My Trip To The Chiropractor for My Pinched Nerve - Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    As I've told everyone, I have had this pinched nerve in my back since late June, I think.

    I had an appointment with a chiropractor yesterday (Friday). I did not have a cracking good time!! OMG, he about killed me!!!!!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong, he was an excellent doctor; I was just the one with a bad body!!!

    He put me on this roller bed that was stretching the muscles in my back for 10 min. It was extremely painful in the beginning, then the pain started to lessen right about the time it shut off!

    But I could not sit up off that flat table! The doc had to help me up. The entire time that he was helping me to sit up off the table, I was making painful faces, and I could not keep a few tears from running down my face. The pain was so bad that I just had to sit there for quite a few minutes before I could even walk into the other room for a different treatment.

    Then the doc did some manipulations and more hands-on stretching of the muscles on my back. He also took an electric massager to my back.

    He seemed to think that in 5 or 6 treatments that he might be able to get the nerve "unpinched". It's pinched between L4 and L5.

    When he raised that table upright for me to step off of it, I could barely move for the pain. He told me that my face was white as a ghost! He told me that he was afraid that I was going to pass out. Believe me, I almost felt like that! I don't know if it made a difference or not, but I have other back issues at the same point in my lumbar spine. I took my CAT scans of my back with me so that he would know what he was dealing with. He said it would not damage my back any more for what he planned to do. Boy, I hope so!!

    By the time that I got out of there, I was barely walking. I had driven myself, so when I got to my car, the tears were flowing more and I had to sit in my car 45 min. before I was able to drive home. The nerve affects my right leg and foot -- my driving leg, of course!

    When I finally got home, I plopped by purse on the kitchen table, took a Lortab, sat down in the recliner with a bottle of ice water, propped my feet up, and did not move out of the chair for a few hours.

    I later got on the computer to see what was going on here and my back killed me, so I didn't spend as much time on the board as I wanted to. Took another Lortab and my bedtime meds and went to bed.

    I did not sleep all night. Got up for another pain pill in the early morning.

    It's 7:00 pm (my time) and I still dying!! Time for another pain pill!! I've never taken to many of them!!! And they are not helping much either!!

    I go back again on Monday afternoon. And I assume that I will also go on Wednesday and Friday, too.

    Boy, I hope this works and all this pain is worth it in the end!!!

    Take care everyone,
    Janet
  2. lumediluna

    lumediluna New Member

    I can only pray! Glad to hear back from you and your update on your treatment!

    Do you happen to have Soma (muscle relaxer) or Ibuprophen (anti-anflamitory)........even a Lortab if you are able to drive with it - many can and DO!? I would take one of something that can relax your muscles for some pain relief and relaxation before you go to your chiro next time, a warm bath if can, stretch (if you can) etc.

    I used to work at a chiro office doing massage and currently a HUGE advocate of chiro work. The more you are relaxed, your muscles are relaxed, the easier I find it is for an adjustment and the better and RELAXED you may feel.

    Then go home, take your Lortab, water or tea and just relax just for YOU JHL! This is what I personally HAVE to do in order to get through a chiro visit, and I have been to a ton. Nothing else seems to relax my back, muscles and mind - really, the more you are relaxed, the smoother it can go.

    I would also check with the chiro or front desk by calling them ASAP and asking them if they have a massage therapist. If so, FOR SURE schedule that before your adjustment next time. It warms up your muscles, relaxes you and can make for a smoother adjustment.

    I hope you con't. to like this chiro and keep us posted.
    Thanks for the update and I HOPE you feel better!
    I think you will :)

    lume
  3. Cookie3

    Cookie3 New Member

    Run do not walk to the nearest orthopedic surgeon. In my opinion, Chiros are not the best thing when you have serious problems with your back, you know as well as I do that the more movement you do with your back the more it hurts. So, what does a Chiro do adjust your back by popping it. I just think that you would do better with another doc. Good luck and I hope you feel better.
  4. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    the lady I see uses an activator. No twisting or cracking involved. sometimes she puts me on a stretching table, or some traction, and she does a bit of massage during her treatments. I love her! No more cracking my neck and twisting my body in ways it wasn't meant to be!
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    for everyone caring. I don't know what an "activator" is, but maybe I'll see one tomorrow!!!

    I go again on Monday afternoon! This time, I'm taking my pain pills and a bottle of water with me!!!

    Janet
  6. jbennett2

    jbennett2 New Member

    Sounds like you were treated pretty roughly! I hope it helps in the long run.

