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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Physician / Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Surgeon / Neurological Surgery
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10 days ago I fell on my back going down some stairs. I had

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10 days ago I fell on my back going down some stairs. I had xrays and they came up negative for any fractures. I now have some stabbing pains in my left lower areas where the contusion was diagnosed. The shooting pains are less but now I feel more tightness at end of the day standing. I feel some presure when standing to urinate or sneezing.    A chiropractor wants me to come in every day to readjust my vertabrae which he said was 1/8 inch off. I have some aches in my legs when standing.    I want to know if I need an MRI and if the chiropractor is what I need right now.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Where are you having these pains - shooting down the backs of the legs?

Are you having any numbness? Weakness?

Problems with your bowel movements or urination?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
More of a dull ache in down the front sometimes when standing up, No numbness or weakness. I have been a little constipated but that may be from pain killers at night. Urination is only a little difficult when standing and feeling the pressure.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
OK.

Well, generally, we will say to go ahead and try conservative measures for the first several weeks after injuring your back, about 6 weeks to allow everything to "calm down".

Often times, the nerves that may be irritated (causing the dull ache down into the legs) will continue to improve as the weeks go on, and no further treatment will be necessary.

However, if the pain persists at 6 weeks, then we will generally order a MRI. Also if you develop serious troubles with weakness, or bowel/bladder function, then a MRI will be ordered.

While going to a chiropractor may not hurt you, it likely won't help any better than time, and I don't believe any of the chiropractor's reasons for adjustment:a vertebrae being 1/8 inch "off" causing your pain, as it simply is a way to sell you their services.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The chiropractor did diagnose a pinched nerve which makes sense with the pain I have and continue to struggle to pick things up. After ten days I have less shooting pain when doing things like getting into car but have more lower back stiffness when standing or getting up in the a.m.

 

He asserts that he needs for me to come in as much as possible this week before I have a 7.5 hour drive next week. Would this drive be okay?

 

When you mention conservative, should I continue to ice and heat? Take any pain meds? I do have trouble sleeping on my side which is important.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
Conservative means other measures except surgery.

Heat may help. Pain medications such as ibuprofen will help.

A drive of that duration probably will aggravate the muscle spasms in the back, though it may not.

And as for a chiropractor being able to "help" -- your nerve is inflammed, which is the reason for your pain. "Adjusting" your back does nothing to help relieve this inflammation, which just takes time to improve (or helped with steroid medications).
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