OBJECTIVE: To discuss the case of a patient suffering from posttraumatic cervical syndrome involving multiple protrusions of cervical intervertebral discs that was treated successfully with conservative, instrumental chiropractic adjusting procedures.
CLINICAL FEATURES: A 42-yr-old woman suffered from acute neck and arm pain after traumatic injury sustained in an automobile accident. Radiological examination exhibited a complete reversal of the cervical lordosis, and magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine revealed intervertebral disc protrusions, ranging in size from 1-4 mm, at four separate segmental levels.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was initially treated with high-velocity manual manipulation of the cervical spine and reported a subsequent aggravation of her symptoms. Thereafter, she was treated with short-lever, mechanical-force, manually-assisted chiropractic adjusting procedures to the cervical spine, utilizing an Activator Adjusting Instrument. She tolerated the treatment well and subsequently experienced a complete resolution of the presenting symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Conservative chiropractic treatment may provide an effective therapeutic intervention in selected cases of cervical disc protrusion. Instrument-delivered adjustments may provide benefit in cases in which manual manipulation causes an exacerbation of the symptoms or is contraindicated altogether. Further study in this area should be made via large scale studies organized in an academic research setting.