The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mr. Incredible's Woes

(illustration courtesy of

Poor Mr. Incredible is in pretty bad shape. He and my brother were messing around playing basketball at Miss Muffet's party on Saturday when he jumped and landed wrong. He told me later that he instantly felt the pain in his back, but he kept on with normal activity anyway.

On Sunday, Mr. Incredible's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew came to spend the night so we could all go to the beach together on Monday. Mr. Incredible drove both ways, including the trip home, which was considerably lengthened by Memorial Day traffic. By the time we got home, he could barely get out of our Suburban (oh, I have a story to tell you later about how we got that vehicle!) and hobbled into the house. I noticed that he looked like an S - his hips appeared to have been shifted over and were not in line with the rest of his back as they were supposed to be. The way he was walking reminded me of a crab. I didn't think that was a good thing.

Since he had had bouts of back pain before, he opted to wait it out to see if the pain would go away. He did go to work on Tuesday, but they sent him right back home. Only that evening when he saw his hips for himself did he agree to have me set up an appointment with a chiropractor.

Wednesday morning, he and his supervisor had to make a 2-hour trip to a meeting. The meeting itself lasted four hours, most of which time Mr. Incredible spent seated. Then he had to make the 2-hour drive back. I had been able to make a 4:00 appointment for him. He got back from the out-of-town meeting about 20 minutes before the appointment and was in terrible shape when he met with the chiropractor.

Since neither one of us had ever been to a chiropractor, we weren't quite sure what to expect. The office was spacious without being huge, and it was modestly furnished - no teak furniture there! The staff was friendly and helpful. Unlike traditional doctor visits, we only waited about 5 minutes before being called back. The nurse (?) went over a questionnaire and did a bit of assessment before returning with the chiropractor himself. The remainder of the consultation involved x-rays, range of mobility evaluation, and a little bit of therapy. We were told to return this morning to review the x-rays with the chiropractor and plot a course of treatment.

The x-rays revealed that Mr. Incredible has stage 2 spinal deterioration - some of his vertebrae are indeed out of place, his spine does not curve as it should, and some of his discs are thinner than they should be, all indications that his back problems had been occurring for some time. His treatment consists of chiropractic visits for the next 5 days, followed by three visits a week for the next 6 weeks. He had his first adjustment today. I hope he feels better soon!

I'm curious. Have you been to a chiropractor? Which do you think is better qualified to treat this type of injuries - chiropractors or doctors?


Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

praying for him
ouch!!!!!!!!!!! poor man must be in so much pain

Anonymous said...

stage 2 spinal deterioration - some of his vertebrae are indeed out of place, his spine does not curve as it should, and some of his discs are thinner than they should be.

Revka. Joe has been to a chiropractor for his lower back and the adjustments really helped. BUT!!! Consider this: Mr. Incredible's spine will be manipulated. How can that help with deterioration and discs being THINNER? That could be a bit risky, considering that it sounds like osteoporosis more than anything.

By the time he finishes with his visits, he would probably have felt better in that length of time with or without a chiropractor.

Some are reputable. Some are NOT. I would rather take those xrays to an M.D. just for a second opinion on the xrays more than any other reason. You don't know WHAT they might show, (or not show).

Revka said...

Thanks for the prayers, Jen. He is in more than a little pain, but yesterday's treatment seems to have helped.

Holly said...

Yes, we use a chiropractor...I would choose a chiro over a traditional doctor for many types of "doctoring," sometimes even for things you might not consider! Fussy newborn? Might need an adjustment! Baby with reflux? Children with allergies? Yes, it is true...we've received help with all of these situations just by chiropractic help.

Thinking of you and praying for you as your due date approaches. Will pray for your guy, as well!

Holly said...

Oh, I guess I should add (in reference to previous comments) that a chiro will help to align the spine, to put those discs back into optimum position so they are not wearing down further. Will it *fix* those thin discs? No, but it should help alleviate pain and further damage.

