Originally Posted by srvnvly
I had back surgery for a ruptured disc back in 2008, after suffering thru BS advice from a chiropractor, including lots of paid visits, my frustration, and the chiropractor telling me I would have to change my lifestyle, after worsening back/ leg pain.
I the finally went to my family doctor, who ordered an MRI, diagnosed the ruptured disc, and sent me to a specialist, and, eventually surgery. Best decision of my life go away from this particular chiropractor. I am playing more tennis now than ever, and at the competitive level I like.
I had what I consider a bad experience and i know others have had good experiences with chiropractors, but I know what I will do if this ever happens again.
I could have written the above: it's the exact experience I had two and a half years ago, with one major difference.
What started as moderate back pain had become back AND leg pain IMMEDIATELY following a chiropractor visit. I was stupid enough to go to the same chiropractor the next day, and to another one for a couple of weeks afterwards. Meanwhile, things were rapidly going from bad to worse: within days I was losing motor control of my right foot, to a point where my foot below the ankle was kind of just "flopping" around. Soon after my right hip "locked" and at that point I could only hobble a few steps before the pain become so bad that I had to stop and recover before taking the next few steps.
MRI itself was torture... I could no longer straighten my leg enough to fit into the machine, nor could I remain in the same position for any period of time due to pain. Three herniated discs. I was scheduled for surgery within a week after the MRI, and pretty much resigned to going under the knife. Thankfully, my wife was not. She scheduled another appointment with our family doctor who suggested trying PT as the last resort before surgery, even though it was obvious that she (the family doctor) didn't believe it would help at that point. She's been and remains a great doctor for our family but this one time she was wrong.
One of the two referrals she gave us was to a sports medicine place, and luckily they had an opening that same day - otherwise I'd have gone to the PT department in the hospital, and possibly with a very different outcome. My wife drove me to that appointment since I could no longer drive; even getting in and out of the car was a major ordeal. I literally crawled into that door, and this is where the horror story ends. My recovery started the minute Jeff (the PT office director) got me on his table. One hour later I walked (!) out of there on my own: still hobbling of course, but my hip mostly "unlocked" and the pain turned from unbearable to, well, bearable.
Two months and a dozen PT sessions later I was back on the tennis court... 80% overall, but in some ways stronger than I was before. The PT office was one half of that outfit. The other department under the same roof was devoted to high-performance training for pro, college, and top junior athletes. My last few PT sessions were more like fairly intense cross-training than "traditional" PT.
So obviously the major difference with srvnvly's story is that I didn't go under the knife but instead went for physical therapy. I'd like to say it was the best decision of my life but in reality I was lucky to consider that option, and to end up in that particular PT office. I urge everyone who might be in a situation similar to mine to find the best sports
PT practitioner and the best facility you can find, before opting for surgery.
To anticipate possible questions: I was 47 then, and in good shape aside from the whole ruptured discs/sciatica/nerve damage thing
Haven't had problems with my back since.