Sharp Low Back Pain Limited to That Region

by Mary

I slipped down our limestone stairs and fell straight on the left side of my lower back region. I can't stand up and must be careful not to sneeze, blow my nose or clear my throat.

The pain is limited to this region; if I accidentally reach my left arm too high or try to stand I have the most unbearable pain I have ever felt; a #10 on a 1 to 10 scale.

I am athletic, extremely fit and healthy. It's day 4 since the fall and no signs of significant improvement. Is it muscle? Is it disc? Nerves? What do I do and how long does it take. I went to ER on the morning of the fall and I have been immobile since.

I took 3 Vicodin the day of the fall and elected to use Curamin and Turmeric for anti inflammatory plus icing every two hours. Beginning last night, I started to take extra strength Bayer; two tablets last night and two this morning along with Curamin. Nothing that allows the pain to go away altogether so that I can stand up.

ER xrays showed no fractures or breaks in my hip. Any idea what happened?

Hello Mary,
Firstly, anything from the other side of the planet from the web is at best a thumb suck; a doctor who can examine your directly is best.

Here are a few thoughts; pain when coughing and sneezing and blowing your nose, and also bearing down on the toilet, are known as Dejeurine's triad of symptoms strongly suggestive of an injured disc.

Mostly like you would also have a positive Slump test; sitting in an upright kitchen chair, have someone gently raise first one leg, and then the other parallel to the ground. Is is painful? If not, repeat with your head flexed on your chest.

Secondly, it's standard procedure that, if a fracture is suspected, and it should be in your case, then retaking the xrays after a week is recommended. The swelling opens up the crack making it visible.

Thirdly, are you looking like the leaning tower of Pisa, when viewed from behind? It's called an antalgia and comes in two forms; towards or away from the painful side.

With this kind of severe pain it's best to seek the help of someone skilled in managing lower back pain. Have you ever been to a chiropractor before? Perhaps your doctor could advise.

Meantime, continue to use the ice and start some of the gentle lower back exercises you'll find in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help; sit much less and avoid bending and the bath. Shower only.

Get the xrays from the ER and see a professional.

I hope this contributes. Let me know how you get on. Take it seriously; you don't want a lifetime of backache ahead of you. It happens after an injury like this.

Dr B

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