groin pain

I am a woman of 60 years of age who is hypermobile. I am 5'5" and weigh just over 8 stone so I do not carry any weight. I have always been extremely sporty and active. I had spinal fusion aged 23 (hairline fracture in lower vertebrae) which would pinch a nerve and I would lose my legs!

About 6 years ago I was getting increased hip pain (right side). One hospital x-rayed me and said I needed a hip replacement. I moved and was re-x-rayed. I was then told there was nothing wrong with my hips and that I had bursitis. I was given a steroid injection which eased the pain for approximately 2 weeks. The pain has been increasing over the years and then about 2 years ago I started to get pain in my right groin. This has now become so intense that I find it difficult to walk. I can only walk a few feet without extreme discomfort. It feels like a ligament is pulling and trapping a nerve. Sometimes I hear a snapping sound and my leg gets locked so I cannot extend it or put my foot to the floor. It is so painful I don't know what to do with myself apart from swear and moan. It usually takes about 15 minutes for the pain to lessen and enable me to move my leg. So in short, I cannot walk very far, I cannot get involved in any activities, it is extremely uncomfortable at night because my leg throbs from my groin to my knee - where I am walking with a limp my knee is now being affected. No medication seems to hit the spot. My last attempt at getting a diagnosis was a few months ago when I was referred to Muscular-Skeletal. The consultant said he would MRI my lower spine to rule out anything sinister (i.e. a tumour) then give me a CT scan on the groin/hip. However, I was not given a CT but offered yet another steroid injection and then physiotherapy.

One of the most frustrating things for me is that whenever a GP or consultant examines me, they believe I am perfectly fine because my limbs extend to a much larger degree than most people and therefore I have to explain to them that they have to extend my limbs a lot further before I feel the discomfort (hope that makes sense).

I know this might sound a bit melodramatic but I feel I have very little in life now as I cannot even enjoy going for a walk. Up to a few years ago I used to horse-ride, cycle, go to the gym, rollerblade. I cannot even enjoy a healthy sex life as even this activity is painful!

I am absolutely despondent and have requested a second opinion as I have not yet had an actual diagnosis and in fact no one has actually examined the area which is painful. I would be grateful for any advice you can give me.

Hello Linda,
There's hope firstly because as you say no one has yet examined the painful area, which in itself is astonishing.

And secondly because I've treated hundreds of similar cases that have resolved.

There's a but. Just how much hip degeneration is there; you've been given conflicting opinions. But I'm optimistic because with advanced hip arthritis the range of motion is greatly decreased and that, by the sounds of things, hasn't happened.

I suspect you have either a impingement or a dysplasia, and sometimes confusingly both in the same hip.

To know whether chiropractic can contribute, I really need to see for myself the xray of your hip. Is there anyway you can get to see the original radiographs?

There are two ways;

1. Plain xray; all you have to do is take a digital photograph of the xray on a viewing box, or even pinned up on a window against a clear sky.

2. If it's digital then you will need help to get a jpg image of the radiograph.

Where was the last xray taken? You need to go and find it; jump up and down if necessary, or get another one taken. No promises, but let's start with that xray; let's get the facts straight before giving up all hope. This is the kind of thing I treat on a regular basis.

Dr B

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Feb 22, 2015
by: Linda

Hi - thank you for your response - I am waiting for an app for assessment with orthopaedics (the have my old hip x-Ray but I will be asking them for new one and will get a copy to post to you
Many thanks

Hello Linda,
Not snail mail post; get help with sending a digital copy to Contact.

Meantime, lying on your back, pull your knee to your chest and then make a circle from out to in; what do you feel?

Is it much stiffer or looser than the other hip? Do you get a strange sound out the groin area?

Using the search function at Chiropractic help, type in Fabere. Compare hips and let me know what the result is.

Using a little oil, run your thumb first down your inner thigh, starting at the pubes. Compare sides. What's the difference?

Dr B

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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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