Well­ness Arti­cles

Case Study of Post­sur­gi­cal Cauda Equina Syn­drome and Chi­ro­prac­tic

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

In this evidence-​based case report, the woman pre­sented with com­plaints of mid­back pain, low-​back pain, but­tock pain, sad­dle anes­the­sia, and blad­der and bowel incon­ti­nence, for a period of 6 months. She had under­gone emer­gency surgery for acute cauda equina syn­drome due to lum­bar disc her­ni­a­tion, six months ear­lier. The cauda equina (CE) is formed by nerve roots at the end of the spinal cord inside the spinal col­umn. Cauda equina syn­drome (CES) is 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 patient even­tu­ally began chi­ro­prac­tic care and received a series of adjust­ments. After only 4 adjust­ments, the patient reported full res­o­lu­tion of mid­back, low back, and but­tock pain. After an addi­tional 4 vis­its the patient had not yet seen improve­ment in her neu­ro­logic symp­toms. How­ever, even though this patient had received surgery, there were 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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