July 2011


Resolution of Fibromyalgia With Chiropractic Care: A Case Study

In the June 20, 2011, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research is a case study article documenting the resolution of fibromyalgia following Chiropractic care. The study notes that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition affecting 4-6 million people in the United States, and is characterized by chronic, widespread pain of the entire body for more than three months.

The National Fibromyalgia Association points out on their website that fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease that affects people physically, mentally, and socially. They explain that in the case of fibromyalgia , a “syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause."

In this study, the author writes, “Ninety percent of fibromyalgia sufferers are women, who begin to experience symptoms between the age of 40 and 50. Concurrent symptoms associated with fibromyalgia include numbness, stiffness, generalized fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms, swollen feelings in the tissues, as well as anxiety, depression, and mental fogginess.”

In this case, a 45-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with complaints of migraine headaches, chronic pain in the neck, upper and lower back, fibromyalgia, numbness in fingers, sciatica, right knee pain, depression, and a duodenal ulcer. Her history had a number of issues starting with a traumatic injury sustained from diving head first into a shallow pool at the age of 15. Additionally, the patient was in 10 car accidents over the past 25 years. When she presented herself to the chiropractor, she required a wheelchair to help her complete her daily routine and reduce her tiredness.

Chiropractic examination showed an abnormal posture and spinal positioning with a reduction in most spinal ranges of motion. Numerous orthopedic tests were also positive along with sensitivity to the touch of many areas of the patient’s spine. X-rays of the patient confirmed spinal misalignments and a determination of the presence of subluxations was made. A course of care consisting of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated to address the subluxations.

The results of this case showed that the woman had steady improvement in her conditions, and within six months of initiating her chiropractic care, she no longer needed her wheelchair for her activities. The woman noted that her fibromyalgia and left leg sciatica had been resolved. Additionally, she reported that she was able to move and perform basic daily functions and sleep in any position. She was also feeling more relaxed and had more energy throughout the day and did not require any medications.


Association Found Between Autism Prevalence and Childhood Vaccination

A study published in the May 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health shows that in the US there is a state by state link between the proportion of infants and toddlers receiving recommended vaccines and the autism rate for that state. Interestingly enough, the study was only covered by one news outlet, being reported on in the July 08, 2011, issue of the Baltimore Sun.

The authors of the study start off by noting, “The reason for the rapid rise of autism in the United States that began in the 1990s is a mystery. Although individuals probably have a genetic predisposition to develop autism, researchers suspect that one or more environmental triggers are also needed. One of those triggers might be the battery of vaccinations that young children receive.”

The author of the Baltimore Sun article, Margaret Dunkle, is a senior research scientist at the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University and director of the Early Identification and Intervention Collaborative for Los Angeles County. Her article is titled, “We don't know enough about childhood vaccines. Researcher asks: Are 36 doses of vaccine by age 2 too much, too little, or just right?” She reports that the federal government recommends 36 doses of vaccine, addressing 14 different diseases, for every US child under age two.

Dunkle reports that the vaccine ingredients could be an issue. She noted that vaccines contain adjuvants designed to boost vaccine potency. One of the more common adjuvants is aluminum. Dunkle also noted that thimerosal, which is almost 50 percent mercury and has been removed from most child vaccines, is still present in flu vaccines. Additionally, the carcinogen formaldehyde is also present in a number of the vaccines. All these are in addition to stabilizers such as gelatin, eggs or other proteins.

Whether the ingredients are the problem, or the sheer number of vaccines given in the first two years of life, the amount of research done on the short and long term effects of the multiple vaccines is negligible. Dunkle states, “While testing is routine for individual vaccines as they are licensed, research on the both short and long-term effects of multiple doses of vaccine administered to very young children during the critical birth-to-2 developmental window is sparse to nonexistent.”

The researchers concluded their study by stating, “A positive and statistically significant relationship was found: The higher the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations, the higher was the prevalence of autism or speech or language impairment.” The researchers noted that neither parental behavior or access to healthcare played a role in the study results. They also noted that no other type of disability was statistically related to the proportion of children receiving recommended vaccinations. From their research, they clearly state, “The results suggest that although mercury has been removed from many vaccines, other culprits may link vaccines to autism. Further study into the relationship between vaccines and autism is warranted.”


Prescription Drugs Cause More Overdoses in U.S. Than Heroin and Cocaine

The headline above is from a July 7, 2011 story in Bloomberg news. The article highlights just how large the problem of prescription drug abuse has become. The story notes that between 2003 and 2009, 76 percent of all overdose deaths in Florida implicated prescription medications. The Centers for Disease Control statistics suggest that Florida was averaging about eight prescription drug overdose deaths a day, which was four times higher than overdoses from illegal drugs.

Likewise on July 11, 2011, the Detroit Free Press also ran a story titled, "Prescription drug deaths soar in Michigan." This Michigan story reported that just as in Florida, more deaths occur from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined. The Bloomberg article also noted that according to the US Centers for Disease Control, as of 2007, unintentional poisoning was the second leading cause of injury death in the US after automobile accidents, accounting for 29,846 deaths nationwide.

To further put this problem into perspective, the Bloomberg article reported that "By 2009, the number of deaths involving prescription drugs was four times the number involving illicit drugs." They also noted, "The number of annual deaths from lethal concentrations of prescription medicines increased 84 percent from 2003 to 2009, while deadly overdoses of illegal drugs fell 21 percent."

