Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Series
A case series published on December 5, 2011 in the scientific periodical, The Journal of Maternal and Pediatric Health, documented two cases of chiropractic helping two young adults with Autism related problems. One of the cases involved a 20 year old autistic man who displays aggressive behavior towards others. The second case was a 17-year-old autistic woman who abuses herself.
This research was carried out in Auckland, New Zealand in conjunction with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and Life Chiropractic College West in California. According to the study authors, Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by abnormal social interaction and communication concurrent with repetitive behaviors and mannerisms which affect approximately one in every hundred people in New Zealand.”
In the first case a 20 year old man went to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of aggressive behavior toward others. His behavior included trying to grab others and bite them on the head and neck. These episodes occurred multiple times a week. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18 months and was living in a facility with other autistic individuals. He could not speak but could understand some basic commands.
A chiropractic examination was performed and care was initiated based on the findings of the examination. After the first chiropractic visit, the young man’s caregivers reported that he became more alert causing him to actually have more mood swings initially. However, after the second visit they noted that he was even more alert and started to eat more regularly. By the fifth visit, his attention span improved and he started watching TV, as well as being able to follow instructions and carry out tasks. By the conclusion of the study the young man’s behavior had improved to the point where he would no longer attack any of the staff members or students at school, he was calmer, and more able to follow instructions.
The second case in this study involved a 17 year old girl diagnosed with autism, who was also living in a facility. The study noted that according to her caregivers she exhibited behaviors that included episodes of screaming, crying, jumping up and down, biting the webbing between her thumb and index finger, and punching herself in the face to the extent she would have multiple bruises over her face. She also suffered from epileptic seizures.
Chiropractic care was initiated following an examination. The results reported that after the fourth visit she was sleeping through the night, and was described as becoming increasingly calm and was able to sit down to eat meals. As care continued the bruises on her face were gone, and she became more interactive with others often seeking hugs. Eventually, she was able to go on a boat cruise and could sit for an hour without becoming agitated.
In the conclusion of their study, the authors wrote, “Two cases of individuals who suffered from autism are presented. Each had favorable results after undergoing chiropractic care. This case series provides supporting evidence that individuals with autism may benefit from chiropractic care.”
a Little Too Much Tylenol Each Time Can Be Deadly
The above headline comes from a November 23, 2011 article on the Healthland section of the TIME website. This is just one of many articles which include headlines like, "Popular painkiller can be deadly even in small overdoses" (CBSNews), "Sneaky Killer: Just a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Be Deadly" (Fox News), and "Too much acetaminophen over time may damage liver", (USA Today).
The articles are based on a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in the November 22, 2011 edition. The USA Today article starts off with an ominous warning, "Taking slightly too much of the pain reliever acetaminophen (best known by the brand name Tylenol) over time can lead to an overdose that can cause liver failure and death."
Dr. Kenneth Simpson, an author of the study explained in the USA Today article that taking just a little more than the recommended dosage over time can cause serious liver failure and death. He explained further in the Journal's press release, "They haven't taken the sort of single-moment, one-off massive overdoses taken by people who try to commit suicide, but over time the damage builds up, and the effect can be fatal." The term that the researchers used to describe this kind of repeated mini-overdosing was "staggered overdoses."
The study looked at 663 patients who had been hospitalized at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between 1992 and 2008 with injuries caused by acetaminophen. Of these patients it was determined that 161 of them had staggered overdoses from, according to researchers, taking the drug for things like headache, toothache, muscular pains, and abdominal pains. Dr. Simpson explained the real danger these people were facing by reporting, "On admission, these staggered overdose patients were more likely to have liver and brain problems, require kidney dialysis or help with breathing and were at a greater risk of dying than people who had taken single overdoses."
The article in TIME reports that "Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, with 28 billion doses purchased in the U.S. in 2005 alone." They go on to explain that because it is such a common drug, being the main ingredient in Tylenol, that people might think that it is safe. However, they note, "Tylenol overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., leading to 26,000 hospitalizations and nearly 500 deaths annually, according to the Food and Drug Administration."
Is it Time
Your Baby Saw a Chiropractor?
The above headline comes from a November 11, 2011 article in Essential Baby, an Australian publication that claims it is, "the largest online parenting community in Australia providing information and resources for conception, pregnancy, birth, baby, toddler, kids, parenting and women's lifestyle."
This article, written by Rebecca Martin starts off with her recalling the birth of her baby by saying, “After a long arduous labor requiring a suction cap to help my large first-born out, among the torrent of advice received was one unusual tidbit: ‘If he gets colicky, try taking him to a baby chiropractor’.”
Initially, Rebecca thought this advice was absurd, but when her colicky baby would not respond to every other remedy she tried, she started asking about a chiropractor for her baby. To her surprise she realized that many people were using chiropractors for their children. She reported, “Everyone, it seems, was doing it. All my more experienced mum-friends had one they could recommend. The child-health nurse, my GP and even the pediatrician who treated my son’s severe reflux, gave them the thumbs up.”
The article notes that when babies are adjusted there are no “bones cracked” as they called it. Many adjustments involve finger pressure on areas of the spine to have an effect on the nervous system. Dr Simon Floreani of the Chiropractors Association of Australia explained, “In the last decade there has been a lot more instrumentation used in the birth process, so babies get sprained and strained,” he says. “Chiropractic can help reverse the structural or mechanical injury of birth, and also help the nervous system to develop and construct normally. In infants, the biggest part the nervous system [affects] is sleeping, eating and pooing. Colic is a digestive thing, so if we can help ease the movement of milk through the bowel, we can help colic.”