Revka said...

Hey, Dana,

Thanks for the concern and the advice. We saw the x-rays ourselves, and the vertebrae that are out of place are obviously so. The straightening of the spine is also obvious. The thinning discs are not majorly thinned but are definitely thinner than the discs at the vertebrae that are not out of place.

The explanation given regarding the discs is that when the vertebrae move normally, fluid is directed to the discs with each movement, keeping them filled to the appropriate level. When, however, the vertebrae are out of place and cannot move (like Mr. Incredible's), there is no fluid going into the discs, meaning that over time they will thin unless proper movement is restored.

I have found several articles talking about this, none of which are by the chiropractor we visited.

Back Pain
What Causes Low Back Pain?
University of Maryland - Anatomy and Function of the Spine
Your pain - back pain explained

Of course it's always a good idea to get a second opinion. However, I don't trust M.D.s for this type of injury. I've seen them just prescribe pain medication and recommend needless surgery. Pain medication only masks the symptoms, and surgery should be a last resort, not a first or second.

Having said that... I do know there are chiropractors who try to get their clients "hooked" for life, creating a nice, steady stream of income for themselves. We definitely don't want that to happen, either. :)

Thanks adding your perspective, Dana. That's exactly what I wanted. :)

Revka said...

Hey, Holly,
Thanks for weighing in. I find myself more and more preferring natural treatment methods over drug treatments. Doctors act like they know so much they might as well be God, but I find out more and more that they know very little. It seems as though every time I take someone to the doctor, they can't do anything for them, and I still have to pay my co-pay for them to tell me that. It makes me mad!!!

Thanks for sharing the situations in which a chiropractor has been of help to your family. The pamphlet the chiropractor gave us explaining about subluxations mentioned how a misaligned spine can create pressure on nerves, reducing their efficiency, which can cause a multitude of health problems. To me, that makes a lot of sense. Our nervous system is what controls our body, and if commands are not able to get where they need to go, our bodies cannot function properly.

I am optimistic regarding the outcome of Mr. Incredible's treatment regimen, and I'll give an update at the end of the 7 weeks.

Thanks for your prayers for both of us. :)

Anonymous said...

I should clarify my statement as it looks like I'm recommending MDs. NO NO NO. I don't trust MDs as they have shortened my life considerably!

I just said to get the XRAYS re-read, but since you saw them yourselves, (which I didn't know before) I say, "go for it".

All MDs know to do is to send you to a surgeon. And one back surgery always calls for another down the road.

Mr. Incredible is young and vibrant and, oh so manly, so get that boy UPRIGHT!!! said...

ohhh, ouch!! Poor Mr. Incredible!

My dh has had back problems before. He went to the doctor, didn't help. Went to a chiropractor, didn't help. Went to a massage therapist, made a world of difference. I tease him about it, but he hasn't had any problems for over a year.

The chiro. told hime that his disks were doing the same thing Mr. I's were. I dunno...

Revka said...

Thanks for the clarification, Dana. I did think that you were recommending that we go to an M.D. I completely understand and agree with your recommendation to get a second opinion.

The good news is that Mr. Incredible is already feeling a significant lessening of his pain, and today was only his second treatment. He is also able to get around much quicker today, though not quite as quickly as normal. So we have hope. :)

Revka said...

Hey, Seeryus Mama! Thanks for your concern and for sharing your husband's experience. I'm glad your husband has found some relief. I would never have thought of massage therapy. I'll definitely keep that in mind in case of future need.:)

Shoshannah said...

I had a massage when I was pregnant. It does make you feel a lot better. I also see a chiropractor quite often. My low back is almost straightened out, and my neck is doing better. I also have found that doing exercise has helped my neck.

Karen_thrifty said...

I'm glad he's starting to do better.

My hubby and I both need to make some visits to the chiropractor once we get health insurance. Hopefully, that will be soon. :)