Lumbar lordosis and spondylolysis

by Yasmin
(Sydney NSW Australia)

Had a lower back problem L5 L4 last March and was advised surgery but recovered with medication and bed rest but no physio; after that a certain amount of numbness remains in the left foot and a little above the ankle so started giving tens to stimulate the nerves and gave massages etc.

No pain in the back but foot numbness continued had to walk a little, rest and walk again. Came overseas and took 5 chiropractic sessions from last oct to dec. Since there was no change in the foot but at the end of January I developed a catch in the lower back which could not be eased easily. Therefore read of this flexion table treatment by a chiro so in February, last Tuesday went to a chiro for this treatment. After seeing the MRI and latest xray reports she decided to give a drop therapy instead of that as she said it would be milder, after deep machine massages by the gadget and a hand massage she gave 3-4 drops at the back sideways and 1-2 at the leg. I was immediately out of pain and could walk straight.

Tues eve ok, wed had to catch up with a friend below so walked small distances with resting on and off; okay in the eve, but on Thurs suddenly after tea at 9.30 am went into excruciating pain in the lower back and couldn't move. Gave him pain killers and so it subsided by 4.30 pm called the doc home and after a thorough check all functional neurologically but his left leg got affected but now with the prescribed medicine/ pain killers massage and tens taken at home has recovered is now able to walk but needs support to be on the safe side till he is absolutely okay and regains his strength in it.

Is it due to what the chiropractor did? Or is it a relapse to rectify and improve? Will professional physio help? Or after going back home is surgery the last option to it?

Advise on what could have gone wrong and what can now help to remedy it?
Thank You

Hello Yasmin,
I very much doubt it was due to the chiropractic treatment as the onset was two days later, and you reported he (or you?) were up straight.

The problem is a lack of understanding of what's actually happening in there. I call it the 50 percent less pain rule.

If he was standing crooked, it's what we call an antalgia where the disc has torn a hole through the annulus fibrosis and is pressing on the nerve, causing the numbness.

It's often easy to reduce that bulge, you stand up straight, have much less pain, but the hole in the disc is still there, and it takes a minimum of six weeks to actually heal. Do something silly, or even sit too much, sneeze and bingo, the disc pops straight back through the hole.

I'd go back to the chiropractor, on this occasion keeping in mind that time must pass before you can play silly buggers, and some rehab exercises are absolutely vital.

One can live with some numbness, but watch out for weakness developing in the foot. Can he raise the big toe?

Our Slump test for sciatic will give you a measure of how things are progressing.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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