August 2004

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  • Study Shows  Improvement for MS and Parkinson Patients with Chiropractic
  • Children Watching TV Linked to Poor Health Later in Life
  • Two Chiropractors Named to U.S. Olympic Team Medical Staff
  • Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy
  • Relief of Symptoms in Cervical Spinal Stenosis Through Specific Chiropractic
  • Sugar-Free Foods May Play a Role in Obesity

Study Shows Improvement for MS and Parkinson Patients with Chiropractic

A study published on August 2, 2004 in the peer reviewed "Journal of Vertebral Subluxation", showed that the onset of both Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis were statistically related to trauma to the head and or neck.  The study also showed that a high percentage of the patients in this retrospective study benefited significantly from chiropractic care.

This study reviewed the cases of 81 patients with either Parkinson's Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.  Of the 81 patients 78 recalled that they had experienced at least one head or neck trauma prior to the onset of their disease.  Of the patients in this study, 39 reported that they were involved in auto accidents, 29 noted that they had been involved in some sort of sporting accidents, such as skiing, horseback riding, cycling, and football and 16 were involved in falls such as on icy sidewalks or down stairs. The length of time between the traumatic event and onset of their disease varied from two months to 30 years.

All 81 patients received specific chiropractic care for correction of vertebral subluxations.  The results of this care on the patients were then monitored and recorded. Of the 44 Multiple Sclerosis cases, 40 (91%) reported improvement from the chiropractic care. Of these, 28 showed “substantial” improvement; 8 showed “moderate” improvement; and 5 showed “minor” improvement. No further progression of Multiple Sclerosis was noted in the improved cases during the care period, which ranged from one to five years depending on the patient. Four cases reported “no change” in their condition.APOM View

Of the 37 patients with Parkinson's Disease, 34 (92%) reported improvement.  Of these patients, 16 showed “substantial” improvement; 8 showed “moderate” improvement; and 11 showed “minor” improvement. As with the MS patients, no further progression of Parkinson's Disease was noted in the improved cases during the care period, which ranged from one to five years depending on the patient. Three cases reported “no change” in their condition.

The conclusions published in the Journal showed that a causal link exists between trauma-induced upper cervical (neck) injury and disease onset for both Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine with chiropractic seemed to arrest and reverse the progression of both of these diseases in the patients in this study.  These results offer hope to patients who suffer from these debilitating diseases.

Children Watching TV Linked to Poor Health Later in Life

A study just released has linked excessive television watching by children to poor health later in life.  The study was reported by both Reuters Health on July 16, 2004, and by the London Associated Press on July 15, 2004. The study was performed at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The study showed that children who watch more than two hours of television a night during childhood and adolescence seem to be at higher risk of high cholesterol levels, smoking, poor fitness, and being overweight in adulthood.   The original study was published in the July 17, 2004 issue of The Lancet.

The study involved 1000 unselected subjects who were born in Dunedin New Zealand in the early 1970s and followed at regular intervals until 26 years of age.  The results showed that even an average weeknight viewing of one to two hours between the ages of 5 and 15 was associated with higher body-mass indices, lower cardio-respiratory fitness, increased smoking and raised cholesterol.

Lead author Dr. Robert J. Hancox, from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, noted, "Our results suggest that excessive television viewing in young people is likely to have far-reaching consequences for adult health. We concur with the American Academy of Pediatrics that parents should limit children's viewing to 1 to 2 hours per day; in fact, the data suggests that less than 1 hour a day would be even better."

Drs. David S. Ludwig director of the obesity program at Children's Hospital in Boston, and Steven Gortmaker, a sociology lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health, note that "a likely explanation for these findings is that dietary and other lifestyle habits learned in childhood and influenced by television continue into adulthood. Ultimately, parents must reclaim from television the responsibility for educating and entertaining their young children."

Two Chiropractors Named to U.S. Olympic Team Medical Staff

A story in the July 2004 issue of Chiropractic Economics magazine reported on a July 6, 2004 press release from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).  The USOC press release stated, "A 47-person medical staff has been announced by the U.S. Olympic Committee to provide health care for more than 540 American athletes in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The USA Medical staff consists of medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors and pharmaceutical experts."

Notable is the fact that two chiropractors were included in this list. Dr. Ira A. Shapiro of Old Bridge, N.J., and Dr. Marc P. Jaffe of Summit, N.J., are the chiropractors who were selected to join the other health professionals who will care for more than 540 American athletes in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens Aug. 13 through Aug. 29, 2004.

The Chiropractic Economics article notes that these Doctors of Chiropractic are only the eighth and ninth chiropractors ever selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the United States at any Olympic event in an official capacity.

In order to be selected, Drs. Shapiro and Jaffe had to pass an initial assessment process. They were then allowed to adjust athletes at several events prior to the Olympics.  Dr. Shapiro worked with nearly 200 American athletes at the 2003 Titan Games in San Jose, Calif., while Dr. Jaffe worked with more than 150 American athletes at the 2003 Summer World University Games in Daegu, South Korea.

Chiropractic has been used by athletes for some time to not only help them when they may be injured, but more importantly to help maximize their performance abilities.

Jim Scherr, the USOC’s chief executive and chief of sports performance, speaking in generic terms about all the care the athletes will receive stated, "We feel that our athletes get the best medical care in the world.  We go to every length to care for these athletes who have accomplished their goals to get here. We want to make sure they take that next step with the best medical care available."

