June 2009


Infants with Acid Reflux and Colic Helped by Chiropractic

Research published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on May 9, 2009 documented the cases of 16 infants who were suffering with colic or acid reflux and got complete resolution of their symptoms with chiropractic care. In this study, seven of the infants were diagnosed by a medical physician with colic, while nine had been diagnosed with acid reflux prior to receiving chiropractic care. The infants in this study ranged in age from two weeks to eleven months.

Of the 16 infants a history of birth trauma was reported in 10 of the cases. Upon examination, upper cervical (neck) subluxations were determined to be present in all 16 cases. In this study chiropractic care was rendered for 2 to 6 weeks on the various infants with all patients showing a complete resolution of their symptoms in that time frame.

Dr. Erin Elster, a chiropractor and the author of the study, explained the relationship between subluxation and colic or acid reflux by saying, "Research is revealing that injuries to the upper part of the neck may be a factor in a number of disorders. These injuries lead to misalignments in the neck that may compress the spinal cord and other nerve structures in the neck. This compression leads to nerve interference and can result in a host of disorders such as colic and acid reflux”.

Dr. Matthew McCoy a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study added, "It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. "If you damage or compress the neurological structures in the neck this can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. Through research like Dr. Elster’s we are finding that correcting the misalignments associated with these injuries reduces the nerve compression and people improve. In this study it was infants suffering from colic and acid reflux.”

In her conclusions the author, Dr. Elster wrote, "These results suggest a causal link between birth trauma, upper cervical injury, and colic / acid reflux onset. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine (with chiropractic adjustments) appears to eliminate colic and acid reflux."


Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu

The above headline comes from  Science Daily on May 20, 2009. The ensuing article reports on research presented at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society that stated that children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than those children who do not.

In this study researchers followed 263 children ages 6 months to 18 years, who were evaluated at the Mayo Clinic and had laboratory-confirmed influenza between 1996 to 2006. The researchers determined who received the flu vaccine and who did not. They then looked at their asthma status and who did and did not require hospitalization. The records were reviewed for each child with influenza-related illness to see if they had the  flu vaccination preceding the illness and if they required  hospitalization during that illness.

The researchers found that children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization, as compared to children who had not received the vaccine.

Avni Joshi, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, responded in the Science Daily article by noting, "The concerns that vaccination may be associated with asthma exacerbations have been disproved with multiple studies in the past, but the vaccine's effectiveness has not been well-established."  Dr. Joshi, continued, "This study was aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the TIV (vaccine) in children overall, as well as the children with asthma, to prevent influenza-related hospitalization." He continued by explaining that this study does not mean that the cause of the hospitalizations was the vaccine, "While these findings do raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, they do not in fact implicate it as a cause of hospitalizations."


Female Infertility and Chiropractic - A Case Series

A case series published in the June 8, 2009 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the cases of three women who presented themselves for chiropractic care with the primary problem of infertility. In these cases all three women were able to conceive following chiropractic care.

In the initial review of literature, the study points out that chiropractic was founded on a vitalistic and holistic philosophy to patient care.  The author noted that the care of the chiropractic patient was not dependent on the patient's presenting symptoms or medical diagnosis but rather the detection and elimination of spinal and extraspinal subluxations.

The study points out how wide spread the problem of infertility is by noting that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that there were 7.3 million infertile women in the U.S. in 2002 with 1.2 million women having had an infertility-related medical appointment in that timespan.

In all three of the cases reported in this study the women were in their thirties ranging from 33 to 35 years of age. All had attempted medical interventions to become pregnant and all had been unsuccessful for between 7 months and 4 years. In each of these cases chiropractic care was initiated for the correction of subluxations detected in their spines.

The study noted that in addition to the specific correction of subluxations with the chiropractic care, nutritional intervention and counseling on stress management was provided to the patients involving goal setting, affirmations, meditation, massage, exercise, alteration of work schedule and overall paradigm shifts in lifestyle modification.

The research noted that two of the three women in this study also had complaints of low back pain. The results in these cases showed that between 12 days and 2 months after the initiation of chiropractic care all three women had become pregnant.


Women With 'Dowager's Hump' At Higher Risk Of Earlier Death

Research published in the May 10, 2009 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that women with an increased curvature in the middle back, known as kyphosis or sometimes known as Dowager's Hump, is associated with a shorter lifespan. Articles in the May 26, 2009 Science Daily and in Medscape on June 2, 2009 also reported on the research and noted that this research was different from previous research in that the researchers factored out such things as compression fractures and other problems typically present with spinal kyphosis.

