T Nation

Got X-Rays for My Back


I started seeing this new chiro in my area. So far so good. He is a pretty big dude and works out a lot, so I think he kind of understands my goals a bit better than some of the ones I've been to before.

First session he diagnosed an indentation in my back (forget the terminology) that I have seen the symptoms of before (one shoulder/trap lower than the other) but no chiro has ever pointed this out before. I always just thought it was due to that shoulder being internally rotated. He says this is easily correctable with some adjustments.

Also has a game plan for my lower back, which is where I've experienced the most pain.

Anyway, he ordered some x-rays which was also a first.

I decided to catalogue my experiences with him here and to answer any questions that I can. Here is the first x-ray of the pelvis.


Side spine


Front spine


I certainly don't know a lot about x-rays and such, but to my untrained eye it would appear to be some compression in the lumbar region, which is not surprising given my ongoing pain there.

I'd be curious as to what others thought.

Got my follow up appointment with him this Friday where we will be reviewing the x-rays.


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Hey BBB, thanks for looking at that for me and the excellent article. It was crazy how much progress the guy ended up making in 10 weeks with proper therapy. As you know, I too have a lot of issues with my feet & arches, which likely contributes to a lot of my biomechanical issues like the study's patient.

I agree with the >60 degrees assessment of my sacrum angle. It is definitely too high.

My question though is, how is that angle determined? It appears, in my best medical terms, to be drawn from where the solid "dohickey" stops and the disc "thingamabobs" begin. Am I reading that correctly as the 'sacral base'?

And the load bearing part is just drawn from the 3rd disc up?

I've got my appointment here in a couple hours and will show these to him. Hopefully he's already drawn the lines and we can get down to business!

Thanks again...you da man!


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BBB, you were right with the Ferguson's angle and such...I was able to pass your knowledge off as my own while discussing with the chiro and he was very impressed haha j/k..I gave you all the credit...

I was telling him about you and couldn't think of your title...was thinking sports physio or osteomycologist or something along those lines, but couldn't pin point it


In addition to the excessive lordosis, there is also alignment issues between L2-L3 and L3-L4, which you cant actually see on here but can while zooming on the provided software...basically the disc on the bottom is pushed forward at each of those junctions...

Additionally, there is disc compression in the cervical and lumbar regions, so it looks like I am screwed up all over...

He has been adjusting me, concentrating mostly on my thoracic spine because that is by far the tightest area...actually, they said it was the "ridgeiest" they've ever seen with all sorts of peaks and valleys...so if I add that to the honor BBB bestowed on me of "tightest IT bands ever", I have quite the collection of accolades...


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I think he is doing a good job looking after me, and knows that I know a little bit about the human body so I dont think hes going to try to pull the wool over my eyes!

I asked him why we are concentrating on the thoracics when the problems lie elsewhere...he thinks the tightness there is the contributing factor to the visible issues residing in the lumbar and cervical region...his plan of attack is to get the thoracics loose enough so that the other issues can be corrected without being pulled back out of alignment due to the tightness elsewhere...

We are doing some stuff for those areas now, but the bulk of the work will occur once the mid back is a bit less impinged...

Going to go twice a week over the next 4-6 weeks..

BBB: Do you have any thoughts on "the rack"? From what I gather its basically the same as the medieval torture devices where they strap you up to it and pull you apart, then release the pressure...rinse and repeat for about 15-20 minutes....he wants to give me a demo of that the next time I'm in there and see how I respond to it...


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hey BBB.

totally unrelated to topic, but I wanted to say THANK YOU! I read a previous post of yours about what could be causing a tight QL (which I was experiencing). Your diagnosis was spot on... I found that not only were my glute med/min weak as hell (clams/x-band walks made me burn like no other), but they were tender as hell when I foam rolled them. I immediately found relief from what was a chronic lower back tightness in my right side as soon as I started working on that glute med/min.


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Be careful about rolling the glute medius too much. Often times the muscle is weak and overstretched. If you overstretch a muscle long enough it can become strained (hence the tenderness). Although it's tender, sometimes the last thing you want to do with a strained muscle is beat it up even more.

Also, when a muscle is overstretched that means it's likely too relaxed as it's not tightening up and contracting like it should be. Often times rolling is used to relax the muscle...the last thing you want to do is relax an already relaxed muscle even more.


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I agree with you BBB. Great stuff as normal.

Here is my outlook on Self myofascial release techniques, such as foam rolling, using a tiger tail, etc. They can have a relaxing massage-like effect that can result in "relaxation" of the muscles. But rolling, etc have more to due, IMO, with improvement of soft tissue quality rather than directly detonifying the muscle. When addressing hypertonic muscles, I have found a lot of other techniques to be very beneficial, such as MET, PNF techniques, strain-counterstrain, etc, while also using some myofascial release work (graston, ART, foam rolling, etc) for the scar tissue/soft tissue quality component.


Can you guys start your own thread? My back is serious business here!


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Sorry I didn't see this.

Pretty sure we are on the same page, like you said little differences in the terminology, but I wasn't really consistent. When I said overstretched above I meant chronically lengthened, and thus the muscle, over time, becomes strained. This oopposed to a traumatic overstretching resulting in a strain.

I agree that typically METS is better than rolling, as anything with the hands is going to be much more focal and efficient.

I will say though that I see people desiring to have massage type work done on lengthened muscles due to the muscles giving the client a perceived tightness. This is when actually the muscle is chronically lengthened. That is, you typically don't notice a muscle is tight until it is stretched.

I've seen other people talk about a muscle being weak due to scarring and adhesions but can't say I've really seen this myself. Of course that doesn't mean it's not happening though. Any examples of this you could share?