Lumbar lordosis and spondylolysis

by Yasmin
(Sydney NSW Australia)

Lumbar lordosis and spondylolysis means an old spinal fracture, usually in childhood and, if bilateral allows the vertebra to slide forwards.

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 B

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Feb 14, 2016

by: Barrie

» Lumbar lordosis and spondylolysis

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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.

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