This is topic Wrenched my back? Edit:: Yup, nothing more serious than that. in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
I just got up to go to the kitchen about an hour ago, and suddenly had some serious back pain. It hasn't faded at all since then. It's a dull ache around the center of my back, slightly below the shoulder blades. It becomes a severe/shooting pain across the whole back & chest area when I move much, twist my back at all, or take a sudden or particularly deep breath. Also, there's seems to be more issues on my right side than left - in particular quickly moving or picking up something with my right arm hurts a lot, while my left arm seems to be mostly okay. Sometimes I'll get twinges of pain just sitting still. (I'm not that fussy about pain, but I have a very high pain tolerance, so if this is bugging me I worry that it's more serious.)

Is this something serious, or did I just manage to pull a back muscle really badly? I don't have our car today, so if I wanted to visit a health clinic/hospital it'd involve a mile walk + shuttle ride. Right now that sounds like way too much physical exertion, although I could call a taxi/ambulance/Abhi to come pick me up if it's absolutely necessary. Should I try to get an appointment for a chiropractor or massage therapist or something, or see if I start feeling better as the weekend progresses?

Arrgh. There was going to be free food all day today at the department 'cause the prospective grad students are visiting. Free food. Free alcohol. And I'm missing it.

[ March 15, 2008, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: Jhai ]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
If you're not able to function, you should try to see someone. Though my completely non-medical prediction is they will put you on some kind of anti-inflammatory medicine first and see how you feel in a few days.

I mean, you can still type, no? But it seems that you can't walk?
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Yeah, typing isn't much of a problem. It's going to be difficult to concentrate on studying for midterms, though, when I have a sharp pain every ten seconds or so.

Guess I'll take a couple of ibuprofen and see if things get better.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Just keep in mind if pain-relievers improve things, don't go back to business as normal -- Keep resting. Unless you have some way to get to the party [Smile] (for the food only, of course.)
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
*I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind*

I say go to a chiropractor. My mom had similar symptoms recently and he told her she'd popped a rib. She was better immediately after the adjustment, although she was sore for a few days (which he said she would be).

I've tried twice going to a massage therapist for back-related injuries and both times was told "see a chiropractor." As for going to the doctor, see pooka's anti-inflammatory prediction above.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Y'know, I just reread your description of symptoms and the pain in the chest and arm sounds worrisome. I think you're young, right? You don't sound like a heart attack candidate, but maybe you should see someone! At any rate, not so sure anymore about my chiro recommendation.
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Yeah, I'm only 22. I do have blood clotting issue (and am on coumadin), which is partly why I'm worried. However, I have catching pains in my chest fairly often - just never with back pains as well. [Frown]

Edit: Abhi's on his way home, and we'll be going to see some sort of doctor. Should we try to find an urgent care place, try to get into the university's health clinic (they normally require appointments), or just go to an emergency room? I don't have a regular doctor (except for the one who follows my coumadin regiment at the university clinic).

[ March 14, 2008, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: Jhai ]
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Urgent care is probably sufficient, and much cheaper than an ER. The health clinic is probably ok IF they can fit you in.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
What rivka said. Glad you are going in. Make sure they know about the clotting issue when you first check in wherever, okay? That is a need-to-know thing for triaging.
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
We ended up going to in to the ER, and the CT was negative for a pulmonary embolism, which was the worry given my history of clots. So I'm back home resting and trying my best not to move, since the morphine they gave me at the hospital wore off. They said it was very, very good that I went in to get checked out, though.

[ March 14, 2008, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Jhai ]
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :

Couldn't they prescribe anything?
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
Good for you. With a clotting issue you should err on the extreme side of caution. Of course, I think everyone should err on the side of caution anyway, but you need to be on the EXTREME side.

At any rate, I hope you feel better soon. Back injuries are horribly uncomfortable. [Frown]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Thanks for the support, guys. I didn't ask them for anything, rivka, 'cause I've got Vicodin at home. [Smile] And I'm doing better today - breathing no longer hurts, for instance.
Posted by Starsnuffer (Member # 8116) on :
That's a good thing to have not hurt.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
Hope you keep getting better. I'm glad you went in.
Posted by aspectre (Member # 2222) on :
Did you do any strenuous&unusual physical activity that day or the day before?

The reason I ask is cuz one evening I decided to go ape on a geodesic climber*, felt exhausted but fine afterwards, and woke up the next morning feeling okay. Then a bit before noon, I bent over to haul something out of the car trunk, and never got past bending before being hit by MAJOR back pain. The kind where ya can't even ask for help, or to be left alone for that matter.
When I got past that semi-paralysis, I felt all of the muscle cramping&soreness that I'd been halfway expecting for earlier that morning, and more. Your description reminded me of that experience.

* Swinging between bars on a dome almost twice that size.

[ April 04, 2008, 06:25 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Naw, I haven't done anything *physically* strenuous recently. I did take a difficult midterm the day before the back pain, and I have two more coming up, so it might be stress-related.

I loved geodesic climbers when I was a kid. Haven't been able to find any one that are adult-sized, though.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Originally posted by Jhai:
I didn't ask them for anything, rivka, 'cause I've got Vicodin at home. [Smile] And I'm doing better today - breathing no longer hurts, for instance.

Having good drugs is a good reason not to request more. [Wink]

Hope the recovery is rapid.
Posted by BlueWizard (Member # 9389) on :
Very much a side note; but it is a sad commentary on your life when you wake up one morning to the realization that your back goes out more often than you do.

Back on topic, I alway find a heating pad and gentle stretching help my back.

Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
So glad you are okay.

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