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Conservative Management of Low Back Pain and Scoliosis in a Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Eight Years Follow-Up


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Structural and chiropractic

Cureus.2023 Mar 12;15(3):e36036


Eric Chun-Pu Chu, Hay Yeung Cheng, Kevin Huang, Kristy Yao, Jason Zhao


Scoliosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can cause significant pain and disability. RA has been extensively studied in relation to the cervical spine, yet the pathology of the thoracic and lumbar spine in RA patients has been largely overlooked. A 66-year-old woman, with longstanding RA and severe scoliosis, presented to the chiropractic clinic with a five-month history of exacerbated low back pain radiating to the right lower limb. The patient was treated with a combination of full-spine mechanical spinal distraction, spinal manipulative therapy, mechanical distraction of the cervical spine, and soft tissue treatment (scraping therapy). Thereafter, the patient recovered from the pain and radiculopathy and showed improvements in the radiological parameters, walking gait, and postural balance. Radiography was performed at the 12-month, four-year, and eight-year follow-up appointments and revealed improvements in symptoms, posture, and scoliosis. Although the treatment for RA-related scoliosis is similar to that for other types of scoliosis, due to the nature of RA, treatment should be tailored to individual patients. This case report highlights the importance of considering chiropractic therapy for the management of lumbar scoliosis in patients with RA, as a comprehensive treatment plan resulted in improved spinal balance, mobility, gait, posture, and quality of life.

Publication Date: 

2023 Mar



Chu, CE., Cheng, YH., Huang, K., Yao, K., Zhao, J. (2023) 'Conservative Management of Low Back Pain and Scoliosis in a Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Eight Years Follow-Up', Cureus.2023 Mar 12;15(3):e36036

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