January 2011


Why and How Pregnant Women Seek Chiropractic Care

A study published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics looked at the prevalence and reasons pregnant women sought chiropractic care.  The survey study was conducted in Oslo Norway and approved by the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

pregnantIn this study, a survey was conducted of the first 100 pregnant women who presented for chiropractic care at a clinic in Oslo. Data for the study was collected over a 16 month period and data from the women was only included during their pregnancy. Pregnant women were only included in this study if they spoke Norwegian and remained under chiropractic care for more than one visit.

The results of the study showed that the median age of pregnant women who came in for chiropractic care was 32.5 years with the youngest being 25 and the oldest being 42.  About half of the women (47%) were in their first pregnancy, while the other half (49%) were in their second pregnancy, and only a small number (4%) were in their third.  According to the study, 32% of the women had never received any care for any musculoskeletal problems in the health care system regardless of pregnancy status.  Additionally, 38% had been to a chiropractor before, either before they were pregnant, or in a previous pregnancy.

The study also showed that 44% of the women had been referred for chiropractic care by a family member or a friend. However, what was interesting is that 48% were referred for chiropractic care by another health care professional.  Of this 48%, the referral breakdown showed that 23% received advice from their midwife, 15% from their medical doctor, and 10% from a physiotherapist. One interesting statistic from this study was that almost one-third of the women sought chiropractic care as their first method of care for their problems during pregnancy.

When looking at the reasons why the women sought chiropractic care, the researchers found that for 90% of the women, the main reason they came for care was pelvic pain.  Researchers also noted that 60% of the women also suffered from back pain.  Additionally 29% of the women had neck pain, 15% suffered from headaches and 2% had migraines.

The study also looked at how long the women waited with their pain before deciding to start chiropractic care. The results showed that the longer they waited, the greater the number of problems they experienced and therefore an increased amount of care was needed to help them. One of the patients expressed their feelings about waiting too long and their quote was included in the study. This patient said, "Why didn't anyone refer me here earlier? It is just by chance I ended up here in this office. Had I known what I now know, I would have come much earlier."


Fluoride Problems Result in Lower Government Recommendations for Drinking Water

For the first time in 50 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Friday, January 7, 2011 in a news release, a proposed reduction in the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water they consider for good dental health.

HHS' recommends that the current fluoride range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter of water be lowered to 0.7 milligrams per liter. The lowered range was recommended to balance the adverse health effects of fluoride such as dental fluorosis. An increase in dental fluorosis-tooth enamel loss, pitting, and streaking is one of the major adverse health effects of fluoride as reported by the National Academies of Science (NAS) "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPS's Standards (2006)".

The EPA and HHS reviewed the findings by the NAS which recommended the update in fluoride exposure. According to a January 7, 2011 CNN.com article, the change is being made now because the current range is out of date. The article noted that the present recommended level of fluoride in drinking water has not been changed for 50 years.

Fluoride is now ingested in many products including toothpaste, mouthwash, bottled water as well as from fluoride-containing rocks and soil which enter the water system through runoff. According to the NAS report on fluoridation, fifty percent or more of fluoride exposure is reported to be fluoridated water, beverages, and foods prepared or manufactured with fluoridated water .

According to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) article published on Jan. 7, 2011, over-exposure to fluoride can be toxic.  Dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis (joint pain, stiffness and bone fractures) along with a possible link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), neurotoxicity and disruption of thyroid function has been reported by the EWG, a nonprofit research organization.

EWG's senior vice president for research, Jane Houlihan stated that the EWG has been calling on federal agencies to respond to findings by the NAS and other studies which document that excess fluoride exposure poses dangers. She reports in the article that the public should take care when it comes to exposure to industrial chemicals, and that what is considered safe today won't be considered safe tomorrow.


Concussion Syndrome, Headache, and Vertigo Helped With Chiropractic - Case Study

From the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, comes a documented case study published on January 6, 2011 reviewing the successful care of a patient suffering from vertigo, headaches, and post concussion syndrome.

In this case study a 23 year old woman went to a chiropractor five months after suffering a slip and fall accident.  It was reported that the woman had slipped in her bedroom and hit her head on the floor suffering a concussion. At the time of the accident she was treated at the emergency room and was diagnosed with a concussion.

It was noted that she had previously suffered with headaches for 10 years prior to the fall.  After suffering the concussion the woman's headaches had gotten worse, and she was also experiencing vertigo (dizziness), nausea, and a throbbing pain in her neck.  After the accident she also reported having fatigue, irritability, insomnia, memory problems, and problems with concentration. Her problems were so severe that it was affecting her daily life.

A chiropractic examination was performed and numerous positive findings were noted indicative of vertebral subluxation in the upper neck.  X-rays of the upper neck verified misalignment of the upper neck and a determination of upper cervical (neck) subluxation was made.  Based on these findings a course of specific chiropractic care was initiated to correct the problem.

Within one week of starting chiropractic care the patient reported that she had not experienced any headaches or vertigo after receiving her first adjustment.  Follow up x-rays and examination procedures showed improvement of the upper neck as well. Two weeks after the start of care she was experiencing some occasional slight mild headaches, but the other symptoms had disappeared. In essence, at the conclusion of this case study the woman was actually healthier than she was prior to the accident she suffered.


