March 2012


The Role of Chiropractic Care in Older Adults

The above is the title of a study published on February 21, 2012 in the journal, "Chiropractic & Manual Therapies". The article reviews information and statistics about the usage and role of chiropractic care for the aging population.

The review starts off by noting that the demographics of the population in the US is aging. By the year 2030 it is expected that one in every five Americans will be age 65 or older. The authors of the study also report that 14% of patients who go to chiropractors are age 65 or more. These seniors mainly go to chiropractors for complaints of musculoskeletal aches and pains with back pain being the most common ailment that brings these seniors to a chiropractor.

The authors report that based on previous studies, 14.6% of seniors have gone to a chiropractor between the years of 1993 and 2007. On an annual basis, they report that between 4.1% Ė 5.4% of seniors seek chiropractic services each year.

The study notes that chiropractors offer a variety of services to seniors with chiropractic adjustments, called SMT (spinal manipulative therapy) by the authors, being the most common service, and nutritional advice and exercise recommendations being common.

The authors report that chiropractic adjustments vary and there are many different techniques used by chiropractors in their offices. They also note that most techniques used for seniors have been modified for the age of the patients and their specific spinal conditions. 

The authors also noted that other studies showed chiropractic helping elderly people with a range of other health issues including: COPD, constipation, depression (associated with back pain), Parkinsonís disease, multiple sclerosis, pneumonia, spinal stenosis, urinary incontinence, and osteoarthritic pain and dysfunction.

The study also reported that chiropractic care was safer than expected for older adults with two studies showing a small number of adverse events and none of them being serious. In their discussion the authors stressed the importance of chiropractic for seniors when they said, "As the population continues to age there will be a greater need for the chiropractic profession to meet the needs of the older adult."


Depression Resolved and Quality of Life Improved with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study published on February 13, 2012 in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documents the case of a man helped with chiropractic who was previously suffering from major depression and other issues. 

The authors of the study note that, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is defined as having one or more Major Depressive Episode(s).  A Major Depressive Episode according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, is a, "Period of at least 2 weeks during which there is either a loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities or a depressed mood". Although there is much debate about the classifications of such disorders, the authors cite their sources and note, that MDD affects anywhere from 10-25% of women and 5-12% of men within a community sample.

In this case a 28 year old man went to the chiropractor specifically for help with Major Depressive Disorder. The doctor observed that due to the severely depressed nature of his disorder, he was unable to fill out his initial intake form without assistance from his mother. His history showed that his first major depressive episode occurred when he was 17 years old. He showed a loss of interest in pleasure in almost all activities, and suffered severe weight loss. Four years after his initial episode, he was diagnosed with MDD. Over the next several years multiple medications were used which did not help the situation and created additional health issues.

The initial chiropractic examination revealed a very thin man with postural abnormalities. Muscle tests  showed multiple areas of weakness and palpation of the spine showed areas of sensitivity. Additional specific chiropractic examination procedures were used and revealed positive findings. The patient was asked to score his condition from 0 to 10 with zero being no symptoms of depression. He initially scored himself as a 7 out of 10.

Care was initiated using specific chiropractic adjustments over a regular period of time. The patient showed progressive improvement. A little over a year after starting care the patient reported a marked resolution of all depressive symptoms on the subjective depression scale. The authors reported that the man regained his ability to, "...interact and communicate, which he was unable to do effectively when he first began care." It was also noted that he was able to discontinue all medications and he even quit smoking after having smoked two packs per day for ten years.

In their conclusion the authors commented on the positive improvement that the patient had made under chiropractic care by stating, "This case of a 28-year-old male with MDD was a good example of a case that did not respond well to traditional medical care."  The authors continued noting the improvement with chiropractic care by adding, "The patient also experienced an improved quality of life as demonstrated by resolution of all depression symptoms, cessation of smoking, improvement in his diet and exercise regimen, and an overall sense of well-being."


Resolution of Infertility Followed by a Healthy Pregnancy and Delivery with Chiropractic

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study published on March 12, 2012 documenting the  resolution of infertility in a woman previously diagnosed with a case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman's female sex hormones. This imbalance can lead to infertility and affects approximately 6.6% of reproductive-aged women.

The authors of the study start by reporting that infertility is a wide-spread problem that affects one in five couples. Of these it is estimated that 60% are due to a female health problem. As a result 9.3 million women seek infertility treatment at some point during their lives. Most of the care sought is medical care.

In this case a 29 year old woman previously diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and infertility sought chiropractic care. The study reports that she had been unable to become pregnant for six months. She had been to a medical practitioner one week earlier but had heard that chiropractic care could be helpful and therefore sought chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed including a spinal and nerve system analysis. It was determined that subluxations were present in multiple areas of the woman's spine resulting in nerve system malfunction. A series of specific spinal adjustments were initiated to correct the subluxations.

The study reports that after two months of care the patient was told by her medical doctor that she was pregnant. It was estimated that the woman became pregnant between the second and fifth chiropractic visit. The study reports that the pregnancy was normal and that the woman delivered a healthy 6 pound 7 ounce baby girl after an all natural labor.

