Low Back Pain

by Ruth Jackson
(Erwin Tn USA)

My daughter, age 16, has had low back pain since age 9.
The muscles on either side of the spine are hard as a rock
24/7. She is in constant pain at a level 2-4 all the time.
The only bit of relief is a good night's sleep. She does
play tennis, but whether she lays off, or plays many matches,
seems to have no effect.

Sitting in school all day, standing,
walking up hills, riding a back, causes more pain. The pain
is aching, only a few times has she had shooting pain up the spine.

She has had many visits to doctors, but no diagnosis works. First,
was a bone scan that showed a dark circle at T-12/L-1. But after
an MRI showed that it was increased uptake-blood supply to try to
heal something at that area. She has been to Emory, CHOP, Children's
Hospital in Cincinnati, Cleveland Clinic, an osteopath, psychiatrist,
3 chiropractors, nutitionist, neurologist, and all tests show that she
is fine. Two weeks ago we saw a chiropractor who did a side view X-Ray
of her spine. He said at T-12/L-1 she had a vertebrae that was kinda
tilted up, with a wider gap between the disc. He suggested the Gonstead
method for adjustment. She has had 5 sessions, with no improvement (which
may take longer). I have done research and it could me thromocolumbar
symdrome (Maignes). If you press on the disc at T-12/L-1 it is the only
one that is tender.

She is miserable because she has no relief. Can you help?
Ruth Jackson

It is heart breaking when you have a child with a problem, and no one seems to be able to help.

When I'm faced with a situation like this, I always go back to two basics:

The first, does she have a short leg. Stand behind her, place your hands on the top of the hips (iliac crests). Are they obviously unlevel? Does she have a twist in the spine like the graphic above? Has a standing (erect) Xray of the pelvis been taken? Is the sacrum parallel to the ground?

An unlevel pelvis often produces pain around T12.

The second, is she doing some basic back exercises EVERY day? The best is about two minutes EVERY morning before getting out of bed, and of course several times a day would be better still. See our "lower back exercises" at C-H. Maignes exercises too, but more difficult.

A Pilates class?

Your Gonstead chiro will have erect X-rays. Take along your digital camera, and take a photograph and send it to me. Save on your desktop and then attach it here.

With answers to these questions, we can take this further.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr. Barrie Lewis

> > Low Back Pain

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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?

Interesting questions from visitors

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Greetings, Dr B.
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