In the Detroit Free Press story, the facts mirror what is happening on a national front. Commenting on the increase seen in Michigan alone, Larry Scott, manager of the prevention section of Michigan's Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction stated, "We're seeing an alarming trend that continues to increase."

Dr. David Kloth, a spokesman for the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians commented, "Thirty thousand people a year are dying from prescription drug abuse in America; 10 years ago, it was half that."


Breastfeeding Linked to Lower Risk of SIDS

The above is the title of a Reuters news article dated Jun 14, 2011, reporting on a scientific study showing that breastfeeding lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The study published on June 13 in the journal Pediatrics showed that infants who were breastfed were less likely to die from SIDS than infants who did not receive any breast milk.

SIDS is the sudden and unexplainable death of an infant occurring several hours after having been put to bed. In the United Kingdom, these incidents were known as “cot death”, while in North America, they were called “crib death”. Statistics show that in the US, about 2500 infants, or about 7 infants per day, die from SIDS every year.

In this study, researchers reviewed 288 previous studies done on breastfeeding and SIDS between the years 1966 and 2009 to see if there was a correlation over time in a large number of studies. Lead researcher, Fern R. Hauck, MD, MS, from the Department of Family Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, noted, “Breastfeeding is the best method of feeding infants."  She continued, “Benefits of breastfeeding include lower risk of post-neonatal mortality. We found a protective effect even after controlling for factors that could explain the association."

The study results showed that even a short duration of breastfeeding was associated with a 60 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS. The largest benefit was with mothers who exclusively breastfed for 2 months or more, where researchers found a 73 percent decreased risk of SIDS.

“There's lots of reasons that breast-feeding is the best form of feeding infants," said Dr. Hauck. "This study provides even further reason to breast-feed.” Hauck and the other researchers made the recommendation, “Ideally, breastfeeding should be exclusive (no formula) for at least four to six months and should be continued until the infant is at least 1 year of age."

In the study’s conclusions, the authors summed up their results and what they feel should be done by saying, “Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive. The recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction messages to both reduce the risk of SIDS and promote breastfeeding for its many other infant and maternal health benefits.”


Parkinson’s Helped With Chiropractic

A case study published on June 13, 2011, in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented the dramatic improvement of a patient with chiropractic who had been suffering with Parkinson’s disease. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination.

According to this study’s author, there are thought to be over a million cases of Parkinson’s disease in the US with 100,000 new cases being diagnosed annually. The study also reports that a European study comprising France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain estimated that an average of 1.6 people per 100 in their countries are inflicted with Parkinson’s disease. In the US, the annual cost of caring for people with Parkinson’s disease was estimated to be $24 billion as of 1997.

In this case, a 66-year-old woman came to the chiropractor with a variety of symptoms and the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Her history revealed that all of her symptoms had started the day after a fall she experienced while ballroom dancing. Apparently, the heel of her shoe got caught in a gap in the floor causing her to fall straight onto her face without being able to brace herself. Although she was shaken, no immediate medical care was needed and she went home to rest.

The next day, symptoms started to appear as she began limping with the left leg coupled with an inability to swing her left arm. From that point, her symptoms continued to get worse. The woman and her husband began an extensive 2 year medical search until, finally, tests revealed that she had Parkinson’s disease.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included x-rays, palpation and thermography. A determination was made that subluxations were present causing nervous system interference. Because of these findings, care was initiated involving specific forms of chiropractic adjustments.

After her first specific adjustment, immediate positive changes were noted. As of the completion of the study, it is reported that the woman stated from this point on that the vast majority of her symptoms have completely gone away. She stated that her depression was totally gone and her energy came back. Her constant tremor was gone, all the tightness in her muscles had ceased and she now had regained all use of her left arm and leg. The author of the study quoted the woman as saying, “I have my life back.”


Tourette Syndrome Patient Helped - A Case Study

A case study published in the June 30, 2011, issue of the journal Topics in Integrative Health Care documents the improvement of a woman with Tourette Syndrome undergoing an integrated approach which included chiropractic, nutrition, and neurologic exercises.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, "Tourette syndrome is a condition that causes people to make repeated, quick movements or sounds that they cannot control. These movements or sounds are called tics."

In this case, a 27-year-old woman was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome while still a dependant of her father who was serving in the military. Initially, a military general physician examined her and then referred her to a military neurologist.

The "tics" that the woman was experiencing included an eye blink that could progress to a neck and shoulder shrug and could include her whole upper extremity. She also experienced a vocal component that included throat clearing, sniffing, and making a short shrill cry described as a squeak. Additionally the woman experienced an obsessive-compulsive disorder component of the Tourette syndrome which she described as things like making sure that her socks must fit exactly; or chewing her gum a certain number of times.

An examination was performed that, in addition to other findings, showed postural problems including a forward head position. Care was initiated which included chiropractic, eye exercises, audio therapy and the recommendation of  a diet free of processed sugars and flours along with nutritional supplementation.

In this case, the results were immediate with the study authors reporting that, "After the initial treatment, the patient stated she felt an immediate reduction in the intensity of her tics and slept uninterrupted for 8 hours that night, and that the reduction continued the following day." After two weeks of care, the study noted continual improvement documenting that the woman experienced, "a reduction in tic response to stressful situations and compulsions. She reported more restful sleep, and her husband also noted that she had not been talking in her sleep or awakening during the night."


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