On October 31, 2019, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science published a case study showing the improvement in lower back pain and reduction of increased lumbar curvature in a patient receiving chiropractic care.
In the introduction, the authors to the study point out, Low back pain (LBP) is an important source of disability in the modern world. Although there are many non-surgical treatments for low back disorders, few have evidence of successfully improving the proper biomechanical alignment after treatment. Specific forms of chiropractic care deal with correcting the underlying biomechanical issues responsible for creating the pain.
The study reports that many people with lower back pain also have a postural situation where their pelvis it tilted forward and they have an increase in their lower back curvature. This then forces the upper back to be further forward over the pelvis increasing the stress. This postural situation is known as lumbar spine hyperlordosis.
In this case, a 47-year-old woman went to a chiropractor seeking relief. Her primary complaints were lower back pain (LBP) and hip pains that had been constant for the last 5–6 years since the woman’s first pregnancy. She described the pain as an ache with tightness that would also feel like it was locked. Sitting seemed to make the condition worse and would also cause numbness and tingling in her legs and feet. She rated the pain as 3 out of 10 (10 being worst) at the time of her exam but noted that the pain did flare up as high as a 6 at times.
The examination showed a restricted lower back range of motion which caused some discomfort and tightness. Palpation of the woman’s lower back revealed tight musculature in her low back. X-rays of the woman’s spine confirmed the abnormal spinal positioning and the presence of subluxations. Based on the findings, specific forms of chiropractic care were performed as well as the woman being given specific exercises to perform.
After four months of care, a full re-evaluation was performed to monitor the progress. At that time, the woman reported marked improvement in her lower back and hip pain to the point where she commented that she felt her pain was virtually gone.
Follow-up x-rays confirmed that there was a significant improvement in her lower back curvature and pelvic positioning. After 9 months of care, the woman’s spine continued to show positive changes on the x-rays and she commented that she rarely ever noticed any back pain at all.
In the discussion of this study, the authors summed up the case by stating, This case documents the significant improvement in lumbar sagittal alignment in a patient presenting with anterior sagittal balance, lumbar hyperlordosis, and increased sacral tilt. The improvement in subluxated posture resulted in dramatic reduction of pain and an increase in functional ability after 73 treatments over a 13-month time period.