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It took me years to find that the name of the condition that I am suffering from is called "Bertolotti's Syndrome". All this time I had lower back pain. I don’t understand quite yet my condition. Doctor tried with steroids shots to reduce my pain, but that wasn’t long term solution. I started practicing yoga. I am having 30 min daily walks. I feel very exhausted. I don’t know what else I should do. What are treatments for Bertolotti's Syndrome?

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Treatment for Bertolotti's Syndrome is very controversial. I meant especially on the surgery, injections can provide relief, but the response from injections did not predict a successful surgery. Bertolotti's syndrome is mechanical low back pain. I read about the Bertolotti's syndrome surgeries and according to these reports most patients have pain even after the surgery, although there is a case of the surgical removal of an abnormal facet joint articulation resulted in a good outcome. You should try to find a doctor who is specialist for Bertolotti's syndrome.
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I am new to the site. I too have Bertolotti syndrome and find adjusting to the pain very difficult. My hobbies are hiking (with my dog) and gardening but in order to continue with these activities I need pain meds. On and On, but I am fortunate that I have a very flexible schedule so I can adjust my activities accordingly. I would like to hear from others that have the this syndrome.
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Hi. I am an intern doctor at Texas Chiropractic College and also am in a yoga teacher training program at Yoga Rasa, both in Pasadena, TX. I want to combine yoga therapy and nutrition with chiropractic so I can offer my patients a more comprehensive approach to standard chiropractic care.

My first patient in the outpatient clinic on-campus at TCC, the Moody Health Center, has Bertolotti syndrome. I have been researching this condition and other factors that may be causing or aiding to his chronic low back pain. Since I have great interest in yoga, I am curious to see if "jp" found yoga to be helpful in this condition. Feedback would definitely be helpful. Thanks.
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I am sorry I was so slow to respond. I lost track of this website and when I read the post I said "Boy that sounds like me and indeed it was my post. First off after reading the description of Bertolotti's snydrome I thought it sounded like my xray report but that was not stated. I have six identified lumbar vertebral bodies. The sixth vertebral body identified has partial sacralization with....articulation of the transverse process on the right of the sacrum. There may a diminutive rib off what is being called the first L1 vertebral body. So to answer your question if this sounds like your patient I would say Yes Yoga and nutrition is a wonderful way to ease in to fitness. Unfortunately for me I have recently had a MRI and it showed a bulging disk and narrowing spinal column...the good new is that I think with swimming on my back)... (freestyle put to much pressure on the lower spine) helped repair the damage and ease the pain. The report also said incidental findings Tarlov Cysts. I now think the diagnoses of mild intervertebral osteochondrosis and the pressure from the Tarlov Cysts are causing me a great deal of discomfort. I am still walking but I am in a great deal of pain. I don't think now I would start Yoga or any other exercise program. Walking means everything to me and that's where I put my energy. The pain doesn't make me want to stretch at all. I have a lot going on and I am taking step by step to tie these problems together and figure out what is the best treatment. I have started Neurontin and that seems to help along with Vicodin and IBprophen. I had a terrible reaction to Mobic. If any of your patients come to you while taking an ANti-inflamatory and complain of hot pain, in a centralized area take a look at there medication because I suffered for months with an intense burning. My doctor and I even increased the Mobic because we thought it was the arthritis. It was extremely uncomfortable. Good luck with your studies....
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I too have lower back pain and suspect Bertolotti's. I have a Xray report that seems to fit the description. The only thing that differs is the fact I have six lumber vertebral bodies. But i have the sacralization and the..articulation of the transverse process on the right of the sacrum. The diagnoses Mild intervertebral osteochondrosis. I also walk and don't feel like doing much stretching because of the pain...Would like someone to chat with. Hope to have a reply.Thanks
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I have just been diagnosed with the syndrom. I have been having lower back pain for awhile and then the doctors suspected a slipped disk so did and MRI scan. To which they noticed the condition which has now caused L4 and 5 to prolapse with irritation on nerve root L5. I have booked into have the epidural pain relief soon to help with the pain. any advice and help would be appreciated on what I can do to help reduce the pain through excersie as I really want to avoid having back surgery if I can.
Thanks in advance.
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Hi everyone,
I had been reading these posts, with lot of interest. Till now no doctor has use this term to identify my probelm, but going by all the posts and wikipedia answers, i m doubly sure that my sufferings are due to Bertolotti syndrom. Well being only 31 year, and so many more years to live, would surely like to find if any cure was discovered or established by the people who have posted under this section.
For now i m taking regular walks , which has reduced pain considerably. I would like to know typical yog aasans, targeting this syndrom.
I would post any thing, that could be of some use to all people.
Regards to all and good luck while under pain
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I was diagnosed with Bertolloti's Syndrome in 1998 by an orthopaedic surgeon at The Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. At that time, I had a sacralized L5 and a narrowing at the L4-5 disc space. The disc at the bottom of my spine is unusually thin, whereas in most people, that lowest disc should be thickest. I am told that this condition affects approximately 2% of the population, and it is congenital, but does not begin to cause pain until the 20's or 30's. I suffer mild pain and ache every morning. The surgeon did not recommend surgery to fuse vertabrae together until the pain was very significant and constant. Rather, he recommended regular and daily back exercises. For the past 8 years, I have been doing a series of exercises each morning that stretch my hamstrings and back muscles, strenghten my stomach muscles and effectively makes my lowest disc more supple. Lesson's learned - avoiding weight gain, strong stomach muscles and daily exercises are crucial to avoiding lower back pain.
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My 13 year old daughter just had x-rays because of hip pain...and they showed she has unilateral sacralization of her L5 vertabrae. I don't know what any of this means....or what her treatment options may be. Can anyone help? 