The study looked at 610 women, aged 67 - 93 years, measuring their mid back curvatures (Kyphosis) and then following up over a 13.5 year period to see the correlations between the participants kyphosis curvatures and their mortality. The results showed that an increase in kyphosis carried a 1.14-fold increased risk for death. Dr. Deborah Kado, the study's primary investigator stated, "We demonstrated that having this age-related postural change is not a good thing. It could mean you're likely to die sooner."

In this study the researchers write, "This study demonstrates a possible association between hyperkyphosis and increased risk for earlier death independent of the number and severity of vertebral fractures or osteoporosis in older women." Dr. Deborah Kado, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study's primary investigator added, "Just being bent forward may be an important clinical finding that should serve as a trigger to seek medical evaluation for possible spinal osteoporosis, as vertebral fractures more often than not are a silent disease."

Dr. Gary Walsemann, a Doctor of Chiropractic for 40 years and president of the International Chiropractors Association commented on the research by explaining the significance from a chiropractic perspective. "Chiropractors have been saying for years that spinal distortions create health issues because of interference to the nervous system created by spinal distortions that we know as subluxations." Dr. Walsemann continued, "This research serves to further highlight the connections between spinal problems and overall health."


Nine Year Old Boy Can Walk Again Thanks to Chiropractic

A feel good story by Barbara Morse Silva appeared on, June 1, 2009, on the NBC TV news station "turnto10.com" serving Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This story followed the case of a young boy who was able to walk again after chiropractic care.  In this news story a young boy named Charlie had a rare disease that created tumors in his brain, heart and kidneys. He was also born with fetal alcohol syndrome and has a history of seizures.

Five years ago he was adopted by the Rivera family. His adopted mother Michele described young Charlie by noting that he was confined to a wheelchair, was lethargic and on all kinds of medicines. His adopted father Abraham added that Charlie, "basically sat in a wheelchair slumped over. There was nothing for the child."

The Riveras took Charlie to a chiropractor Dr. Ross Rutkowski of Somerset, MA. Dr. Rutkowski explained that he performed a specific type of chiropractic that involved posture to help the upper part of Charlie's neck causing a change instantly after the first adjustment. His mother recalled, "He'd never slept a full night since we had gotten him the first five years." Mrs. Rivera then recalled what happened after Charlie's first adjustment, "When he came here (the chiropractor's office) that night was the first night he slept, and it was 24 hours with no seizure."  His father noted that now him and Charlie can make eye contact.

The story then notes that Charlie is walking a lot, and his seizures have also been "few and far between". The story notes that the Riveras call this nothing short of a miracle and their son now has a good quality of life.

The story did point that at first the Riveras would not even consider going to a chiropractor. Mr. Rivera admitted that he, "Would never even go a chiropractor." But now he says, "Amazing, all my aches are gone to! Yup I'm a patient now too."

Dr. Rutkowski pointed out, "To be clear, chiropractic is not a treatment for seizures. It's a way of taking pressure away from that nervous system so that the body always does the healing. We just remove the interference and the body heals."


Too Many C-Sections?

From the June 10, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times comes an article with the title, "Childbirth: Can the U.S. improve?", by Lisa Girion.  This article argues the point that there are too many C-sections performed in the United States.  The article noted that cesarean is most common operation in the U.S.. In 1965 only 4.5% of all births were by cesarean. The rate has grown substantially with currently 31% of all births in the US by cesarean.

The article quotes Dr. Roger A. Rosenblatt, a University of Washington professor of family medicine who has written in the past that the increase in interventions such as cesarean is linked to declining outcomes. Dr. Rosenblatt said, "We're going in the wrong direction, (maternity care) "is a microcosm of the entire medical enterprise."

The article notes that childbirth is the number one reason for hospital admissions costing $79 billion per year and representing a large part of the $2.4 trillion dollars spent on medical care each year in the US.  In 2008 a New York think tank group, Childbirth Connection, issued a report that said, "The financial toll of maternity care on private [insurers]/employers and Medicaid/taxpayers is especially large. Maternity care thus plays a considerable role in escalating healthcare costs, which increasingly threaten the financial stability of families, employers, and federal and state budgets."

The LA Times article also noted that in the U.S. the cesarean rate is higher than in most all other developed nations. They also note that even though the government has set goals to reducing such deliveries, the number of cesareans performed has set a new record every year for more than a decade.

In spite of the high level of medical intervention in the birth process, the U.S. ranks behind other developed nations on key performance indicators including infant mortality and birth weight. A typical American newborn is delivered at 39 weeks, instead of the full 40 weeks. Additionally, the article reports that starting in 2002 the death rate for mothers in childbirth began to rise.

Perhaps the most telling comment as to why there is no major effort to reverse this issue came from Dr. Elliot Main, chief of obstetrics for Sutter Health hospital in Northern California, "Cesarean birth ends up being a profit center in hospitals, so there's not a lot of incentive to reduce them."


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