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Discussions relating to Lower Back Pain.
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Post by redshoes » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:59 am

I have been having low back pain for about two years. Initially I went to a naturalpathic doctor who recommended acupuncture. Last May I had severe muscle spasms and went thru a course of physical therapy and to a myropractor who "straighened" my pelvis. I felt fine for about 4 months and continued to do the physical therapy exercises. three weeks ago I came back from a trop with sciatica. I can't sit or stand but can walk or dance tho getting to my feet is very painful. I demanded to know why I amj having these problems and was sent for an MRi. Results are bulging discs at L1, 3 and 4 , a herniated disc at L5-S1 and moderate degenerative central spinal canal stenosis and bilateral foraminal stenosis at L4-5 (whatever that means). I was advised to stop PT and accupuncture and see a chiropractor. The chiropractor referred me to a second chiropractor for evaluation for decompression therapy (traction). I am very leery of bone crunching as I am already in a lot ot pain. I down loaded rebuild your back and the pain management book and am trying the first exercise ( ;modified cobra which I can do and walking. I am taking aleve and a muscle relatant. I have found there are two PMR certified doctors in a nearby town and am wondering if seeing them might be a better route. Also does decompression therapy help? It sounds like it can be very costly and time consuming if you have to signe up for 20 treatments from the gitgo.
does anyone have some suggestions or advice? I am very thankful for this website. It gives me hope that I will be able to sit sometime again, and dance! I am a competetive ballroom dancer. thanks.

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Post by randolph » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:34 pm

Hello Redshoes

Regarding all your physical abnormalities revealed by the MRI and described in Latin by those diagnosing you, check out Dean's article on physcial abnormalities (Abnormalities Are Normal). The stuff you're diagnosed with is very likely normal stuff that happens to us as we age, that only needs medical attention rarely. Some docs claim there really is no connection with these normal changes in our bones and softer tissues as we age and sciatica pain; but we're so very inclined to finding physical "causes" for problems, that we mistakenly blame these tissue changes for the pain, then base therapies on removing the supposed causes (e.g. surgery to remove disc bulges) ... which may be one reason so many back surgeries fail.

What kind of training do the PMR (physical medicine and rehabilitation) certified docs receive? Are they doctors specializing in physical therapy? The word "doctor" is thrown around so much these days, sometimes to give credibility to those frequntly unworthy of it (e.g. Doctor of Chiropractic, Naturopathic Doctor) that you certainly want to find out what exactly they are "certified" in doing.

Also, I googled "myropractor" and came up with the impression that it's a chiropractor with different spots. How do the two differ?

Thanks for the education, Randolph

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Post by redshoes » Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:14 pm

Hi Randolph-
Thanks for your reply. You are correct about a myropractor. It is a chiropractor who specializes in the pelvic area. In this case he determined my pelvis was tilted forward and up on the right side making my left leg appear long. This was why I would end up limping when I walked any distance. At that time I did not necessarily feel pain, just would limp. I had an episode with back spsms. Treated by accupuncture and PT. That eased most of the pain. The myropractice treatment seemed to finish the pain. This guy did not do repeated treatments. You pay for one. If you have to come back for the same thing within a year it is free. I had no pain for about 4 months. then had two weeks of inactivity due to the flu. Afterwards, I was preparing for a dance competition and I guess overdid it. anyway pain came back. I did the same round of treatments tho the myropractic was too painful. Pain eased and we did the competition. then I had to fly back east for a week to help my father who is in a retirement home and may have als. I had very little activity that week except carrying suitcases, etc. I did do my pt exercises every morning tho as it is part of my daily routine. Coming back on the airplane I developed sciatic pain in my left lhip and leg. It goes to the knee and sometime to my foot. Thet was why I got the MRI. I can Walk somewhat with pian. I can dance with no pain if I can get up on my feet. I think the hip movement andposture required musst help somehow. I can't sit at all and only with aleve can I sleep on my back or walk with mild discomfort. I think all the latin means that something is pinching the nerve. My Dr reommend chiro and NO physical therpay. Without a script from the Doc my insurance won't pay for PT. In Dean's book he recommends a physiatrist if you need a doc. I looked for them on the web and found two doc's in a nearby town listed as PMR certified. I think that means they are physiatriksts but am not sure. The acronym stands for physical medicine and rehabilitation. I'm thinking a consult with one or both might help and at least be covered by insurance. I don't know if theyh offer a variety of services like pt, etc or not. I think they may do traction as well and have concerns about that and whether it works. finally I am really scared of steriods (epiderials) tho I'm reading that has worked for some and not others. Any advice?

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Post by Seann » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:12 pm

howdy redshoes-

I'll keep this short. I too had a problem with my right hip being higher than my left, which was always dignosed as a leg-length discrepency. My right shoulder also dropped about an inch lower than my left. I also suffer from sciatic type problems, primarily in the left leg. I noticed after a week or so of doing the stretches in RYB my shoulders had almost equaled out entirely and my pelvic discrepencies had all but gone away. In retrospect I believe it was simply tight muscles onthe right side of my body pulling the hip up and the shoulder down. I'm pretty sure the combination of the cobra, side bends and possibly the hip shrug are responsible.

I still have some issues with pack pain and sciatica, but have improved immensely. In fact, I just returned from a two day boy scout camping trip that, amonth ago, would have been impossible for me to do physically. My legs ache right now, but I was able to spend both days on foot without holding anybody up. huge personal victory.

Anyway, your story sounded awful familiar so I just thought I'd share what worked for me with you.

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