Hip Pain and Lumbar Issues

by Mary
(Joshua Tree, CA USA)

I have been told my right leg is shorter than my left, so it's not surprising that I have hip joint pain. The hip pain feels like it's deep in the socket and radiates down the right side and into the front of the thigh.

I also have some lumbar issues in that although the pain isn't bad (mostly a mild dull ache), I am unable to arch my back fully. I was told about 6 years ago that I have some stenosis in the lumbar area, so that is probably why I no longer have the full range of motion when I try to arch my back. I find that sitting for extended periods of time really aggravates the pain in my hip.

Hello Mary,
There's nothing unusual about a short leg, it all depends on how much. Providing the right orthotic is often problematic producing unusual pains sometimes.

The real question here is whether this is a hip issue, or a back problem radiating to the hip, or two separate conditions. Only a careful and thorough examination will tell.

Start by lying on your back and pulling the knee to the chest, then to the opposite shoulder, then making a circle. Place the heel on the opposite knee and drop the knee into the lotus position. Now repeat with the naughty hip. Is there a marked difference?

Let me know, keeping to this thread.

Dr B

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Apr 28, 2016
Hip Pain and Lumbar Issues
by: Anonymous

I do practice gentle therapeutic yoga, which helps a lot. I need to find a trusted chiropractor in my area, but since I don't have a good insurance plan, treatments of any kind are very expensive for me. I am very active, despite my challenges (hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, yoga) and feel like this is the only way to keep things at bay.

I might add that when I sleep, I often wake up with slight numbness in both arms, hands, and legs below the knee area. I had a rock climbing accident 9 years ago where my partner fell on me from about 20 feet above. The only MRI I had was back in 2010 as I cannot afford one these days. At that time they told me the C6 and especially the C7 was compromised, so the numbness in the hands and arms obviously stems from that. They also said I had some stenosis in the L5 and L6. On top of that, I found out I have some scoliosis and perhaps that is why one leg is slightly shorter. Spinal issues and scoliosis run rampant on my mother's side of the family. In fact, my mother has a severe case of kyphosis, but she is 88 years old and it only got very serious within the last 15 years. That said, I've got a lot going on! I still think my daily exercise routine is probably very important. Even the neurologist in 2010 told me to keep climbing, hiking, etc., and that only I would know what my body's limitations are.

Thanks for the help!

Pleasure. Keep busy.

You probably saved your partner's life so all was not in vain.

Remember that if you have no or little insurance then you've been stashing away that insurance money elsewhere. Now it may be the time to use it.

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.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

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