    Did he apply heat before doing any stretching? This helps to loosen up the muscles so they don't hurt so much. It also helps to apply heat when he's all finished.

    I have a heated car seat that I always turn on after getting a chiro treatment. I know I spend way too much time with moist heat - you're only supposed to spend 10 - 20 minutes at a time - but it feels soooo good.
  7. ibisgirldc

    ibisgirldc New Member

    Have you seen a doctor? A neurologist or an orthopaedist? Maybe a PT with a trigger-point or osteopathic background?

    I have a shoulder injury that didn't heal correctly (thanks to a sever FM flare-up) and b/c of that, I get pinched nerves and ribs in my back that pop out of place with some great frequency. It's horribly painful to the point that I have difficulty breathing. That said, given the treatments that i've received over the last two years as this comes up, I would expect that my neurologist, pain doc, rehab osteopath, and any of the PTs would be appalled by what you described.

    JMO, but if it's something so serious that's causing you pain that radiated down your legs, that made it impossible for you to drive, that made you turn as white as a ghost, etc, then perhaps you need to see a physician. An MD. (Especially if you're self-prescribing pain medication for what you're describing as incidental. Presumably, the lortab was given to you to treat other conditions... and something more appropriate might be better to treat a non-chronic pinched nerve.)
    [This Message was Edited on 08/22/2005]
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    jbennett2 = yes, he applied heat before the stretching. As a matte of fact, the strething table has heat with it--you have the hand control that you can control the amount of heat. Even though the first treatment was rough--I'm in it for the "end result" or the nerve being released so that I have no pain in that area!

    ibisgirldc = I've seen my internist (an MD) who ordered all of the CAT scans and said that after reviewing them that he did not think that I should have surgery now, but said that I could take the Lortab for the pain, but not more than 2 tabs a day; I've seen my rheumy (who is a D.O.) and he just wanted me to have physical therapy "for low back pain" which I had last year for the pre-existing problems that I have with the L4-L5-S1 where the nerve is pinched.

    I also asked my rheumy about going to a chiropractor to see if he could manipulate that area in my spine so the
    nerve could be released -- he acted like he didn't like chiropractors (as a lot of medical doctors do) and say "well, maybe one might help" and dropped the subject. My rheumy is a D.O. but does not practice his manipulation techniques.

    BTW, my own daughte is a D.O. (family practice) and won't touch my back because of the problems that I have with it!


    Monday: I had my second visit today. The pain was still horrible, but when I got home, it started to ease up a lot faster than after the first treatment.

    I go for a treatment every day this week except Thursday, when I had previous plans.

    I'm hoping tomorrow will be even better!


    Janet
  9. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I'd beware of someone causing that kind of pain. Chiro's are like any doc, they can be great, or make you worse.

    My aunt went to one on my Mom's advice. My Mom loves hers and many of my other family went to Mom's in Pembroke. So my aunt, in BC, found one and went for years for chronic back pain, years, and years. Mom kept telling her to keep going. When my favourite Aunty Anne finally clued in taht it was the chiro keeping her in pain, she'd wasted years in agony and taking huge bottles of Tylenol 3/mth. The injury the chiro kept reactivating on her, finally healed on its own unmolested and the big bottles of narcs weren't needed.

    Maybe ask Ralph. I can't say I'm w/ him on all his beliefs, but he is a chiro, and he could explain things better and know the inside story.


    Jeanne
  10. Mar19

    Mar19 New Member

    Oh, Janet! Sounds horrible! I certainly hope you're doing much better.

    I've had two surgeries at the L4-5 level. Unfortunately they left me with more pain than before. I used to go to a chiro on a regular basis, but just couldn't afford it anymore. Now that my back is so bad, I'm really afraid to have him adjust my lower spine.

    I did go to the massage therapist in his office. I wanted her to work on my upper back b/c it was so bad. I told her specifically not to touch my lower back.

    She just "had" to give it a try. She was certain she could help. I was at a distinct disadvantage, lying there face down and naked, except for the towel covering my heiny! ::grin::

    The pain she stirred up was pretty much exactly what you described. Thankfully the office is less than 2 miles from my house, I don't know how I would have driven any further.

    I took an awful lot of pain meds for the next couple of days and it barely touched the pain. I went back the next week and explained how badly I reacted to the previous treatment. I again told her to leave my lumbar spine alone.

    That was my last visit. She again began kneading the lower spine. Agony. That second visit put me into one of the worst flares I have ever experienced in my life.

