Bladder stone

Be like Jill!

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After the last video about the bladder stone that Jill the guinea-pig had removed, I had people asking after her. She’s doing really well, thank you! For those that didn’t know, Jill is one of the family guinea pigs and we found, by doing an ultrasound scan, that she had a stone in her bladder. This was causing her pain. The stone was surgically removed (thanks to Florena at Larkmead Vets!) and since then Jill the pig has become much happier. She is not in distress when she is being picked up, She is able to eat more, she has gained 300g in weight. She is much more vocal, calling out for food, and she is back to her old tricks of bossing her husband Milo around. She definitely wears the trousers!

So this got me thinking, I wonder how many people’s lives are affected by back pain (a lot, I think….) . Apparently, worldwide  it’s about 7.3% of the population. One study in Spine Journal in 2011 found that antidepressants were the fourth most commonly prescribed medication for low back pain in the US . Just think how much better their lives would be if they weren’t in pain. Perhaps they could do more: go for a walk, play their sport, do things around the house, play with their kids. But even more than that, if they were not in pain, they would probably just be happier.  Jill is such a great example of how much better life is without back pain.

Don’t be unhappy! Be like Jill!

An uncommon cause of low back pain in an older man

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I had to scan one of the family guinea-pigs (Jill) the other day (my girlfriend is a vet). This poor little pig was weeing a lot, and there was blood in her urine. It seems that she was in pain too, as she didn’t like to be handled too much. My girlfriend suspected that Jill had a bladder stone, and indeed, we could see a bladder stone on her ultrasound scan (you can see it in the video).

Bladder stones do occur in humans, more commonly when we are dehydrated, or if a stone migrates down into the bladder from the kidney. Bladder stones can also form if the bladder does not empty very well, something that happens in older men, as their prostate enlarges. Bladder stones can cause low back pain. Low back pain has many different causes, of which this is only one, and is probably the most common reason for patients to consult a chiropractor. Low back pain that has a mechanical origin will often respond well to physical treatments. Back pain that is caused by a bladder stone is likely to be persistent, however.

In this video there are a couple of tips that you might find helpful in preventing bladder stones from forming. ‘Point of care ultrasound scanning’ (POCUS) is really helpful in picking up this type of condition.

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