February 2012


Judo Athletes Improve Grip Strength with Chiropractic

A scientific study shows chiropractic improved athletic performance.  Adding to the growing database of science documenting that chiropractic care improves athletes' abilities is an article from the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showing how chiropractic helped improve the grip strength of judo athletes.

The study looked at eighteen Brazilian athletes from a top 10 national-ranked judo team who volunteered for the study. In this study, the athletes, both men and women, were separated into two groups. The requirements of the study not only included that the athletes had never had any chiropractic care, but they also had to have no knowledge of what chiropractic was.

Having no knowledge of what chiropractic was allowed researchers to have one group receive real chiropractic adjustments, while the other group received a "sham" adjustment where a chiropractic adjusting table was used and the drop mechanism was engaged without an actual adjustment being given. In this way, neither group would know if they actually received chiropractic care. Both groups received their procedure for three weeks at the same rates.

Strength measurements were done in both groups before and at least 20 seconds after each of the procedures. The results of the study showed that in the group that received real adjustments, hand strength increased between 6.75 and 12.61 percent after only the first adjustment. The final increased in hand strength of the real adjustment group was between 10.53 and 16.82%. By comparison, the group that received the sham adjustments showed no statistical increase in hand strength either after each procedure, or at the end of the study.

In their conclusion, the researchers, who referred to chiropractic adjustments as SMT or spinal manipulative therapy, noted, "The present study tested the effect of chiropractic SMT on elite judo athletes' grip strength and found a significant increase in grip strength for those submitted to the SMT compared with those getting sham interventions. In addition, subjects in the SMT group had achieved significant and progressive enhancement of the grip strength with the first, second, and third interventions."


Neck Curvatures Improved with Chiropractic According to Study

A study published in the January 19, 2012, issue of the scientific journal the Archives of Vertebral Subluxation Research shows that specific chiropractic adjustment techniques cause positive changes in neck curvatures. The authors of the study begin by noting, "There has been an increasing amount of attention in the literature on the role of spinal structure and the affects on neurology, health, and physiology."

Researchers note that either a reduction, loss, or reversal of the normal cervical curvature, as seen on a side  x-ray of the neck, is associated with problems, including ADHD, otitis media, respiratory problems, headaches, neck pains, sinus infections, scoliosis, and spinal degeneration. Additionally, researchers point out that the strength of a spine is dependent on having normal curvatures.

In this study, 51 chiropractic patients were included in a retrospective analysis. All participants had to have been under chiropractic care long enough to have a follow-up side neck x-ray taken.  The average number of visits for patients in this study before follow-up post-x-rays were taken was 12, with the average time frame being just over ten weeks. The results showed that the average correction of cervical curve for all patients in this study was 56.76%. Seven of the patients in the study reached a maximum improvement by the end of the analysis, while five cases showed a maximum improvement after only one specific chiropractic adjustment.

The study authors noted that the results of this study were attained without any use of traction, exercises, therapy, or rehabilitation, thus ruling out other cofactors having an influence on the results. They also reported that, "One hundred percent (of patients) had some degree of positive change towards lordosis (normal forward neck curve) or a decrease in kyphosis (harmful reversal of neck curve)."


Resolution of Breech Presentation and Successful Vaginal Birth with Chiropractic

From the January 16, 2012, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case study that documents the successful outcome of a case of breech pregnancy with chiropractic care. Breech presentation is when the fetus in positioned for delivery feet-first, instead of the correct "vertex" head-first position.

In this case study, a 33-year-old woman was 8 months pregnant with her second child. Her first birth was normal with no problems reported. The woman had been seeing a midwife during the pregnancy who determined that the child was breech late in the woman's pregnancy. The woman was directed to see a chiropractor who works with pregnant women.

A chiropractic examination was performed with thermal scans and surface EMG scans showing asymmetry in the lower spine. It was determined that muscle spasm and subluxations were present. Chiropractic care was initiated using a specific technique known as Webster technique, along with specific adjustments to correct the subluxations present.

The results of this case documented that after the ninth adjustment the baby was in the normal vertex position. Shortly after this, the mother was able to deliver her baby normally without any complications.

This case study also reported on seven previously published cases in which there was a documented resolution of breech pregnancy using chiropractic care. Additionally, the report noted a retrospective study of 104 pregnant women all being helped under chiropractic care.

In their conclusion, the study authors summed up this case with advice by saying, "When a pregnant mother with a breeched infant is faced with a course of action that could impact her and her child’s life forever, all options must be explored. The traditional medical routes are effective, yet come along with some very serious risks that must be considered. Although more research needs to be done on the Webster Technique and chiropractic care during pregnancy, they are both extremely safe and effective ways to alter fetal position to allow for the best delivery possible."


