May 2011


Resolution of Breech Presentation with Chiropractic Care

In the April 11, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, is a documented case study showing chiropractic helping a pregnant woman with a breech presentation pregnancy.  A breech presentation is when the fetus is not in the proper head-down position as the delivery date is approaching.

According to the study, a  breech presentation is created by "intrauterine constraint" which the authors describe as, "as any force external to the developing fetus that obstructs the normal movement of the fetus."

The study reports that, in the United
States, 86 percent of infants with breech presentation are delivered by cesarean which increases risks to the mother and the baby.

In this case, a 25-year-old woman went to a chiropractic office 31 weeks into her pregnancy. She was referred to the chiropractor by her obstetrician who had recently performed an ultrasound which confirmed the breech position. She was hoping to avoid a c-section birth.

A chiropractic examination was performed using the procedures of the "Webster Technique". The Webster Technique is a specialized analysis and procedure developed by the late Dr. Larry Webster who was affectionately known as the "grandfather of chiropractic pediatrics". A determination was made that this woman fit the protocol, and so the chiropractor applied the Webster Technique.

Within four hours of the first Webster Technique adjustment, the woman reported feeling "a lot of movement". The woman commented that she felt the fetus had shifted from a breech position to the transverse position. After her second chiropractic visit, the woman had a prenatal visit at which the obstetrician confirmed that the fetus had turned to the proper vertex position. The study noted that the woman continued to receive chiropractic adjustments for resolution of low back pain until delivery. She eventually had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.


Epidemic: Responding to America's Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis

Above is the title of a report from the Office of the President of the United States.  Calling prescription drug abuse "the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem", the White House released a four-step plan to fight prescription drug abuse on April 19, 2011.

Statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that prescription drugs were used non-medically by one-third of first time drug users age 12 and over in 2009. The study also showed that 70 percent of the prescription drugs were obtained from friends and relatives.

While there has been a drop in the use of cocaine in recent years, prescription drugs are the second-most-widely abused drug with marijuana being first.

According to an ABC news article on April 19, 2011, Gil Kerlikowske, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy said, "We are in the midst of a public health crisis driven by prescription drug abuses."

The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan targets prescription drugs that are classified as opioids, though other prescription drugs are also abused. The plan first begins with education of the public, and health providers of the growing epidemic.

The second part of the plan focuses on a tracking and monitoring plan for prescription drugs that will be enacted with the combined efforts of the Federal, state, and local authorities.

Third, a disposal plan for unused prescription drugs detailing that the drugs be put into plastic bags with fillers such as coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Flushing unused medications is not recommended unless ingesting the prescription drug could be life-threatening.

Finally, the last step is enforcement of policies to stop unethical doctors from prescribing non-medically-necessary prescription drugs to patients, as well as to prevent patients from “doctor-shopping” to obtain prescription drugs.

The Obama administration summarizes the plan with a call for the Nation to work together saying that no single organization or agency can be responsible for this action. "As a Nation, we must take urgent action to ensure the appropriate balance between the benefits these medications offer in improving lives and the risks they pose" says the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan.


Resolution of Psoriasis with Chiropractic: A Case Report

In the May 4, 2011, issue of the research journal, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, is a case study documenting chiropractic helping a patient suffering from severe psoriasis. The study notes that patients with psoriasis develop patches of skin with dry, white-silvery, dandruff-like scales.

In this case study, an 85-year-old man presented himself to a chiropractor. He was exhibiting skin irritations over his entire body and was suffering from extreme skin itchiness, soreness, and heat sensation.  Within one month of onset, the skin problem spread over his entire body and caused the elderly man to become physically and psychologically uncomfortable due to lack of sleep and stress.

Chiropractic care was initiated after medication prescribed by the man's medical doctors worsened his condition. The study results reported that dramatic improvement was observed after just one visit. After the 3rd visit, the swelling of the lower extremities and the abdominal bloating had decreased.

It was reported that even though the patient was receiving care during an unusually hot summer, the primary symptoms of skin itchiness, soreness, and heat sensation had improved. The authors of the study noted that during the initial portion of care, the elderly man felt more itchiness on some days than others. By about the 10th visit, some itchiness was still felt while the man was sleeping, and from the pressure of his underwear, etc., but it gradually subsided.

The patient received 30 visits over a four month period. His condition was rated from 0 to 10 each visit with 10 being the worst and 0 being totally resolved. The study noted that from the 11th visit through the 30th visit, the patient was rated as a 0 for his psoriasis problem. 


Chiropractic Maintenance Care Helps Prevent Future Injury

Several recent studies document that chiropractic care is beneficial for helping to prevent reoccurrence of lower back problems while also helping to sustain long term correction. It is interesting to note that these studies were medical studies published in medical journals.

The most recent article comes from the April, 2011, issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This study followed 894 workers' compensation cases for a period of one year to see the response to chiropractic care as compared to other forms of care. The stated objective of this first study was "To compare occurrence of repeated disability episodes across types of health care providers who treat claimants with new episodes of work-related low back pain (LBP)."

