Case Study on Chiropractic Care for
Chronic Chest Pain
The February 2003 issue of the research journal, The Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT), published a case
study of a 49 year old man who suffered from chest pain. The patient, a
music composer, was exercising on a treadmill during part of his regular
physical workout routine when he developed a dull and achy chest pain with
some difficulty breathing. The patient did not seek immediate help for the
condition, thinking that it would resolve on its own.
Over the next two weeks the pain increased and the patient
sought medical care. A visit to his internist revealed the patient's blood
pressure to be 140/97. He was diagnosed with muscular chest pain, secondary
to tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and hypertension (elevated blood
pressure). Treatment was a prescription of a combination of
anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers. The patient felt that his
beta-blockers made him extremely drowsy, and the anti-inflammatory drugs did
not relieve his chest pain.
In spite of the medication, most all of the man's problems
seemed to worsen. After extensive testing, all findings were deemed normal,
and the internist declared that the patient's heart and lungs were healthy. Over time, the patient's symptoms had progressively worsened to the point
that the chest pain radiated sharply into his upper back as well. The pain
was so severe that he was unable to sleep at night or perform simple
activities of daily living without increasing his pain. Anxiety over the
severity of his condition also began to affect the patient's emotional
well-being, and got to the point of precluding the patient's active
employment and most physical activity.
Finally the debilitated man sought chiropractic care. His
chiropractic examination showed an increase in many reflexes and the
conclusion was that the man had subluxations. Chiropractic care was
initiated at that time. After only one session, the man immediately rose to
a standing position after the chiropractic adjustment, he then took a deep
breath and exclaimed that he could breathe much easier.
The patient was placed on a program of sustaining
chiropractic care, initiated 3 times per week. The study showed that the
patient responded favorably to chiropractic, obtaining prompt relief from
his symptoms. Sustained chiropractic care rendered over a 14-week period
resulted in complete resolution of the patient's previously chronic
condition, with recovery maintained at 9-month follow-up.