Phase of Care
Pettibon Treatment in Lakewood
The Pettibon System is divided up into three distinct phases: acute care, rehabilitation and correction, and maintenance and supportive care. The goals of the acute phase, which lasts from 14 to 21 days, include reducing or eliminating the patient’s symptoms as quickly as possible, improving joint range of motion, and beginning the restoration of normal sagittal spine alignment. Patients receive training on home care equipment and procedures that they must do twice daily for strengthening postural muscles and building endurance. At the end of acute care, patients are re-x-rayed to assess their progress and qualification for rehabilitation and correction. This phase of care requires three treatments per week, based upon the common knowledge that muscle strength gains are achieved when a muscle is fully exercised three times per week. Rehabilitation and correction continues until normal sagittal and coronal spine alignments are achieved. This typically takes from 90 days to 24 months, depending upon the extent of injuries, age of the patient, chronicity of the presenting complaint, and patient compliance. Finally, maintenance and supportive care focuses upon making the structural changes long lasting, through weekly workouts using the Linked Exercise Trainer and training in lifestyle habits to support the patient’s health goals.
Although many of the individual parts of The Pettibon System have been peerreviewed, any treatment method should also seek to provide outcome data on the overall method to determine effectiveness, risks, side effects, and target populations. To date, two studies outlining two specific subsets of patient populations have been conducted. In a progressive study by West et al.46, 200 of a possible 1936 patients met the inclusion criteria for this study. Of these, 177 participated in the trial intervention. Each patient was evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS), range of motion quantification, plain-film radiography, and CT or MRI to rule out treatment contraindications. These patients were treated by manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) using The Pettibon System manipulative methods. Following the full MUA protocol, patients with cervical complaints reported an average 62.2% improvement in VAS scores, while patients with lumbar complaints reported a similar 60.1% improvement. A 68.6% decrease in patients out of work and 64.1% return to unrestricted activity 6 months post-MUA was achieved. Finally, there was a 58.4% reduction in prescription pain medication usage, and 24% required no medication six months after the MUA
A retrospective case series by Morningstar et al.33 followed the results of 22 idiopathic scoliosis patients selected consecutively at three different U.S. chiropractic clinics. After a maximum of six weeks of treatment using The Pettibon System, an average 17º reduction in Cobb angle measurements resulted. Although long-term follow up was not recorded for this study, it does provide hope for an alternative to surgical intervention.