August 22, 2018 at 10:24 am #3247
Over the May Bank Holiday my back went into such spasms that I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 days, it seriously affected my sciatic nerve and my lower leg felt like it was on fire, as this eased off I was left with pain in my big toe, ankle and side of calf and numbness on the top of my foot (all on my right side) my back itself didn’t hurt too much. For the next 3 weeks I couldn’t sit or stand for more than 15 mins but gradually it eased off. After 10 weeks the pain and numbness in my leg finally cleared up and I only had intermittent shooting pain in my buttocks but nothing major so I thought it was pretty much fixed. Last week however my whole lower back seized up and movement of any kind caused sharp stabbing pain in my back. The doctor has put me back on diazapam which is definitely helping but I’m at a loss as to whether to keep waiting for it to self heal or look into getting an mri privately or a second opinion from a different osteopath. The doctor can only refer me to the spinal clinic who have arranged monthly physio but they don’t do much, the osteo thought I should have had an mri when it initially happened and says that nothing is impinging on anything currently and due to the amount of inflammation and trauma etc does not want to do more manipulations in the area and the chiro I visited wanted to keep manipulating and tweeking twice a week for 3-6 months. Any suggestions on what my next step should be?
August 22, 2018 at 10:25 am #3248
I’d try to manage the pain (Ibuprofen gel – Voltarol – was a lifesaver when mine went it spasm – snd alternate heat and ice) then try to build strength through Pilates (start with an instructor experienced in back injury!) plus manipulation as needed and see how you go. You will need to build strength regardless of what happens next and you might even find it fixes it, and you can start straight away rather than waiting for an MRI. Ask your osteo/ chiro to suggest an instructor and ideally give them your history.
August 22, 2018 at 10:26 am #3249
I’ve had back pain for 20 years and have seen all sorts, last year I started seeing a physio, it’s a game changer. I would book in to see a proper physiotherapist (not an osteo or chiropractor) and get their opinion, a private MRI is a couple of hundred quid and if they find anything they can refer you back into the NHS system.
August 22, 2018 at 10:27 am #3250
You need an MRI sooner rather than later. Pilates is not going to fix a slipped disc (if that’s your problem) and there are reports of chiropractic work making them worse. NHS physio also managed to make mine worse, and exacerbate an existing neck problem.
As usual, the NHS is being hopeless so you’ll have to pay privately.
You have my sympathy, I’ve been dealing with a (large) slipped disc since October. First, they said I needed surgery, now they say they won’t do it due to poor long-term outcomes so I’m stuck like this for the foreseeable.
If you lose any bladder or bowel control, or any sensation in your groin you need to go straight to A&E.
August 22, 2018 at 10:29 am #3252
I am sorry you’re having ongoing problems, but treatment is definitely horses for courses. I had an extremely bad herniated disc, couldn’t stand up (at all) for three days. I had an MRI alongside (very good) chiro and Pilates, and by the time the doctor phoned with my MRI results all ready to get me operated on. Chiro and Pilates when I need it means I have fully recovered and never had a problem since.
Pilates is always a good idea to strengthen your core.
Physio (both NHS and private) made me much worse. Surgery often doesn’t have great outcomes either.
August 22, 2018 at 10:28 am #3251
Echo the suggestion to go private to get an MRI done asap. Then you’ll know what you’re dealing with.
I am 10 years on from slipping 4 discs in my lower back, I got an MRI on the NHS but they’re much harder to get these days. I had to have physio as I was signed off work for 6 months so needed to follow drs advice, but it was awful, very painful and not helpful at all. Mctimoney chiropractic helped me, it is very gentle, I gave her a copy of the MRI report. More recently I’ve been seen by an osteopath, who is invaluable.
August 22, 2018 at 10:30 am #3253
Thanks for the replies, the physio hasn’t helped at all, both chiro practices seemed to be run very business like and trying to get the maximum money so never really trusted them, the osteo in the past has always been amazing but this time we seem to be stuck at ” mobile but not comfortable” and he is reluctant to do more treatments while the area is still so busy (maybe I need to try a different one?) I know I should do pilates but having done a few classes in the past I tend to get it wrong ie use my back not my core for the movement and the instructor can’t give me enough one on one attention in a class, I have contacted 3 who say they do private lessons but none have responded so just a bit uncertain on next steps. I think I want an mri as I will be more confident in a treatment plan then but likewise don’t want to waste money I don’t have if it’s just going to say it needs more time.
