A retrospective cross sectional survey of thoracic cases on record at Durban University of Technology chiropractic day clinic
Benjamin, Rhoda Lynn
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The purpose of this research is to conduct a descriptive study of cases that presented with thoracic complaints to Durban University of Technology chiropractic Day Clinic from the 13 January 1995 to 30 November 2005. This is a retrospective, quantitative, non-experimental, clinical survey. The sample size for this study included 7111 cases obtained from the Durban University of Technology chiropractic day clinic. There were no thoracic cases recorded in the random sample for the year 1995, therefore the random sample allocated for this year was subtracted from the total sample. 249 Thoracic cases were included in this research. The overall prevalence for the time period 1996 - 2005 was 3.5%. Gender: 248 of the 249 patients had recorded gender information. The majority were female 54.8% while 45.2% were male. Age: The ages ranged from 11 to 73 years. The mean age was 33.3 years. Occupation: 241 patients had a recorded occupation. 21.6% of them were classified as active or non-sedentary while the majority had sedentary jobs. The main complaint was mid-back pain which was noted in 41.4% of the population. Thoracic facet syndrome was the primary diagnosis given in 74.7% of the population; myofasciitis was the second most diagnosed condition with 8.8% of the population having this primary diagnosis. The most common treatment was joint manipulation, which was used in 82.6% of the cases, followed by soft tissue therapy (79.4%) and stretches (44.9%). The facets that were most commonly found to be fixated were in the T5 toT8 region. The investigative procedure that was used most often in the sample was x-rays. Fourteen patients were sent for x-rays (5.6%). One patient was sent for a blood test (0.4%). No other investigative procedures were used in these patients. Even though the overall prevalence of thoracic pain sufferers was only 3.5% over the ten year period, it is still an area of pain that must be investigated. The thoracic spine has been overlooked as a major region for research. This study has proved that there is need for continuing research in this area, to assist chiropractors to treat the thoracic spine more effectively.