In their discussion and conclusion the authors discussed how subluxations could cause infertility by stating, "A subluxation is characterized by a dysfunction of the nervous system that results in widespread physiological changes and altered health status." The authors continued to discuss the additional benefits in this case by noting, "Following initiation of chiropractic care, the patient not only became pregnant, but also reported improvement in many facets of her life, including improved sleep, better dietary choices, increased water consumption, and an improvement in her ability to exercise."


Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis Helped with Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

From the March 1, 2012 issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research comes a documented case study of a woman suffering with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) being helped with chiropractic. MS is a disease of the nervous system where the coverings, or sheaths, of the nerve cells are damaged thus slowing down or blocking messages between the brain and the body. This results in a wide variety of serious symptoms.

The study authors report that there were approximately 350,000 cases of MS in the United States by the end of the 20th century. The disease can occur at any age but is more likely to be seen in women between the ages of 20 and 40 years.  The annual cost for MS in the United States is estimated to be $2.5 billion.

In this study a middle aged woman suffering from MS went to a chiropractor one week after being in an automobile accident. She was also suffering from neck pain, ringing in the ears, and right knee pain related to her accident. The woman also reported that her MS causes her to fall frequently due to balance problems. She reported having fallen and hitting her head two months prior to her chiropractic visit. Additionally she suffered from persistent numbness related to her MS.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, postural analysis, leg length analysis, thermographic studies and postural x-rays. The examination showed the presence of spinal subluxations and a specific course of chiropractic adjustments was initiated.

By the eleventh visit the patient reported an 80% reduction of her neck pain. She also reported a 60% reduction in her numbness,  a 60% reduction in her fatigue, as well as a 50% improvement in her balance. The study also reported that by the patientís 20th visit she stated that her neck pain had improved 90%, numbness had improved 70%, and fatigue had improved 90% since her initial visit. Her reported improvement continued as she eventually noted a 90% reduction in balance problems.

In their discussion, the authors of the study stated, "Positive outcomes using chiropractic treatment for neck pain has been considerably documented in the literature while chiropractic management for MS symptoms has minimally been documented."

In discussing the possible relationship between MS as an immune issue and spinal subluxation, the authors explain, "Chiropractic theory hypothesizes that removing the nervous system interference with spinal adjustments can help the correction of immune system dysfunction. It is believed that an abnormally functioning nerve which is either hyperactive or hypoactive returns to normal function upon proper stimulation. It is also believed that a spinal adjustment to correct a subluxation can eliminate these adverse effects."


Child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Bedwetting Helped with Chiropractic

A case study documenting the resolution of bedwetting and improvement of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) appeared in the January 30, 2012 issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.

The authors of the study start off by noting that between 5-6 million children over the age of 6 are affected by bedwetting in the United States. They also report that it is estimated that approximately 1 in 110 children in the United States suffer from ASD and it is found to be more common among boys than in girls.

In this case a 6 year old boy who was bedwetting was brought to the chiropractor.  At age two he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and exhibited the symptoms of that problem when arriving for care.

The boy's mother reported that her pregnancy with her son was difficult and she noted that she had taken Levoxyl for hypothyroidism throughout the pregnancy. She also stated that the childís hospital delivery and birth were traumatic resulting in a cesarean section. The boy's mother reported that as her son was growing up he had multiple falls, and suffered from numerous bouts of ear infections.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included palpation, a postural analysis, leg length tests, bilateral weight analysis, thermography, and neck x-rays. The results of the examination procedures led to the conclusion of the presence of a subluxation at the upper neck, (atlas).  Specific chiropractic adjustments were then initiated for correction of the atlas subluxation. Follow up examination procedures were performed during the course of care.

The mother noted that her son had completely stopped wetting his bed after the first visit. As care continued she also reported that she had observed a 70% improvement in his ASD, and noticed that he had performed better in school and displayed greater social skills.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case study explores the possible link between the objective reduction of a vertebral subluxation and the resolution of nocturnal enuresis as well as the subjective improvement in the behavioral patterns of a child diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder."


Resolution of Atrial Fibrillation & Hypertension with Chiropractic - Case Study

From the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research comes a study published on February 22, 2012 documenting the case of a woman with atrial fibrillation and hypertension being helped with chiropractic.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of irregular heart beat and can be temporary or chronic in nature. The Mayo clinic describes atrial fibrillation as, "...an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly ó out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness."

In this case a 67 year old woman came to the chiropractor after being hospitalized for atrial fibrillation. She was also being treated with beta blockers for her history of hypertension, and she had suffered multiple transient ischemic attacks. Additional symptoms from her atrial fibrillation included fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate. Initially she reported these problems 1-2 times per week, but more recently she was experiencing these problems on a daily basis.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, postural analysis, leg length checks, thermal scans and postural x-rays. Additionally her cardio functions were monitored and showed her blood pressure at 193/98 mm Hg, her heart rate measured at 98bpm and her respiratory rate was14 breaths per minute.

Subluxations were determined to be present in the upper neck and specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated to correct the nerve interference from the subluxations. The case study reported that five days after the woman's initial adjustment a second adjustment was given. At this point the patientís condition started showing improvement. The woman reported that her heart rhythm was improving and that her energy level had increased.

A week later the woman had improved to the extent that during her visit to her cardiologist it was decided that she would discontinue her medication. In time her hypertension also resolved and was recorded to be down to 124/74 mm Hg. She did not suffer any episodes of arrhythmia.


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