Baby With Ear Infection and Respiratory Tract Infection Helped With Chiropractic - Case Study

A case study documented the success with chiropractic of the care of an infant suffering from ear infections and respiratory tract infection. The study was published in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, on December 22, 2010.

In this case study, a twenty-one-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractors office suffering from Otitis Media, ("OM"), more commonly known as ear infections, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus ("RSV"), a respiratory tract infection. The young girl was medically diagnosed with her first ear infection when she was only one month old. She was diagnosed with respiratory infections at nine months old.

The study denotes that otitis media is the most frequent reason for physician visits for children under the age of fifteen and the second most common diagnosis in medicine. The authors report that the girl was not breastfed and note that studies have shown that infants who are not breastfed have double the odds of developing recurring otitis media as compared to infants who are breastfed for the first four months of life.

According to the study author, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of viral lower respiratory tract infection in infants and children with 90% of children infected by 2 years of age. Most commonly children affected by this are diagnosed with bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

In this case the girl's mother brought her baby daughter to the chiropractor because her baby was not getting any results after a year-and-a-half of medical care. According to the study, the mother reported that her daughter had been on a nebulizer for the past year and found the current care plan by the pediatrician consisting of antibiotics and bronchodilators to be frustrating because her daughter was not getting well.

A chiropractic examination was performed and the conclusion was that the child did have vertebral subluxations resulting in interference to the baby's nervous system. A course of chiropractic care was initiated designed to correct the spinal misalignments from the subluxations.

Within one week of the onset of chiropractic care the mother reported an improvement in her baby's sleep. Within one month the ear infections had resolved and the girls mother discontinued the antibiotics. Within three months of care, she brought her child back to the pediatrician and was told the child no longer had a respiratory infection, and therefore the nebulizer treatments were discontinued.

In the discussion of this case report, the authors explain the positive results of this case by stating, "The chiropractic profession has claimed favorable clinical responses for otitis media and other upper respiratory infections for nearly 100 years and evidence is increasingly suggesting that the nervous system is capable of modulating the immune system."


A Review of Complementary and Alternative Care for Infertility Issues

The above is the title of a research report published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics.  The article looks at the various forms of health care for couples with infertility issues. The author reviews infertility, then compares conventional medical care with several forms of non-medical (alternative) care, including chiropractic.

The author first reviews the issue of infertility and notes that "infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after trying for one year". According to the report, in the United States, 7.3 million women between the ages of 15-44 have impaired fertility equaling 11.8% of the female population.

The study notes that over 7.3 million women have used infertility services. The author also reports that 20% of all infertility cases involve both male and female fertility issues, while 35% involve only male issues, and 35% involve only female issues with 10% being unknown.

The study notes that the typical medical approach involves either fertility medications, surgical intervention, such as laparoscopy, or operative hysteroscopy, and Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The author also reviewed such non-medical approaches such as Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Nutrition, looking at the approach each of these uses in the treatment of infertility.

Chiropractic care was discussed in detail as it relates to the care of those struggling with infertility. The author begins by offering the definition of chiropractic as presented by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), "Chiropractic is concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation."  The author goes on to present the ACC definition of subluxation, "A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health. A subluxation is evaluated, diagnosed, and managed through the use of chiropractic procedures based on the best available rational and empirical evidence."

The report notes that several areas of the nervous system have some direct innervation of organs and body systems that can have an effect on infertility. These include the lower area of the mid back and the upper area of the lower back, (T11, T12, L1 & L2), as well as the top bone in the neck and the base bone of the spine known as the sacrum.

The author proposes that interference to the nervous system from subluxation will affect the "flow of energy" in the nerves that control or influence body organs or systems involved with fertility. The report reviews several previous studies documenting chiropractic care helping individuals with infertility.

In the article conclusion, the author tries to sum up the various forms of alternative care used in the care of infertility by saying, "Stressors, ranging from internal negative thought processes to external environmental factors, all play a role decreasing the delicate balance of fertility. Although a different approach is utilized in each discipline listed, all work to restore homeostasis and create a positive fertility cycle."


Study Shows 14.6 Percent of Seniors Used Chiropractic Care

A study published on December 21, 2010 in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy reviewed how senior citizens utilize chiropractic care.  The study was based on data obtained from a survey and Medicare claims from the years 1993 to 2007.

During the time of the study it was shown that 14.6 percent of seniors had used chiropractic at some time. However, many of those only used care in one of the years in the study. This meant that on average 4.8% of seniors used chiropractic in any given year.

The study noted that previous research showed that the population in general utilized chiropractic at a higher rate than did seniors in this study. The general population was reported to go to chiropractors at a rate of between 6.8% and 16% annually depending on the location and time of the study.

The study reported that the average senior who went to the chiropractor averaged 19.5 visits in a year. Other facts of usage also showed that the percentage of seniors going to chiropractors was higher in rural areas. The study also showed that chiropractic patients had greater mobility and function with simple tasks such as light lifting, climbing stairs and walking several blocks. Overall the study showed that the senior chiropractic patients had less difficulty with daily activities.

One interesting finding of the study was that those patients who went to the chiropractor more than 12 visits seemed to utilize chiropractic care at a much higher rate than the rest of the senior population who was seeing chiropractors. This shows that those who incorporate chiropractic as a part of their regular healthcare continue chiropractic even after their Medicare benefits have been exhausted.


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