lower lumbar clicks and cricks when I turn or carry weight, now sciatica symptoms

by Gardenan
(Missouri)

I have had cricking and clicking in my lower back for several years. No pain, just that I know it isn't right and I am trying to fix it before it gets worse. I carry a 5 gallon bucket of water and it goes click as I walk. Have had no problem touching hands to toes, very limber and active farm life. I am 60 yr female. Went to several chiropractors; one said it was just like a hinged door the spine wears out and no suggestions. Another said no problem, at least it was limber.

In past year I did have a fall from a horse and landed totally flat and evenly on my back, didnt break anything only sore and was okay in a week or so. Fractured a right rib and that healed alright.

But was puzzled by stiff pelvic and buttock muscles as I usually bend from waist as knees are stiff and have cricked when I bend them since a kid. Chiropractor said sciatica and just pressed on either side of back of knee and opposite side hip as a 1 minute treatment. I said I could do that myself. Didn't realized the back could be causing sciatica which I have only had 3 months or so. Massage of acupressure points in hands and feet help.

Tried your exercises to test for sciatica, no pain, just a little stiff.

I have sat at the computer in the evenings for 10 years for 2 to 4 hours with very poor hunched posture. Am currently doing Egoscue exercises, as the curve seems to have left my lower back so I lay totally flat on back which I had thought was the goal when I was younger and could place two hands under the lumbar curve. Now I read too flat is bad too!

I do carry heavy things like 50 pound sacks of feed, tho not far as I am not a big sturdy person, I weigh about 115, 5'7". I do my own research and take a lot of vitamins, came across your site while looking up B1 for nerve trouble. I like your site and will take more time to read it in detail later, as it has so many possible causes of problems to be considered. But am interested what you would say just from these notes.
Thanks! I wish you could recommend a good chiropractor, I live in a rural area and don't get to or plan to go to big cities. The best ones I have found were very old men, but I moved out of state from one and the other retired.

Hello Mrs Gardenan,
Sciatica is a pain radiating down the leg from a pinched sciatic nerve in the lower back or pelvis. Nothing that you say above sounds like a sciatica, especially if the test you did was the Slump test. That would provoke pain in your leg.

I too don't get too excited about lumbar clicks, or any other joints for that matter, if there is no pain. And until the fall off the horse I gather you had no pain. Up until that point what you describe above sounds pretty normal.

But since the fall off the horse you can no longer bend normally, right? Stiffness in the pelvis and lower back, but still no mention of pain down the distribution of the sciatic nerve.

If there was enough force to break a rib, then there was enough force to do something in your lower back or pelvis to cause that stiffness that prevents you bending. Only a careful and thorough examination will tell exactly where the problem is, and what to do.
The one minute treatment didn't help I gather which doesn't surprise me. Did you also have a one minute examination? For a suspected sciatica at least the reflexes, skin sensation, muscle strength and sciatic stretch tests should have been done.
Those Egoscue exercises are great, just remember that you are not trying to get into the Olympic team! Take it slowly, and listen to your body.

Touching the toes isn't helpful by the way. Rather lie on your back and pull the knees to the chest. Safer.

The only way to find a good chiropractor is word of mouth. Talk to your friends and family, and your family doctor.

And for a bit avoid lifting 50 pounds sacks!

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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Feb 05, 2014
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Vit B1 helps my back
by: Gardenan

Dear Dr Barrie,
Thank you for answering so very quickly. I wish you were my local Chiropractor! I am glad that you don't think I really have sciatica, probably just a stiff lower back in the whole area.

Actually I didn't break the rib from the horse fall, I actually seemed to be very accident prone last fall and 3 times tripped and fell backwards, I stepped on a log and it broke under my feet and I fell hitting my tailbone and the last I was cutting small trees on a hill and tripped and fell back onto a sharp 1" stump that jabbed me right in the ribs.

I am writing back also to mention that I had been looking up nutritional info related to sciatica and it mentioned Thiamine or Vit B1 as helping. I just took some along with regular Multi B tablets for the past two days, and I am amazed, it has helped make my pelvic and lower back less stiff and sore! The body does try its best to heal itself, but sometimes it can't unless it gets some extra nutrition!

I look forward to buying and reading a couple of your books, I hope that they can be saved and printed to paper, because I don't have any fancy book reader gadgets?

Thank you again Dr. Barrie, I am recommending your site to my friends as it is the most comprehensive with helpful information, I have seen and I also like your sense of humor!

Hello again Abby,

I can get by a whole week with compliments like that! Don't be so surprised about the power of vitamins. Without them you would die. Literally. But do try to get them from your food and look on the stuff in bottle as an occasional supplement. Living on a farm you should be able to do that.

Look too to the lower back exercises you will find in the navigation bar at chiropractic help. Do them every morning before getting out of bed. They take less than two minutes. They work for a stiff back.

Three accidents is enough for the time being! Indeed, just take things a little slower, and focus on what you're doing. Especially if you have an axe or chainsaw in your hand, right? Live in the moment.

Bernard Preston is back on line. You can get Frog in my Throat and Bats in my Belfry there. Paper editions. But Stones in my Clog is only available as an ebook.

You will one day buy an ereader, just as you broke down and bought a digital camera. So, why not now? Many books are either free or much cheaper. The Kindle paperlight is the easiest on the eyes. I love mine. My books once you've paid the postage will be a quarter of the price.

Have a good weekend.

Dr B

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