Waking up feeling stiff and crotchety.

by Roger

I am now 63 yrs old, and have been an avid supporter and receiver of chiropractic treatment for over 25 years.
Initially when I started my problems were to do with misalignment in the lumbar region, misaligned sacrum and some minor problems with D5.D6 causing entrapment and arm pain.
With long term chiropractic I have been able to perform normally over the years, and if things worsen, a quick visit has put me right.(a top and tail) :)

However, during the last 12 months I have noticed some things. Firstly I am developing more of a stoop now as I grow older, it does figure widely in our family, and yes it happens with age.

But also I am getting some inflammation in the mid region of my back with mild to moderate pain radiating along my bottom ribs, both sides. Also my neck is also very crotchety and stiff in the mornings and often quite painful.

I did some online research and figured maybe it was spondilitis and if so was I still at liberty to use chiropractic solutions?

My discomfort goes mostly with over the counter pain killers, but has become a daily chore, having to take them.

Also exercise, warm baths and showers seem to help although not in any long term fashion.
Up until this episode I enjoyed full mobility of neck and back, with good torsional movement, but now it feels like my muscles are tight and things are difficult to mobilise properly, without undue discomfort.

I did read that if it is spondylitis it should not be treated by chiropractic, although it was an NHS site that stated such. (doh) Question is should I still be looking to chiropractic, given my age now, and to correct the stoop, and if it is spondylitis?

Many thanks

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Jul 17, 2014
progressive stooped posture
by: Dr B

Hello Roger,
When you feel there's been a change in your symptoms, it's time for a re evaluation; at least a good thorough new examination by your chiropractor, and quite likely some x-rays if you haven't had any for five years or more.

One hopes that it is spondylosis rather than spondylitis; there's a big difference. The latter doesn't usually start later in life, but it can.

I would talk directly to your chiropractor about these changes, and your general unhappiness, and having to readily take medication.

The stooped posture. Is it in the lower back, or in the midback? Either way, some exercises are needed. Are you doing any regular, daily back and neck exercises? If not ask your chiro for some exercises; you'll find some lower back exerc too at c-H.

It think it's important to get to the bottom of this; it's probably degenerative change from old injuries, but it could be something more serious.

If you feel you're not getting anywhere with you chiropractor, you have several options. Consult a different chiropractor for a second opinion. See your GP for his opinion. Seems to me you have had good results with chiropractic all these years; we go on treating older folk into old age. Two patients today of 89 and 86, so that's not a reason to change.

Let me know how you get on. Keep to the same thread.

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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