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

"Pregnancy Today" magazine describes themselves as "the journal for parents to be".  On June 13, 2004 they ran a story written by Patti Larson a mother and author, about her experiences while being pregnant and the help she received with Chiropractic care.  She began the story by explaining the emotions she and her husband experienced when she found out for sure she was pregnant. 

As a woman in her mid-30s having her first baby, she described her concerns and questions by asking, "When will morning sickness start? How long will I be able to work? Will I make it through delivery with little pain and swearing?"  She also noted that her diet and sleep habits were good, but although she had great intentions, her exercise regime was less than desirable.

She did however, mention the one thing she saw as a big factor in helping her. "What ultimately saved me from suffering undue tiredness, aches and stress from my ballooning body shape and shifting hormones was chiropractic care." She continued, "I already made regular visits to my chiropractor prior to pregnancy, so it seemed natural to continue. My chiropractor recommended I continue with weekly visits, adding that I should come in more often if I felt I needed it."

Dr. Jeff Ptak, her chiropractor in Santa Monica, Calif., explained why chiropractic care made such a positive difference, during her pregnancy. "Chiropractic care addresses the functioning nervous system," he said. "When the nervous system is not unduly stressed from environmental factors – physical, emotional or chemical stress – the body will work according to its unique genetic plan. A stressful birth will stress all parties involved and remain until the nervous system stress is cleared. Chiropractic, by allowing the body to handle stress, helps expecting mothers, new mothers and their newborn children handle life with greater ease."

Leslie Stewart,  a certified nurse-midwife also agrees. "Chiropractic care can actually help with labor. Some women who run past their due date have used treatment to help start labor, rather than having a hospital induce them." 

The article author, Patti Larson, noted that she not only continued care through her pregnancy, but also after the birth of her daughter Madeline. She concluded the article by saying, "Madeline received regular adjustments her second week after entering the world. She never had colic, ear infections, colds or any symptoms of sickness throughout her first 12 months of life when children are often most susceptible. Some people cringe when I tell them she sees a chiropractor, yet everyone agrees that she is one of the most alert, active babies they have ever seen. Some say I’m lucky, but I tell them it’s really very simple – just stay well adjusted!"

Relief of Symptoms in Cervical Spinal Stenosis Through Specific Chiropractic

From the June 2004 issue of the peer reviewed scientific journal, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, comes a documented case study of a 70 year old woman who was injured in a side-impact motor vehicle accident.  The report noted that within hours of the accident, the woman developed headaches, neck pain, and a burning sensation on the left side of her face and the entire left side of her body, including her arms and legs. 

She was taken to the emergency room where an MRI was performed and she was initially diagnosed as having had a CVA (cerebral vascular accident or stroke). Later she was seen by a neurologist who felt that she had not suffered a CVA and after additional tests her diagnosis was changed to "cervical myelopathy".  Cervical myelopathy is a form of spinal cord injury resulting in spinal cord compression.  A cervical MRI was performed and revealed significant spinal stenosis with spinal cord deformation. 

The patient started chiropractic care two weeks after the accident. She stated that her goal was to avoid spinal surgery.  Her symptoms included headaches, neck pain, and a problem she described as an “odd sensation like my left face, body, arm, and leg are hot and burning.”

Specific chiropractic care was initiated and the patient was adjusted each office visit for 18 sessions over 55 days at a frequency of 3 times per week for the first 2 weeks and then once per week for the duration of the treatment period.  Within just two weeks the patient reported that her burning sensation had decreased by about 90%. She also experienced quick resolution of her muscular aches and pains. In just under 2 months the patient had reported complete resolution of her symptoms.

In this study the author concluded, "Resolution of the signs and symptoms of cervical stenosis with MRI-documented spinal cord compression through chiropractic techniques is reported."  In other words, this patient was spared surgery and the quality of her life was dramatically improved.

Sugar-Free Foods May Play a Role in Obesity

On July 8, 2004, the Health News of the Associated Press reported on the results of a study done at Purdue University where rats fed artificial sweeteners ate three times the calories of rats given sugar.  The study published in the July 2004 issue of International Journal of Obesity suggests that sugar-free foods may play a role in the current obesity epidemic.

Researchers in this study fed two groups of rats sweet-flavored liquids for 10 days. One group got only sugar-sweetened liquids, while the other was fed liquids sweetened by both sugar and saccharin.  After the 10 days, both groups of rats were given a sugary, chocolate-flavored snack and regular rat chow.  The results were that both groups of rats ate about the same amount of the chocolate snack. But the rats fed both sugar and saccharin ate three times the calories of the rat chow than the rats fed only the sugar-sweetened drink.

To explain these results the scientists suggest that artificial sweeteners could be interfering with people's natural ability to regulate how much they eat therefore interfering with the ability to distinguish between high and low calorie sweets.  They suggest that this could help explain why Americans have grown fatter over the past two decades even as the nation's consumption of artificially sweetened sodas and snack foods has soared.

Not everyone agrees with the conclusions of this study. Some scientists dismiss the conclusions, saying that studies on people don't indicate that. Adam Drewnowski, director of nutritional sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, said, "They're extrapolating and saying that humans may not be adjusting to the artificial sweeteners because they're expecting calories and the calories are not coming in. I just think this is nonsense."

However, Susan Swithers, an associate professor of psychological sciences at Purdue and co-author of the study, said the study findings suggest the rats given the saccharin-sweetened drink ate more rat chow because they experienced an inconsistent relationship between sweet taste and calories.  She stated "Consuming artificially sweetened products may interfere with one of the automatic processes our bodies use to regulate calorie intake."

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