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RandomMrdan's avatar

My back is tweeked pretty bad, who should I go see?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7436points) May 17th, 2009

I was told maybe it would be wiser to see a regular practitioner first, and then if need be a chiropractor. It’s gotten pretty bad to the point that whenever I move whether it’s walking, shifting gears in my car, that my back is just in pain.

Yesterday at my Guard Duty in the Air Force, we were doing ground fighting training, and this is what tweeked my back a bit. When the end of day came, my back felt pretty bad, and when I got home, and relaxed more it got even worse. And this morning when I woke up, it took a lot to get out of bed.

I was thinking to tell my squad leader today, and go in anyways, since you can’t really just call off from the guard (in my unit at least). So I’ll go in, and see what they tell me to do too.

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13 Answers

TROLL's avatar

Swim Swim Swim it strengthens the lower back and will keep bad backs at bay.

bythebay's avatar

Go to a reputable PT office, where they can xray first and then plan a course of action. There’s a thread on here somewhere where we discussed this, and it had a lot of good info on it.
I used a combo of PT and massage/stretching/Pilate’s and it worked beautifully. Some people swear by chiropractic care.

First things first, get your diagnosis.

Hope you feel better soon!

hearkat's avatar

If the injury occurred yesterday, it needs assessment by a physician who can order imaging studies as deemed necessary (Physical Therapists can not order imaging studies). The best place for you to go is the clinic on base, since the injury occurred during training. If for some reason they can’t see you on base, go to an immediate care center or emergency room… the spine is something you don’t take chances with.

With any “tweaked” injury, the immediate care is to apply ice and take anti-inflammatory analgesics (NSAIDs) such as Naproxin (Aleve) or Ibuprofin (Motrin/Advil) if they are safe for you. The injured area should be iced periodically (I’m not sure about the current recommended schedule, as they have changed it in the past). Then after a couple days, they recommend alternating ice and heat, the heat brings extra circulation to the area and helps the muscle relax and loosen. Muscle relaxers might also be prescribed to you.

Chiropractic, physical therapy, and/or massage therapy are usually done after the inflammation has subsided so as to avoid causing further injury.

I work near a few military bases, and we see many active duty soldiers… you probably need referrals from your case worker and special forms filled out by every professional you consult if you want your TriCare to cover it.

I hope that it is nothing serious, and that you are feeling better soon!

bythebay's avatar

@hearkat: Why can I get xrays done in my PT’s office? Is it because they have an Orthopedist on staff?

hearkat's avatar

@bythebay: Most likely. They probably have a system in place to cover loopholes so it will still follow the laws and the insurance regulations.

bythebay's avatar

ah, thanks!

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Dude dan, I messed my back up helping some lady change a flat yesterday…. freaky.

ptarnbsn's avatar

@bythebay By PT, do you mean physical therapist or something else?

gailcalled's avatar

In a pinch, buy an elastic support from pharmacy and cinch it really tight. However that is just a temporary crutch. As soon as it calms down (several days) follow the advice given by @heartkat. A physical therpaist needs an x-ray, rx from MD or DO and a diagnosis. He or she will evaluate your lower back and teach you some easy stretches that you then do daily for the rest of your life.

Most insurance cos. allow you 17–18 PT sessions/ yearly so save a few for a possible catastrophe in the winter.

RandomMrdan's avatar

so I told my First Sergeant about my back being injured today from the training the day prior, and he referred me to the on base clinic. He pretty much asked me what had happened, where the pain was, etc. He tested my reflexes in my legs, and things like that and just told me to take Ibuprofen 3 times a day.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that thrilled with my visit in there, it took a whole 10 minutes at most. I guess I should go to my regular doctor and have it looked at? And if I do, would I be billed, or should I have the Guard pay for this? I just don’t want to foot the bill on some injury that was caused during training really. But at least now it’s documented in my medical file that a lower back injury occurred for anything in the future if it got worse at all.

Thanks for the help guys, I’ll just give a doctor a call and set up an appointment.

hearkat's avatar

Ice it and take the ibuprofen, and call your primary doctor tomorrow. Chances are, it’s just a strain/sprain. Don’t do any heavy lifting, and but don’t stay too still because it will really stiffen up.. so move it but slowly and not to the point of any sharp pain.

figbash's avatar

I’d definitely get in touch with your regular doctor. It’s critical to deal with back problems immediately and comprehensively because so many other things can go wrong with back issues, like arms, neck, legs, etc.

Hearkat was right. Go to your GP to figure out what the problem is. Then get referrals out to appropriate specialists to treat the problem. That way you’re not just throwing bandaids at what could be a reoccurring injury, and you have a consistent primary care doc who can monitor and coordinate your care.

As for payment, yes – get this documented and paid for by the Guard ASAP and run all expenses through there. In the worst-case scenario, if you happen to have a chronic issue you could be looking at years of PT, injections, Chiropractic, etc. and trust me, you don’t want to foot the bill for those.

trogdor_87's avatar

Why your friendly neighborhood spiderman of course!

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