Chiropractor or not: After falling out of bed... - Bone Health

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Chiropractor or not

Trish profile image

After falling out of bed about three months ago, I have been left with a whiplash sort of injury in my right shoulder. I visited a chiropractor who indicated that my whole back and right shoulder is very stiff and would benefit with some treatment. Four years ago I had breast cancer on right breast and was treated with lumpectomy and radiotherapy which included underarm radiotherapy and some areas of right side chest as cancer was found in two lymph nodes. A decade scan a year ago revealed some osteoporosis and severe osteoporosis in right arm probably caused by the radiotherapy. I found some of the treatment on right shoulder very painful. I am wondering if this sort of treatment is too much for someone with osteoporosis. Any opinions!

16 Replies

Having had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal, I would hesitate to have chiropractic treatment that side, as they say don't have your blood pressure taken on that arm. Chiropractic can also be risky with osteoporosis, although some people are happy having treatment from a specialist chiropracter who understands osteoporosis.

I’m quite happy to have physiotherapy and I do Pilates which is basically stretching but I know I wouldn’t want anyone manipulating or making sudden movements on any part of my body. I know osteopaths study for years before they qualify and have read that some chiropractors use x-rays but even then if you know you have severe osteoporosis in your right arm and previous treatment has proved painful then I definitely wouldn’t go back for more.

My Pilates teacher who is also a physio is always telling us that we should never do anything that causes pain - even if it’s something she has told us to do or even if we’ve done it before and bern ok (and she knows us and our bodies very well) we should never ever feel pain. She also tells us if anything doesn’t feel right either to do another exercise that feels good or just lie on our mats and enjoy the rest.

So don’t do anything in your quest to feel better that might not be right for your body especially with your already fragile bones.

I agree about not having painful treatments. As you're having persistent pain and stiffness three months after falling out of bed, have you had this medically investigated?

Trish profile image
Trish in reply to wellness1

I did go to A&E two weeks after but at that time it was back that was painful and although they didn’t X-ray they did not feel ribs were broken. Since then back has improved but shoulder movement is limited. Lifting arm straight up and twisting arm behind me to do bra up!! is painful.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to Trish

It may be worth contacting your GP about your current problems and maybe get him/her to arrange an x ray of your shoulder. I wonder too if physio might be more appropriate than a chiropractor. In the meantime try fastening your bra at the front then swivelling it round to the back.

wellness1 profile image
wellness1 in reply to Trish

Shoulders are very tricky things and I would want it investigated. It could be a rotator cuff problem, for example, but you'll need to have a diagnosis before knowing how best to treat it. I hope it's something straightforward and easy to treat. Good luck.

That was my problem. I couldn’t lift my arm up or out to the side. I couldn’t reach out and switch of the bedside light or reach up to pull the cords to pen or close the blinds, mine was definitely muscular / soft tissue, my arm would barely go behind my back let alone go up to the height of my bra.

The weird thing was the physio could painlessly lift my arm up to both the front and the side even though I couldn’t.

I did discover I could do it more easily (albeit in a limited fashion) if I did it with my hand straight and my thumb pointing upwards which sounds bizarre but even that still didn’t help with getting my arm behind my back to fasten / unfasten my bra.

As well as gentle deep tissue massage by the physio I used weights - I started with very lightweight weights I have to say - and Thera bands.

It wasn’t a fast recovery though. I probably started the physio in October 2020 then stopped the physio sessions at Christmas 2020. I carried on doing what I’d been shown and eventually I could raise my arm myself with only a tiny arc that felt uncomfortable as my arm went up.

I got fed up half way through the year and gave up on the daily exercises, I did some when I remembered but not as many and then one day probably half way through 2021 I discovered I could unfasten my bra. Then I could fasten it at the back instead of doing it up at the front and pulling it round.

I started 2020 by falling off the bed in the dark and breaking both bones in my wrist. Discovered I had osteoporosis. Then when the plaster came off I had CRPS which is an awful thing. I eventually got hand physio to desensitise that and as I was finishing off my online physio sessions my shoulder was getting worse and worse. That was a very bad year for me. You can see how I got fed up with the shoulder exercises after a while.

I had stacks of things I used to rub on and self massage - volterol, deep heat, ibuprofen spray and gel. I bought a hand held massager, I returned the first one as it was too fierce, I’ve got a nice little pronged plastic thing too. I used heat and ice packs, ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Typing all of this out I’m beginning to think it improved when I gave it a bit if rest. Which would tie in with a physio who was treating my hand for CRPS - she said on a scale of ten for effort I only ought to be working at level 3! So less can be more where physio is concerned.

As you started off with an injury it would probably be worth trying to get an x-ray especially as they didn’t x-ray you when you went to hospital - although getting an x- ray might be easier said than done. Good luck with it all.

Hi Trish,I had Osteo for years for bad back before hub became one.I found Chiropractic much too violent .If you get a good Osteo(have to have a degree in it these days) they should understand & just do gentle soft tissue work.I had same problem with arms,physio pushed me made it worse,turned out it was tendinitis from constantly stretching to table,.Plus arthritis in shoulder joint , ibuleve & gentle rotations couple times a day,rest but keep loose,like all joints really.Ice pack,Tramadol when was bad but now just mild occ.

