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No wonder my bubble is out of plumb

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
(....and I can only make right turns...

After experiencing chronic right shoulder and arm pain with some numbness for a pushing a couple, years, my right foot started going numb. It started out with tingling toes, but had progressed to falling asleep and awkward sensations in my legs and knees. This prompted my first trip to a Physical Therapist who determined my left hip was torqued an inch higher than my right, creating some nerve pinching.

After some correction and traction, along with a few exercises, the numbness has reduced over the last few days. Is a hip adjustment back to normal actually possible through this approach, or is something else in future?

TIA, Terry
post #2 of 11
So is it due to different length legs? Did they pinpoint the cause? I'd say try to eliminate the cause if you can. One of my cousins has one leg fractionally longer than the other. It was enough to put more stress on the longer hip when running and throw him out of whack. I think he solved his issues with custom orthotics for his running shoes.
post #3 of 11
Were you ever in an auto accident?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's probably due to the fact I need training wheels on my bike and out riggers for my skis. I had a couple big crashes this spring on a bike and a couple skiing in the past few years. The best guess is it's cumulative from sports injuries, including ankle and knees. The left hip is up from it's positions and apparently I have naturally compensated by turning my right foot and tweaking a little. The PT thinks my sacrum and spine are twisted, up left and causing a pinch. He says he moved it about 70% (3/4") the other day and I'll be back in over the next couple of weeks for more treatments.

There was no actual leg measurement which I thought to ask later and will do so tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder. Not sure if the upper back and shoulder/arm is related, but will look into it after we 'get the foundation' squared out.
post #5 of 11
Hi Terry...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Is a hip adjustment back to normal actually possible through this approach, or is something else in future?
It's possible, but unlikely that one hip adjustment, or even a series of hip adjustments with exercise, will "fix" things back to normal.

It depends on what, exactly, the problem is, and how long it's been there. "One hip being torqued an inch higher than the other" is a bogus diagnosis, and at the very least a very poor description. "Torqued hips" don't cause nerve pinching, and can be the result of several different issues or factors.

The symptoms you describe certainly indicate a radiculopathy (nerve tissue encroachment causing radiating pain or numbness along the pathways of the peripheral nerves), but in cases like yours, nerves tend to be irritated from soft tissue restriction and dysfunction -- muscles and tendons. And that doesn't tend to happen at the "torqued hip joints," but rather in the lower spine and flank area just above them, or in the rear and side areas of the gluteals.


I don't doubt your PT observed one hip (ilium) "higher" than the other, either while you were standing or lying prone. That's likely a sacroiliac subluxation (joint misalignment and movement problem) if the visible difference is that noticeable, but locating and analyzing the actual source of imbalance is the key. It could be an anterior-superior ilium relative to the sacrum on the high side, or it could be a posterior-inferior ilium on the opposite low side. It could be a nutation malposition of the sacral base, or sacrotuberous adhesion, or tortipelvic unleveling, or several other possibilities... and any combination thereof.


The crux of the problem comes in determining how to bring about effective correction of such a drastic imbalance. In most cases, even the crudest, most nonspecific manipulations and mobilizations of the lumbosacral area will give some initial symptomatic relief -- particularly when serious symptoms such as yours have started to set in. Beyond that initial relief, however, usually requires a much more specific analysis of musculoskeletal dynamics of the spine and pelvis. I've seen clearly and frequently how nonspecific and improper spinal adjustments along with traction -- especially SI adjustments in the wrong direction -- can oftentimes exacerbate musculoskeletal imbalance, leading to joint hypermobility/instability and sprain/strain injuries. And when that happens, correction and recovery with the proper treatment and exercise becomes more difficult, and takes several months to a few years, when it could have taken a matter of weeks to a few months.


Nevertheless, judging by your post it seems that you only started treatment a short time ago, so your progress and amount of initial improvement is still yet undetermined. Your symptoms may continue to decrease, even disappear, but keep in mind that symptoms themselves are a lousy indicator of health and body balance.

