Degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile

Degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile questions the lie that you have arthritis, so learn to live with in; there's nothing to be done.

Every chiropractor could write a degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile every day of the week. It's our bread and butter, and it's good the medical research after medical research dissertation too confesses that we have the upper hand in the management of this horrid condition.

74 years old, two hip prostheses

This very fine lady has had lower back pain as long as she can remember. Six months ago the pain started radiating down her left leg, such that she could barely walk.

Her history includes two hip prostheses that appear to have been successful, and I could find nothing wrong with them. The pain was clearly emanating from her back.

These lumbar Xrays are revealing. She has far advanced degenerative disease, and signs of a curvature, probably worse before the hip prostheses. She also has a degenerative spondylolysthesis. Really this is case of lumbar spinal canal stenosis and a shocking back.

Here's an aside. Her doctor told her there was nothing to be done and she must learn to live with the pain. Consulting a chiropractor would be a complete waste of time and money, and would most likely be dangerous.

Hip arthritis

It is now well confirmed in the literature that a short leg leads to a curvature, and increased knee and hip arthritis. Looking at these X-rays (taken after the hip operations for hip arthritis) I am convinced that she had a significant short leg previously, though not any longer. The surgeon did a great job of her hips.

The curvature also leads to lower back arthritis. Hers is advanced, and at three levels, making it an interesting degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile.

Last summer ... 

But something went seriously amiss 6 months ago. She doens't know what. The low back and leg pain just got steadily worse.

What was interesting was that the classic Slump test for a pinched nerve was negative at the first consultation. Then it became lightly positive after treatment began. And then the whole thing got better. Sometimes a chronic condition becomes worse before it gets better.

Her pain was aggravated by bending backwards, and radiated down her left leg when she leaned to the left. That is the sign of degenerative facet disease, certainly to be seen on the X-rays.

Degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile


It was very encouraging to hear this morning, her tenth consultation, that she has been walking every day for the last six weeks, and three days a week for an hour. Without pain. One and half hours, that was too much and she was sore for the rest of the day.

Generally degenerative lumbar disc disease, and lumbar spinal canal stenosis respond surprisingly well to chiropractic.

She is taking the rehab very seriously, and frankly she has surprised us both. Please, please, don't believe it if someone tells you that have arthritis, and there's nothing to be done. Learn to live with it.

Quite odd! Her doctor contradicts her when she tells him how much better she is. It couldn't possibly be.

NB. Never take case files like this DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR DISC DISEASE CaseFile as gospel. This is an exceptional case.

Here's a question for you.

Why is it that some people with severe conditions respond so well, and others with minor conditions continue to suffer poor health and pain for months and years?

Mrs T is still doing fine. She is walking an hour every day without pain, and very satisfied.

I asked whether perhaps pre hip operation Xrays are available, because it's possible, even likely that she has an inheritable condition. Bingo, I hit the nail on the head. Both her daughters, around 50 are having significant hip and groin pain.

I am intrigued to see if she had Femoro Acetabular Impingement Syndrome Pincer or Cam, or Developmental Hip dysplasia. Xrays from the hospital have been requested. Regrettably I never got to view them.

Anomalies often occur in multiples. It's likely that both she and her daughters have a short leg and simultaneously one of these hip conditions. But that's just speculation.

Update: More lower back pain this month. She just loves to garden...

"When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there's always the garden..."

Alas, her days of gardening are over. Perhaps a few potted plants...


When you get old and grey, it will happen if you are lucky!, will the hyaline cartilage in your joints look like this super-smoother-than-ice...?

(The hip of a young pig, brought by a butcher under treatment for Carpal Tunnel syndrome ...notice how hard, shiny and smooth healthy hyaline cartilage is.)

Omega 3

Thought: The fields of Europe are white and blue unto harvest every summer with flaxseed. Most of it goes into animal feed. Read about the anti inflammatory omega-3 in flax seed. It could just change the course of your own degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile.

Or, will your joints look like this dried-out-degenerate-pain-causing hip joint cartilage... what you eat, whether you smoke, if you exercise, just a simple heel lift could make an enormous difference. Should you have a leg length inequality and low back pain lying in your destiny there is plenty to be done. Prevention...

Arthritis in lower back is not fun... so much can be done. Prevention, indeed rather better than ARTHRITIS IN LOWER BACK ...

Chiropractic and healthy living

There is indeed oodles of information now concluding that our lifestyle has a profound effect on health in general, and joint health in this instance.

If nothing else, seriously consider dramatically increasing the omega-3 in your diet. These three fatty acids are richest in fatty fish, flax seed nutrition information and freshly cracked nuts.

It takes little effort to eat fish twice a week, or take fish oil softgels, purchase a small coffee grinder and enjoy a tablespoon of freshly ground flax seed on your cereal, and crack a few walnuts or pecans.

The alternative? Somewhere a chiropractor or orthopaedic surgeon will in the future be writing up your degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile.

I do it myself by the way. I don't want a back and hips like those.


  1. Lower back exercises
  2. Degenerative lumbar disc disease casefile

Have A Question about your lower back?

I receive many questions about Chiropractic. It might be help with a spinal condition, but it might also be from a person who can't walk after a hip operation, or some such thing.

I will do that by answering your questions personally, but it will be converted to a Web Page so others can benefit from your questions. Omit your name if you like.

However, do understand that, in the main, I'm going to be directing you, should it be pertinent, to a Chiropractor in your neck of the woods. I'll respond to all reasonable inquiries, but please be specific, and give as much detail as you can.

Do understand that lower back pain is extremely complex, so I can only give general guidelines. There's no substitute for a careful thorough chiropractic examination.

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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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

Do you want to pose a question?


Spine and pelvis highlighted.


A lumbar hyperextension injury whilst skating.
Falls from horses can be devastating to the spine and pelvis.
A fall on the ice can injure the coccyx and sacroiliac joints.

Bending and twisting

The bending and twisting whilst shoveling snow stresses the lumbar discs.
Gardening can injure the lower back and cause leg pain.
Men on a building site.


Sitting as this woman is doing with the lumbar spine flexed is a common cause of ache in the lower back.
This woman in a car should exercise her lower back every morning.

Short leg?

An x-ray showing how a short leg causes a scoliosis and neck pain.
  • Leg length inequality and Low Back Pain

Lower back and leg pain

A graphic showing the course of the sciatic nerve.

Lumbar facet syndrome

The lumbar facet joints.

Slipped disc

A slipped disc as seen on an MRI.

Sacro-Iliac Joint

Sacroiliac joint location.


An x-ray of the lumbar spine showing how a spondylolysis causes a condition known as spondylolysthesis.


Motion palpation of the sacroiliac joint.
The Flip and Slump tests for a sciatica.
  • Slump Test for sciatica ...
Reflexes tested when lower back and leg pain is present.
The L4 lumbar spine area can cause extensor hallucis longus weakness.

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.