Pain and Loss of ROM

by Julie
(Carlisle, Cumbria, UK)

FAIS and a short leg

FAIS and a short leg

In addition to leg/hip pain, especially with leg abduction and adduction, I have marked loss of range of motion in my left hip. Can I regain pain-free movement and improved range of motion on my left side (which is also affecting, to a little degree, ROM on right side)?

Sometimes walking distances of mile or more causes stabbing pain in groin. I also sometimes get pain in the thigh, pinching in the butt, radiated pain to the knee. Even sometimes movement of my left foot will elicit painful response in knee or groin.

I now have trouble drawing left leg to chest; easy to do with right side. I can still squat low, with discomfort on left side, not necessarily pain. I would like to try chiropractic but there I have to wait 9 weeks for initial consult appointment. As there is only chiropractor in the Carlisle, there are very limited options.

Pain has been going on for over 5 months. X-ray of hips indicated MILD osteoarthritis, slightly worse on left side. If it is mild, why is the pain so severe?

Doctor says there is nothing they can do and that I should continue with yoga.

I do yoga practice regularly but have had to modify it to some degree for pain and loss of range of motion. I am 60 years, slender, relatively strong and flexible. Can chiropractic care resolve this? How many sessions might I need?

Hello Julie,
You have what is known as an incurable but treatable condition; like most medical conditions, in fact. Diabetes isn't cured either, but is eminently treatable.

What is good is that the arthritis is mild; that's encouraging.

What is important is to keep the hip as mobile as possible; that means exercise and mobilisation but within the painfree limits, with some discomfort but no pain at the edges; go too hard and you'll just increase the discomfort. Do nothing and it will turn to concrete quite quickly.

The cartilage lining the ball and socket has no blood supply of its own; it gets it's nutrients from the synovial fluid in the joint; that needs movement to be replenished. Swimming twice a week would be great.

Going all with all this reduced movement in the hip, is a knock on effect in the sacroiliac joint causing buttock pain; that's where chiropractic could really help you.

I would treat you about ten times over four to six weeks, and then monthly, probably for the rest of your life; you can probably expect a 50% or more reduction in pain, and increased movement, but no cure.

Make a chicken bones bouillon extract, freeze it in small containers and make it regularly into a soup; the vitamin C in citrus and peppers will help in cartilage healing, as will omega-3 in fatty fish and freshly ground flax seed.

Find out if you have a short leg, and wear an inexpensive insert in your shoe.

Talk to your children about getting leg length checked now, and doing daily exercises. This is hereditary, especially if they have a condition called FAIS; you'll find out more about it at Chiropractic Help by using the Site Search function. You'll find some hip exercises the same way.

Good luck; I hope this contributes.

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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