To report on a 26-year-old female patient presenting with uncomplicated chronic low back pain who received chiropractic maintenance care using 2 quality of life outcome assessment instruments.
Short-form (SF-36) subscales, Quality of Well-Being Scale, Visual Analog Scale, and number of tender vetebral spinous processes.
After 9 months of care the SF-36 subscale scores showed improvement. The SF-36, although low before care, approached normal on 3 subscales and exceeded normal population values on 5 subscales after 9 months. The SF-36 physical and mental composite scores improved from mean baseline scores of 23.4 and 25.3 to 43.7 and 62.8, respectively, after 9 months of care. The Quality of Well-Being Scale scores improved from a mean pre-intervention score of 1.1 to a post-intervention score of 8.2. The Visual Analog Scale scores improved from a mean pre-intervention score of 8 to a post-intervention score of 1.5. The mean number of chiropractic vertebral subluxations, detected via palpation of spinous process tenderness, went from a pre-care mean of 6.5 to a post-care mean of 4.
The patient appeared to experience improvement in quality of life while showing signs suggestive of improved spinal function. The relationship between indicators of vertebral subluxation and quality of life deserves further investigation using a research design that allows for exploration of possible causal relationships.
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Received: October 21, 2003
Sources of support: None.
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