Please help. I am so disappointed with my medical treatment and non treatment and have been suffering for so long.

by Lisa
(San Dimas, CA, USA)

In late 20s I experienced strange numbness in outer thighs both sides that have never gone away. I am now 51. At 30 I began experiencing groin pain off and on. One day I was digging in the garden, lifting and twisting, with no pain and by end of day the groin pain grew so bad that I could not bare it and had to lie down. When my husband took my hand to lift me up off the floor later I fainted from pain. At the time I was unable to have xrays because I was in first trimester of pregnancy.

For the next several years and ever since I have had pain that moved around in buttocks to lower back and less in the groin. Doctors could not find anything, but just randomly added words like sciatica and fibromyalgia to my records, which I never felt were correct. I was never truly diagnosed with any degree of accuracy. Only xrays were done and revealed nothing, then a catscan which revealed nothing. All appeared normal.

In my late 40s my pain morphed into burning, aching and numbness, which never goes away. It came on coincidently when my hormone levels were dropping in extreme near the onset of menopause. I started extreme hot flashes at the same time and I asked my doctors if there could be some correlation. Both my primary care physician and gynocologist said absolutely not. I was given an mri of pelvis, and low back. All appeared normal, except for what they said is average DDD in my lumbar region.

My right leg with the pain is about 1/2" longer than my left. Over time I realize I am constantly standing with my weight shifted to my left leg. Now I am 51 and My leg feels like a Barbie Doll leg that came off and was put on wrong. I am not obese or unfit in other ways. I have done Jazzercise Dance for the past nine years and have always been active and spright. Because I am so flexible, my doctors haven't picked up on too much lack of movement compared to others my age. I am 5'2", 105 lbs. Just this year, for the first time, I am having hip pain and again my doctor took an xray which revealed nothing out of ordinary and told me I likely have bursitis. I asked for an MRI since my younger sister was diagnosed with hip dysplasia later in life and needed a hip replacement in her 30s. In fact both our parents and parentt's mothers all experienced severe osteoarthritis in hip and had to have hip replacements. My doctor did not want to give me the okay for mri of hip even though and said hip dysplasia and my parent's hip problems were totally unrelated.

When I go to bed, you think my leg would feel better, but it often keeps me up half the night, the hip pain and leg burning and aching are increased. In the morning I don't have problems with stiffness really. I had been diagnosed with Freiburg's Disease in a left toe joint about 5 years ago and told that my bone was dying. I'm so scared that this may be what is happening to my hip joint. What should I do?

Hello Lisa,
What follows is pure speculation, you understand. Hip dysplasia is inheritable and has a much higher incidence of hip arthritis. But so does a short leg, and half an inch is quite a lot. Get a simple insert from the drug store and wear in the short leg. Start with about 3mm.

Lying in your back, pull your knee to your chest. Compare with the other hip. Now pull to the opposite shoulder, and then rotate your knee. Pain in the groin or side of the hip?

Hip dysplasia is so easily diagnosed on X-ray. Can you take a photograph with your camera and send it to me? One of the whole pelvis, and a close up of the offending hip, with flash off. Save on desktop and then attach here. Or send to Contact.

Then go to Search this site, and type in Slump test. Let me know what you feel. I am uncertain from what you describe, whether this is a hip condition causing back pain, or a back condition causing leg pain.

But clearly something is amiss. You've stuck it out with Medicine for far too long, Lisa. They are obviously at sea. Start a hunt for a competent, experienced chiropractor in your area. Take all your scans and X-rays.

Meantime, start the simple lower back exercises at C-H. They take only one minute BEFORE getting out of bed in the morning.

Let me see that X-ray.

Hope this has contributed.

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.

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