Chiropractic Help newsletter #22: SLUMP TEST

Tingling in feet and legs

The Slump Test is a complex manoeuvre that comes in a simpler form called the Flip Test which you can do at home to test if your tingling in feet and legs could be coming from your back.

Actually, even that is an over-simplification because the Flip and Slump tests are only for a pinched SCIATIC NERVE. The lower back supplies two main nerves to the legs that can cause tingling in the feet and legs. At Femoral Nerve you will appreciate that the pain and tingling from the lower back may radiate to the groin and top of the thigh, and the Slump Test will be negative. Instead we use a Femoral nerve stretch test, which is far more difficult to administer, and has no place in a self-help site such as this. It's best left to your chiropractor.



    In interesting research, three neurosurgeons and a chiropractor evaluated the effectiveness of micro-diskectomy versus manipulation in a pilot study for patients with pain and tingling in the feet and legs from a pinched nerve in the lower back.

    All forty patients had first undergone three months of conservative medical and physiotherapy without relief of the leg pain.


    After three months there was "clear benefit" in ...

    1. 85% of the the micro- diskectomy group.

    2. 60% of the chiropractic research group.

    3. Seven of the eight patients who did not respond to chiropractic treatment responded well to the micro-diskectomy - at the same rate and degree of benefit as the primary group. Nothing was lost by the delay of surgery.

    4. After twelve months there was little difference between the two groups.

    5. The recommendation of the researchers was that all patients with a pinched nerve in the back should first, because of the cost and risks, consider manipulative treatment before going on to surgery.

    The cost of the chiropractic care was less than 10% of the surgery, with ZERO risks and side-effects. For more details, Chiropractic Research ...


    In the Flip Test, you can test for a impingement of the Sciatic nerve at home. Sit in an ordinary upright chair, and somebody else raises first your good leg parallel to the ground, then lower it remembering the pull in the good leg.

    Now ask your examiner to raise the naughty leg. Is it significantly tighter / more painful in that leg? If it hurts only in the back, not the leg, then you have no frank sciatica, only the first stage.

    In the Slump Test progressively more stretch is placed on the Sciatic nerve but that is best left to an experienced chiropractor.


    In this far less invasive procedure than normal back surgery, the surgeon is able, using an operating microscope, to remove a part of the facet joint that may be pinching the nerve root and any disc material from under the nerve root.

    At you can read about microdiscectomy spine surgery risks complications and success rates ... Mention is made of recurrent herniations (immediately or later), cerebrospinal fluid leaks due to damage to the dura, nerve root damage, bladder and bowel incontinence, bleeding and infection. The authors assure that these risks are relatively low. "Quite rare".


    It depends. Pain on the left side of the chest? I'd phone the emergency rooms right now. An old niggle in the back that you've had for years? No rush.

    Having said that, last week my wife bent over, and twisted to lift a corner of the carpet for sweeping. She felt what she described as "a bottle exploding at the bottom of her back". Not good. She was stuck forwards in what we call an antalgic posture. The sign of Pisa. Because the swelling and inflammation hadn't yet started, the Slump Test was negative. But wait three days... and I would have had drama on my hands, in the bosom of the family.

    The long and the short of it is that I reduced that bulging disc within three hours of the injury, she spent the rest of the day in bed with an ice pack and doing half-hourly lower back exercises ...

    A second treatment two days later, and within five days she is completely painfree during the day, except for prolonged sitting and early morning discomfort. Of course, I'm exhorting her to follow the 50 percent less pain rule.

    Today we'll start the rehab exercise program.

    My point? When you KNOW you've done a mischief to some part of your body then it's better not to wait. Dealing with a disc herniation before the swelling and inflammation starts, before it starts referring down the leg, makes good sense. Likewise a bad dose of bronchitis - don't wait for the pleurisy before contacting your doctor.


    In CHIROPRACTIC RICHES twelve successful chiropractors are interviewed about their attitude to money and 'riches'. Finding the balance between greed and a fair-fee for a good job well done is tightrope all doctors walk. It's both an inspiring book and a sobering one. Is your doctor or chiropractor a highwayman in a white jacket?


    For instant phytosterols on the table, nothing beats the humble radish. Within four weeks of planning how to grow radishes you'll be enjoying delicious anti-cancer salads straight from the garden. Plant a row every three weeks right through the summer. Better still, let your kids plant them. They come up like weeds. What are phytosterols ?


    "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

    William Butler Yeats

    Such is the aim of this letter: to fire the desire for better health in you. It's the small things that count: taking a regular walk, eating an apple or similar fruit every day, planting a seed and cutting out the excess starches that make us obese, getting off all those pills... did you know that 200,000 people DIE every year in the USA from the side-effects of medication? Actually die.

    Better health is about dealing with the cause of the problem, not the symptoms. Taking medication month after month for headaches makes no sense at all - see your chiropractor to reduce the most probable cause of your headache: a subluxation in the neck. Taking blood pressure pills if you are obese makes no sense either (except in the short term). Taking medication for vertigo dizziness is foolishness - the best treatment for Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo - the most usual cause of dizziness is the EPLEY MANEUVER ... a short course for chiropractors.


    Many thanks to those of you who forwarded a copy of this newsletter to family and friends. I hope they too find it rewarding.

    And of course to those who bought a copy of my first Ebook, STONES IN MY CLOG ... a steal at $1 eh! Even at $2.99 it's a great buy. At least one reader has already finished it. Said he: "everybody who owns a body" should read this book!" Thank you, Peter.

    If you were slow to get in on the action, then FOR 24 HOURS ONLY from receiving this you can buy Clogs for $1 again. A special promo for you who follow this newsletter. No special eReader is necessary.

    If you enjoy Clogs then perhaps you'd also like to read FROG IN MY THROAT and BATS IN MY BELFRY my first two chiropractic books which will also soon be available as eBooks. Expect a flyer soon. It may seem hard to believe but Amazon is now selling more ebooks than paper books, and because they cost about a quarter of the price, experts are predicting we'll soon see a whole-sale move to eBooks.


    Next month I'll put together a piece on this amazing plant. It has been by the far most effective remedy for the severe allergic reaction to a brush with a rhus tree mentioned last week.

    "Without inspiration, the best powers of the mind remain dormant; there is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks."

    Johann Gottfried von Herder

    Important tip: Sometimes I wonder what the difference is between being cautious and being dead! Bought that copy of Clogs yet? Only $2.99, and for 24 hours only $1. I promise you you will read it to the very last page. Good books are like movies of the mind - you'll get a free holiday cycling through Holland. Money back guarantee if you're not absolutely delighted! Dinkum.

    Until next month then,

    Dr Barrie Lewis = Dr Bernard Preston D.C.