lower back pain, right shoulder, hip & buttock pain with numbness to right leg and foot.

by julie

The sign of Pisa; change in shape of waistline.

The sign of Pisa; change in shape of waistline.

lower back pain, right shoulder, hip & buttock pain with numbness to right leg and foot.

I have suffered sciatica since I was 26 years of age. I am now 45. Always been fit and healthy, keeping to regular exercise routine. Until the last 18 months I recognised a - what I describe as a 'clonking' noise in my left hip. I was xrayed and nothing obvious was found.

However, two months ago I started to suffer from severe right buttock, hip and leg pain along with pain in my right shoulder.

I have recently been for xray to identify any apparent cause and waiting the results.
Also, in the last couple of weeks I have noticed a change of shape to my waist line on the right side - which is a concern....

Much of what you have said in your report is helpful and maybe I will resolve this pain and somewhat crippling condition.

I currently take naproxen for the pain - although I don't agree with taking tablets - and these often make me vomit.



Hello Julie,
Let's take that left clonk first; I take it no pain, just a strange sound. Do you have a family history of hip disease? Has your aunt had a hip replacement? Does granny walk with a stick? That clonking sound suggests an underlying hip dysplasia causing the joint to subluxate. Could you make a copy by photographing your pelvis and sending it to me at Contact? Perhaps ask for another opinion on the xray, specifically with this congenital condition in mind.

That would certainly destabilise your pelvis and contribute to chronic lower back pain.

Ask someone to stand behind you and place both hands on the crests of the hip bones. Are you obviously unlevel? Now bend slowly forwards; are you obviously out of kilter?

Chronic pain is always difficult; two issues need to be faced; getting to the root cause helps to prevent this coming back continually. Have you an anomaly at the L5/S1 joint, a short leg or a hip dysplasia for example.

Then there's getting you over the current problem; it sounds like a sciatica. Do two little tests for me please. Carefully as they can make it worse.

First bend slowly forwards and tell me exactly what you feel. Not too far.

Secondly, sitting in a normal kitchen chair, ask hubby to raise the good leg parallel to the ground. Lower it, now the naughty leg. What's the difference?

That change in shape of your waistline is probably what we call an antalgia; use the search engine at Chiropractic Help to find postero medial disc herniation, as an example. We call it the sign of Pisa.

Lastly, make a determined start to our lower back exercises, done EVERY morning before getting out of bed. And several times a day.

Give me some answers and then we can take this further.

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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