The article also interviewed a chiropractic detractor who questioned research about chiropractic helping babies. To this Dr. Floreani responded with, “It’s difficult to get permission to do studies or trials on infants without getting caught up in a lot of ethics and issues.” He noted that medicine has tried to take the power away from mothers, and the best proof was that mothers are willing to pay for the care themselves. “Medicine can disempower you to say you know what’s right for your child. The fact that parents are paying out of their own pocket to [go to chiropractors] is more evidence than the best trials in the world.”
Neck Curve and Lower Back Pain Corrected with Chiropractic - A
A case report study published on November 21, 2011 in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documents the improvement of a person who was suffering with lower back pain and had a reversal of their neck curve.
The authors of the study start by noting that lower back pain is one of the most common conditions today with between six and twelve percent of the population suffering from this problem. They also report that medical care has not found a solution for this issue in spite of the fact that there has been a 629% increase in medical spending on lower back care.
The authors point out that chiropractic has consistently been shown to be effective in helping people with lower back pain. They also report that other studies have shown that abnormal curvatures of the spine have been linked to a variety of health related problems, including back pain. In this case the authors show a correlation between the two.
In this case a 41-year-old woman went to a chiropractor with lower back pain that she had been suffering from for two years. It had started when a chair she was sitting in gave way and she fell on her back. She had gone to multiple doctors including chiropractors and had not gotten relief. Her MRI showed problems with the vertebrae and discs in the lower back.
A motion x-ray (video fluoroscopy) was also done and showed abnormal spinal motion in both her lower back and her neck. X-rays also revealed a reversal of the neck, which should have a bending curve forward when viewed from the side on x-ray. Based on the x-rays and an examination, it was determined that spinal subluxations were present in her lower back and neck. A series of specific adjustments were initiated.
The case study reports that by the 11th visit the patient was completely pain free in her lower back and her leg, with only minimal pain still in her hip. After 6 weeks of care a follow-up set of x-rays were taken to monitor the progress. What was noticed was that the curve in the neck had gone from a reversal, to a normal curve during the course of care. This, coupled with the fact that the woman was feeling much better led the researchers to the conclusion that the neck was a large contributing factor in this person’s lower back pain.
In their conclusion, the authors noted that the structure of a neck curvature can have a profound effect on lower back issues. They state, “Correcting the abnormal structure within the cervical spine can alleviate most symptoms associated with LBP.”
Addicts Have Now Started Feeling the Pain
The headline above comes from a December 5, 2011 article in The Economic Times, an online news publication covering the UK and India. The article starts off by noting that more Britains are using their smart phones for accessing the Internet and other tasks. A recent British poll from YouGov noted that, 44% of Britons use their mobile phone for activities other than making calls, for between 30 minutes and two hours per day.
Dr. Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association reports that leaning the head forward for extended periods of time to read the smaller screens has an adverse effect on the neck. “The weight of an average human head is between 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kilogrammes).” He notes that if you look at a person with an ideal posture, you should be able to draw a line from their ear through their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.
The article notes that when a person uses a smart phone, typically the head is leaned forward causing the effective weight of the head on the neck to be up to four times as much than if the head where held in straight-up neutral position.
Both Dr. Hutchful, and Dr. Emmanuelle Rivoal, a Paris-based physiotherapist and osteopath, report seeing more problems from the use of these devices. One of the more common terms being tossed around today is “Text Neck” which Dr. Hutchful described as a manifestation of repetitive strain injury or RSI. The article defines RSI by stating, “RSI is the name given to a group of injuries affecting the muscles, tendons and nerves primarily of the neck and upper limbs.”
Dr. Rivoal added that these types of problems were common with people who work on computers, “because they spend more than five hours a day in front of a screen.” He noted that a hand held device can be even worse because the screen is smaller.
Dr. Hutchful offered some advice to avoid injury for those who use smartphones regularly. This includes things as simple as keeping smartphone use at under 40 minutes. He offers, “Keep use to a minimum, take regular breaks and look at different ways of interacting.”
Foster Children at Risk With Mind-Altering Drugs
The above is the headline from a December 1, 2011 story from ABC news reporting on a new US Government report released by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO). The story, and several others covering the same government report, highlight the fact that doctors are giving children in foster care powerful mind-altering drugs at a much higher rate and dosage than other children.
The study was initiated by Senator Thomas Carper, of Delaware who asked for the GAO investigation. He commented, "It's just almost beyond comprehension," the senator stated. "We want the doctors and nurses that are prescribing these medicines to look at their behavior and think and ask this question. Are we doing something wrong here?"
The GAO's report, looked at five states, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas, over a two year investigation. They looked at almost 100,000 children and found that nearly 20 percent of the children were being prescribed psychiatric drugs.
The report also noted that children in foster care were twice as likely as any other to be prescribed five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time. The report noted that, "No evidence supports the use of five or more psychotropic drugs in adults or children, and only limited evidence supports the use of even two drugs." Senator Carper responded, "There is no evidence for use of five mind-altering medications in an adult, let alone a child."
Texas was the state with the biggest discrepancy between foster children and non-foster children. The study noted that foster children were 53 times more likely to be prescribed five or more psychiatric medications at the same time than non-foster children.
An article in CBS news on this same issue quoted Dr. Mark Olfson, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, "The GAO report will hopefully spur states to strengthen their oversight and control over the effective management of psychotropic medications prescribed to youth in foster care." The report found that in the five states studied, researchers found almost 4000 foster and non-foster care infants - under the age of one year old, who were on Medicaid, were taking psychotropic drugs. Senator Carper commented, "I was almost despondent to believe that the kids under the age of one, babies under the age of one were receiving this kind of medication."
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