Feels like my hips and lower back are caught in vice-grips

by Heather

This is a bad scoliosis obviously, but could you have a short causing a less serious tilting of the pelvis?

This is a bad scoliosis obviously, but could you have a short causing a less serious tilting of the pelvis?

Hello, my name is Heather. I have degenerative disc disease. I've had 3 disc removed from my cervical spine and a plate put in. And I have had a full R hip replacement; the reason for that was necrosis.

My hip replacement was done 3 yrs ago; right after it was done the joint popped out 3 times. I don't know if that is normal. But it's been ok till here recently. Been having pain also in the left hip as well.

Pain in both growing areas and on both outside hip areas, one under the buttock and in back. Feels as if a vice grip is tightening and squeezing them very tightly. Can't sleep. Hard to drive. And hard to walk. My right knee is becoming very painful as well when walking.

I am going to an orthopedic surgeon next week; he is checking my knee and L hip but won't look at my R. I have to sign a release to get my medical because I had that surgery out of state. I'm really scared to keep going like this because I feel something may be really wrong with the hardware.

Hello Heather,
Frankly, there's a lot going on here; it could be primarily from your back, your sacroiliac joints, your hip, or other. The surgeon will examine you thoroughly and advise from his point of view.

Here are a few pointers meantime.

1. Try to decide where YOU think it's coming from; bend slowly forward, backwards, to the side and get a sense of where it really hurts. Pull your knee to your chest, make a circle with it; is it in the hip and groin?

2. Ask someone to stand behind you, place both hands on your iliac crests, and get a sense of how level your pelvis is; you may have had a short leg all along, or the hip replacement may have increased or lessened that; as you bend forwards, do you look like the leaning tower of Pisa? A simple inexpensive insert in your shoe can make a world of difference.

Go to Chiropractic Help and in the navigation bar on the left you'll find the site search function at the top. Type in "leg length inequality". Follow the links. Read. Try to understand. Ask the surgeon to confirm or deny and comment when you see him.

3. Start doing some gentle lower back exercises every morning before getting out of bed; mobilise that left hip.

3. Necrosis usually happens when there's not enough blood getting to the joint. Smoker? Not well controlled diabetic? How is your diet? Are you enjoying the mandatory 5 - 8 coloured foods every day? With you having degenerative joints all over, I suspect what you are eating, or not getting, may be the underlying cause.

And of course your weight is vital; obese people all get hip and knee joint disease.

If walking is difficult, find a swimming pool and go every day.

I hope this contributes. I find it encouraging you are trying to help yourself; keep at it.

Dr B

› Feels like my hips and lower back are caught in vice-grips

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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.

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