Clinical Features: A 47-year–old male firefighter experienced chronic, unresponsive low back pain. Pre- and posttreatment outcome analysis was performed on numeric (0-10) pain scale, functional rating index, and the low back pain Oswestry data. Secondary outcome assessments included a 1-rep maximum leg press, balancing times, push-ups and sit-ups the patient performed in 60 seconds, and radiographic analysis.
Intervention and Outcome: The patient was treated with Pettibon manipulative and rehabilitative techniques. At 4 weeks, spinal decompression therapy was incorporated. After 12 weeks of treatment, the patient's self-reported numeric pain scale had reduced from 6 to 1. There was also overall improvement in muscular strength, balance times, self-rated functional status, low back Oswestry scores, and lumbar lordosis using pre- and posttreatment radiographic information.
Conclusion: Comprehensive, exercise-based chiropractic management may contribute to an improvement of physical fitness and to restoration of function, and may be a protective factor for low back injury. This case suggests promising interventions with otherwise intractable low back pain using a multimodal chiropractic approach that includes isometric strengthening, neuromuscular reeducation, and lumbar spinal decompression therapy.
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