October 2009


Chiropractic Safe for Children - Study Shows

A study published in the September-October 2009 Journal of Science and Healing showed that chiropractic care for children is safe. The study showed that the primary reason that most children went to the chiropractor was "wellness care."

The study involved surveying both Doctors of Chiropractic  who took care of children and parents who brought their children to chiropractors. In the survey of the doctors the results showed that out of 577 children under the age of 18, with a total of 5,438 office visits, there were only three minor adverse events reported. In the survey of parents of 239 children under chiropractic care, there were only 2 minor adverse events reported. The study noted that the adverse events were minor discomfort after the adjustment and were readily resolved with continued adjustments.

Of those children who were brought to the chiropractor for health issues, the most common symptoms noted in the study were muscular conditions, ear, nose, throat, respiratory and digestive disorders. Both parents and doctors indicated a high rate of improvement with the children's presenting health issues. In addition to these improvements, the doctors and parents also reported better sleeping patterns, improvements in behavior, and improved immune system function while under chiropractic care.

Dr. Joel Alcantara, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) Research Director and author of this study said, “This paper shows the preliminary results of the ICPA’s Children’s PBRN (practice-based research network) – Phase One". Dr. Alcantra then continued, "Phase Two is well under way and we have initiated similar research pertinent to pregnancy. We are pleased that a major CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine) Journal respects the importance of chiropractic care for children and we foresee greater collaboration with the CAM community on the importance of chiropractic care for children.”

Dr. Renny M. Edelson, one of the Doctors of Chiropractic who participated in the study summed up the enthusiasm of the study results by saying, "It is wonderful to see research substantiating the safety of chiropractic care for children and the overwhelming satisfaction of parents with children under care."


Doctors Warn Swine Flu Vaccine May Do More Harm Than Good

The above headline comes from an October 8, 2009 story on the "Fox8Live" news show and on their website. This news story along with many others warn of the potential dangers of the H1N1 vaccine in contrast to the seriousness of the disease itself.

In the above story, Dr. Akili Graham, a family practice expert says that he and his family will not be getting the vaccine. He warns, "People are going to take the vaccine based on fear and ignorance." He warns that a more serious problem could develop, "When you start mixing the vaccine with the swine flu, when they co-join and change, they have the potential to cause major problems because of the combination of the two."

A similar story on the same day in the Virginia Beach Conservative Examiner carried the headline, "Infectious disease doctor says swine flu vaccine too risky". In this story infectious disease expert Dr. Kent Holtorf stated, "I have more concern about the vaccine than I do about the swine flu. It’s been rushed to market." Dr. Holtorf, speaking about the fact that the controversial substance Thimerosal is being used as an adjuvant, added, “It’s been shown to cause autism in children with mitochondrial dysfunction.” When asked if he would give the shot to his kids, Dr. Holtorf answered: “I definitely would not.”

On September 11, 2009, an interview appeared on the Financial Times health blog website with Dr. Tom Jefferson, a medically trained epidemiologist and Cochrane reviewer who has a special research interest in the effectiveness of vaccinations. Dr. Jefferson started his comments by answering the question of how effective are seasonal vaccines? He responded, "Our reviews either show no effect or limited effect, and poor data."

Another article on the website, Center for Medical Consumers, on September 24, 2009, Dr. Jefferson noted that the World Health Organization changed their definition of the word “pandemic” in May, 2009, just prior to classifying the "Swine Flu" as a pandemic. The earlier definition of pandemic was: “An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in epidemics worldwide with enormous numbers of deaths and illness [emphasis in the original document].”  The NEW definition of pandemic was changed to: “A disease epidemic occurs when there are more cases of that disease than normal. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic of a disease. An influenza pandemic may occur when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity.”

In an October 9, 2009 story on USA Today's website is a headline that says, "One-third of parents oppose H1N1 vaccines." This story reports on a poll by the Associated Press showing that parents are concerned about the safety and effectiveness of the H1N1 vaccine. The AP poll found that 38% of parents said they were unlikely to give permission for their kids to be vaccinated at school. In that same AP poll, conducted Oct. 1-5, they found that  72% of those surveyed are worried about side effects.


Child Gains Back Sense of Smell - Case Study

A case study research article published on September 14, 2009 in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health, documented a case of improved sense of smell in an eleven year old girl under chiropractic care.

In this case an 11-year-old girl who had suffered from chronic sinusitis for many years and reported a loss of her sense of smell for the past year was brought to the chiropractor for care. The young girl's parents decided to look into chiropractic care because of their concern that the escalating use of drugs for her condition could have potentially damaging side effects.

The case study noted that the eleven year olds symptoms included constant stuffy nose, difficulty breathing through her nose, and inability to smell even when her sinuses felt clear. Her previous treatment consisted of prescription medications that only offered temporary relief of her congestion. Her sense of smell was not improved with any of the medical care rendered. She had suffered from chronic sinus problems for most of her life with little lasting relief.

A chiropractic examination rendered a diagnosis of cervical and sacral subluxations, creating interference to the child's nervous system. A course of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated for the purpose of restoring normal neurological function and correcting the biomechanics and segmental position of the spine.

After only her first adjustment, the patient's mother reported that her daughter's sense of smell returned for approximately six hours. On a routine follow-up to her medical doctor two weeks after beginning chiropractic care, a significant improvement in the physical appearance of the patient's sinuses was noted. After three months of chiropractic care the young girl's sense of smell was completely restored. As a result the parents of the young girl discontinued all medications for their daughter.  Four years after the initiation of chiropractic care the young girl still has a normal sense of smell.

