Chiropractic management of a US Army veteran with low back pain and piriformis syndrome complicated by an anatomical anomaly of the piriformis muscle: a case study

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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this article is to present the case of a patient with an anatomical anomaly of the piriformis muscle who had a piriformis syndrome and was managed with chiropractic care.

Case Report:

A 32-year-old male patient presented to a chiropractic clinic with a chief complaint of low back pain that radiated into his right buttock, right posterior thigh, and right posterior calf. The complaint began 5 years prior as a result of injuries during Airborne School in the US Army resulting in a 60% disability rating from the Veterans Administration. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a mildly decreased intradiscal T2 signal with shallow central subligamentous disk displacement and low-grade facet arthropathy at L5/S1, a hypolordotic lumbar curvature, and accessory superior bundles of the right piriformis muscle without morphologic magnetic resonance imaging evidence of piriformis syndrome.

Intervention and Outcome:

Chiropractic treatment included lumbar and sacral spinal manipulation with soft tissue massage to associated musculature and home exercise recommendations. Variations from routine care included proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretches, electric muscle stimulation, acupressure point stimulation, Sacro Occipital Technique pelvic blocking, CranioSacral therapy, and an ergonomic evaluation.

Conclusion:

A patient with a piriformis anomaly with symptoms of low back pain and piriformis syndrome responded positively to conservative chiropractic care, although the underlying cause of the piriformis syndrome remained.

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