Case Studies

1) History: A 78 year old Caucasian female presents with chronic right sided low back pain rated at a consistent 6-7/10 in intensity (where 0 is no pain and 10 is the most pain the patient has ever felt). The pain the patient feels is especially noted with sitting or driving for an extended period of time (greater than one half hour). The patient is an avid walker and the pain is hindering her ability to continue. The age of the patient makes the option for surgery unpragmatic. The chronicity of the pain has had serious side effects on her mental health leading to rather severe bouts of depression.  

Upon greeting the patient, a very large right lateral scoliosis is noted. During the orthopedic exam, severely taut and tender fibers were located along the right side of her back from the T10 to L5/S1 vertebraes. Orthopedic tests for Sacro-Iliac Joint Dysfunction were also positive.

Outcome: With treatments, the patient has been able to continue with her daily functions. She still has pain, but is able to walk and carry on a relatively normal life. She is able to take drives with her husband that years ago she would not have been able to endure.


2) History: A 21 year old female presents with severe dysmennohrea. Upon history and physical examination, the patient stated she had chronic low back pain the past four years, scored at a 7-8/ 10. The patient had her last period just days before coming into the office.

Upon orthopedic evaluation, extremely taut and tender fibers were present in her low back at the level of her L4 and L5 vertebrae. Motion palpation showed very restricted motion at these same levels.

Outcome: The patient was instructed to come in for treatments 2 x per week for 4 weeks. By the time of her next period, she had experienced a DRAMATIC decrease in the severity of her menstrual symptoms coinciding with the decrease in low back symptoms. She is obviously very happy. The low back pain is rated at a 0-1/10 as opposed to when she first presented at a 6-7/10.


3) History: A 40 year old male presents with a long history of low and mid back pain. The patient works in the food industry where he is constantly bending and lifting and turning all day long. During his many previous acute attacks, he would be bedridden for days or weeks.

Upon orthopedic exam, very tight and tender fibers were located at the T12-L3 vertebraes on the left.

Outcome: Since treatment, the patient has had only one acute attack of symptoms. And instead of putting him out of commission for weeks, the pain was alleviated within a few days with the help of chiropractic.


4) History: A 37 year old health care worker suffers a severe lumbar disc herniation. The pain extends from his right low back into his big right toe, coursing down the thigh and behind the knee. The physicality of his job has put severe stress on his low back, but he has to work to make money. He is scared that he will be unable to continue working if his low back condition doesn't improve. The patient rates his pain as a 7/10.

Orthopedic tests confirmed the diagnosis of a herniated disc in his low back. Very taut and tender fibers are found in his L4-L5 region.

Outcome: 60 to 70% of his symptoms were reduced within the first three treatments. The majority of his symptoms were alleviated within 8-10 treatments. The patient has not had any severe acute attacks. The pain in the leg is minimal to non-existent, and the pain in the low back is rated at a 1/10. Because the pain is job related, and he can't quit, the cause of the back pain is still there. The patient continues with regular chiropractic treatments every two to three weeks to keep his spine moving optimally and fluidly in spite of his strenuous job.


5) History:  A 25 year old overweight male presents to the office with an acute low back after helping a friend move a couch. The patient is a computer technician, and spends most of his days in a chair at the computer, or kneeling by a computer helping someone fix some technical issue. The patient has suffered from chronic low back pain for the last 4 years with moderate discomfort preventing him from exercising.

Larger patients present an interesting situation with the chiropractic physician. For the most part, they are much more difficult to adjust with manual techniques due to the strength required to do such. During the orthopedic exam, muscles in his back had areas of significant tightness corresponding to his symptoms, however, overall, the muscles in his back were very weak.

Outcome: After being treated with manual and drop table techniques, the patient was able to regain almost full range of motion after the first few treatments. The pain has subsided significantly and the patient is on an exercise and diet regimen to help control his weight and to strengthen his back to prevent future reoccurrences.





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