April 2008



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Chiropractic Adjustments Help Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Pain) In Case Series

In the March 2008, issue of the the scientific periodical, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), is a case series documenting specific chiropractic techniques helping women suffering from monthly menstrual pains. This study looked at the effect of specific chiropractic adjustments on women who suffered with monthly menstrual pains from dysmenorrhea. 

The study was conducted on 13 women with an average age of 26 years, with the youngest being 20 and the oldest 45.  The women included in this study all reported that they had symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea during all of their menstrual cycles during the previous year.  All of the women suffered from low back pain, lower abdominal pain, and general abdominal pain each menstrual cycle.

The time period of the study covered 2 menstrual cycles for the women so the effects of care could be looked at for two consecutive cycles.  Prior to care, all women were asked to rate their pains so that a baseline could be established.  All subjects were asked to initially rate their pain from 0 to 10 with zero being no pain and ten being the "worst pain you could possibly imagine".

The results of this study showed a considerable improvement for most all of the subjects in each of their two subsequent cycles after chiropractic adjustments.  The results for the women showed that their lower abdominal pain decreased from an average rating of 8.3 before care, down to a rating of 5.0 and 3.6 for the subsequent two cycles.  Likewise, their general abdominal pain decreased from an average of 7.0 before care to 3.2 and 2.1, and their lower back pain decreased from an average of 6.0 down to 3.2 and 2.7 for subsequent cycles.  In addition to the primary symptoms, the women in the study also noted improvements in secondary symptoms which included headaches, fatigue, diarrhea and constipation. 

The researchers concluded that menstrual pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea may be alleviated with the specific chiropractic care rendered in this study.



Drug Errors Hurt 1 in 15 Hospitalized Kids

The above headline comes from an April 7, 2008, CNN story reporting on the large number of medical errors children receive while in hospitals in the US.  The article starts off by saying, "Medicine mix-ups, accidental overdoses and bad drug reactions harm roughly one out of 15 hospitalized children, according to the first scientific test of a new detection method." 

The new detection method mentioned in the article was described in a study published in the April 1, 2008 issue of the scientific journal, "Pediatrics", the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  According to the published journal study, "The purposes of this study were to develop a pediatric-focused tool for adverse drug event detection and describe the incidence and characteristics of adverse drug events in children's hospitals identified by this tool." The researchers described the tool as an actual "trigger method" that used certain indicators or "flags" to find adverse drug reactions in children as opposed to the previous method of depending on reports from supervising adults.

The results of the study showed that the rate of adverse drug events (ADE) was much higher than previously thought.  Dr. Charles Homer of the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality, whose group helped develop the detection tool used in the study, stated, "These data and the Dennis Quaid episode are telling us that ... these kinds of errors and experiencing harm as a result of your health care is much more common than people believe. It's very concerning."  In the CNN article, Dr. Homer referenced the recent news that actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins got accidental life-threatening heparin overdoses in a Los Angeles hospital.

The study looked at 960 randomly selected children's charts from 12 children's hospitals and looked for the specific "triggers" in these charts.  Researchers found that adverse drug event rates were 11.1 per 100 patients, 15.7 per 1000 patient-days, and 1.23 per 1000 medication doses.  The study also showed that 22% of all adverse drug events were deemed preventable, 17.8% could have been identified earlier, and 16.8% could have been handled better.

Possibly the most disturbing portion of the study was that, according to researchers, only 3.7% of the adverse drug events would have been identified by previous methods.  Researchers concluded, "Adverse drug event rates in hospitalized children are substantially higher than previously described. Most adverse drug events resulted in temporary harm, and 22% were classified as preventable."



Improvement in a 3½-year-old Autistic Child Following Chiropractic - Case Study

A documented case study published on March 24th 2008 in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, showed the improvement of a 3 and 1/2 year old girl who was diagnosed with autism a year earlier. In this case the girl initially could not speak or communicate with anyone except through screaming and tantrum like outbursts. This young girl did not socialize at all with others her age and did not engage in physical activity. The child's mother did note that after the first set of vaccinations her child did react differently and slept for 24 hours.

The young girl was brought in for a chiropractic evaluation where a series of tests and scans were performed.  A finding of subluxation was made and care was initiated for correction of the subluxations. Over the next 10 week period, the child was checked and given specific chiropractic adjustments 28 times. 

The young girl started to show results within the first 5 visits as she was previously very apprehensive to lay on the table and by her 6th visit she was laying on the chiropractic adjusting table by herself and holding the doctor's hand. By the 10th visit, the child verbalized for the first time while being adjusted.  Her mother reported that the girl even laughed that same week.  After the first month of care the girl's mother reported that her daughter showed more spontaneity, more expressions of joy, and a better posture while also experiencing less nightmares and hyperactivity.