The results showed that when compared to physical therapists and MDs, the group of patients that went to chiropractors had the lowest rate of disability recurrence over the course of the year. This showed that when injured workers continued with chiropractic care, their rate of re-injury or disability in the year after the original accident was less than those workers under other forms of care.

Another study published in the journal Spine on January 17, 2011, showed that spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) for chronic, non-specific, low back pain resulted in better long-term outcomes. It should be noted that some medical studies refer to adjustments as "spinal manipulation therapy" or SMT.

In this study, 60 patients with chronic, nonspecific lower back pain for at least 6 months were separated into three different groups. One group got 12 visits of a sham SMT over a one-month period.  The second group received 12 visits consisting of SMT over a one-month period, but no additional treatments for the subsequent nine months. The third group got 12 SMTs over a one-month period, along with "maintenance spinal manipulation" every two weeks for the following nine months.

The results of this study showed that the patients in the second and third groups, who received some form of what the study authors called "SMT", experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores at the end of 1 month, than did the first group who only got sham care. Additionally, the third group that continued to receive care for 9 additional months showed more improvement in pain and disability scores 10 months later

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic non-specific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulations after the initial intensive manipulative therapy."


Chiropractic Helps Patient with Brachioradial Pruritis, Vertigo & Neck Pain - A Case Study

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, April 26, 2011 issue, published a case study documenting chiropractic helping a woman with Brachioradial Pruritis, neck stiffness, and vertigo. Brachioradial Pruritis (BRP) is a nerve condition of the upper extremities characterized by intense itching, burning, and tingling sensations that often prevent the suffering individual from sleeping.

In this case, a 37-year-old woman went to a chiropractor for the symptoms of BRP. The woman described her condition as an intermittent bilateral itching with burning sensations to her arms for the past 9 months. She noted that she was getting progressively worse, and was now at the point that she was unable to sleep for more than 4 hours a night due to the intense itching. By the time the woman went to the chiropractor, her condition had gotten so bad that her lack of sleep affected her ability to care for her young children as well as work as a registered nurse. Additionally, her arms were itching so intensely that she would scratch them until they would bleed.

In addition to the severe BRP symptoms, the woman suffered from neck stiffness and vertigo (dizziness). The study reports that she was taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) several times per week for the neck discomfort. In the previous 6 months, she had also experienced 3 or 4 episodes of vertigo so severe that it caused nausea and vomiting. In her history, it was noted that 8 years earlier she fell down stairs injuring her head and neck, causing immediate numbness in both arms.

A chiropractic examination showed positive findings in postural abnormalities, thermal scans, spinal x-rays, leg lengths and ranges of motion. It was determined that this patient had a vertebral subluxation of the first bone in the neck. Care was initiated using specific adjustments designed to correct this subluxation.

The results noted that after the woman's first adjustment, her dizziness had stopped. After the second chiropractic adjustment, her symptom of itching diminished significantly that night. After her third adjustment, the woman stated that she was able to sleep for more than 6 hours without the discomfort of itchiness. After being under chiropractic care for 2 ˝ months, she reported that all of the BRP symptoms had resolved. Three months into care, the study reported that the woman had a normal neck range of motion, no muscle spasms, and a 70 percent reduction in neck stiffness.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "Dramatic improvement in the symptoms associated with the condition is noted following the introduction of upper cervical chiropractic care, concomitant with a reduction in vertebral subluxation."


Resolution of Night Terrors and Headaches with Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

The April 26, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, published a case study documenting the case of an adolescent girl with headaches and night terrors who was helped with chiropractic care.

The study notes that several previous studies on the subject of headaches and children showed that a high number of children who suffered from headaches also suffered from sleep disorders such as sleep walking, nightmares, and leg movement.

In this study, a 10-year-old girl was brought to a chiropractor suffering with daily headaches that began when she was
two and a half years old. She was also suffering from sleep disorders including sleep walking.

The young girl's medical doctors tried to find the cause of headaches by ordering blood work and an encephalograph (EEG) to rule out seizures. The encephalograph and blood results were
normal. Since reading seemed to trigger the headaches, the medical determination was that she was reading too much.

Her sleeping problems began when she was 7-years-old. According to her mother, every night her daughter would wake up several times screaming and would sit up in bed or be found walking or running through the house.

Chiropractic care was initiated for correction of subluxations that were shown to be present upon examination. Postural evaluations performed before and after each visit showed immediate improvement in the girl's posture after care was initiated.  Thermography and Surface EMG studies were performed on a regular basis, and verified nerve system function improvement as care continued.

On the girl's first reassessment, she reported that the headaches were greatly reduced in frequency and severity. She also reported that she was sleeping better. The study notes that after a month of care, there was a significant reduction in headache symptoms, and complete resolution of the girl's sleep disorders and night terrors.

In their conclusion, the study authors, Danita Thomas Heagy D.C., and Candice Warren, B.S., wrote, "Resolution of headaches and sleep disturbances presented in this case study suggest that chiropractic adjustments may be beneficial in adolescents who suffer from similar symptoms. Reduction of vertebral subluxations, in this case, were effective in the reduction of headaches, sleep disturbances, and musculoskeletal abnormalities."


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