The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published the results of a case study on October 31, 2019, documenting the reduction in mid-back pain along with the improvement of excessive mid-back curvature in a patient undergoing specific chiropractic care.
The authors of the study begin by noting that poor posture is a significant and common problem that can have profound effects on health. Reporting on other studies they stated, Recently, the European spine study group published a report on poor posture having significant negative effects on the quality of life (QOL) of affected persons; moreover, in comparison to several other well-known diseases, including arthritis, chronic lung disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure, those with poor posture were more significantly affected by having a lower QOL.
In an article earlier in the year in the US News and World Report, 10 things were identified as problems that can result for poor posture. These include exacerbating arthritis, poor circulation, fatigue, negative mood, forward head posture, jaw pain, breathing efficacy, headaches, shoulder and back pain, and sexual dysfunction.
The issue of poor posture is not uncommon in children. This problem has increased with the addition of electronic devices such as smart phones and pads. Studies have shown that poor posture in early life has been shown to translate into back pain as an adult. The study points out that Since back pain is a leading culprit of adult disability, the correction of poor posture in younger individuals should be a priority.
In this case, a 16-year-old girl went to the chiropractor for complaints of mid-back and lower back pain. She described the pain as an ache that was made worse by standing, resulting in it being very difficult for her to stand for more than an hour at a time. The girl also reported that the pain also occurred at night making it difficult for her to sleep through the night. She noted that her pain had been occurring several times per week over the past few months, and she rated the pain as a 7 out of 10 with 10 being the worst. There was no known past injury or incident that could be identified as the starting point of her problems.
X-rays of the girl’s spine viewed from the side showed a hunched-over appearance with an increase in the mid-back curvature, and an accompanied loss of the normal lower back curvature. Specific forms of chiropractic care were started to address the spinal postural deformities along with home instructions for exercises.
After 8 weeks of chiropractic care, as well as the patient being vigilant on the home exercises, a re-assessment was performed. The girl reported that her back pain had reduced from a 7 out of 10 to just 1 out of 10. She noted that she could now stand for extended periods of time and could sleep throughout the night without being woken up by the pain. She also volunteered that her mood had improved as well. Follow-up x-rays confirmed that the curvatures had started to improve toward the more correct positions.