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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

2012-11-13 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

From the October 10, 2012, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, comes a case study documenting chiropractic helping a boy who was suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

The authors of the study describe CRPS by saying, "CRPS is defined as a variety of chronic pain conditions that are believed to result from a dysfunctional central or peripheral nervous system." They discuss the history of this diagnosis by explaining that CRPS"...was first described in 1864 during the Civil War when soldiers would describe an agonizing, burning pain that would occur following gunshot wounds." CRPS is characterized by, "Dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected body part are observed, often accompanied by intense pain, disproportional to the injury responsible."

In this case, a 10-year-old boy was suffering from symptoms of whole body burning pain with muscle weakness and fatigue. He was medically diagnosed with CRPS in June of 2008. Since his diagnosis, the boy had been to numerous specialists and received a variety of treatments. The mother noted that the treatments her son had received provided only minimal results.

When the child was brought to the chiropractor, he was in a wheelchair and suffering from what his mother called, "the worst flare-up he has ever experienced." The mother explained that with this particular flare-up, both of the boy's legs were entirely affected. The pain went all the way down into his left toe. Additionally, the ball of his foot was sensitive to touch, he could not put any pressure on his legs, and therefore could not walk. He was also suffering with bilateral arm pain and weakness.

A detailed chiropractic examination was performed including palpation, and neurological and orthopedic evaluation, range of motion tests, a thermographic evaluation, and specific spinal x-rays. As a result of the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present, and a specific course of chiropractic adjusting was initiated.

The results of the care showed significant improvement. The study was written while the care was ongoing. However, the author reported that, "The patient initially began care with symptoms ranging from extreme burning and pain in his legs. After care when he experiences the symptoms, they are less frequent, of less duration, and are less severe."