Masneri DA, Helphenstine JS, Masneri SM, Miller MA, Levsky ME. Trauma-Induced Pneumothorax After “Bear-Hug Back Crack” Home Remedy: Attempted Spinal Manipulation by a Layperson. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007;107(9):411–413. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2007.107.9.411.
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Spinal manipulation, as practiced by US-trained osteopathic physicians, is a safe and effective method of resolving patient pain and encouraging desirable physiologic improvement— often without pharmacologic intervention. Though novices, laypeople, and other clinicians also use manual techniques with similar goals in mind, their results are varied and sometimes dangerous to those they would help. The authors describe a case in which a layperson attempted spinal manipulation on a 20-year-old woman who later required a chest tube thoracostomy and hospitalization as a result of a pneumothorax. Osteopathic physicians are encouraged to consider patient risk factors for pneumothorax as a contraindication for the use of thoracic thrust techniques.
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