Case Study: Lisa

Lisa’s Success Story

Back pain and lack of flexibility due to spine misalignment can lead to life-altering mobility issues, severely impacting a person’s quality of life, both in their personal life and at work. It accounts for over 264 million lost workdays per year—that’s two lost workdays for every full-time worker in the United States. 

Spine misalignment is often the source, causing pain not only where it occurs in the cervical or lumbar spine, but spreading out to connected joints and muscles. This was the situation for our patient, Lisa. 

The Situation

When Lisa first came to Dr. Cohen, who had been treating his patients with the Pettibon System for over 20 years, she was at the end of her rope physically and mentally. She had “been in agony” for over 13 years following a series of accidents and felt the pain was getting worse and worse. She could no longer work or sit in a car for longer than a few minutes without experiencing searing pain up and down her spine. Lisa had gone to physical therapy, been given disk blocking treatment, and went to pain specialists who offered her muscle relaxers and pain medication. Not wanting to “be on pills for the rest of her life,” Lisa sought out different treatments. Her dream for her whole life had been to visit her family in Norway, but couldn’t imagine that she could withstand the pain of the long plane trip or the long stretches of walking through the gardens. Her goal with treatment was to be able to take that trip with her father.

The Diagnosis

Dr. Cohen immediately x-rayed Lisa’s spine with the Pettibon Seated X-Ray Technique—this technique is more effective since abnormal spinal forms are hard to detect unless the spine’s soft tissues have fallen and the spine settles into its injured position. It was clear that Lisa’s spine was in severe misalignment. Her neck, which should curve at a 45-degree angle, was completely straight, causing severe ligament instability. The forward curve in her lower back should have been 35 degrees. It had gone straight and reversed to -20 degrees.

Above are X-rays of Lisa's Cervical and Lumbar area before her treatment with the Pettibon System.
Above are X-rays of Lisa’s Cervical and Lumbar area before her treatment with the Pettibon System. The Cervical Spine has a zero-degree curve and the Lumbar area has a -20-degree curve.

 

Instead of just treating Lisa’s pain as other practitioners had attempted to do, Dr. Cohen wanted to treat the source of her pain. He immediately prescribed a full Pettibon System protocol for Lisa:

  • Wobble chair and cervical traction in the office prior to adjustment to loosen up the muscles surrounding the discs
  • Pettibon Ligament Massager to break up the spasms so they can heal
  • Adjustment
  • Weights to strengthen muscles and ligaments
  • Wobble chair, spinal molding, traction device, fulcrums, and weights at home every day

Dr. Cohen would see Lisa once a week, and she had homework every day. 

Because she was in so much pain, Lisa was intensely dedicated to her homework and didn’t miss a day. Her trip was tentatively scheduled for a year and a half after her treatment began. In the beginning, she couldn’t imagine getting there. As her treatment progressed, she began to have hope.

Results

Lisa’s spine began to slowly shift and her pain began to abate in tiny increments as well. She had to work through spasms and some referred pain in muscle groups, but her range of motion began to improve, as did her posture. 

About two years later, Lisa got on that plane to Norway—she wasn’t quite pain-free at the time, but she was able to see the famous fjords and gardens with relatives she’d only heard about from her father and gotten glimpses of on Facebook. 

After two years of treatment, Dr. Cohen x-rayed Lisa’s spine again. 

Her neck went from a 0-degree curve to +26 degrees.

Her lumbar spine went from a -20 degree curvature to a -11. 

Lisa's X-rays Post-Treatment showing her improvement in both Cervical and Lumbar areas.
Lisa’s X-rays Post-Treatment showing her improvement in both the Cervical and Lumbar areas.

 

 Pre-Treatment  Post-Treatment  Standard
Cervical +26° +45°
Lumbar -20° -11° +35°

 

With a dedicated practice of the Pettibon System, Lisa’s life has returned to normal – she gardens, takes walks with her husband, and travels wherever she likes. She continues to work with her wobble chair, fulcrums, cervical traction device, and weights and knows that continuing her treatment is what will keep her spine healthy and her life full again.

Side by side X-rays showing the improvement of Lisa's spine after using The Pettibon System.
Side by side X-rays showing the improvement of Lisa’s spine after using The Pettibon System.
Lisa's lateral cervical X-ray's Pre and Post treatment showing her improvement.
Lisa’s lateral cervical X-ray’s Pre and Post-treatment showing her improvement.

The Pettibon Difference

Most Chiropractors believe they’re doing the best work they can do for patients when they’re alleviating their pain, not attempting to fix the spine curvature or structure. Pettibon knows that pain relief does nothing to treat the source, and if you can improve the structure of the spine, there’s no need to treat the pain.