No doctors take my back pain seriously because I'm "only 29"

by Lauren
(Columbia, sc USA )

No doctors take my back pain seriously because I'm "only 29"

Hi there. I had a hyper extension injury to my lower back over 10 years ago performing a gymnastics skill. I went to a doctor right after and because nothing was broken, they couldn't do anything but tell me to rest and ice. In working with a chiropractor, I was able to return to some sports, but never at 100 percent function.

Since the injury, it has always hurt to arch my back. It has been nagging for a very long time and causes pain all over my back and hips. The last chiropractor I went to did not help very much. I finally went to a back surgeon, but my back wasn't severe enough for him to do anything, I received a neck MRI after telling him I hd fallen on it numerous times in gymnastics, but I still do not know what is causing my pain. The back surgeon just told me I "wasn't 18 anymore", which upset me greatly.

I never have gotten an MRI on my lower or upper back. I know this is a horrible x-ray because it is the picture I took while in the back surgeon's office, but thought there may be a slim chance you may be able to give me some insight or advice. Thank you.

Hello Lauren,
It's a sad tale of woe, but honestly there's light at the end of this tunnel.

First two big questions? I'm sure you've been told you have a mild scoliosis, but has anyone told you the most likely cause is a short leg?

But deciding how thick the insert in your shoe should be, and whether it goes under just the heel, or the whole shoe takes patience and skill. Don't buy into the hugely expensive orthotics, at least not initially.

It's not clear if the X-ray was taken standing, but my guess would be a short left leg.

Obviously I can't examine you, but from both the initial injury and the fact that you get pain whilst arching your back points to a lumbar facet joint injury. This is normally bread and butter to a chiropractor, so the question is: why hasn't it responded to chiropractic help? I'm not sure. That short leg may be part of the problem.

Sometimes a scoliosis is caused by a fall on the sacrum that has shifted it within the pelvis, or you may have an anomaly at L5. Do you have an X-ray report for me?

The lumbar facet syndrome is not usually problematic, so I'm assuming there's a complicating factor. Like the short leg. Crazy as it may seem, perhaps even a problem in your foot or neck.

The second important question: Are you doing a disciplined set of
lower back exercises ... every single day? That can make the difference after a month or two.

You make no mention of leg pain which is a good sign, but I'm afraid it's coming if this isn't resolved. Those facet joints will become arthritic if the subluxation is not reduced, and then the proverbial stuff really hits the fan.

Perhaps the time has come to look for another chiropractor. Do your homework carefully, someone who is thorough and comes well recommended by family and friends.

I'm afraid the "only 29" brigade are only showing their ignorance. Back pain is usually worse in younger people for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that if the disc has been injured, it's under much more pressure in your age group. I would far rather treatment a slipped disc of someone of 55 than someone of 29.

Other factors. Your diet? Don't underestimate the aggravating affect of a poor diet, obesity, smoking. A sitting job too.

Let me have that report, attach to this same thread.


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Find a good chiropractor may be your next stop.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B

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