Subsequent scans and examinations showed improvement in correction of vertebral subluxations and more symmetry to scans of the nervous system.  The authors of the case study concluded, "This case report illustrates how an improvement respectively in both subjective and objective behavioral patterns and nerve system symmetry followed chiropractic care in a child with autism."



Good Morning America Show Does Report of Chiropractic Helping Blood Pressure

On March 25, 2008 the ABC morning show, "Good Morning America" aired a segment with Robin Roberts showing how chiropractic helps high blood pressure. The video later appeared on the popular publishing site YouTube at the following address:

The parallel story also appeared on the ABC News website and starts with a profound statement, "Though doctors are unsure of what causes blood pressure to increase, a new study suggests that a specific type of neck adjustment may reduce hypertension for some of the 65 million Americans battling it."

The article referenced the University of Chicago study, published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, that showed that the patients in that study who received chiropractic adjustments saw their blood pressure drop an average of 17 points.

The article quotes study author George Bakris MD, University of Chicago Medical Center hypertension specialist , "We set up a double-blind study to really look and see if in fact this procedure was affecting high blood pressure." The article and video notes that that, "The C-1 vertebra, located at the top of the spine, operates like a fuse box in the body."

Medical doctor and ABC medical consultant Tim Johnson was reserved in his reporting of the findings but was still impressed.  He stated, "[There are] a lot of unanswered questions. But I'm telling you, this catches our attention because of a significant drop in blood pressure. It absolutely deserves more study."  He continued, "The truth is we really don't know that vertebra at the top of the neck is in a critical area where the brain stem, the lower part of the brain, is involved with regulation of blood pressure. It's theoretically imaginable that changing the anatomy of that area may have effect on regulating blood pressure."



Breech Pregnancy Returned to Normal with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A documented case study showing chiropractic care helping a breech pregnancy was published on April 7, 2008,  in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR).  In this case, a 28 year old woman returned to the chiropractor in her 34th week of pregnancy. She had previously been receiving chiropractic care for headaches and sacroiliac pain. 

In week 34 of her pregnancy, the woman's nurse midwife recommended that she return for chiropractic care after it was discovered that the presentation of her current pregnancy was breech. She had previously carried her first pregnancy in a breech presentation until 37 weeks until seeking chiropractic care.

This study notes that approximately 3%-5% of term pregnancies in the United States result in a breech presentation, while 80%-100% of those breech presenting fetus’ are delivered by cesarean section. Breech presentation is when a fetus is set up for the birth with the buttocks or feet  toward the birth canal rather than the normal head first, known as the "cephalic presentation".

Upon chiropractic examination, the breech presentation was confirmed and the chiropractic analysis and procedure known as the "Webster Technique" was utilized to determine intrauterine constraint and initiate correction.

Two days after receiving chiropractic care using the Webster Technique, the woman returned to her nurse midwife for her follow up visit. That examination showed that the fetus had turned to a normal presentation.  In the conclusion of this case report, the chiropractor, Dr. John Cameron Thomas noted, "The importance of preventing intrauterine constraint and cesarean section deliveries is apparent. For women who desire to deliver vaginally, there are options that can be performed before having a scheduled cesarean section."



Pregnant Woman Has Natural Birth After Two Cesareans with Chiropractic - Case Study

From the March 11, 2008, issue of the the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), comes a case study involving a pregnant women who was suffering from back pain and therefore sought out chiropractic care.  This was her third pregnancy and the previous two pregnancies resulted in cesarean births. The 29 year old woman was hoping to deliver this baby vaginally.

In this case, the woman started chiropractic care in her 34th week of pregnancy because of suffering from back pain.  She reported having experienced on and off lower back pain throughout her pregnancy. She had also had similar problems in the third trimester of her previous pregnancy.

A chiropractic examination was performed and the determination of subluxations was made.  Care was initiated focusing mainly on the lower spine.  On the patient's 4th visit, she reported that her low back pain had improved significantly and she was "getting around better" than before the care.

In the 40th week of her pregnancy, the woman went into labor.  She labored 12 hours at home with her husband before going to the hospital. Although she reported that the medical staff was extremely anxious, given her previous birth history, she delivered a healthy baby girl, naturally and without the use of medications or a Caesarean surgical procedure, as had been the case in her prior births.

The study authors, Joel Alcantara, BSc, DC and Ingrid Hamel, DC, FICPA, concluded, "This case report described the successful chiropractic management of a patient with pregnancy-related low back pain and possibly facilitated a successful vaginal birth despite two previous Caesareans."



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