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Case Study


Four-Year Follow-Up of a Patient Undergoing Chiropractic Rehabilitation for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis


Mark Morningstar DC, FACSP, FRCCM, FAAIM Bio    


Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic ~ Volume 2011 ~ Issue 2 ~ Pages 54-58 


Objective:  To report on the care of  a patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis over four years.


Clinical Features:  A 14 year old female with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis presented to a private chiropractic rehabilitation clinic for care. She had complaints of mild thoracic and right sacroiliac pain which worsened during prolonged sitting or while running long distances. Her scoliosis measured 24° in the thoracic spine and 17° in the lumbar spine. Abnormalities in chest expansion and axial trunk rotation were also observed and recorded.


Intervention and Outcome:  Patient participated in a multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation program consisting of 28 clinic visits over 17 months.  She also committed to a specific home exercise program.  After 17 months, her curvatures decreased to 15°/6°, while showing concomitant improvements in peak expiratory flow, axial trunk rotation, and chest expansion. These outcome measures further improved at follow-up after 4 years with the Cobb angles reducing to 12°/4° respectively.


Conclusion:  A patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis achieved improved outcomes following chiropractic rehabilitation. These improvements were evident at long-term follow-up while performing home-based rehabilitation. Home care exercises should be further explored to aid chiropractic outcomes. Further research may provide more understanding on how the specific modalities utilized in conjunction with chiropractic could have an impact on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Key Words: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis; chiropractic; rehabilitation, subluxation


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