November 2012


Infertility Helped with Chiropractic Care

A case study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on October 22, 2012, documents the case of a woman who was unable to conceive, who became pregnant shortly after starting chiropractic care. The study also reviews additional documentation on other cases and studies regarding infertility and chiropractic.

According to the study author, "Infertility is defined as the failure to achieve a pregnancy within one year of regular unprotected intercourse."  Estimates are that nationwide infertility affects between 6 to 7.3 million women. The author also notes that infertility rises with age. Eleven percent of women ages 15-29 experience a one-year infertility period, and this number rises to 23 percent of women ages 35-39 who cannot become pregnant after a year.

In this case, a 29-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with the primary complaints of lower back pain and left leg pain radiating down to her foot. Her history also revealed that she was a former athlete. Her menstrual cycles were abnormal being 40-60 days in length. The woman was not on birth control and she and her husband had unsuccessfully been trying to have a child for eight years.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a spinal analysis, thermographic studies, and x-rays. From the results of the examination, it was determined that the woman had multiple vertebral subluxations. A specific course of chiropractic adjusting was initiated for correction of the subluxations.

The results showed that after the first visit the woman's back pain was significantly reduced and her ability to move was greatly improved. Care was continued and the woman continued to show progress with her initial pain issues.

It was noted that 4 weeks after her chiropractic care began, the woman tested positive with an early pregnancy test. She went to her obstetrician the following week, who confirmed that she had become pregnant.

The authors of this study also conducted a literature review for other studies of chiropractic helping women with fertility issues such as the one they had documented in this case. The search revealed 13 additional studies documenting cases of women between the ages of 22 and 37 who were infertile prior to beginning chiropractic care, and then became pregnant and had successful births due to receiving chiropractic.


Routine Checkups Provide No Health Benefits, Study Finds

The headline above is from a CBS News story published on October 18, 2012, which reported on a study published one day earlier showing that routine health check-ups do not provide any health benefit.  Several other news outlets also published articles on this study including Medical News Today, Medical Express, CNN Health, and the Wall Street Journal.

File:Physical examination.jpgThis study was conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization that conducts healthcare reviews to help doctors and patients make better healthcare decisions. In discussing the need for this study, the authors wrote, "General health checks are common elements of healthcare in some countries. These aim to detect disease and risk factors for disease with the purpose of reducing morbidity and mortality. Most of the commonly used screening tests offered in general health checks have been incompletely studied. Also, screening leads to increased use of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, which can be harmful as well as beneficial."

The study itself was quite large and comprehensive. Cochrane researchers reviewed 14 individual study trials involving approximately 183,000 people. The people in these trials were in two groups. One group received regular checkups while the people in other group did not. The health and mortality of the two groups were compared to see if the regular checkups produced any sort of health advantage.

Over the course of this long-term study a total of 11,940 deaths were reported.  However, the analysis showed no difference in the odds of dying between the groups that had the regular check-ups compared to those that did not. These statistics included the death risk due to cancer and heart disease.  Additionally, the study also found that routine check-ups had no major impact on hospital admissions, disability, specialist referrals, additional visits to doctors, or time off from work. In essence, regular checkups show no long-term health benefits, but those that had the checkups were subject to additional expenses and treatments that may not have been necessary.

In trying to explain the results of this study, lead author Lasse Krogsboll, a researcher at the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, stated in a press release, "From the evidence we've seen, inviting patients to general health checks is unlikely to be beneficial. One reason for this might be that doctors identify additional problems and take action when they see patients for other reasons."

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "General health checks did not reduce morbidity or mortality, neither overall nor for cardiovascular or cancer causes, although the number of new diagnoses was increased. Important harmful outcomes, such as the number of follow-up diagnostic procedures or short term psychological effects, were often not studied or reported and many trials had methodological problems. With the large number of participants and deaths included, the long follow-up periods used, and considering that cardiovascular and cancer mortality were not reduced, general health checks are unlikely to be beneficial. "


Seniors Benefit from Chiropractic Care

The above is the headline of an article on October 21, 2012, from the Herald Online, a publication that serves the Bloomington Minnesota area.  The article begins by noting that each year October is Chiropractic Awareness month. As a special remembrance of this occasion, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association issued a release about the benefits of chiropractic for senior citizens.

Dr. Christian Kollar, president of the MCA, noted, "Seniors who utilize chiropractic care experience fewer symptomatic chronic conditions, less days in hospitals and nursing homes and more mobility than elderly non-chiropractic patients."