If you want to ensure a strong, flexible spine and pelvis that protects the nerve system instead of damaging it, you really need ongoing periodic spinal checkups and adjustments from a competent professional as needed... just like any person does, whether they have back pain or not. Stresses and forces frequently cause musculoskeletal imbalances, and clearing them up quickly helps prevent damage and ensures proper function.


Hope this helps.

Keep us posted, Terry.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
My initial thought when I felt the foot numbness was go to a Chiropractor (which my PT is as well). The reason I went to him for PT services, was while golfing several years ago, with him and a mutual friend, we discussed that he was more interested in dealing with causes than affects. I think he believes this and I'm 'trusting but verifying'. Sounds like an xray or MRI ought to happen.

His analysis included watching me walk as did his assistant, along with some positions on a table. My right foot does project outward and as he discussed his analysis it all made sense and seemed to add up.....but, you never know for sure and of course there are tons of variables. The plan is to see how it goes over the next few visits. Possibly a contributing factor is ankles that do not have full lateral motion. Another possibility, too many years with poor posture over a drawing board or computer screen.....

The only contributing factor that I can think of that exacerbated the 'condition' and increased the numbness was a 3 week trek that wasn't traumatic, but lots of vertical and carrying a pack. Probably a few slips, jumps and tweaks, sprinkled in.

Thanks for taking the time and the info. Lot to chew on.
post #7 of 11
i had same type hip/pelvis issue and it took more than 6 month of pt to keep hip/pelvis in correct postion.Also i must do some exercises every other day to work muscles so it doesnt happen again.Biggest bitch is if it does happen again i need to see primary care for a referal then wait for appointment for pt and that could take 2 to 4 week total.And all he does is minipulate pelvis/hip back into correct position.
I did mine while i was unloading skiis ,wife opened hatch and as i came arround back of car and i tried to stop from hitting heaD..upper body stopped lower body did not, muscles pulled pelvis out of place.Thought it was my back but after a week it Actually felt like leg was up and out when i walked.He put back in place but i reinjured a few more times over summer.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidbump View Post
Biggest bitch is if it does happen again i need to see primary care for a referal then wait for appointment for pt and that could take 2 to 4 week total.And all he does is minipulate pelvis/hip back into correct position.
Find yourself a good Chiropractor and you'll never have to worry about a primary care referral again. Chiropractors, like MD's, are portal of entry providers.


Quote:
I did mine while i was unloading skiis ,wife opened hatch and as i came arround back of car and i tried to stop from hitting heaD..upper body stopped lower body did not, muscles pulled pelvis out of place.Thought it was my back but after a week it Actually felt like leg was up and out when i walked.He put back in place but i reinjured a few more times over summer.
This is very common, and happens to virtually everyone who tries to use a few adjustments for a "quick fix." Rarely does one adjustment, or even a series of adjustments, provide enough corrective input over time to achieve correction, or at least long-lasting results.

It's important to realize that the human spine and pelvis is not a static stack of blocks, with bones and joints that "go out of position." There is no singular position for any articulation in the skeleton. What we call joint misalignments are really movement imbalances... a circumstance where the body's nerve system has lost control over the movements of its frame. And the longer these imbalances exist, the more aberrant changes occur in the supporting soft tissues: stabilizing muscles become weak and hence hypertonic, other muscles fall into a cycle of excessive contraction and shorten... viscoelastic deformation occurs in tendons and ligaments... even the cartilage of the joints changes shape and properties under the imbalanced loading and movement patterns, all of which produces deep-set neuromusculoskeletal patterns.

A treatment program or adjusting program that is too short, or done incorrectly or insufficiently to encourage significant changes, will only produce temporary symptomatic relief... much like going to the gym 3 times for one week and expecting that it will keep you fit for the whole year.


