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CASE STUDY

 

Improvement in Symptoms, Cervical Alignment & Quality of Life in a 40-Year-Old Female with Fibromyalgia Following Chiropractic BioPhysics® Technique: A Case Study and Selective Review of Literature

 

Curtis Fedorchuk, D.C., Douglas Lightstone, D.C., & Jacque H. Moser III, D.C.
 

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ March 13, 2017 ~ Pages 34-46

 

Abstract


Objective: The purpose of this study is to report on the structural and symptomatic improvements made in a patient with an 8-year history of fibromyalgia following Chiropractic BioPhysics® technique.

Clinical Features: A 40-year-old female diagnosed with fibromyalgia presented for chiropractic care with widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, depression, and headaches. The initial neutral lateral cervical x-ray revealed translation of C2-C7. ARA C2-C7 measuring 0.4°. The patient’s C3-C6 region accounts for a 6.6 cervical kyphosis (reversed curve). Anterior-posterior lower cervical x-ray revealed that spinal alignment in the frontal plane was within normal limits. Static and motion palpation revealed tender points at the occiput, T2-T8, and L1-L3 vertebral levels, and bilateral sacroiliac and temporomandibular joints. Trigger points (TrP) were located at C5-T3 vertebral levels and outward to the shoulders. An initial SF-36 health-related quality of life questionnaire revealed a score of 39.6 for emotional well-being, 16.6 for energy/fatigue, 3.0 for general health, 0 for pain, 0 for physical functioning, 50.9 for role limitations due to emotional problems, 47.0 for role limitations due to physical health, and 21.2 for social functioning.

Intervention and Outcomes: The patient received chiropractic care 44 times over 5 months using a combination of Mirror Image® exercises, adjustments, and traction as per Chiropractic BioPhysics® technique protocols. A post-care neutral lateral cervical x-ray showed that translation C2-C7 improved from 32.7mm to 15.4mm and absolute rotational angle C2-C7 improved from 0.4° to -11.8°. The patients C3-C6 region improved from 6.6° to -3.2° restoring a lordosis to the region. The post-care APLC x-ray stayed within normal limits. Post-care static and motion palpation revealed resolution of TePs and TrPs. Post-care SF-36 showed improvements from 39.6 to 49.6 for emotional well-being, 16.6 to 54.1 for energy/fatigue, 3.0 to 38.0 for general health, 0 to 36.7 for pain, 0 to 39.4 for physical functioning, 50.9 to 59.2 for role limitations due to emotional problems, 21.2 to 58.7 for social functioning. No change was made in role limitations due to physical health.

 

Conclusion: Reduction in radiographic vertebral subluxations and improvements in spinal alignment and posture, ranges of motion, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and health-related quality of life were achieved using the Chiropractic BioPhysics® protocol on a patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Chiropractic BioPhysics® may be an effective, conservative non-pharmacological method of management for patients with fibromyalgia.

Key Words:
chiropractic, subluxation, fibromyalgia, FMS, tender points, TeP, posture, spinal alignment, SF-36, quality of life, HRQOL, Chiropractic BioPhysics®, CBP®, Mirror Image®, adjustments, traction, Denneroll, cervical lordosis