I agree,do not accept pain,your body is telling you it’s being damaged further.Perhaps talk to Osteo first,explain,sure they can advise.Physio wouldn’t touch me coz of OP,so made up my own static exs. at my own pace.

Hope you get the right help,you can always say no,stop.

FearFracture profile image
FearFracture in reply to fraid

When you say "Osteo" are you referring to a Osteopathic physician?

I would avoid chiropractic in your condition. I have an excellent osteopath whom I see regularly. She treats me gently but firmly. Osteopathy is about making space and space means movement which seems to be what you need.

I can’t speak to your problem really but in August I hurt my back lifting some heavy pots out of my car due to limited space for gaining access to them. I have had back problems over the years for a long time and thought if I was careful it would sort itself out. When it didn’t seem to be getting any better, I arranged to see a Chiropractor whom I had seen many times and who has always sorted me out. He examined me and did a small amount of work on my back and then said he thought it was muscular and he couldn’t help me. A few days later, I went to an Osteopath because a friend had told me she had been and they had “stuck needles” in her. I thought acupuncture with osteopathy might be a good combination so I had one session. In both cases, chiropractor and osteopath, I could not get off the couch and had to be lifted off! The day following the osteopathic treatment, the pain was so bad, I rang 111 (I am in the UK), explained my situation and the operator said she would get someone to ring me back which she did. A doctor phoned and after a brief conversation told me to go to A& E immediately as it might be a spinal compression and said he would ring them to let them know I was on my way. I went and had an X-ray and CT scan which showed a fracture at L1 and an earlier fracture at T12 just above which had healed in a sort of wedge shape. The doctor I saw at A& E said I should get a Dexa scan which

I have now had and I have osteopenia in my hips and osteoporosis in my spine. I was not previously aware of this. I think that the fracture was probably due to one or both of the treatments as the pain became so much worse afterwards so I will be more careful about what I do in future. My back is still not right. I hope you can find a way out of your pain.

Hi. I've never seen a chiropracter so can only imagine them cracking bones. Difficult to comment as I don't know what treatment they are delivering.....knowing also that many complementary therapists are qualified in more than one type of treatment and therefore use a mixture.

I did see an Osteopath after my vertebral fractures. She undid the damage which the hospital physio did by telling me to stay very inactive for a period. I rate complementary therapies highly.....but you need to find the appropriate one for your difficulties. Personally I would not choose a chiropracter I would always want a conversation with them about how they might help, before making an appointment. xx

I have seen several replies saying chiropractors are too rough. Well, I visit one that was recommended by my GP. She wasn't recommended for me but for my partner, who had a problem with his coccyx. His problem there has now gone. The chiropractor has returned to Norway and I have a new one. She is just as gentle as the first. There is no "bone cracking", just gentle massage and stretching. I have four compression fractures which were caused by a fall on my bottom. I don't have osteoporosis despite being 77, and I continue to go and get help once a month. I have visited osteopaths before, all good but fairly brutal at times. I just think you have to get a recommendation before booking an appointment. I can't see myself playing in concerts anymore, but I can now tolerate "standing" chores for longer than I was able to last year. It has been a few weeks since I fell into my recliner after preparing half a meal.

My doctor is fine with me using a chiropractor with my osteoporosis of the spine. He is aware I have osteoporosis and does lots of muscle stretching and gentle adjustments. I go every four weeks as that keeps my low back in working order. He, also, adjusts my neck gently as otherwise my head isn't on straight.

Hello Trish

Your question has had some interesting replies - You might find a McTimohey chiropractic more suitable - their focus is on the 'muscles as a verse to bones'

I started to see the McTimohey chiropractic as they where recogmended by a friend -The NHS physio I see is amazed at the difference this therapy has made to my overall condition.

It started when I was desperate no one knew what was wrong I had woken one night with very, very bad back pains and from that point could barely walk, couldn’t work or even dress my self etc. GP thought it was just a strain, after two and a half months and a lot of 'me fussing' that something was very wrong, I was sent to spinal clinic at the hospital to be told I had spinal fractures of about 2-3 months old – these turned out to be rebound fractures (I stopped Prolia on the advice of the hospital and was told I didn’t need any other medication!) I had 8 spinal fractures and have been left with three very damaged vertebra.

All this was 4 years ago, most people who see a McTimohey chiropractic don’t go as regularly as I do, but for me it helps greatly to reduce the neck, head, shoulders and hip pains I get because basically I now have such a buggered up spine! My husband went with a shoulder issue that needed a couple of sessions.

Good luck with what ever you choose to do, personally think checking in with GP to see if they can help and going with gut instincts re therapists etc.

Posy White

Hey, I don't have any experience with chiropractic treatment, but I know a person who cured his back pain with the help of chiropractic treatment. My friend is an extra-talented IT professional, but his continuous work damned him with back pain. He suffered a lot and tried different remedies to cure his back pain. He lost his concentration at work and was very much rattled by life. He learned about chiropractic treatments during this time and underwent chiropractic treatments at a nearby clinic( With the help of an experienced chiropractor, he cured his back pain very quickly. Now he recommends chiropractic treatment for those who are suffering from pain. I am not saying that chiropractic care will completely cure your osteoporosis, but you will get a relaxation boost. Therefore, chiropractic treatment will be beneficial for you.

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