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Improvement in a Patient with Disc Protrusion and Extruded Fragment Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

Jonathan Murphy, D.C., Timothy Morrison, D.C., Rod Floyd, D.C., Joel Alcantara, D.C.

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ November 19, 2015 ~ Pages 178-183


Objective: To describe the chiropractic care of a patient presenting with complaints of  left sided low back pain that radiated down the left leg, down the lateral calf, to the foot and heel. 

Clinical Features:  A 43-year-old male presented with a chief complaint of left sided low back pain that radiated down the left leg, down the lateral calf, to the foot and heel. The patient had been diagnosed via MRI with a left L4-L5 focal disc protrusion with an extruded fragment. The patient had been recommended to pursue an epidural block or low back surgery. The pain was described as being dull, sharp and numb. Aggravating activities included using heat, lying down and sitting. The patient’s numerical rating scale was 8 out of 10 which rendered him unable to work and sleep through the night. The patient had received treatment via prescription drugs prior to the office visit. The patient had been prescribed Advil 200 mg, Percocet 5 mg-325 mg, Valium 5 mg and Tramadol; all of which did not take away the pain. Upon a friend’s recommendation, the patient decided to visit a chiropractor.  

Intervention and Outcome: The patient was cared for with spinal adjustments characterized as high velocity, low amplitude thrusts and adjunctive therapies over the course of 15 visits over 5 weeks.

Conclusion: This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in patients suffering from low back pain due to disc herniation.

Key words: Chiropractic, disc protrusion, spinal manipulation, adjustment, vertebral subluxation