Low and mid low back pain with a lumbarisation

by Sara

Spine front on 2017

Spine front on 2017

Tingling in legs and sometimes arms, weakness at times walking, pain and stiffness waking, pain bending back, gristle like hard bumps along lumber spine that tender to touch. Seeing chiro. He thinks possible disc bulge but facet joints are an issue. Jib is mostly sitting. 180cm tall. 58kg in weight. Not much muscle tone around spine. It feels burny sitting and sometimes like I am restless and want to keep moving. Back can feel locked. On off for couple of yrs. Only had xrays a yr ago - chiro thinks MRI nit needed at this stage. He said he can feel spine fine.

Any information would be most helpful. The pain has been consuming. I have tried swimming lately. Walking cam be a bit much....something I love.

Hello Sara,
I wish I could be positive, but you have a difficult back and neck.

Firstly your cervical spine has a sharp kyphosis; clearly you've had a nasty whiplash with tearing of ligaments, and probable injury to the desk.

Your lumbar spine has an anomaly called a lumbarisation - six vertebrae instead of five. What is good is that the L6 appears well nested, but there are accessory joints visible, all likely to cause pain periodically.

And thirdly there's a suggestion of a short leg giving you a significant curvature; that's where I would suggest you start, though how much and whether it should be a full inner or just under the heel is a decision that needs to be made.

This is a back that requires daily lower back exercises; I recommend you start in bed before arising every morning. Swimming would be great, and you may find that with that lift in the shoe that walking is easier. Do you have any groin pain?

Lastly a suggestion that you suffer from constipation; if so, get onto to a lot more fibre in your diet or you'll have bowel disease too. Beetroot is God's gift to the colon.

I'm afraid my recommendation is that you stay with your chiropractor for an occasional but regular adjustment; it will never be perfect with any treatment. Heavy lifting is out, and avoid the vacuum cleaner. And do those exercises every single day.

I can well understand you feel frustrated.

One last tip; this is hereditary, and your children should right now start lower back exercises every day, and be examined for a short leg, or those that have inherited the anomaly will also have troubles like yours.

Sorry not to be more positive.

Dr B

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Mar 04, 2018
Different approach
by: Anonymous

I’m no doctor and I’ve suffered similar issues but for a shorter period of time. And a friend introduced me to Atlas cervical chiropractic and believe me after one day of 6-8 of treatments I feel 80 percent better. Find a good one that explains everything openly. My lady showed me measurements right on my own x-rays that she took.

It's called 'hole in one' chiropractic and takes us back to the very early history of the profession; mostly discredited to be quite honest, not negating the importance of the atlas.

Can you fix lower back pain by adjusting the altlas? I'd like to see the research confirming that it's possible in something more than an anecdote like this.

Having said that, absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence.

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 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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