January 2008



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MRI Shows Subluxation in Whiplash Case Study

In the December 19, 2007 issue of the scientific journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy, is a case study that clearly documented the presence of a subluxation on MRI and showed how chiropractic helped in this case when medical care had previously failed. 

This case documented the plight of a 21 year old woman who was involved in an automobile accident. The accident was so severe the woman was unconscious and had to be cut out of her car by rescue teams. She was taken to the emergency room where she suffered a seizure and regained consciousness. 

In the hospital, the 21 year old had x-rays and a CT scan. In spite of the severity of the accident, the doctors interpreted these x-ray studies as normal. She was treated for her cuts and released with the advice to return for a neurological evaluation. The neurologists recommended medications for the headaches that the young girl had now developed.

When she finally sought out chiropractic care, she was suffering from chronic neck pain, headaches, and dizziness. Her pain was so severe that she rated it as the worst pain of her life. Her neck range of motion was severely limited and created pain when she moved her head or neck.

Because of the severity of her case, an MRI was ordered. Upon chiropractic evaluation, this study showed that the top bone in the neck (atlas) had shifted to the left. Re-evaluation by the
Neuroradiologist concurred with the chiropractor’s opinions. 

Chiropractic care was initiated utilizing specific adjustments targeted to vertebral subluxations of the upper cervical spine. The care initially was three times per week for six weeks. During this time, the woman showed a 75% reduction of symptoms. In the next four weeks of care, she reported a 100% reduction of her pain. 



Seven Medical Myths

An interesting article appeared in the December 22, 2007 issue of the British Medical Journal. In that article, the authors, Rachel C Vreeman, fellow in children's health services research of the Indiana University School of Medicine, and Aaron E Carroll, assistant professor of pediatrics Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, tackled the seven most common medical myths.

The authors researched each of these common myths and reported on them in the BMJ article. The synopsis of their findings is listed below.

1) People should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
The researchers noted that the 8 glass number is seen in many places in the popular press. However, they found that this number actually came from recommendations first put forth in 1945. In those original recommendations it was suggested that adults should have 1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food, which equates to about 2.5 liters daily or about 8 glasses of water. However, the researchers note that one important sentence in the original recommendations is commonly overlooked. That sentence reads. "Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods." With this discovery and other information they uncovered the article notes, "studies suggest that adequate fluid intake is usually met through typical daily consumption of juice, milk, and even caffeinated drinks."

2) We use only 10% of our brains
The authors found that this myth goes back as far as 1907. This myth probably had more to do with the desire for self improvement than the actual amount of the brain being used. The authors note that this myth is totally false and there are no unused or dormant parts of the brain.

3) Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
Again this is untrue. The authors note that dehydration of the body after death may lead to skin retraction which may make the hair and fingernails appear to be more pronounced and therefore look like they have grown.

4) Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, or coarser
The authors state that this myth continues to be carried by popular media. However, they note that this myth has been scientifically disproved in multiple studies dating back as far as 1928. They clearly state, "recent studies confirm that shaving does not affect the thickness or rate of hair regrowth."

5) Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
The authors note that reading in dim light can create eye strain and decreases the rate of blinking which can lead to discomfort. However, they note that none of these symptoms persist. After consulting many experts, the authors conclude, "reading in low light does not hurt your eyes."

6) Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy
The authors note that this myth is based on the fact that turkey contains tryptophan, which does contribute to sleepiness. However, they note that turkey contains no more tryptophan than chicken or ground beef. They explain that the sleepiness is more likely related to the volume of food consumed when turkey is eaten as a holiday meal.

7) Mobile phones create considerable electromagnetic interference in hospitals
This may be the only myth that could be true. Although the researchers could find no scientific evidence to support this myth, there have been a few reported cases of equipment malfunction in hospitals that could be attributed to cell phones. As a result, and probably precautionary, many hospital have banned cell phones in critical areas.



High Heels – The Chiropractic Perspective

Two publications carried an article based upon a release by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. The articles from the January 2, 2008 Hudson Valley Press, and the January 8, 2008 Indiana Star, discuss the perils of high heels from a chiropractic perspective. Dr. Gerard Clum spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and president of Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California starts the article off by stating, "From a health standpoint, there's no good side to heels."

The FCP release notes that wearing high heels changes the biomechanics of walking, therefore affecting the foot, leg and spine. Dr. Clum notes, "Dangers associated with wearing high heels affect the entire body, particularly the knee, hip, and back." He continued, "The abnormal weight-bearing and stressful posture induced by high heels can strain both the low back and the neck, not to mention the foot, ankle, and knee."

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress made several recommendations for women who wear high heels. These are:

If high heels must be worn, Dr. Clum advises not to wear them for more than two hours a day. He states, "Many high-heeled shoes do not allow for proper space and movement of the toes. Typically, the pointy toe of the shoe causes pain in the front of the foot, which creates pressure on the metatarsals."

Doctors at the Foundation are not suggesting flat shoes but they do suggest wearing heels of two inches or less as a compromise. Dr. Clum summed up the chiropractic perspective by saying, "The vast majority of women who come for chiropractic treatment do not associate the heel height of their shoes with their ailments. It is important for women to realize that their everyday choices, including what shoes to wear, will affect their entire body, not only their feet."