Healthy Pregnancy Following Chiropractic Care in Ovarian Cancer Patient

A dramatic case study about a woman who had previously had ovarian cancer and was seeking help for infertility was published in the January 23, 2012, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health. The study authors begin by noting that infertility is defined as one year of attempted conception without success. They also report that in 2002 there were approximately 7.3 million women who were considered infertile.

In this case, a 28-year-old woman went to the chiropractor seeking improvement in her overall health, and to increase her chances of becoming pregnant. When she first came to the chiropractor, the woman had a history of infertility for two years, and was suffering from lower back pain for the previous 3 months. Her history also included ovarian cancer nine years earlier requiring surgical removal of one ovary, leaving the other with only three-quarters function. Patient had also undergone standard medical treatment for infertility without any help.

After an examination and x-rays, it was determined that the woman had multiple areas of vertebral dysfunction, more commonly known as subluxation. To correct what the authors called vertebral imbalances, a series of adjustments were initiated. The results of the case study reported that after 14 chiropractic visits, the woman had announced that she had conceived. She subsequently carried a baby to full term and had a normal delivery.

In the discussion, the authors noted that infertility is becoming a growing issue in the United States. They also note that many couples are turning to non-medical forms of care due to the expense and unreliability of medical care. To offer an explanation of how chiropractic can help in cases of infertility, the authors stated, "Chiropractic care can improve the autonomic nervous system function of the body including the reproductive organs by reducing subluxations."


Women with Abnormal Fetal Positions Benefit from Chiropractic

A study published in the January 26, 2012, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health reported that 70 percent of woman with abnormal fetal position pregnancies reported a correction of the fetal position. This study comprised 81 pregnant women with breech pregnancies late in their pregnancy.

The study authors begin by noting that between 25 and 30 percent of all pregnancies are breech (feet first) presentation by the end of the 28th week of pregnancy. However, that number drops dramatically by the 34th week with only about 3-4 percent reaching term with the breech presentation. The risk to the mother and baby is between three to four times higher for a breech birth than for a normal vertex birth delivery.

This study reviewed the results of 24 independent Doctors of Chiropractic who had seen 81 pregnant women who presented for care with a breech presentation. The determination of a breech presentation was made on average at 31.8 weeks of pregnancy. The women's average age was 32.4 years.

The results of the study showed that by the 36th week, 70 percent of the women in the study had their pregnancy turn to a normal vertex position. A number of the women had used other forms of natural care in conjunction with the chiropractic. These other forms of care included slant board, crawling exercises, hip and pelvic movements and acupuncture. The only consistent care present in this study was the chiropractic care which all the women were receiving.

In their discussion, the authors discussed the overall growing evidence that chiropractic care is helpful for women with breech pregnancies, and noted, "With the continued popularity of chiropractic to address NMS (neuro-musculo-skeletal) complaints in the general population and for pregnancy related complaints in particular, there is now a growing body of literature documenting that pregnant patients may also derive benefits from chiropractic care beyond these NMS complaints."


Infant with Constipation Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

The scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, published a case study on February 6, 2012, documenting the resolution under chiropractic care of a 9-month-old infant with constipation. The child had developed constipation at nine months of age after the mother had stopped breastfeeding.

The study authors begin by noting that constipation is the slow or difficult movement of feces through the large intestines. They also reported that, "Chronic constipation is among the most common digestive complaints in the United States." The highest number of these cases occurs in both pediatric and geriatric age people. The authors also report that it is a common misconception to believe that constipation resolves itself near puberty for many children with the problem, noting that studies show more that 50 percent eventually become chronic.

In this case, a 9-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractor with the chief complaint of constipation. The mother advised the doctor that her daughter had been suffering with the problem for about 5 months since she discontinued breastfeeding.  It was noted that the baby would go as long as two days without a bowel movement, and that movements involved straining, and were painful to the child.

The infant was born via forced labor, was born with a heart murmur, and had a history of repeated ear infections. A chiropractic examination was performed with the results finding subluxations in the upper neck (atlas) and at the base of the spine (sacrum). Care was initiated at the rate of one visit per week. Chiropractic care consisted of specific adjustments to the atlas and sacrum when warranted. The adjustments were age specific for the infant to  correct the subluxation in her spine.

The reported results showed that after the first visit, the child's bowel movements increased in frequency.  After three weeks, the mother reported that her child's constipation problems were infrequent. By a five month follow-up, the constipation was resolved and the child's stools were normal.


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