    I'd really love to have an upper back massage... sigh! Guess I'll have to find someone else.

    Mar
  11. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Jeanne = I do worry about the amount of pain, but then the pain is so terrible, that I think with the stretching rollers moving on it and the doc pushing on it, that I guess I justify in my mind that it would cause this amount of pain.

    I certainly don't want what happened to your aunt to happen to me! If it's not better by the end of the week, I'm going to have to seriously think about stopping. However, after the 3rd treatment today, the excessive pain afterward did lessen some. I hope that's good news!

    I hoped that Ralph would have picked up on my title and read my post ... and replied!!!! But he didn't. Darn. I would like his opinion.


    Mar19 = I'm definitely not planning on any surgeries on my back. I don't know if they would do one to release a pinched nerve or not?????? My CT scan report states that those disks at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 are degenerating with disk space narrowing, there is impingement in the anterior subarachnoid space, disk bulging, severe degenerative changes involving the facet joints, and bilateral spondylolysis without significant spondylolisthesis--whatever all that means!! It also stated the prescense of osteoarthritis.

    Now the sciatic nerve is pinched in that L4-L5 L5-S1 area.

    After I get done with all the adjustments, hoping to release the nerve, I want to have a massage. His office has a M.T. on duty. What do you think? Would it be too painful after all the adjustments? Would it hurt? I have never, ever had a massage before! My insurance does not cover it, so I don't want to waste my money. A 30-min massage is $30, but I think I can extend it to an hour for just a total of $40 for the hour. Should I go for the hour?

    Janet
  12. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I woulnd throw good money after bad on someone who, a) won't listen when you repeatedly tell them they are hurting you b) keep making you worse and causing horrible flares. We can get horrible flares w/out paying any money at all. So why pay for something you can get for free? {wry chuckle}


    I went to an acupuncturist once. Other's w/ CFS/FM said it could help alot if they had the right one, as w/ any healthcare practitioner. They said the most important thing was having someone who would stop and adjust the treatment any time they spoke up about worse pain. Anyone who doesn't has to be incredibly arrogant, not to mention not knowing what they are really dealing w/.

    My acupuncturist experience was horrible, hence only once. I went in just starting to episode from hurrying and carrying groceries. These guys are supposed to bring relief, right? She stuck her needles in most of my fibro tender points. I tried to tell her, that was trouble. She didn't listen and I was stupid enough to try anything once and entertain the idea that she knew what she was doing. Wrong. I was supposed to have them in for a half hour, and I didn't last half of that. The ones she stuck in my back and buttock tp's made it so I couldn't breath w/out moving them and worsening the pain. HORRID.

    I won't see anyone who won't listen to me ABOUT MY PAINRACKED BODY, that I have to live in, not them.


    Jeanne
  13. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    You may remember that I finally went a month ago in pain...and lots of numbness in my arms.

    He used a tens machine every time for l5 min. then very little adjustment. The 3rd time he starting using a little gadget that he said was for children and people with bad arthritis.

    He would massage and stretch my neck each time after the gentle adjustment. Everytime though my neck and shoulders were getting worse and worse even from this gentleness and I was living in constant pain....pain I had never even had before. I had l2 treatments from him.

    I have stopped and trying to heal on my own with moist heat which seems to be slowly helping. I'm thinking that it really was agravating the FM.

  14. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    I'd give the massage therapy a try, and THEN have your chiropractic treament, after your muscles are warm and loosened up.
    I have a TENS machine, and it made my muscles tighter and hurt more. Not good for CMPS.
    I love my moist heat too. sigh, feels SOOOO good! I'm using 024 right now too, and then apply moist heat, even tho they say not to add heat, I do. It helps for the stuff to penetrate deeper into the muscles.
  15. JLH

    JLH New Member

    HURRAY!! Today was my fourth treatment.

    But ... when I got up this morning to get ready to go, I could actually tell that my nerve pain was a LITTLE BIT BETTER!!!!

    I'm not jumping for joy yet, though. My pain was still there, only I could tell that it was not quite so bad.

    I'm being very hopeful now!!

    I can't wait until I see how I feel tomorrow morning (Thursday).

    I go for another treatment on Thursday, and then off on Friday because that is the day that my daughter takes me to get groceries at WalMart Supercenter. (I can't go by myself, because I have to ride a motor cart and can't get everything in the little basket -- she pushes her big cart and also pulls along another big cart for my "overflow".)

    I'm going to take it day by day now on my decisions as how long to continue.

    Hugs to you all,
    Janet