Leg pain hurts more than when I started

by greg
(los angeles, ca usa)

Exactly where in the leg does it hurt?

Exactly where in the leg does it hurt?

I have a pinched nerve coming from my lower back and radiating pain down my leg. I started to see a chiropractor last week and he asked me to come in every other day to work on me because my muscles are so tight. As well as adjusting me, he has been working on my legs with deep tissue type massage. At the time it is painful but then I seem to feel some relief.

He says my TFL is sprained, if that means anything? Tonight (day 3 of treatment) I'm in so much pain I'm struggling to sleep! I'm starting to worry I'm making the problem worse! Is it normal to"get worse before it gets better?" Who/ what speciality do I go to next if this chiropractor isn't working out?!

Hello Greg,
Your concerns are legitimate. However, you've only had two treatment so it's early days.

If you said to me, as your chiropractor, that you were getting worse, not better, I'd reevaluate my treatment protocol.

Was I adjusting the correct level?

Would it make a difference if I was adjusting you lying on one side only, and which side?

Would traction, or doing drops on the pelvis only be a better option?

Are there x-rays, and should an MRI be considered?

There are a lot of ifs and buts with leg pain, particularly if you leg hurts more than your back, and it takes a thoughtful cooperation between chiropractor and patient to find the formula that fits for you.

If your chiropractor heeds your concern that you are getting worse with his first two treatments, is concerned, then work with him.

If he brushes your complaints off, and you're in and out in five minutes, then vote with your feet, is my advice.

With severe leg pain, if it's truly a pinched nerve, then what I call massaging bed rest with exercises is often necessary; you can't simply continue on with your normal routine; severe leg pain means you are on the verge of surgery. So take it seriously.

Obviously I have no clue as to the clinical details, but as a rule of thumb, chiropractors excel in the treatment of lower back and leg pain; but it does take that tricky relationship between you and your chiropractor to achieve a successful outcome.

If he's listening to you, and you can see that he's thinking, stick with him. If not, go elsewhere. An MRI would be a good start.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B



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