A 38 year old woman presented to this clinic in July 2010 complaining of lower back pain and right hip pain. She reported that the pain had started three months prior without any specific injury. The pain was initially mild but it was getting worse. It was stopping her from running which is a passion for her – so much so that she had suffered from stress fractures of her right femur and fibula. In 2006 she had had three pins inserted into her right leg to stabilise the stress fractures in her femur.
Her initial examination revealed a fairly classic presentation of pain with inflammation of the facet joints of L5S1 and obvious muscle spasm of her right gluteal muscles. There was no restriction of movement of her right hip joint. There was increased muscle tension in her calf muscles.
Her treatment consisted of chiropractic manipulation to her lower back, specifically at L5S1, to which she reported feeling better. However after the 4th treatment there was no additional improvement and the pain was returning as soon as she started running.
Further examination revealed that there was no longer any sensitivity of L5S1 on physical examination but there was tenderness on examination of her sacrum (tailbone). It was discovered that there was pain and restriction of movement when examining the movement of the right side of her sacrum.
Her fifth treatment consisted of manipulation of her sacrum to which she found immediate relief of her pain. The crucial test of course was to see how she fared while running.
I was delighted to hear on her sixth visit that her pain had significantly subsided and she was able to run for much longer periods before the pain started to return (and this was only mild pain that she felt that she could push through). After three more chiropractic treatments all of her pain was completely gone and she was able to enjoy her running again without fear of it starting all over again.