourself to bed, but not continuous rest. Twice a day put an ice pack on your back, followed by some warmth for a shorter period.

Then do the gentle slipped disc exercises that you'll find in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help; every fifteen minutes during the day, and if you are wakened at night, which you probably will be.

During the day, make yourself get up by rolling out of bed onto your knees and go for a short walk around the house; sweet pee, cup of tea, sandwich and so on; absolutely no house work, and no sitting.

It's time to call in friends and family; shopping, getting the children to school and so on; if you have a job, tell the boss you're going to be away for at least three weeks and possibly longer.

It's a scary time, I know. I've treated thousands like you. Then you are going to need gentle chiropractic care several times a week, and perhaps daily initially. It's going to cost you, alas.

That's why I stress prevention, prevention, prevention. This hurts a lot, in the back, and in the pocket. Those exercises, and some more difficult in a few weeks, stay with you for the rest of your life before getting out of bed every morning; like you brush your teeth. It's a simple but important discipline, or else this will return.

Don't be bullied into an operation; this will pass. The only serious thing to look out for is inability to urinate; if you can't empty your bladder, you need to be catheterized immediately.

See your chiropractor again; ask him to be gentle! This is a serious problem, and riding over your back, rough shod is not what you need. Someone must drive you; lie on the back seat.

Pity they didn't rather do an MRI; shows a lot more.

Try not to cough or sneeze, eat plenty of fibre to keep the bowels loose, don't sit, and don't bend. Say your prayers, usually you'll get over this; it will take at least six weeks to heal, and often several months to settle completely.

Good luck; let me know how you get on.

Dr B


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