Healthy Behaviors Can Give You 14 Extra Years

A new study published on the January 8, 2008 online journal, the PLoS Medicine, and reported on the same day on Medical News Today, showed that following a healthy lifestyle can lead to up to 14 years of additional life. The study conducted at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, United Kingdom, looked at factors that created a relationship between lifestyle and mortality.

This study followed over 20,000 participants and looked at four key lifestyle factors. One point was given to participants for each of the following factors, non-smoker, physical activity, moderate alcohol intake, and eating the equivalent of five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. In this study, physical was defined as not having a sedentary job, or engaging in exercise. Moderate alcohol consumption was defined as having between 1 and 14 beers or drinks per week. The amount of fruit and vegetable intake was determined to be adequate by testing the participant's vitamin C content in their blood. Participants were given a point for each of the above lifestyle factors so that a maximum score of 4 would represent the most positive lifestyle within the parameters of the study.

The men and women in the study were between 45 and 79 and were examined and completed lifestyle questionnaires between 1993 and 1997. None of the participants in the study had cancer, heart disease or circulation disorders at the start of the study. The death of any of the participants was recorded until the year 2006 for the purposes of this study.

The results of the study showed that people with a score of 4 significantly increased their survival rate. Having a score of four compared to zero in health behaviors was the equivalent to being 14 years younger in chronological age. People who scored a 2 in the study were twice as likely to die during the study as were those with a score of 4, while those with a 0 score were four times more likely to die during the study period.

The Medical News Today article notes that this study gives consumers four simple and easy lifestyle factors to focus on that can have a profound effect on longevity. They sum up the article by saying, "The study is intriguing and helps to pin down in a user friendly and informative way some simple changes that middle aged and older people can make with a reasonable expectation of making a significant impact on their lifespan. Even Homer Simpson could do this!"



Traumatic Brain Injury Case Helped With Chiropractic Care

A case study published in the December 18, 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documented the improvement of a 55-year-old woman who had suffered two automobile accidents. As a result of these accidents, the woman was reporting symptoms of whiplash, loss of range of motion in her right arm, sacroiliac joint pain, shoulder pain, hand pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, and loss of balance. To complicate matters, after her second accident her husband died and she was suffering from depression to the extent that she attempted suicide.

Between the two accidents, some chiropractic care was rendered by a chiropractor other than Andrea B. Ryan, D.C., the author of this case report. That care met with some limited results. After the second accident, the woman's symptoms got worse and she was diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder by her medical doctor.

Nine years after her second accident, she sought chiropractic care from Dr. Ryan, D.C.. She was suffering from a large range of health issues and was on multiple medications. An extensive chiropractic examination was performed and it was concluded that vertebral subluxations were present.

The patient experienced some immediate results. However, most changes occurred over time as care progressed. Overall her dizziness completely resolved, and she was more stable and comfortable when walking, but still required a cane. Her muscle strength in her arms, shoulders, and legs improved and she no longer has pain in her sacroiliac joints.

The author of the study, Andrea B. Ryan, D.C., concluded, "There were three specific goals that the chiropractor and patient set out to achieve before chiropractic care commenced: subluxation reduction, reduction of symptoms, and increased quality of life for the patient. All three goals were accomplished within six months. Based on the results of this case, chiropractic should be considered for patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries."



Study Says Spine Adjustment Can Lower Blood Pressure

The above headline came from a January 4, 2008 TV and online article from the NorthWest Cable News seen in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana. This TV and online story interviewed Dr. Marshal Dickholtz, the chiropractor who was involved in the original study linking high blood pressure with spinal misalignments (subluxations). The online news story and video of the TV story can be seen here.

The original scientific study authored by George Bakris, MD, was conducted at the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center and published in the March 2, 2007 issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

This most recent NorthWest Cable News TV and online story interviewed the chiropractor who rendered the specific adjustments that were used in the groundbreaking study. Dr. Dickholtz has been in practice for over 50 years and focuses exclusively on the top bone in the neck called the atlas. He commented, "Think about it. If your neck is not balancing your head, it's like blowing a fuse. Your wonderful brain does not control your body as well."

In the original study at the University of Chicago doctors showed that chiropractic could lower blood pressure by 17 points. Dr. Dickholtz explained how this works by saying, "When you have a pinched brain stem, it closes out your arteries. If the arteries close down, the blood pressure has to be higher to go through those arteries."

The news story interviewed two patients of Dr. Dickholtz. Because she received chiropractic care, one 80-year-old patient, Maribeth, is now off her blood pressure medication. She commented, "At my age, to be on no medication is almost a miracle I think.". A second patient, Denise, had an initial blood pressure of 144 over 98 before her chiropractic care. After care, she reported, "After one treatment, my blood pressure was 115 over 76.".

In the news story, Dr. Dickholtz summed up the importance of this study and chiropractic care for those with high blood pressure by saying, "In our high blood pressure research, the average age was 53 and they had 40 years of damage in their spine that could have been taken care of years before and maybe never had high blood pressure.".



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