Severe episodic lower back pain - Underdeveloped disc/vertebrae

by clinton
(Bakersfield, CA, USA)

A number of years ago, after numerous visits to the doctor and various x-rays and scans of my lower back, an MRI indicated (based on what the doctor or medical professional related to me) that I have an under or undeveloped vertebrae or disc in my lumbar spine. It sounds very similar in some respects to your L5 Lumbarization/Sacralization situation. Unfortunately, I don't recall any name they may have provided, if any. I do recall he said it was rare but not unheard of. Additionally, he stated that as a result of the underdeveloped condition, the disc or vertebrae (I apologize. While i understand they are very different, I don't recall which) was prone to slip out of alignment. This being a source of unbelievable and at times leg buckling pain.

This slippage or condition doesn't generally require any obvious trama or antagonism. It can come out of seemingly nowhere. For example, it has random causes such as driving for 60-90 minutes. With no prior symptom, I step out of the car and somewhere in the process of getting out and putting pressure on a my leg there is a pain hard to describe but feels like a knife in my lower back, lightning shooting down my leg that buckles at my knee then retreats, waiting for a wrong step. It can last days, up to weeks.

On the other hand, an episode can have a gradual onset starting with a general weakness and less severe pain as if its partially out. These naturally seem to go one of two ways. This past year one of these gradual scenarios lasted several weeks and fluctuated between severe and mild during this time and was (re)aggravated by physical activity during this time. I wish I knew the location of a scan image but its a number of moves make it difficult to recall.

As you may imagine this has an association with other lower back trauma and symptoms in which the exact nature of of the relationship is unclear. I don't know what I am hoping for. Maybe hope, that you have some idea what I'm talking about and can tell me something can help slow, improve, stop this situation, experience, condition, etc. I am in my early 40s and at this rate, well 50s and 60s don't hold much promise in respect to pain, physical activity and mobility. Any thoughts, ideas, recommendation, light at the end of the tunnel? Am I in a tunnel?

Hello Clinton,
Yes, I suspect you have a lumbarisation, and it's certainly not rare. The first step to go back to the hospital where you had that scan done; get a copy, it's an important part of your medical records.

Sitting is the greatest enemy of the lower back, and it comes as no surprise that after driving you have a problem.

Then my best suggestion is to start doing our lower back exercises, every single morning before getting out of bed; I do them myself. Never miss, not ever.

These lower back anomalies are always tricky, and a chiropractor would have to work out which treatment would be most effective for you; he or she would have to be a thinking practitioner as a quick click is likely to be useless.

Good luck, let me know in a month or two how much the exercises have helped; find them in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help.

Dr B

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