Add as bookmark

Bodywork Matters: Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy Case Study

by Carole Preen(more info)

listed in neuroskeletal, originally published in issue 155 - February 2009

In this issue I am pleased to be able to share an amazing case study {of a client} who, after being in agony with a bulging disc, is now pain free and has his life back.

The client presented with pain in the right gluteal area with referred pain down his right leg to his calf, and numbness in the lateral thigh. This related mainly to the L4-L5 skin dermatome. The pain was made worse when standing and eased when sitting; all classic symptoms of sciatica. An MRI scan of the lumbo-sacral spine was performed, and T1 and T2 weighted serial sections obtained in the sagittal and axial planes. There was straightening of the lumbar spine with small osteophytes on the anterior and posterior lumbar vertebrae. There were some end plate changes at various levels. Early degenerative changes were apparent at L4-L5 and L5-S1, and disc height was reduced at these levels. L2-L3 and L3-L4 discs showed a diffuse bulge near the straightening of the posterior concavity, resulting in bilateral neural foramina narrowing. There was also diffuse disc bulge at L4-L5 and L5-S1, neural foramina narrowing with indentations on the left exiting nerve roots and impression on the right exiting nerve root. Mild hypertrophy of the facets joints was noted at L4-L5 and L5-S1, along with evidence of ligamentum flavum hypertrophy.

A postural analysis was carried out prior to the first Neuroskeletal Re-alignment treatment, which highlighted a pelvic twist from right to left, that also affected arm and scapulae positioning as well as the position of his head and neck, which veered to the right. As usual, we see compensatory effects that happen over time and this is addressed with Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy, as we treat the whole body at every treatment rather than take a symptomatic approach.

Next he was put on the inversion table for 15 minutes and then a full Neuroskeletal Re-alignment treatment was performed. Inversion therapy is where we use a special table to tilt the client into a vertical position, so as to naturally allow disc spaces to stretch using the body's own gravitational weight. As clients normally do during a session of NSRT, he fell asleep as this is a very relaxing treatment, and I noted how well the points reacted on various parts of his body.

When he returned for his follow-up treatment two weeks later he reported that he was in a lot of pain for two days after the treatment. This is, in fact, normal following an NSRT treatment, and clients are advised that this may happen after a treatment. It is due to the body repositioning muscles, tendons and bone. We normally advise a hot bath following a session to help the muscles relax and clients sleep really well the night following treatment, but they may need to take pain relief for a couple of days afterward. Basically, the treatment continues working for about 48 hours and during that time clients should not do anything strenuous or partake in any exercise whilst their body is adjusting, in order to gain the maximum benefit. After the two days his back felt a lot better, and on occasions, he reported that he even forgot he had back pain! We discussed buying his own inversion table but he decided to see how the treatments went first as initial results were so encouraging. He was given another NSRT treatment for 15 minutes following inversion and told to return in two weeks.

At the next appointment he reported that his back was feeling amazing and so I decided that it would be a good idea to offer a deep tissue massage with trigger point therapy where appropriate. This he really benefitted from, and as you can imagine a lot of trigger point therapy was needed to remove lactic acid from muscles that had been in spasm for a while during his incapacity.

Several treatments later he reported being pain free and had started to go back to the gym. During his incapacity due to back pain, he had gained a lot of weight and was keen to get back to normal. I advised he sought professional advice at the gym to slowly work back up to his previous level of exercise.

I did not see the client again until eight months later when he came back for a routine massage treatment. He had been absolutely fine and lost all the excess weight. He had been running, decorating the house and had experienced no further back pain apart from the odd twinge, which most of us will experience when doing things we are not used to.

This is one of my most favourite cases in terms of the seriousness of the MRI scan and that his GP had suggested that spinal surgery was probably likely. Of course not everyone with serious back pain is going to respond as well and as quickly as this client, but from my experience, and that of many of my graduates and colleagues, NSRT is very beneficial, even where other forms of therapy have failed. General back pain always responds very well.

Further Information

If you would like to try out Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy, you can find a list of practitioners on our website at We will be exhibiting at the Back Show again next year and at CAM Expo if you would like to come and meet us. Training in NSRT is now very popular and the course for 2008-9 is full. If you would like to train, the next course starts in October and you can enrol from July. See for details. The full course prospectus is available on the NSRT website, including information on how the therapy works and the types of conditions that have responded well to treatment.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Carole Preen

Carole Preen FCHP FANM HonMIFA is a Fellow of the Association of Natural Medicine and the former Aromatherapy & Allied Practitioners' Association and has been a practitioner since 1994 and an educator since 1997. She is also an honorary lifetime member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists awarded for her contribution to the profession. As well as specializing in Aromatherapy and Anatomy, Carole also introduced Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy to the UK. Carole is an specialist educator, and internal and external moderator working in both the private and FE sector and has level 4 qualifications in quality assurance. She is Director of Complementary Health Professionals and may be contacted on Tel: 0333 577 3340;
For further information about Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy (NSRT) please view the website at with links to published articles and a Facebook page. The diploma course is accredited by Complementary Health Professionals through Natural Therapeutics. Training details and information on booking a treatment with me is available via Mob: 07455 195 515


    The FLEXXICORE exercise revolution: transform your fitness regime with 2 exhilarating exercisers

  • health & fitness books

    Massage, sports injury, holistic, healthcare and specialists books written by leaders in their field

top of the page