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The Chiropractic Patients Association

Sport Case Study

Sooner Rather Than Later

Last Friday afternoon, during a very busy clinic, the receptionist rang through to ask if I would be prepared to fit in an emergency case.  A young lady had jarred her back whilst out riding.  I agreed and the receptionist set about her usual miraculous task of creating a space in the diary where none had been before.   This done, the patient arrived three-quarters of an hour later.

Ms. B., a riding instructor, had been out hacking near Westbury, when her low back seemed to “lock” and her muscles went into spasm.  Thankfully she was able to walk back to the stables, but could not sit or stand still without sharp, stabbing pain.  Having heard about the benefits of chiropractic from several of her colleagues at the stables, who were already my patients, she came straight to us, in the hope that we would be able to fix the problem quickly.

She presented with an antalgic list (i.e. bent to one side), lumbar extension was zero and marked tenderness was noted over the left L5 facet joint and the left sacroiliac joint area.  During the examination, further orthopaedic tests revealed a sprain/strain injury to the left sacroiliac joint.  Using models and charts I explained the precise nature of her injury and gave an indication as to how long it would take for her to recover if she followed the “homework” and chiropractic treatment schedule that I gave her.

Treatment on Ms. B.’s first visit consisted of some gentle soft tissue work, to help reduce the muscle spasm, ultrasound to decrease the inflammation and finally manipulation of the joint to restore movement and function.  She was told to regularly ice the area over the  weekend and to avoid any long periods of sitting, as this would aggravate the sprained iliolumbar and sacroiliac ligaments.

I am pleased to report that, following her initial consultation, Ms. B. had an immediate improvement in her range of motion and reduction in pain within four hours.  On subsequent treatment visits she continues to improve.  She is riding again, but I have suggested she avoid showjumping for at least another two weeks, so that a more complete recovery can be achieved.  The inflammation that was generated by her injury will take at least three to six weeks to finally reduce.  She now has several exercise routines to perform daily.  The exercises are designed so that she may continue to become more supple and at the same time, correct her posture, particularly her posture whilst on horseback.

Chiropractic treatment is frequently of considerable benefit if the patient is treated early on.  Muscle spasm and joint inflammation, if left untreated, will become more dramatic and generally more painful.  Long standing problems will almost always take longer for your chiropractor to correct.  If immediate attention is paid to the inflamed area and the restricted joints, the results can be excellent for a full and speedy recover.  Therefore, call your chiropractic clinic sooner rather than later and get the problem solved.  It may not always be possible to get an appointment with a chiropractor immediately, even with our outstanding receptionists, but after talking to my colleagues they all say that it is best to begin treatment early, even if treatment consists of advice given by the chiropractor.  To date, my quickest patient was one who came in fifteen minutes after suffering a minor whiplash injury, incurred in an accident close by.  If you have managed to get to see your chiropractor sooner, why not write to the CPA and tell them of your experience.

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