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Resolution of Low Back Pain in a 9 Year Old Male with Low Back Pain, Tethered Cord Syndrome, Spina Bifida Occulta and Lumbarization of the S1 Vertebra Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

Shane Carter, DC, MBA, Rod Floyd, DC, MSPH, Matthew Richardson, DC, DACBR, & Joel Alcantara, DC


Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2015 ~ Issue 3 ~ Pages 121-130 




Objective: To describe the chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with low back pain and complicating conditions.

Clinical Features:  A 9-year-old male presented with dull, achy low back pain that occurred during practice and playing football. Examination revealed decreased range of motion and vertebral subluxations. Lumbar spine radiographic examination revealed 6 non-rib bearing segments due to absence of T12 ribs.  MRI examinations noted tethering of the spinal cord with an ill-defined conus medullaris that extended to the L4 vertebral level, a small syrinx cavity within the attenuated conus of the cord limited to the L2-3 and dysraphism of the dorsal arches of the L5 and S1 vertebra without evidence of lipomyelomeningocele. 

Intervention and Outcome: The patient was cared for with Diversified spinal adjustments and adjunctive therapies over the course of twice per week for 3 weeks and then one visit per week for 6 weeks with recommended physical stretching and exercises to be continued daily at home. At one-year follow-up, the patient was able to play several high school sports without any complications. 

Conclusion: This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in children suffering from low back pain concomitant with spinal congenital anomalies. 

Keywords: Vertebral subluxation, tethered cord syndrome, spina bifida, pediatric, low back pain, adjustment, spinal manipulation 

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