A+E or your Chiropractor? The "3 Big Questions" you need to answer..
Firstly let's dispell the most common MYTH that most people believe about lower back pain!
'Lifting something heavy is NOT the way you are most likely to hurt your back!'
Read on to find out what to watch out for if you do hurt your back and what to do about it if you do..
Back pain from bending over
"All I did was bend to switch on the bedside light". Suprisingly enough to most people, these are the kinds of words we hear most often associated with severe lower back pain. Although most people think that back injuries are usually from lifting something awkward or heavy, the most common back injuries occur from something much more minor. These and words like "I bent down to pick up the cat bowl" or "I reached to tie my shoe laces" are MUCH more common than patients who have tried to pick up something too heavy.
Severe lower back pain!
Many times the injury caused by these kinds of simple movements is to a DISC in your lower back rather than the muscles. The pain is often severe and may be felt in the lower back and into your buttock or leg. Sometimes this pain is accompanied by sciatic pain or pins and needles which can be very unsettling.
NOT a muscle strain (Whatever your GP or Physiotherapist tells you!!)
Far too often people are told by their physiotherapist or GP that they have experienced a "muscular strain". Unfortunately they are usually wrong and this explanation is based upon a lack of understanding of how your lower back gets injured during these kinds of movements. Needless to say, a mis-diagnosis is not helpful at this stage!
So, here they are - The BIG 3 Questions you need to answer IMMEDIATELY if you have hurt your back!
1. Have you noticed any changes to bowel or bladder function?
* More urgency to go or total loss of continence
* Inability to inititiate urination (not able to'wee')
2. Have you noticed any loss of sensation in your 'Saddle area', ie you cannot feel it if you wipe or you cannot feel what you are sitting on?
3. Do you have progressive weakness in one or both legs?
Or if your pain is extremely severe...
If you have answered "Yes" to any of these questions then you need to go to A+E immediately and notify them of your back pain, how it started and your symptoms that you are experiencing from the list above. Do not go to your chiropractor or GP, you may need urgent medical attention.
Back pain: A+E, GP or Chiropractor?
If you do experience back pain or sciatica then you need to ask yourself the "3 Big questions" above. If your answer is "No" to all of them and you wish to get better and prevent the problem from reoccuring then you should see your Chiropractor who will diagnose the cause of your pain, treat it and help you to prevent it from occuring again.
If you simply wish to mask the pain, are not concerned about prevention of reoccurance and are not concerened about potential reasons why it occured in the first place then see your GP who may provide you with some pain relief.
Chiropractors - the back pain specialists.
If you do care about finding out what is wrong and doing something about it to relieve your pain on a more permanent basis as well as working to stop it from happening again - SEE YOUR CHIROPRACTOR who will work towards a treatment and rehabilitation plan that will help you more meaningfully than pain relief alone.
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