Objective: To demonstrate the ability for a patient with chronic mid and low back pain to make significant improvements, both in pain score and quality of life, under chiropractic care, even after a decade of management using daily opioids.
Clinical features: A 50-year-old male veteran had chronic mid and low back pain with associated radiating symptoms into his lower extremities that had been medically managed for 10-years with opioids. He sought care at the Veterans Affairs chiropractic clinic after completely removing himself from daily opioids.
Intervention and outcomes: Chiropractic care consisted of 6 visits over 3-months using manual spinal manipulation and flexion-distraction therapy protocols supplemented with at-home stretching protocols and eventually a home lumbar traction unit. This was able to significantly decrease his pain, allow him to increase his physical activity level, and improve his overall quality of life. This allowed him to meet his goals of minimal pharmacological management for his chronic pain and to be discharged to an as-need basis.
Conclusion: This case showed that this patient who was managed with opiates for a decade benefited from a trial of chiropractic care most significantly regarding quality of life and self-management of chronic pain independent from opiates.
Author keywords: Low Back Pain, Opioids
Author affiliations: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Bay Pines, Florida, United States
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text. Online access only. PDF version