Case Study – Sciatica/Pinched Nerve
Back Pain, Sciatic (Leg Pain), and Intestinal Discomfort
Mr. B. consulted me at the request of his son. He had chronic left hip and leg pain, and had just finished a full year of chiropractic care under another physician, so was hesitant to consult with another “chiropractor.”
When a person discovers that I am a chiropractor, often they immediately “know” what it is that I do, and decide whether or not I can help them. With growing numbers of chiropractors, most of my patients have seen and “tried” chiropractic care. If they are consulting me, chances are chiropractic did not work.
The effective difference is that I begin with a functional diagnosis. Many chiropractors provide their therapy, adjustments and other structural therapies, for your condition. When we obtain a functional diagnosis, the actual process of determining why you have the symptom(s) you have, we tailor our therapy to that diagnosis, regardless of what it has been called or named.
Mr. B. is a perfect example of treating his functional diagnosis versus treating a symptom or name.
Mr. B. described in detail how his left hip hurt, what positions aggravated the pain, how it felt, how it radiated into his left leg and foot, how often he felt it, and how it had progressively gotten worse over the last 5 years, despite the extensive chiropractic care.
He also remarked that he has low grade intestinal discomfort. In fact, he recalled that this has been a life long malady, starting around 18 years of age. (72 years of age at the time of consultation)
He described that he would have bouts of stomach pain, resulting in a terrible headache, which caused him to lie down, but he couldn’t rest because, as he lied there, he would get severe heartburn, burning his chest and throat.
As I questioned deeper, he said that one aggravating factor for his back was eating a large meal. If he ate too much his back would hurt. Hmmmm…that doesn’t sound like a twisted spine or pinched nerve!
He also reported that he has had several minor problems with his colon, including a polyp removal and a diagnosis of diverticulosis (Pressure within the colon causing bulging pockets of tissue (sacs) that push out from the colonic walls) and a hiatal hernia. He had also been diagnosed with and elevated PSA indicating prostate inflammation. He self treated with Saw Palmetto and this number recovered to normal.
As I interviewed him, he confessed that his greatest health concern was developing colon cancer.
Mr. Bartlett’s Functional Diagnosis
As you might expect, I didn’t suggest a course of chiropractic care. I suggested that we perform some functional and medical diagnostic tests that would give us insight into why he suffered with the symptoms he described.
Specifically, I suggested an Intestinal Ecology Test. This test measures the levels of healthy bacteria in the intestines, along with any other infections, including parasites, yeast, fungus, and pathogenic bacteria (trouble makers).
There are many infective species that do not cause explosive diarrhea or other obvious intestinal symptoms. He did have intestinal symptoms, including alternating diarrhea and constipation, chronic bloating and gas, but they were not severe, so he suffered mostly in silence.
His test revealed three active infections, including a yeast species, Candida Albicans, and two bacteria, Klebsiella Pneumonia and Citrobacter Braakii.
While his digestion and populations of healthy bacteria were intact, a marker for intestinal inflammation was significantly elevated (74 where normal is <50). The immune response is a major source of inflammation, and inflammation triggers a genetic response that expresses pain and weakness, which he experienced both in his body (back and leg), and colon (diverticulosis and polyps).
The lab tests each infection for susceptibility to both pharmaceutical and botanical (natural) anti-microbials. Since his infections were not highly virulent or dangerous to his life, we chose to prescribe a couple natural agents, specifically garlic and Uva Ursi.
Approximately three months later we retested.
The Citrobacter Braakii were completely eliminated, the Candida was suppressed down to 1+ on a scale of 4, and the inflammatory marker was down to 21 (normal <50).
His back pain and leg weakness was eliminated. He remarked that he couldn’t believe he had struggled so long, and paid so much for care that was essentially ineffective.
The treatment he received, I’m certain, was quality chiropractic care, but lacked the correct diagnosis. His condition looked like a structural back disorder. Even his x-rays showed degenerative changes as well as a significant structural “twist” in his spine.
By approaching his circumstances from a functional mindset, and asking questions regarding his systemic health, we were able to locate and diagnose a significant barrier to his health. Through diagnosing this barrier, the infections and inflammation, a relatively simple solution was presented most obviously to us, and we were able to rapidly move toward health and his experience (and his health) greatly improved.
And…by reducing the intestinal inflammation, which is a known trigger for negative genetic expression, including cancer, his probability of developing what he most feared was greatly reduced.