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41 and finally (hopefully) dx'd. Now what do I do?

kis95kkis95 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello! I'm so glad to have found you all. Because I'm not sure where exactly to post this, I'm hoping this is the spot. If not, my apologies. Either way, I wanted to come by and introduce myself and give a bit of my story.

I am a 41-year-old female, 5'4, 110lbs, and generally in good health. I've had back pain (lower back, mostly) for as long as I can remember, along with 'mild to moderate' scoliosis. As far as I know, this hasn't really caused me any difficulty. I've been to an MD two or three times when the pain in my back has flared up, but once they see I can still touch my toes, they've sent me on my way. I had x-rays once, 15 years ago. Aside from the scoliosis, they didn't show anything unusual. Fast forward to this month. After a particularly painful bout of sciatica pain, I bit the bullet and asked my SIL to give me her chiropractor's number. I've heard great things about this particular Dr, and after avoiding chiropractors entirely (was raised "not believing" in them), I finally made an appointment. At my first visit, we went over my history, she examined me, and took xrays. I went back a few days later, and found out that my spine is all out of whack and needs some major adjusting (her office uses the Pro-Adjuster). That was no surprise, and not particularly concerning. She then went to the side xray, and began to show me the (early) stage two spine degeneration, along with spurs. That got my attention. Her advice is to see her three times a week, for the next four weeks. Then she'll re-evaluate. In the meantime, I have pain almost constantly now. In the morning, when I sit on the couch to have my coffee, I have terrible shooting pains down my leg, and I often have numbness/tingling in my leg/foot as well. If I sit on a hard chair, I have to get up very slowly as it's amazingly painful. As I mentioned, I've had back pain forever, but this is becoming too much. I can't run without shooting pains, and I feel like I've begun to alter my activities because of it.

Wah. ~X(

What I'd like to know is if anyone has had a lot of success with a chiropractor and this diagnosis? Also, can anyone tell me what an MD did for them in this situation? I'm still not completely convinced that a chiro. is my best option, but I don't know that an MD is either. Bone spurs sound scary, especially when I'm only 41 and already have so much pain. I take Tylenol 1 (OTC in Cda) daily, and have for years. Obviously that's not a great thing. I have three young children, an active hubby, and a house to run. I want to explore all of my options and find the quickest, safest way to get this problem managed.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Stories? I'll take 'em. Thanks in advance, and it's nice to 'meet' you all!

ETA: I've got an appointment with my regular MD tomorrow. I'm curious to see if she does anything, as I've never had anyone (other than the chiro.) take my back pain seriously. In the meantime, I'm becoming more and more leery of treating this with only a chiropractor.



  • Sorry to hear about all the pain you are in. I would strongly suggest seeing a pain management doctor to help you with the pain, and bring him/her the x-rays of your back.

    I don't see how you seeing a chiropractor s going to help bone spurs. Here is a website that gives a good example of what a bone spur is. A bone spur presses against your nerve, etc.. And causes pain. I don't understand how she thinks adjusting your back is going to do anything for that. That needs to be removed surgically. ( My Dad had these in his neck, and heel, and the only way was to have surgery. )


    My pain management doctor told me that x-rays only show things like bone. So if you have a pinched nerve, or bulging, discs or anything like that it won't show, for that you need an MRI. The shooting pain you have sounds like a pinched nerve or bone spurs, which you have. ( my dad used to have that and it was caused by a pinched nerve and bone spurs )

    My Story

    I have been going to chiropractors for 2 years. I have hip dysplasia,and arthritis in my neck. He would adjust my hips and my back every week for a few months, then worked up to 1 time a month. After a while it stopped working, and I was in so much pain that I decided to go to a pain management doctor.

    My Pain management doctor took an MRI of my neck and lower back. Came back I have 3 bulging discs in my lower back, and 3 bulging discs in my neck. I am scheduled to go for injections in my neck next month, to hopefully help the pain.

    In my experience Chiropractors don't really go into depth about pain. I told this chiropractor for months the pain is getting worse and this isn't helping as much. He didn't even the the decency to order a new x-ray or MRI. They just want you to go there to collect the money. ( No offense to the chiropractors who care, but it's my experience)

    My pain management doctor told me DO NOT let a chiropractor adjust your neck, it will hurt it. I'm going to go to a different chiropractor soon to keep my hips adjusted.

    If your primary doctor who you are seeing tomorrow doesn't think much of your pain, he/she isn't worth much.

    I have doctors who don't think anything of my pain, and the only thing I use them for is if I have a flu. I don't tell them about my pain anymore or anything.

    If you want my opinion on what I would do, if I was you. I would make an appointment with a pain management doctor and tell them everything.

    Bring down your x-rays and your records. I wouldn't go to a chiropractor until my pain management doctor said it was okay. A lot of pain management doctors have PA's (Physicians Assistants), I would not go to them until the Doctor and I have a very clear understanding of what is going on.

    In my opinion they are good for prescribing medication and not much else.

    I hope no one is offended, but this is experience that I have had and a lot of my experience wasn't very good.

    I hope you get better very quick. :)
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a wealth of information on this site and the members of the forum are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I'm just going to give you my personal opinion, having been a spiney for three years and having two surgeries under my belt (well, one was under my turtleneck, but you know what I mean :-)).

    It's usually best to start with your primary care doc. You already have x-rays showing spurs, so see what s/he has to say. It might be time for an MRI to get deeper into what's happening.

    If you have spurs that are in a bad place, i.e. close to the spinal cord, it's not a good choice to be manipulated in any way. The pain you're explaining is a sign of nerve impingement and manipulation could worsen it.

    See what your doc says, see if you're referred for an MRI, then find yourself a fellowship-trained spine specialist/surgeon, ortho or neuro, but one who only works on spines.

    Usually, with spine problems, it a progression from primary to spine specialist/surgeon (doesn't necessarily mean surgery) and you'll probably have some conservative measures to go through to see if they help.

    The spiney road can be a long one, so be prepared for that. But keep on the road and don't do anything that your gut says isn't right. Only you know how you feel and you need to have complete confidence in the doctors your seeing and what they're saying.

    Take care and please keep us posted. Feel free to PM me if I can help you in any way.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what queestions we can. you have been give some really good advice already!! i don't have much to add but to say this is a great site to gather knowledge and develope friendships!! you will find that out in no time!! good luck to you with your pain problems.. stop by anytime! Jenny :)
  • Wanted to welcome you to SH. Sorry to hear that your back problems have brought you here.

    How did your appointment go with your MD? I would be exremely leary of going to a chiropractor. I agree with Cathie, you have had xrays done, I think your next step would be to try to get an MRI. This will give you a better idea about what is going on.

    Please try to update us when you are able on how your appointment went.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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