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Old 01-02-2009, 07:35 PM
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,011,123 times
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I started with a cold and had a bad cough. I believe it affected my back. I have a history of Sciatica and it makes me immobile. I put Ben Gay on my back and feels good. My wife got the generic from Walgreens for Ben Gay, but it doesn't seem to work as well. Any suggestions, I am taking a muscle relaxer and advil also.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:15 AM
69 posts, read 353,810 times
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I know of people, myself included, who wound up completely bedridden by sneezing and did exactly what happened to you. I have herniated disks and my fourth back surgery is just going to be too extensive, so I am trying to hold out the best I can. I dread when I sneeze or cough because the pain shoots down my leg and can take my breath away. A friend of mine actually reherniated a disk by the simple act of having a horrendous cold and coughing so deeply for days on end. If you are having pain when sneezing or coughing, you probably have a herniated disk and when you cough and sneeze, it is compressing a nerve. It does happen, and people who have "bad backs" know not to sneeze or cough if they can prevent it. Good luck. I would go see a Neurologist or an Orthopedist and get some scans or x-rays of your back to see what it looks like now. Things change!
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:53 AM
Location: Texas
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My standard answer to this kind of thing~~if it doesn't clear up in a couple of days, see a competent chiropractor. You might also try icing your back down with cold packs.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:47 AM
69 posts, read 353,810 times
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Chiropractic Manipulation Shown to Cause Herniated Discs

Please, before you even THINK about going to a chiropractor, seek the advice of a physician who will order x-rays or MRI's or even a myelogram to determine exactly what you are dealing with. If there is nerve involvement in your back pain, which it sounds like, you could cause yourself more harm than good. I would go see an Orthopedist who can determine where the pain is coming from exactly and order the tests, and then go from there. Jumping right into manipulating the spine and back is a very scary thing to do without proof of what is wrong. I had a family member who started with back pain that at first was an ache and then grew into excruciating pain. At the Orthopedist it was found that there was a huge tumor compressing the spinal canal with nerve and muscle involvement, and immediate surgery was in order

Orthopaedic surgeons complete four years of medical school and then complete a one- to two-year internship in general studies. After that, orthopaedic surgeons will complete a five-year residency program at a hospital followed by one or two years of extra subspecialty training. Completion of the qualifying licensing examinations is required to practice medicine. Licensure by the regional licensing authority is required.

Compare the orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon to this:

Confessions of a Quackbuster: Chiropractic Education - by John Badanes, DC, PharmD

I have been treated by both, and the difference is like a Porsche to a Yugo. When having Orthopedists check my back for second opinions and such, they would ask: "you haven't had any chiropractic adjustments to your back have you?". For some things, if I could think of any, I would say Chiropractors are okay, but if you have a spine or back problem that you want to get better, see a regular M.D. first, and if he clears you and gives you the go ahead, then maybe do it next. Don't you think Physical Therapy by a licensed Physical Therapist seems more reasonablethough? What Can Physical Therapy Do For Me? When have you ever gone to the doctor's office or an Orthopedist and he gave you an order to see a Chiropractor -- it is usually physical therapy for 4-6 weeks, 3 times per week.

Whatever your choice, good luck!

Last edited by midge2914; 01-09-2009 at 08:52 AM.. Reason: Rephrased paragraph, edited.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:31 AM
Location: Texas
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I do agree that you should know what's wrong before having it chiropractically adjusted. I would add, however, that I have also been treated by both, and for me, chiropractic treatment helps immensely whereas the medical treatment did nothing.

I grew in a family that didn't "do" chiropractic, kinda considered them quacks, but once I lost my fear of going to one, I found it really helpful for my chronic neck issues. In fact, the only thing that has helped.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:33 PM
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,255 posts, read 16,483,846 times
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Walking and exercise also helps.
I'm recovering from a hip injury which affected the sciatic nerve. I'm being treated from a chiropractor. His advice is to walk and exercise.
Pain pills and ben gay are temps. Your body needs movement to improve permanately.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:38 PM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 20,397,642 times
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Do you have a place to exercise in the water? That and my bed that massages and my heating pad are my best friends. The water supports everything and put everything back where it should be. I have gone into the water several times with pain and lost it while I was just walking around. Just relax and enjoy.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:56 PM
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,011,123 times
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I do walk and keep the weight down with my diet. I should do back exercises but getting up there in age it's getting harder to do anything other than walk. I never in my life had the intense coughing as I had this past week and a half with bronchitis. I actually curled up and yes, can feel it in my lower back as I was immobile last week from a sciatica attack from coughing. I try to suppress the cough myself and the Doctor gave me cough syrup with codeine. Sciatica attack disappears in a few days, I don't think I would see a chiropractor. I did see an orthopedic and had xrays done.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:41 PM
2,838 posts, read 8,680,474 times
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My chiropractor helped my sciatica immensely with adjustments and also with heat. One exercise he recommended was this: (let me see if I can explain it!)

Stand about six inches away from a wall, and put your upper body and hands against the wall. (Your hands should be on either side of your chest, as if you were going to do pushups.) Keeping your leg straight, lift the affected leg straight up and back, behind you, as far as you can. Hold for several seconds, and release. Repeat with the other leg, and do this a few times.

You can do the same exercise laying down on your stomach, just lift each leg up in turn, keeping the leg straight.

He also suggested that I sleep either on my back with a pillow under my knees, or on my side with a pillow between my knees. Only one rather firm pillow under the head. He actually gave me a pillow to use... it was contoured. I used it for two nights and both mornings woke up with a headache, so after that I decided not to use it.

I hope you're feeling better soon... sciatica really stinks! If it does not pass when your cough does, I'd consider seeing a good chiropractor.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:12 PM
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,068,503 times
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If you have had sciatica before, and you know that you are having it now, a chiropractor will really help. I have had this and had extreme improvement in only one visit. And..yes, you can throw your back out from being sick with a bad cough and sneezing! I have done this. We use a lot of vicks in this house for achy muscles, etc. I buy the walmart equate brand of vicks. much cheaper and we love it!
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