QUESTION: I went to see a chiropractor in February 2015 and after the treatment I had some bruising which was down the inside of my shoulder blades and on my spine. The bruising didn't hurt but it turned to a deep dark purple and I still have it now (September 2016!). I am getting married next year and I really want to wear a backless dress so the bruising is really bothering me now as it is showing no signs of going. I called the chiropractor and they said that they had never heard of this happening before and weren't really bothered to try and help. I also went to see a doctor who was completely useless and simply said that my back looked discoloured but she wasn't concerned. I have tried googling and the only thing I found was that laser may be able to help, but the laser clinic said they wouldn't want to do anything until they knew what it was that was wrong with my back. I have had bruising on my leg and other places since then and they have all gone in a normal space of time and I have no health issues. I am at my wits end trying to find someone to help me, any advice you might have would be very much appreciated.
ANSWER: Patricia first of all congratulations on your upcoming wedding. May you and your husband have a long healthy life. As a chiropractor who utilizes many soft tissue methods I have seen bruising post treatment. As you were told by your chiropractor, most of the time it does go away. I really wish you would consider going to get some blood work. Here is why. You may have blood of a much lower viscosity than most other people. There can be an iron issue that could be causing the discoloration of your skin. All of these add up to not a chiropractic problem.
If the adjustment caused some minor tissue damage that would cause this I would be surprised. We really need to think here. Are you on birth control pills? Some antibiotics will cause your skin pigmentation to temporarily change. So something, though not painful, is not adding up.
Laser I think would be a great idea. It should be done on an area that is less likely to be seen. It should only be done on a very small test area due to potential mitigating factors listed earlier. It very well could work. My next suggestion is that you try natural sunlight to see if it lightens the discoloration. A little Vitamin D never hurt anyone.
While I cannot give you a definitive answer I hope this has helped. Dr Brian McKay
Darien Chiropractor Brian McKay
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QUESTION: Hi Dr McKay,
Thank you so much for replying, just to have someone try to help has made me feel so much better already. And thank you for your well wishes!
I am on the contraceptive pill, and I wasn't taking antibiotics before, during or after my visit to the chiropractor.
I will make an appointment to have blood tests and start taking vitamin D also. I live in Ireland where there is lots of green grass but not much sun, particularly at this time of year. Would you recommend that I try a few sunbed sessions? I have never used them before and always wear Factor 50 if I am out in intense sun to avoid sun damage, but if you think it could help I would be willing to try.
Glad I was able to help. You will want to wear 50spf on your face and perhaps your arms. These are the areas that are most exposed. Your back and thighs have a large surface area so there is more potential for Vitamin D production. Be careful and start out slow with a tanning salon. Use it sparingly and see if you build up some tolerance. Moderation is the key. Be well and report back to me.
Where are you going for the honeymoon?
Darien Chiropractor Brian McKay