Young man dealing with spine issues for years

by Eric Gibson
(Macon, MO)


I have dealt with issues related to my back and spine for years. The only real relief I find it through Chiropractic care. To sum up my story, when I was 18, I started having awful muscle spasms and instability. Over the next year into my freshman year of college, it got worse and all Drs. wanted to do was pump medicine into me. Some wanted to call it Ankylosing Spondylitis, but could never confirm. I got sick of medicine and feeling bad, so I started working with a great Chiropractor on a regular basis. After a couple months, he had me feeling better than I had in many months. He primarily worked on horrific subluxation issues, posture and a few other issues I was having.

Although he helped me out a ton, I still have regular chronic pain and fatigue in my back. I also find myself in pain from ribs that have been pulled out of place. I still rely on chiropractic care quite heavily sometimes, but would like to become less dependent. I have been to many chiropractors and Drs. who have stated they've never seen someone my age with so many back issues.

The point of this message, I would like to find ways to lead a healthier, less painful lifestyle, but I'm kind of at a loss of how I can do this. Is there any advice, suggestions you'd be willing to make for me to help me to improve my lifestyle?



Dear Eric,
Don't feel all alone. You are certainly not the only young person suffering from chronic back pain. We see them all the time in our chiropractic clinics.

The reasons are many. Perhaps a short leg, an anomaly at L5, old injuries from childhood, Scheuermann's disease, and five hundred others...

My best suggestions:
* A disciplined daily exercise programme, focusing on your weak areas. If the lower back, do them in bed before getting up. See our lower back exercises @ C-H.

* Accept there are some things you shouldn't do. You probably know what they are. Prolonged sitting is often very difficult for the back, laptops, moving furniture...

* An occasional, but regular chiropractic adjustment. Perhaps once a month, once in two months... you have to work that out with your chiropractor.

Your concerns are valid, and too much manipulations isn't healthy either. But what's too much isn't defined. I try not to treat more than 25 times a year, and I think that's probably too much, but there are some very nasty backs out there.

Good luck and God-speed. Let me know how you get on with those exercises. EVERY day now...

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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