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Lower Back Pain: Scoliosis/Leg Length Discrepancy/DDD Connection?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Lower Back Pain
I'm a 22 y.o. male and have been having moderate lower back pain for the past 2 years. I'm about 6'3" and fairly athletic and have seen every doctor under the sun regarding this problem. My symptoms are localized pain on the left side that radiates into my left buttox. I have never had tingling or weakness and rarely have had any pain shooting into my left leg. More often than not, the pain is ONLY in my buttox in a specific spot, but sometimes it is accompanied by lower back pain on the left side as well. I have seen a physiotherapist and although stretching provides temporary relief, most back strengthening exercises and most sports activities make the pain worse.

My question is, could mild dextroscoliosis (convex to the right) be tied to a leg length discrepancy? My physiotherapist told me a few times that my left leg was slightly longer than the right. My test results stated the following:

MRI Lumbar Spine: convex right scoliosis. Tip of the conus medullaris terminates at the L1 vertebral body level. Soft tissues unremarkable. Spinal canal and neural foramen patent. No nerve root impingement detected.

X-Ray Lumbar Spine: There are five non-rib-bearing, lumbar type vertebral bodies and slight dextroscoliosis. The vertebral heights are preserved. The L4-L5 disc space is narrowed. There is minimal L5-S1 facet arthropathy. The pedicles are intact. Impression: Lower lumbar degenerative disc disease and minimal facet arthropathy.

MRI/X-Ray Sacroiliac Joint both completely normal.

This is not my area so I'm not sure what all of that means, but I'm curious if disc narrowing could cause my symptoms. Also, this is the first time anyone has told me that I had scoliosis but the doctor didn't even discuss it because it's so minimal. Could all of this be linked to the apparent leg length discrepancy? Should I "work through" the pain in the gym or could I do more damage? I'd appreciate any help as I just got out of school and am entering into a profession where I need to be physically fit. Thanks!


  • about the report. did you discuss it with your doc? You should really make an appt with him and have him explain it until you understand it. Sorry I could not be of more help but i wanted to wish you luck in getting to the bottom (no pun intended) of things.
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
    edited 07/12/2014 - 11:45 PM
    I'm a pharmacist & Registered Yoga Therapist. According to my knowledge & experiences:
    1. the pain that you have in bottox & back of the leg is because of your "sciatic nerve". You say that: " The L4-L5 disc space is narrowed " it means that the sciatica nerve is under pressure & it causes pain. Sciatica is a nerve that comes all the way down to your feet & even you may feel numbness in your toes & sometimes the pain gets worse while sitting or driving.
    2.You say that: "Lower lumbar degenerative disc disease and minimal facet arthropathy." this is the cause of your lower back pain that will get worsen when you do any practice.
    3.Physiotherapist say that: " left leg was slightly longer than the right ". When one leg is shorter than the other one, a hip tilt will observe in hip. In your case your left hip must be higher than the right one. When one hip is higher it's obvious that the spine can't stay straight so a very mild scoliosis will seen in spine.
    Good news is that there's a cure. You need an experienced yoga therapist in your area to work on your case. In 99% of cases, leg discrepancies is not because of the bone, it's because of tightness in muscles or connective tissues so YOGA can absolutely help you & after a while you will be normal & hip tilt will disapear & there will be no more scoliosis.
    In addition , YOGA can help you with your lower back problem. Special poses in yoga elongates spine & makes space between vertabrae so there will be no more pressure on your sciatica nerve & no more pain. You need to have strong back muscles to support yor vertabrae & it's just possible by YOGA.
    Remember that normal yoga classes can't help you, you need a yoga therapist. & they will look at your whole body & your posture & will help you for sure.
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