pain after chiropractor

by Chelsea
(United States)

A more serious scoliosis caused by a very short leg.

A more serious scoliosis caused by a very short leg.

I saw a chiropractor on a Wednesday and my xrays showed between my middle to lower back my spine is slightly curved and behind my neck its straight instead of curved. One thing he did is where you lay face down on that table and he pushed down on my lower back and the table drops down a little then back up.

My back felt pretty good until 2 days later on Friday when I was walking to class my lower back seized up; thought I was going to fall over; and after class I saw a doctor, got amtoradol shot and muscle relaxers.

Today is Saturday and I'm still having a hard time standing up straight. My question is, do you think this is from the chiropractor and should I stop going to this particular one and maybe try to find a new one?

Hello Chelsea,
These are all good questions; before we go into more detail, would you tell me why you consulted him in the first place please?

Dr B

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Sep 12, 2017
by: Chelsea

I went to see him because I have pain in my lower middle back that starts after I have been standing for maybe 30 mins or so.

Hello again, Chelsea,
So, I take it the pain in your lower back is quite different and in a different place that you consulted him for; is that correct?

It seems to me, reading between the lines that you have a mild scoliosis and, at the apex often in the lower middle back, there is often discomfort or pain.

Very often that scoliosis is caused by a short leg which frequently causes fixations in the sacroiliac joints. The treatment you describe was probably for that, and I would probably have done much the same.

Pain after initial treatment is not uncommon, but it's rarely severe like this. Plus, if it only started two days later, it's unlikely directly related to the treatment.

Having said that, after treatment, the spine and pelvis is often vulnerable for a period, but usually only the same day; it's possible that that vulnerable period was longer in your case, and some trivial movement provoked this reaction.

My real concern is that you say you are unable to stand upright; that means you may have an injury to a disc; do you have pain with coughing or sneezing, or bearing down on the toilet? Is bending very difficult and painful? If you sit, gently flex your head onto your chest, and then straighten each leg, do you get pain in the back?

This is a hard one for me to answer, Chelsea. I'd go with your gut feel. If you're unsure, perhaps consider returning, but when making an appointment, make it clear it's for a consultation without treatment. Explain what happened; if shows empathy and concern, and a satisfactory explanation, then continue with the chiropractic care; if he brushes off your concerns, then vote with your feet.

Ask if you have a short leg, and whether a lift might help.

Thank you for your very legitimate questions, and I hope this goes some way to answering them; let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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