IMO, it makes the most sense to take care of these things as you go along, rather than wait for the late-stage warning signs (symptoms) before deciding to do something about it. It's much easier to maintain proper function and fitness than to try and rebuild it once it's lost. And the only way to ensure proper function, especially in the asymptomatic stages, is to have your spine examined on a regular basis, and adjusted properly only when you need it.

Unfortunately, this concept has contributed to the negative rep that Chiropractors and PT's get when uninformed folks make statements like, "Once you go to one of those guys, you have to keep going for the rest of your life."

:


And that's not true at all. This is America, and you have the right to be as sick and injured as you want. You can go back to being subluxated and "out of plumb" whenever you like!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
There is no question that when I have a better active routine going, things are firing more cylinders and the little tweaks aren't as noticeable. Lifting weights reduces the arm and back pain a bit. My PT is 'giving me a tool set' to take with me to keep an ongoing self maintenance and treatment program going.

Any insights or opinions on a Nervous System Scan? I've received a free scan and initial adjustment offer from a Chiropractor who my name got passed to from my retired Chiropractor. If it'll provide a reliable picture on things, what the hey, I might just go see what happens, unless it'll just muddy the waters.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Any insights or opinions on a Nervous System Scan? I've received a free scan and initial adjustment offer from a Chiropractor who my name got passed to from my retired Chiropractor. If it'll provide a reliable picture on things, what the hey, I might just go see what happens, unless it'll just muddy the waters.
Hi Terry...

I appreciate you asking these questions, because I just love giving my unedited opinions.


This scan really isn't a "nervous system scan." It is either a surface electromyography scan which attempts to measure paraspinal muscle activity... or a thermography scan which attempts to measure heat differentials on either side of the spine. The theory behind these machines is that increased muscle activity, or increased heat on one side of the spine is supposed to indicate "nerve interference/irritation" at that particular level.

Are these scans "reliable?" I still don't know one way or the other. I know some Chiropractors in my area who use these scans, and it may be a helpful component in their analysis. I personally find them useless for what I do. But many patients are impressed by the hi-tech colorful printouts from the computer screen.




I'm not really a fan of these free offer marketing gimmicks. They don't lend a credible image to the profession as a whole. Most Chiropractors doing these free offers are those who are new in practice and high in debt, so the desperation factor is kind of obvious.

However... if the scan and initial adjustment is free, and there are no obligations, I say go for it. You've got nothing to lose, right?


Just be aware that these free offers are a hook... in most cases, a classic bait and switch. Once they get a prospective customer in the door, it's usually a high pressure sales pitch for further treatment, and right away! Because your spine is about to rot out of your body! : ... and sometimes with huge pre-payments up front.

But other times, the free scan offer is an opportunity for Chiropractors to explain the benefits of Chiropractic in a non-threatening way. You just may find a decent Chiropractor who can help you. And some of the people who take these offers become satisfied Chiropractic patients who would have otherwise missed out on the benefits.


If I were in your shoes, I would go and check out the free offer. But I would also ask several friends, neighbors, coworkers, and customers to recommend a Chiropractor as well. The good ones generate positive word-of-mouth, and don't need to rely on free gimmicks. Sometimes, finding a good Chiropractor... just like finding a good MD or Dentist... is a matter of shopping around.


Hope this helps!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Poor lingo on my part. I went for the Paraspinal Surface Electromyographic Scan (sEMG) & a Paraspinal Thermal Scan, discussion & subsequent adjustment. It was definitely a 'come and check us out' option, with a soft sell. The scanning, a tool, was along the backbone a various vertebrae and took only a couple minutes. The adjustments to my neck and ribs were clearly needed and apparent on the output. My right ankle with limited motion, was worked on a bit as well. I left feeling a fair amount of confidence with the Chiropractor, but will do more research on this tool and approach. Maybe I'll head back in a month or so.....




I took the image to the PT session today (and raised some curiosity and 'guard') where they worked things and me harder and the hips apparently aligning and more ankle motion is apparent. With an armload of 'homework' to combine with a general workout, I'll be able to focus on new areas to strengthen over time and continue with additional sessions.
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