Pains in my feet, big toes, groin and back.

by Patrick Hart
(Widnes Cheshire UK)

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I had a total knee replacement in 2010 and within 6 months I started to get severe pains in my feet, back, big toes and groin. I visited a chiropractor for 4 treatments but had no relief with the pain.

The chiropractor said I should see my GP as he thought there was a major problem in my spine. I visited my GP and he sent me for a MRI scan which showed up as spinal stenosis.

I have been getting spinal injection since 2011 but I am being pressured into having spinal fusion surgery, I have been looking at other options like Tops and corflex surgery instead of the fusion, I am 67 years of age I'm still working in the engineering industry and would like to carry on for a few more years plus in September 2015 I had my other knee replaced.

Hello Patrick,
I take it you had none of these problems in your feet and back prior to the knee replacement. You obviously associate these difficulties with the operation; the surgeon would deny that, but yes it's certain possible. A total knee replacement changes a lot of things which could provoke wide ranging symptoms.

Could. That vague accusation that encompasses many things.

May I have the temerity to ask a non-PC question; what's your weight like?

Two total knee replacements, without addressing the question of obesity are bound to fail. Forgive me if you were a footballer with serious knee injuries and your weight is near to perfect.

My job is to be the Devil's advocate, and that means asking uncomfortable questions. If the cap fits, wear it.

Your real question I presume is whether the pain in your feet and groin and back, and the first knee replacement have anything in common. Yes, perhaps, but more likely is that the changes in your knees are also happening in your back, hips and feet.

It's fantastic that you still love your work; we are the same age, and I do too. Keep at it; research indicates that quality of life, and length of life will be significantly extended.

My advice is to look at a committed exercise program for your body, and a look at whether you are enjoying the antiinflammatory foods in your diet. If it's pertinent, significant weight loss; if I've dropped the baton there, forgive me.

And tell your chiropractor that Rome wasn't built in a day; there's no way that a stenototic lumbar spine is going to respond in four treatments. Miracles we do at once but the impossible takes a little longer.

That groin pain needs to be evaluated; pull your knee to your chest, and then towards the opposite shoulder; is it painful in the hip? Our next newsletter covers this subject; it goes out tomorrow. You can sign up at the bottom of any page at Chiropractic Help.

Forgive me, I've been abrupt and direct; if it doesn't fit ignore these remarks.

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'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.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.