U.S. Marine Corps Pilot with Low Back Pain: Success with Chiropractic

pilotIn a previous blog post earlier this month, we reported how a massive collaborative study performed by the World Health Organization came to the conclusion that low back pain was identified as the leading cause of disability worldwide.

These are scary statistics considering that low back pain has a greater impact on the health of the world population (death and disability) than HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases including malaria, the forces of war and nature, and all neurological conditions combined.  A U.S Marine Corps F/A-18 aviator instructor recently experienced how devastating low back pain can truly be.


How Low Back Pain Can Ground a U.S. Marine Corps Pilot

The physical demands of the F/A-18 aviator are extreme. In addition to the physical requirements necessary to pilot the jet, US Marines must also maintain a high degree of physical fitness that is tested twice a year in a physical fitness test.  G forces are also commonly cited as a cause of back pain in high performance aircraft pilots.

Low back pain can diminish jet pilot concentration and function during flight and be severe enough to ground pilots or cause decreased flying time.  A recent article in the research journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy provided a unique glimpse into an otherwise undisclosed area of medical treatment.


Getting Back in the Air with Chiropractic Care

In this case, the 36-year-old aviator/instructor with 15 years of flying experience reported his lower back difficulties to his flight surgeon. That doctor prescribed pain medications and confined him to quarters. As if having his wings clipped wasn’t bad enough, the pain grew worse. This put him into a hospital where he remained for 24 hours. Another confinement of 72 hours followed.

Although he was returned to active duty and to flying, he was sent for consultation to a neurosurgeon. More examinations followed, then prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medication, followed by physical therapy, one session of Acupuncture, some Osteopathic treatment and exercise. By this time 4 months had passed, and he was now suffering intense spasms in his lower back. Sometimes it took him 10 minutes to get out of bed and 15 to crawl out of the seat of his fighter plane.

Finally, a visit to a chiropractor was recommended. By this juncture, the pilot was at times willingly removing himself from flight lineups. Following an extensive exam, Chiropractic treatment was begun in the lumbar region (lower back) area. It wasn’t long before the pilot was responding favorably. The 3 goals of chiropractic care were: 1) pain control; 2) ability to continue flight duties and USMC fitness training; 3) maintenance of aerobic fitness.

By the time of his 5th Chiropractic visit, the pilot reported that the sharp muscle spasms he’d been experiencing were a thing of the past. While he still experienced some stiffness, he was able to return to his regular flying status and had discontinued all medications! He was flying multiple training missions per week including high G flights and sorties of several hours in duration and had passed his required physical fitness test (100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 3 mile run in less than 29 minutes and a minimum of 3 pull-ups) the week prior with absolutely no pain.

In a final follow-up visit 1 month after his last appointment, the pilot was completely pain free and had full bodily function. How’s that for high-flying Chiropractic success story!


Don’t Be a Back Pain Statistic

Part of correcting the problem of pain is knowing where to go for help.

As experienced chiropractors in Augusta GAGeorgia Clinic of Chiropractic tailors customized treatments to each and every back pain sufferer.  With our personalized treatments, we have been able to help many Augusta GA patients suffering from back pain as well as other musculoskeletal conditions such as extremity pain (leg pain, knee pain, etc), arthritis, and fibromyalgia.  If you would like to get started today on treating the root cause of your pain, call our friendly office at (706) 814-5053 or schedule your appointment online.

The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.

Augusta GA Chiropractor Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized treatments. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for chiropractors in Augusta GA and Evans GA Chiropractors that provide customized care.

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (706) 814-5053 or use our online form.