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This may not be very informative, but may be a positive story for someone who is concerned about having Bertolotti's syndrome:

I was diagnosed with this condition when I was about 13 years old. I was a very active child and had been training for my sport about 12-16 hours each week over a 7 year period. I had some trouble with lower back strength as well as full range of motion in my back (mostly twisting movements). No one thought much about it. About 8 months before I was diagnosed with Bertolotti's Syndrome I got a stress fracture in my back and had to put my training on hold for several months. This was the first time in my life that I was not physically active. When I tried to start my training again I was in a lot of pain. The doctors kept saying that the injury was healed and that I should not be in pain. Well, several test and a new orthopedic later I finally found out what was wrong (It just so happened that my new doctor was assigned an article on Bertolotti while he was in medical school so he was familiar with the condition.). He said that due to this condition the muscles in my back and legs have had to compensate for the impaired areas of my back. Also, I have one leg that is 1 1/2 inches shorter than the other and that causes more strain on my muscles. When I stopped training these muscles got weak very fast and this was the cause of my pain. I had to go to physically therapy to get myself back on track, but it worked. I continued to be very active and was a college athelete. Anytime my training stopped my back would hurt a little...but I just kept going and eventually the pain would go away. 14 years later I continue to remain active and my back pain stays away. Keeping fit, including my stomach, leg, and back muscles worked for me and it could work for you as well.
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Hi

I just found out that what I have is Bertolli's Syndrome. I just have a couple of questions for anyone who has had it for a while. I had an injection about 1 year, it seemed to take the "stabbing" pain away, but since then, I have pain all throughout my back 100% of the time, especially in the back of my ribs and sides. Has this happened to anyone else out there? Also, when I lie down, the pain increases and I just cannot get comfortable for more than maybe 5 mins, therefore, do not get much rest. Is that common as well?

If you can help with either of these questions, can you please email me at ******?

Thanks for your info!

**edited by moderator**
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I am a young physician who has been suffering with this for the past 3 years. After trying all conservative measures and minor interventions, it is time for the cure. The fix is an ALIF, preferably performed by an Orthopedic Back specialist or Neurosurgeon. You will need an XR, MRI, and discogram prior to your consult with them. In the SE, Dr Hodge in Greenville SC, or Dr Silkox, with Peachtree orthopedics in Atlanta performs this procedure with >80% success rate. (Even higher if you are not overweight, and health-conscious) I plan on 100% improvement. Tell them the young Dr in South Carolina shared the news.
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Young dr from the south what exactally is a ALIF???
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I was very happy to find this website today. Some folks are talking about yoga so I thought I should tell you it made my condition much worse.

I'm a 39 yo male, in very good shape. But I was experiencing some significant lower back pain and in Jan 2006 went to see a sports medicine / back specialist recomended through Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. At that time, he basically recomended some muscle relaxers and PT.

I did PT, and yoga, and it helped. But in Aug 2006, I really tried to "loosen up" the kink in my back in a pretty intense yoga session. When I got back to my desk and sat down, I experienced what felt like knife go through my foot. The pain didn't go away.

The Doctor saw me the next day, and knew I had an L4/L5 herniation - since I couldn't lift my big toe. An MRI confirmed it.

Apparantly I'd had a bulging L4/L5 disk, and doing yoga herniated it.

Over the next 6 months I had three epidural cortisone injections at New England Baptist. The first injection did wonders, the second two did little. A radiologist guides the needle under X-ray. One of the radiologists noted my L5/S1 was not degenerated at all. He pointed out on the X-Ray that it was fused to the sacrum on one side. He said about 40% of the people he sees with the L4/L5 herniation have this condition. It's not uncommon. With the L5 fused to the Sacrum, all the load from bending is transferred to the next higher disk, which eventually wears out.

I googled the problem at the time I couldn't find much about it. But after more Doctor's appointments and research, I asked some specific questions, and today learned the name for this is "sacralization" or "transitional segment". I started googling and found it's also called "Bertolotti's Syndrome". And here I am. I'm so happy to have found this and other sites.

Here is an interesting picture: http://www.geocities.com/akramjfr/sacralization.html

Wikipedia has an OK entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertolotti's_syndrome

I'll keep doing research and discuss what I find. It would be great if there was an active discussion on this. Maybe we can all find a way through this. I don't know what this site is but it seems as good a place as any.

So in summary: be careful with yoga. I would not have herniated my disk, at least not at that time, if I hadn't gone to yoga that day. I'm not trying to say yoga is a bad thing. So based on my experience, be careful doing anything (like yoga) that puts more stress on a bulging disk.
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