Chronic lower back, upper & lower leg /calf pains

by A. Khetia
(Staffordshire, United Kingdom)

Hi, I am a male currently aged 56 and used to smoke an average of 15 cigarettes per day. I have 80% vitiligo and my eyes/teeth have always been very yellow. For years I have been generally feeling ill, regular headaches and additionally the chronic lower back, upper & lower leg /calf pains for past 10 years, increasing over time. The back/leg pain is agonising and wished my life to perish and free me from all the pain. On countless times I have complained to my doctors about these agonising pain, unfortunately nothing has ever been done about it. Prior to my MI I had complaint to my doctor about the same and the new pains in my chest with breathing problems, tiredness and poor sleep. Unfortunately nothing was done except blood test that indicated my cholesterol was elevated at 5.3. It has been 3 years since I suffered MI/bypass. 2 years ago I suffered a TIA. Fortunately no damage was noted by CT scan to my brain but my cardio vascular surgeon noticed wide spread calcification of vessels in my head.

I have always felt my blood circulation (Atherosclerosis) could be the reason but never proved. I also believed my chronic back/leg pain may have been warnings of my CVD and ultimately my heart attack.

Does anyone believe my own diagnosis have more then some truth in it?

Hello Mr Khetia,
The pain in your back and leg is probably distinct from your cardio-vascular condition.

Well done, on stopping smoking. As you've probably realised is that or die. Smoking generally knocks at least ten years off your life, sometimes more.

It also increases back pain since less blood gets to your back. When you strain discs or muscles they simply don't get enough blood to heal.

What's needed is a careful and thorough assessment of your lower back and pelvis. As I said, a separate and distinct condition from your heart condition and TIA, but like them aggravated by your smoking. I expect your back problem is very treatable. Ask for some X-rays of the lumbar spine and pelvis for a start.

Get to see a nutritionist about getting your blood vessels cleaned up. Start with fatty fish like salmon and mackerel at least three times a week, and supplementary Omega 3 oil.

Start taking a short walk EVERY DAY. It'll help your blood vessel and back conditions.

Ask for lower back exercises. You can get some from C-H, just plug it into the Search this site function.

I hope this has all contributed. NEVER a cigarette again!

As an aside, I saw the film The King's Speech yesterday, and have copied this from Wiki: The stress of the war had taken its toll on the King's health, exacerbated by his heavy smoking and subsequent development of lung cancer among other ailments including arteriosclerosis. Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive, took on more royal duties as her father's health deteriorated. A planned tour of Australia and New Zealand was postponed after the King suffered an arterial blockage in his right leg, which was operated on in March 1949.62 The delayed tour was re-organised with Princess Elizabeth . He died at 57!

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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