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Injury due to falling, lower back pain, pain when breathing in deeply. Is it bruising or should I be concerned?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 53 Questions
Fell (actually got knocked) onto my behind on a hardwood floor (twice) and now dull ache in lower back has become full blown pain that increases if I breathe in deeply/sharply. Is it most likely bruising or something I should be more concerned about? No loss of motion just increasing discomfort. Ouch ... please help.
Posted Tue, 10 Jul 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 10 hours later

Thanks for posting your query

At this stage, it could be a fracture or may be just para-spinal muscle spasm which will improve after taking analgesics. But get your x XXXXXXX done. Since you have discomfort while breathing and otherwise also, you should get x XXXXXXX of chest and dorsolateral spine , lumbosacral spine, anteroposterior view and lateral views to rule out fracture.

Meanwhile, you can take Tablet Motrin 1 tablet every 6 hours with food for 2-3 days. This will help with the pain.
I hope i have answered your query. I will be available for further queries if any

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Injury due to falling, lower back pain, pain when breathing in deeply. Is it bruising or should I be concerned? 1 hour later
Sorry forgot I was living in the U.S. there for a moment ... probably should mention no insurance/money. The injury occurred last Thursday and despite a reasonable first night's sleep and not being too bad the following morning (stiff and sore) by late afternoon Friday I was in total agony and couldn't take but a few steps without what felt like the muscles circling my hip area seizing and/or twitching which rendered me completely incapable of remaining upright. Everything hurt ... I just lay as still as I could for as long as I could and lapsed in and out of sleep. Trying to move would leave me sweating and breathless ... at some point on Saturday I managed to crawl (literally ... on all fours) to where the ibuprofen was and after 45 minutes of excruciating pain on the bathroom floor, I guess the meds kicked in and I was able to (slowly and carefully) walk back downstairs and collapse onto my bed. It is now the following Wednesday night and after almost total bed rest and probably more ibuprofen than I should have taken, I can now move around a little and perform simple tasks (although I walk very strangely). I am thinking at this point perhaps a tailbone bruise/fracture? I am hoping I am on the mend and after reading that after a few days bed rest is prohibitive to recovery, I am trying to be "up and about" as much as possible. I guess my question at this point would be is there any benefit to going to an urgent care and getting stronger pain meds/muscle relaxants etc or would I be better just proceeding as I have? I can afford a consultation if I felt there would be benefits but refuse to lay down $200 to be told to carry on doing what I already have been. I understand you are a doctor and will always err on the side of caution, but would appreciate an honest answer on this one. I won't risk my long-term health but I won't risk my finances either. I appreciate your time Sir.
Sincerely - XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Rudramani Swami 23 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I understand your concern and your difficulty to visit the hospital. Yet at this point of time, it would be hard to predict the severity and extent of trauma and whether or not you have some kind of fracture without a careful clinical examination and X-ray's.

Since you have severe pain and tenderness, if I was your treating physician I would definitely suggest you X-ray of spine and pelvis as advised earlier, put you on stronger anti-inflammatory agents with muscle relaxants and recommend you to be on bed rest for 2 weeks. I would follow up with you after 2 weeks.

I understand you are treating yourself rightly, but with the help of stronger anti-inflammatory analgesics and muscle relaxants I expect you to have much better pain relief and faster recovery. So I shall advise you to consult your nearest orthopaedic. It will definitely benefit you.

It is better to get investigated now to avoid further consequences in future.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further queries if any.

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