A man wearing only shortsWhat is antalgia?

Antalgia means “away from pain” in Latin, and in spinal medicine, it is a term that means a person, in pain, has assumed a posture that alleviates their pain.

There are several abnormal postures that you may see in public. One such posture is scoliosis when it is severe. Another is spinal stenosis, which you may see in an older person who is bent forward, and may lean on a grocery cart.

But antalgia, unlike these postures, is transient, and the person will return to their normal posture as soon as their pain is resolved. Sometimes antalgic postures will be bent forward. Other times the person will be bent to one side. In this particular patient, she presented to me with right-sided low back and hip pain, on the side of her hip. She did not have any radiating, sciatic pain. Since her pain was not radiating, she did not have a pinced nerve. And since the usual pain generators in the spine are either disc, joint or nerve, her symptoms suggested a problem with her disc and/or joint on the right side.

In any case, the most effective treatment is to decompress the joint and disc with spinal decompression treatment. I should note that she was in her late 40s, so I can infer some amount of degenerative changes in her spine.

In this video, I will show you her antalgia on her x-ray. She happens to have some sacroiliac degeneration too, which may also contribute to her pain, or even be largely causal, though I doubt it. Whatever the cause, she has improved well with spinal decompression treatment, as I expected. In fact, after only 3 treatments, she was able to travel on a plane for several hours, which she was contemplating canceling due to the severity of her pain before treatment. When she returned, she resumed treatment, and I expect she’ll probably need about 15 treatments to resolve her pain. Her antalgia went away after about 3 treatments. Her pain is not yet resolved but her antalgia is. Sometimes antalgia takes many treatments to resolve, depending upon how severe the problem.

If I can help you with your pain and antalgia, call me at 404-558-4015.