The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on April 24, 2017, documenting the improvement from chiropractic of a woman suffering from pain in a variety of places who had been diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, Polymyalgia Rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness, especially in the shoulders. Symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica usually begin quickly and are worse in the morning. Most people who develop Polymyalgia Rheumatica are older than 65.
In this case, a 64-year-old woman sought chiropractic care for multiple pain complaints. Her pain included low back pain, bilateral shoulder pain, right elbow pain, right knee pain, neck pain, numbness of the left hand and left and right thumb pain. The lower back pain started over 40 years ago after a car accident. The woman described the pain as a constant sharp and dull pain, rating it as a 9 out of 10. The pain was worse at the end of the day and would last 2-3 weeks at a time.
Her right knee pain had been off and on for 20 years. She blamed the knee pain on the hip dysfunction she had before she had bilateral hip replacements. The pain, which she rated as a 10 out of 10, was worse in the evenings as well as with certain activities. The woman’s bilateral thumb pain started 15 years ago. She did not recall any particular reason for it starting. Initially, she rated the pain as 10 out of 10, that was made worse by exercising and writing. She had been medically diagnosed with osteoarthritis and Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
The woman did try to lead a healthy lifestyle as her diet consisted of 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, lean meat such as chicken, some white pork, some beef, tofu, turkey, and fish. Additionally, she claimed to drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. She avoided things such as caffeinated beverages, tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs. She slept about 7 hours per night and rated her sleep as good. She was taking a number of prescriptions for her problems as well as dietary supplements she felt were helpful.
A chiropractic examination was performed. She demonstrated difficulty in walking, with her gait being more of a shuffle. She needed assistance to sit or stand. She also experienced difficulty standing by herself or lying down. Her posture showed multiple abnormalities and her mobility was significantly restricted. X-rays of her spine showed multiple areas of calcification, degeneration, and subluxations.
With the determination of the presence of subluxations, specific chiropractic adjustments were started. After only the second visit to the chiropractor, it was noted that the patient was able to get up and down with less difficulty. By the third visit, the patient reported that she was able to do some cooking on her own without difficulty. As care progressed, she continued to show improvement, and by the sixth visit, she was able to clean her house by herself with little problem. By the ninth visit, the woman stated that she felt more like her old self , and was able to get around by herself without difficulty. By the eleventh chiropractic visit, she reported that she was able to start sewing again. As the woman continued with her chiropractic care, she progressed even further. She reported being able to engage in such activities as water aerobics and work-outs.
In their discussion, the authors noted that the woman was not only receiving chiropractic care. They commented, Over the course of the six months of combined Chiropractic care, functional rehabilitation, and co-management with a Rheumatologist, this patient has gained more mobility, more range of motion, increased degree of ambulation, decreased level of pain, and ability to do her regular activities.