Left flank pain, lower back pain, headaches

by Nicole
(Lake Worth, FL)

I was diagnosed with the following:

12/2003 – C5-6 disc bulging, narrowing, left side annular tear; effacement of thecal sac, C6-7 moderate central disc bulge impresses on thecal sac, nearly completely effaces the ventral subarachnoid space;

7/2016 – L4-5 disc bulge; L5-S1 disc bulge with spurring and facet spurring with pars lysis and anterolisthesis.

Can chiropractice care help with any of these conditions?
If so, what is the course of treatment?

I have been referred to an orthopaedic doctor and a pain management doctor but am not sure what other options there are.

Hello Nicole,
2003 was a long time ago; what's happened since then? Many of these conditions will given time and patience heal. Or have you had continuing episodes of pain in the neck since that time. What's happening in the arm?

In the lower back you have a condition known as a spondylolysthesis; opinion differs but most think that as a child probably you fell and fractured bilaterally a narrow isthmus of bone, allowing the body of the vertebra to slide forwards; the anterolysthesis.

It generally weakens the lower back and you've probably had some pain or discomfort for years; now there are degenerative changes and disc bulges which may or may not be significant.

What is important is what's happening in your leg. If you have no leg pain, then I wouldn't be too concerned. What's needed is a gentle set of lower back exercises to strengthen your core muscles and mobilise the joints. Best is to find a local biokineticist, or chiropractor who can advise you of the best for your specific condition.

You'll find some exercises at Chiropractic Help in the navigation bar on the left but start them gently, listen to your body and just be sensible; you're not preparing for the Winter Olympics!

If you have leg pain, then I would consider a consultation from a local chiropractor who is recommended by friends and family, and your doctor. Not the guy with the biggest yellow pages advertisement.

Ask him if you have a short leg; it's often the cause of flank pain, but of course that's also where the kidneys and other internal organs are located.

And yes, there's no disadvantage in getting an orthopaedic opinion; just remember he has a scalpel in his hand! If you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail.

Get started on those lower back exercises; because of your neck problems be wary of any that involve lifting the head.

I hope this contributes; let me know how you get on.

Dr B



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