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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16263
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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I fell down a flight of 12 stairs at the weekend, the stairs

Customer Question

I fell down a flight of 12 stairs at the weekend, the stairs are wooden with a light carpet, I went down on my bum and landed on my bum with one side of my lower back hitting the bottom step. I have been to A&E today and had a scan, nothing fractured but my lower back and buttocks are in agony, moving about is snail pace and certain movements makes the pain worse, I can't bend too far either which is very annoying as I am usually very active. Dr has signed me off my work for two weeks, when will this ease and although nothing fractured why am I in so much pain? She did mention on the scan results something about wear & tear on one of my discs? Other thing I told them was that when I passed urine this morning, I felt I had emptied my bladder but when I went into the shower, more urine came out which I couldn't control? They did a scan but showed I had emptied my bladder as I did this at the hospital and the sample came back clear.
JA: Have you had any recent injuries? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: Taking the pain relief prescribed by Dr and also paracetamol
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I have already told them I have underactive thyroid
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Inability to hold urine after a back injury can relate to irritation of the spinal nerves. This should improve with rest and anti-inflammatory medication. It can also be related to degeneration of the spinal disks. This is best evaluated with an MRI.

If you aren't better in a couple of weeks, you should see a spinal specialist. Physical therapy or an injection of steroid to relieve inflammation may be in order.

Please let me know if you need additional information about this.

Kind regards,

Schuyler

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What is meant by degeneration of the spinal disks? Is irritation of the spinal nerves similar to a trapped nerve?
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 months ago.

In a young person the cartilaginous disks between the vertebra of the spine allow the back to move in all directions, and provide some height as well as flexibility. As a person ages, these disks start to shrink and may lose some of their integrity. You’ve heard of people getting a little shorter as they get older. That is due to the shrinking of the disks.

Most people over 30 will show some signs of degeneration but they may not have symptoms. Only a minority will go on to develop back pain.

Nerves can be irritated if there is swelling in the area, which puts pressure on them, resulting in pain and/or tingling and numbness. Depending on which vertebrae are involved it can also cause temporary loss of bowel and bladder control. As the swelling decreases, so does the irritation and control is regained. This can take a period of weeks.

Please let me know if there is anything you don’t understand.

Best regards,

Schuyler

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Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 months ago.

Hello there,

Did you have further questions about this? If not, I would appreciate a positive rating for my work. It doesn't cost you anything more, but it's the only way I'm paid for my time.

Warm regards,

Schuyler

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is it usual for actual bruises only to appear couple of days after a fall down the stairs? Still in pain but painkillers doing their job, would a supportive cushion help relieve pain in my coccyx/lower back and speed up recovery? If so what type do you suggest as there's lots on the market online. Thanks
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 10 months ago.

Yes, it is usual. It takes some time for the blood to get near enough to the surface to show as a bruise. It will also take some time for the bruise to gradually fade. Usually in 3 weeks or so the majority of it will be gone, but for bad bruises, you may still notice some discoloration for up to several months.

Any type of soft cushion that takes the pressure off the coccyx while sitting will help with the discomfort. You are right, there are dozens on the market, and there isn't a lot of difference in them. It's the principle that counts. You want something that allows you to sit with the pressure on your buttocks while the coccyx remains free.

Best regards,

Schuyler

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