Chiropractic Distraction Spinal Manipulation on Postsurgical Continued Low Back and Radicular Pain Patients: A Retrospective Case Series

J Chiropr Med. 2016 Jun;15(2):121-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 May 25.


Purpose: The purpose of this case series is to report on changes in pain levels experienced by 69 postsurgical continued pain patients who received Cox Technic Flexion Distraction (CTFD).

Methods: Fifteen doctors of chiropractic collected retrospective data from the records of the postsurgical continued pain patients seen in their clinic from February to July 2012 who were treated with CTFD, which is a type of chiropractic distraction spinal manipulation. Informed consent was obtained from all patients who met the inclusion criteria for this study. Data recorded included subjective patient pain levels at the end of the treatments provided and at 24 months following the last treatment.

Results: Fifty-four (81%) of the patients showed greater than 50% reduction in pain levels at the end of the last treatment, and 13 (19%) showed less than 50% improvement of pain levels at the end of active care (mean, 49 days and 11 treatments). At 24-month follow-up, of 56 patients available, 44 (78.6%) had continued pain relief of greater than 50% and 10 (18%) reported 50% or less relief. The mean percentage of relief at the end of active care was 71.6 (SD, 23.2) and at 24 months was 70 (SD, 25). At 24 months after active care, 24 patients (43%) had not sought further care, and 32 required further treatment consisting of chiropractic manipulation for 17 (53%), physical therapy, exercise, injections, and medication for 9 (28%), and further surgery for 5 (16%).

Conclusion: Greater than 50% pain relief following CTFD chiropractic distraction spinal manipulation was seen in 81% of postsurgical patients receiving a mean of 11 visits over a 49-day period of active care.

Keywords: Chiropractic; Low back pain; Manipulation; Neurosurgical procedures; Pain measurement; Radiculopathy; Sciatica.