August 22, 2018 at 10:39 am #3260
It sounds like you aren’t really happy to carry on with possible treatments without knowing what is going on.
I looked into a private MRI recently (well a physio did for me), it got a little complicated as to who exactly would be referring me for it and analyzing the imaging. (and whether we were doing pelvis or low back!). It depends on your local options but these guys were about 2/3 cost if I could get there (I actually think they’ve got cheaper!) https://london-imaging.co.uk/service/mri-scan/
As it was because it was a long term problem that no one could get a handle I went the NHS route instead which felt like it didn’t take too long until I added it up as GP referral went in last Feb, I got MRI results about 2 weeks ago.
August 22, 2018 at 10:31 am #3254
I think you would be best to grit your teeth and stump up for the MRI. They are not stupid money, a few hundred. The osteo is right in being cautious now because they don’t know exactly what you’ve done, and don’t want to risk making it worse.
Interesting how many of us have found physio makes things worse…
August 22, 2018 at 10:33 am #3255
Every back problem is different with different treatments. I can only say what worked for me, but I agree about diazepam/Valium being great for the spasm, but it is probably best not to continue with it for the longer term if you can avoid it. I found Nurofen Plus good, but again that’s not good for long-term use as its got codeine in it.
I found a lower back support that I found from yourphysiosupplies to be really excellent at stabilizing my lower back area and providing support. I bought two and I kept one on basically all the time. I couldn’t get out of bed comfortably without it on.
With the pain relief, I tried to remember to take it regularly so as not to let it wear off and the pain to return. The ibuprofen is also an anti-inflammatory so helps with the inflammation.
I also used a folded frozen compression Bandage on my lower back which was fantastic at helping the inflammation. I guess any ice pack wrapped in a thin towel would do the same thing.
Finally, once things had settled down a bit, I found that a Homedics Shiatsu Back Massager was fantastic. However, I only had muscular damage and not skeletal.
Good luck, I hope you are back up and running quickly.
August 22, 2018 at 10:35 am #3256
I also suffer from regular muscle spasms that are so severe I cannot move and am bedridden until they ease. I have never experienced pain like it. I have had no luck with chiro / osteo but self manage with physio massage, back support, heat pads and tramadol, most pain relief doesn’t touch the sides of it , nor does tramadol but it makes me woozy so takes my mind off the pain.
Following recommendations I have tried Pilates and have to say it’s helped me feel more stable in the area and I notice the difference if I miss a week.
In your situation, it sounds like you have more going on than muscle spasm so MRI to find out what’s going wrong. I may do the same because I think if I keep getting these spasms are the muscles doing so to protect an injury.
Good luck OP it’s a terrible condition a bad back 🙁
August 22, 2018 at 10:36 am #3257
I would defo have an MRI to see what exactly is going on. When I had this I did have a great physio, who said they had a lot of success in preventing people needing an operation on discs. You really need a physio who specializes in these types of injuries, and that (generally) is not the NHS.
I did 2 weeks residential at a facility, which included 2 physio sessions, 3 swims and 2 physio-led back classes a day (!), along with acupuncture and using a supported walking machine (blow up trousers to partially support the weight) I avoided an operation, although I was black and blue and exhausted by the end of it.
I would not do any of that without an MRI though.
ETA – I now maintain with pilates, and Cranio-Sacral work.
August 22, 2018 at 10:37 am #3258
To everyone that says physio is better than chiro, chiro is better than physio etc.
It is like anything, you get good and bad and you get good ones who get your specific problem wrong. I have a physio degree and went through 5 different physios before one was able to sort my back.
There is a good reason for it too, particularly when it comes to backs – they are really complicated – pain in the back can come from any one of lots of different places – 5 people with the ‘same’ back pain could have 5 different problems, with 10 different treatments and what works for one might make another worse.
Keep talking to your professionals – get them to explain course of treatment, feedback to them what change if any the treatment is having. If it is not working try another.
Another who says get the MRI and then find a specialist to treat you (physio in my biased opinion 🙂 )
August 22, 2018 at 10:38 am #3259
Get the MRI and then see what you are dealing with. You can then try and come up with a way of helping you with it.
I had an MRI in January on my back, but was extremely lucky as I waited less than 5 weeks for it on the NHS.
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