Sports Medicine/pain


QUESTION: Hello: I fell and tore my Erector spinea right beside my L4-L5.  My physiotherpist has found with a contraction of this muscle, there is movement below, but no movement of the muscle in the upper part.  I have had a mri, but they were looking for nerve, and disc problems. This muscle is dropping down from it's lower attachment(tailbone), and causing me a lot of pain. I can feel it when it lands on my right glute muscle. It is getting into a bunch of nerves around my tailbone and making me incontenant. Ten's machine placed over the bad spot in the muscle, and I can feel it pick up, and I am perfectly fine. Can a complete tear be fixed?

ANSWER: Hello Barrie!

Unfortunately, I have answered your current question twice, and both times it has disappeared off the screen!  At this point, I will summarize my answer to see if this will be sent as it should be.

I suggest very strongly that you find a GOOD Neurosurgeon because you have a very serious injury to your lower back and sacral nerves.  Yes, a good Neurosurgeon will be able to rectify this injury if you do not wait too much longer.  It sounds as though you have a "Cauda Equina Syndrome" that has developed due to the massive injury to your Lumbar nerves.  This injury could eventually leave you paralyzed in the lower body, and the worse scenario would be the necessity of a Cholostomy with paralysis.

So, in light of this information, I would not hesitate to find a very good Neurosurgeon, sooner than later.

Please let me know what has transpired with your injury, and what you have done to find someone that knows what they are doing.

Thank you for your note, and I certainly hope this information will get to you this time!

Dr. Patricia Arthur

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QUESTION: Hello: I am having trouble finding someone to help me. I think the lower part of the erector spinea is doing all the damage.  It is gripping down on me really badly. Does this mean the muscle is still not completely seperated? If I place a ten's machine, one on the upper , and one on the lower, the muscle seems to respond to this.  The Cauda symptoms will slow down, but the second I remove the ten's, the cauda symptoms come back. I have had many times when I can not stand, I just stop being able to hold myself up. The ten's machine seems to sync up the  split muscle. It was a nurologist that ordered my MRI.

Hello Barrie!

I'm not familiar with your medical system there, but I strongly recommend another visit to the Neurologist, and ask him for a referral to a neurosurgeon.  You have a serious injury that needs a good Neurosurgeon to analyze this problem.

If you decide to wait too much longer, the chances of paralysis of the gut AND lower extremities becomes paramount.  Now, don't waste another minute talking about it, do something.  Whomever you speak with, insist you need a Neurosurgeon consult now!  If all fails, then go to a big hospital with an emergency room, and they will eventually get you a Neurosurgeon to see you.

To have this injury is a scary situation, and the longer you wait, the worse it gets.  Please do something now, and I would like to have you write a short note back to me explaining what is happening to you.  Thank you, Barrie, and I look forward to your reply.

Dr. Patricia Arthur

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Dr. Patricia B. Arthur, DC, MRC, CST


As a 30-year practicing Chiropractic Physician, my specialty was Sports Medicine. For 8 years I had the distinct pleasure of working with the USOC, and traveled the world to care for the athletes in the Pre-Olympic venues for the Summer Games. When I wasn't traveling, I had a private practice, and a hospital practice, in Kamuela, Hawai'i. Questions I couldn't answer usually dealt with pharmeceuticals. This was not my expertise, but the simple questions pertaining to familiar drugs I was able to digress, or refer to someone that was knowledgable in that field. Most Sports Medicine field injuries were familiar to me, but I always aired on the side of caution. In my office practice, I would tend to see more patients with the weekend injuries who would try to self-treat, only making the injury worse than it should have been! Nevertheless, I never took anything for granted, and so it was my conservative approach to the "cause-and-effect" mechanisms that were vitally important to the healing process.


Following my competitive nature, I knew Sports Medicine would always be a part of my life. After graduation from Palmer University in Iowa, the old adage taught at the school dealt only with the spinal column......anything connected to the spine was outside our scope of practice. To me, this was too simplistic, because the complex body also had arms and legs! From this point, I developed specific technigues which would encorporate the body as a whole rather than haphazard segments. There is nothing traumatic that happens to a single ligament, tendon or joint that doesn't effect a secondary, or possibly a tertiary element in that area. In order for that space to heal, all the factors must be addressed. Volunteering my time teaching referrees, coaches, and interested parents about the realities of probable sports injuries was worth a thousand words!j

American Chiropractic Association; Local Emergency Response Committee; Hazardous Materials Response Team; Urban Search and Rescue Team - Operations and Planning; Federal Corps of Engineers Committee; Earthquake Advisory Board; Big Island Wildfire Committee

Papers published focusing on the importance of proper care of sports injuries; Authored medical columns for the syndicated magazine "The People's Doctor "; Published papers in professional journals on Head Injuries in Sports; Published papers on Drug Abuse in Sports.

Robert Packer Hospital - Certified Surgical Technician - CST; Palmer University - Doctor of Chiropractic - D.C.; Wright State University - Masters in Counseling/Psychology; Wright State University - Masters In Couseling of the Severely Disabled.

Awards and Honors
Selected US Olympic Physician -1988; Graduated Wright State University with a 3.75 GPA; Graduated Palmer University with a 3.5 GPA; Faculty Appointment - Palmer University Post Graduate Education; Faculty Appointment- Hawai'i/Kapiolani Community College - Skills Team Tester;

Past/Present Clients
Cincinnati Bengals Football Team pre-season training; Summer Olympic Athletes worldwide; Kona Ironman Triathletes - Finish - line physician

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