In her conclusion, author Dr. Danita Thomas Heagy, a St. Augustine chiropractor and past member of the Florida Board of Chiropractic Examiners, stated, "Results of this study indicate a potential correlation between the correction of subluxation and the return of olfaction (sense of smell) and normal sinus function.


Home Birth with Midwife as Safe as Hospital Birth

The above is a headline from the September 3, 2009 issue of USA Today. This article reports on a study published in the September 15, 2009 Canadian Medical Journal showing that planned home births with a registered midwife are slightly safer and have less complications than those attended by a physician in a hospital.

The study looked at all planned home births in British Columbia, Canada, from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2004. The total number of births that met this criteria was 2889. These births were compared to 5331 similar births in hospitals. The main outcome recorded by this study was infant mortality. The additional outcomes recorded were the number of obstetric interventions and any other adverse mother and infant outcomes.

The results showed that the rate of infant death in the planned home birth was 0.35 per 1000 births. Conversely, the rate of death in planned hospitals births with a midwife was 0.57 per 1000. The highest death rate in the study was the hospital births attended by a physician which was 0.67 per 1000 births.

Planned births at home attended by midwives were also much less likely to have medical procedures or complications. The study noted that midwife attended births were less likely to have obstetric interventions, or adverse maternal outcomes, such as tearing or hemorrhage.

Infants born in planned home births attended by midwives were less likely to require resuscitation at birth or to require oxygen therapy beyond 24 hours. They were also less likely to require re-admittance to a hospital after birth than the group born and released from a hospital.

In the USA Today article, Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland stated, "There is a political and economic issue about controlling where birth happens, but also a deep belief by physicians that it's not safe to have your baby at home," Greenfield said. "Doctors see every home-birth patient who had a complication, but we don't see the ones that have these beautiful, fabulous babies at home who may breast-feed better or have less hospital-acquired infections. There may be medical benefits."

The article noted that there is a difference in the registration process for midwives in Canada than in the United States. In the US laws vary by state with some areas having no regulatory process in place. Dr. Greenfield noted that the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives does have a certification process, but many states in the US don't recognize it.


Chiropractic and Tourette’s Syndrome

From the September 28, 2009 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health, comes a case study documenting the improvement of a young woman with Tourette Syndrome (TS) and headaches.

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a developmental disorder characterized by unwanted, irresistible, stereotyped movements and vocalizations called tics. People with Tourettes also may exhibit conditions of attention issues, impulse control, and mood problems.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are also common with Tourettes.

In this case a 20 year old woman had been suffering from Tourettes from the age of three. She was also suffering from headaches when she presented herself for chiropractic care. Medical care was not sought for this condition as the family of the girl made a decision not to subject their daughter to drug therapy for her condition.

The young woman's history showed that two years prior to beginning chiropractic care she began experiencing tics consisting of muscle contractions in her face and shoulders. The tics occurred constantly throughout the day. When she was relaxed, the tics would occur once every five minutes. However, when she felt stressed or  when she ate a diet of too much sugar, the tics increased in severity and timing to about once every 5 seconds.

Chiropractic care was administered to the young woman after an examination revealed interference to the nervous system resulting from vertebral subluxation. Over the course of one year of corrective chiropractic adjustments the patient experienced significant decreases in the occurrence and severity of her motor and vocal tic episodes as well as an improvement in headaches. The results were that she was able to better function throughout the day with decreased motor and vocal tic episodes.

Dr. Pamela Stone-McCoy, lead author of the paper, explained the result by saying, "Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain." Dr. Stone-McCoy continued, "Basic science research shows that the proper development of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.”


Many Doctors Still Don't Disclose Consulting Fees

An article in the October 7, 2009 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports on a study showing that doctors are still not disclosing the amount of money, perks and gifts they receive from medical device and pharmaceutical companies. The AJC article was reporting on a "special article" appearing in the October 8, 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The NEJM study looked at payments made to doctors from five manufacturers of total hip and knee prostheses in 2007. Each of the recipients in this study was an author of a presentation or served as a committee member or board member at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Each doctor was asked to fill out a conflict of interest disclosure statement. The results of those statements were compared to actual payments.

The results showed that of 344 payments made to doctors, only 245 of them were reported in the conflict of interest disclosure statement. When a follow-up questionnaire was sent to the doctors to determine why some payments were not reported, less than 40% responded to the questions. Of the responses that were received the most common reason for non-disclosure  was that the doctor felt that the payments made were not directly related to the subject for which they spoke on the program.

In the AJC article, lead researcher Dr. Mininder Kocher, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston stated, "In a high-tech field like orthopedics, surgeon relationships with industry are common. The disadvantage is the suppression of negative results and restriction of investigators," he said. "There is also a risk to the doctor-patient relationship of trust."

In the article Dr. Kocher suggests that there should be a mandate for all manufacturers to disclose who they give money to and how much. He notes that doctors do not do a good job in voluntary reporting. "Right now, the norm is self-disclosure," Dr. Kocher said. "There are problems with self-disclosure. Sometimes physicians intentionally do not self-disclose, other times it's confusing."

Also in the AJC article were comments made by Diana Zuckerman. She is the president of the National Research Center for Women & Families.  Zuckerman noted, "This is really quite sad. It's amazing, after all these years and all the publicity, people are still not being honest."  Zuckerman rebukes the idea that the reporting is somehow confusing by adding, "Anybody capable of going to medical school or getting a doctorate are perfectly capable of understanding what these conflict-of-interest guidelines are".


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