The purpose of this article is to report the response of chiropractic care of a geriatric veteran with degenerative disk disease and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.


A 74-year-old man presented with low back pain (LBP) and loss of feeling in his lower extremities for 3 months. The LBP was of insidious onset with a 10/10 pain rating on the numeric pain scale (NPS) and history of degenerative disk disease and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hypertrophy. Oswestry questionnaire was 44% and health status questionnaire was 52%, which were below average for his age. The patient presented with antalgia and severe difficulty with ambulation and thus used a walker.


Chiropractic care included Activator Methods protocol. Two weeks into treatment, he reported no back pain; and after 4 treatments, he was able to walk with a cane instead of a walker. The NPS decreased from a 10/10 to a 0/10, and his Revised Oswestry score decreased from 44/100 to 13.3/100. His Health Status Questionnaire score increased 25 points to 77/100, bringing him from below average for his age to above average for his age. Follow-up with the patient at approximately 1 year and 9 months showed an Oswestry score of 10/100 and a Health Status Questionnaire score of 67/100, still above average for his age.


The findings in this case study showed that Activator-assisted spinal manipulative therapy had positive subjective and objective results for LBP and ambulation in a geriatric veteran with degenerative disk disease and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.

J Chiropr Med. 2012 Dec;11(4):293-9. [PMID:23843763]

Author information: Roberts JA, Wolfe TM. Chiropractor, Private Practice, HealthQuest Chiropractic, Farmington, ME.

Free PMC Article

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