Case Study of Postsurgical Cauda Equina Syndrome and Chiropractic care

In the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) comes a case study of a 35-year-old woman with cauda equina syndrome improved by chiropractic care. The case study was released in the November-December 2004 Issue of the peer-reviewed research periodical.

In this report, the woman exhibited midback pain, low-back pain, buttock pain, saddle anesthesia, and bladder and bowel incontinence, for a duration of 6 months. She had been through emergency surgery for acute cauda equina syndrome due to lumbar disc herniation six months earlier. The cauda equina (CE) is created by nerve roots at the end of the spinal cord inside the spinal column. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) happens when there is low back pain, unilateral or usually bilateral sciatica, sensory disturbances, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and variable lower extremity motor and sensory loss.

The individual ultimately began chiropractic care and had been given a number of adjustments. After only 4 adjustments, the individual claimed complete resolution of midback, low back, and buttock pain. After an additional 4 visits, the individual hadn't yet noticed improvement in her neurologic symptoms. However, even though this individual had received surgery, there have been no adverse effects noted. This case study did not look at possible results beyond the initial 8 visits. The study noted that a review of previous studies showed that 2.3% to 12% of chiropractic patients have a history of at least one prior spinal surgery.

The conclusion of the published case study noted that this case appeared to be the first published case of chiropractic adjustments being used for a patient suffering from chronic cauda equina syndrome. It seems that this type of spinal adjustment was safe and effective for reducing back pain and had no effect on neurologic deficits in this case. They noted that rapid pain relief seen in this case is extremely unusual for patients with cauda equina syndrome. They therefore concluded that it was very likely that the adjustments contributed to the resolution of spinal pain in this patient

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