Upper & Lower back, deep left hip pain

by Heather
(Baraboo, WI USA)

I am a 36 year old mother of two. About 3 years ago I started noticing upper back pain (bra strap level), but worse chronic low back and a deep pain in my left hip. These pains never go away, but over exursion makes them a lot worse.

I had 2 C-sections (03 & 05) and I am a good 20 pounds over weight. I am 5'10" tall and rather large framed. My back muscles seem to be in a constant state of spasm. MRI has indicated L5/S1 bulging disk as well as Degenorative Disk Disease.

I have seem many doctors and have been through a treamendous amount of drugs (nothing, and I do mean nothing, helps). I've had custom orthodics made for my shoes, I've had numerous bouts of Physical Therapy, I see a very knowledgeable Chiropractor weekly.

Recently I noticed while doing yoga that my left hip makes a snapping noise, doesn't hurt, just makes noise. However, being that I have chronic, deep seated pain in the left hip I saw an Orthopedic surgeon. MRI indicated a torn labrum, so they fixed it arthoscopically. I'm 6 weeks post surgery and have NO releif of back or hip pain.

My back is extremely difficult to crack and when it is I find it very painful. In the past I had steroid injections in my spine and facet joints. I also had medial branch blocks & radio frequency ablation, No Relief (2011 is when that was done).

So now I'm back to square one. I've seen neuologists, rhuemotologists, orthopedists, pediotrists, chiropractor....but no one seems to have any answers. I am way to young to feel this terrible. I just want my life back so I can enjoy my children and my life again. I can not work due to the pain, yet I have not been classified by the government as disabled either. I need to be able to work, but even something as simple as bending or twisting to tie my shoes or unload the dishwasher prove to be too much for my back and hip.

If you have ANY information or can help in ANY way, I would be forever grateful to you. One last thing, all blood work comes up normal, and I've included all findings through MRI, but there is one thing that may be of use.

I tested positive for the genetic marker of HLA-B27. No doctor wants to label me with any disease associated with this marker, but my Chiropractor feels it may be of significance. Again, I thank you in advance and hope to hear back from you soon.

Dear Heather,
I can well imagine your frustration. When faced with chronic poor health that doesn't respond to ANYTHING, what I always recommend is going back to the basics.

Firstly, at C-H you'll find some lower back exercises in the navigation bar on the left. Ask your chiro for guidance as to which might be most appropriate for your condition. Do them EVERY SINGLE MORNING before getting out of bed. They take less than two minutes. In your case I'd try and do them several times a day.

Once your hip starts to heal, ask the surgeon's advice and start walking EVERY DAY. Short distances at first. If walking hurts, then swimming or cycling.

Thirdly start eating fresh fatty fish regularly (if you can find it) and taking omega-3 capsules, and flax seed oil.

Fourthly, take a long hard look at your diet. Black and white? Eating your five colours per day? I aim for ten. If you're eating crap you can only expect poor health. When did you last eat an apple? Freshly cracked pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds? A beetroot? Spinach, hummus... become something of a health nut.

Look at your relationships. Any serious issues that need to be addressed, rather than swept under the carpet? Ever talk to God?

Take ten minutes every day to lie down (do those back exercises at the same time) and listen to some music. Your email address suggests you have a Dutch or German background. Listen to this site whenever you are on the computer: http://www.classicfm.nl/luister/classic-fm

Twenty pounds isn't huge, but you'd obviously be better off without it. Cutting out the starches in your diet is the easiest way. Potato, rice, pasta, bread... See our weight loss programme at C-H.

If your cracking your back hurts, and is difficult, then I'd recommend another technique, like drop pieces or activator. Forcing the spine is like forcing a key in the lock. Something will give...

You can look up Ankylosing Spondylitis using the Search this Site at C-H. There are many false positives of the HLA B27 test.

It's probably early to start vigorously exercising that hip but some gentle exercise, perhaps just gently pulling the knee to the chest, would be good. Look at our pages on Hip Dystrophy and FAIS.

A short leg? An insert in the shoe can make a world of difference. Leg Length Inequality pages.

I hope this has made a contribution, Heather. Oh, perhaps a weekly massage?

Dr B

My blog: http://bernardpreston.hubpages.com/hub/Ladders

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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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