In addition to chiropractic care, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association created what they called a "daily anti-aging checklist" of things seniors can do to help improve their health and  quality of life. This list includes:

  • Make sure to keep your body moving every day, even if it's just walking at the mall, up and down stairs at work, or taking a stroll around the block. Exercise is key to living a long and healthy life.
  • Hydration is important for cellular functioning, so make sure you drink liquids regularly throughout the day.
  • The nutrients in plant-based foods are essential for health and wellness. Eat plenty of vegetables and low-sugar fruits every day.
  • Incorporate a diet that is rich in fiber which can help slow the aging process.
  • Don't underestimate the fun factor. Take time to have fun with your friends and loved ones. Social support and positive experiences have been seen in studies to be beneficial to health.
  • Rest is necessary for your body to run optimally.

The Minnesota Chiropractic Association also stressed the importance and reasoning behind seniors receiving regular chiropractic care by saying, "The MCA encourages seniors to see a chiropractor regularly. Chiropractic adjustments can correct spinal and extremity misalignments in addition to reducing nerve irritation, improving circulation and release muscle tension, which all help the body return to a balanced, relaxed state. Chiropractic care can also have a positive impact on your health by aiding in preventing a variety of health problems in the future."


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

From the October 10, 2012, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, comes a  case study documenting chiropractic helping a boy who was suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

The authors of the study describe CRPS by saying, "CRPS is defined as a variety of chronic pain conditions that are believed to result from a dysfunctional central or peripheral nervous system." They discuss the history of this diagnosis by explaining that CRPS"...was first described in 1864 during the Civil War when soldiers would describe an agonizing, burning pain that would occur following gunshot wounds."  CRPS is characterized by, "Dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected body part are observed, often accompanied by intense pain, disproportional to the injury responsible."

In this case, a 10-year-old boy was suffering from symptoms of whole body burning pain with muscle weakness and fatigue. He was medically diagnosed with CRPS in June of 2008.  Since his diagnosis, the boy had been to numerous specialists and received a variety of treatments. The mother noted that the treatments her son had received provided only minimal results.

When the child was brought to the chiropractor, he was in a wheelchair and suffering from what his mother called, "the worst flare-up he has ever experienced." The mother explained that with this particular flare-up, both of the boy's legs were entirely affected. The pain went all the way down into his left toe. Additionally, the ball of his foot was sensitive to touch, he could not put any pressure on his legs, and therefore could not walk. He was also suffering with bilateral arm pain and weakness.

A detailed chiropractic examination was performed including palpation, and neurological and orthopedic evaluation, range of motion tests, a thermographic evaluation, and specific spinal x-rays. As a result of the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present, and a specific course of chiropractic adjusting was initiated.

The results of the care showed significant improvement. The study was written while the care was ongoing. However, the author reported that, "The patient initially began care with symptoms ranging from extreme burning and pain in his legs. After care when he experiences the symptoms, they are less frequent, of less duration, and are less severe."


Chiropractic and Arthritis: Rural versus Nonrural Usage and Results

An interesting study was published on August 29, 2012, in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, that studied the usage of chiropractic by people suffering from arthritis. What made this study interestingly different is that it looked at the chiropractic usage of people in rural areas compared to those in nonrural areas.

The authors of the study begin by noting that, "Arthritis is considered the leading cause of disability among adults in the United States today and contributes substantially to the rising cost of health care." They also note that in the years 2007 and 2008 it was reported that just over 20% of adults were diagnosed with arthritis.

The study authors also note that between 6% to 12% of the population currently uses chiropractic care. These people primarily seek chiropractic for musculoskeletal problems.  As expected, those in rural communities reported more joint pain than those living in nonrural areas.

The study points out that there was a significant difference in chiropractic usage between people in rural areas as compared with those in nonrural areas. Those with arthritis in rural areas utilized chiropractic care at nearly twice the rate of those not in rural areas in spite of the fact that chiropractic was more readily available in the nonrural areas.

People with arthritis who lived in rural areas sought chiropractic care at nearly twice the rate that their nonrural counterparts did.  Additionally, people living in rural areas who had arthritis and did not seek chiropractic care rated their health much more often as either fair or poor. In comparison, those in rural areas who utilized chiropractic care experienced better health outcomes, and rated their health as much higher, averaging excellent or very good.


Apgar Score, Respiratory Rate, Distress and  Inability to Cry Helped with Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health published a case study on November 5, 2012, documenting the improvement of an infant who was born suffering from Transient Tachypnea of Newborns (TTN), causing a high respiratory rate, and a lowered Apgar score.

According to the study authors, "Transient tachypnea of newborns (TTN) is a benign, self-limiting respiratory disorder presenting in the first 1-2 hours after delivery and usually resolving within 2 to 5 days of age." TTN is defined by the authors as including an infant with a respiratory rate exceeding 60 breaths/min, nasal flaring, grunting, retractions, cyanosis, poor feeding, and a lowered Apgar score.

In this case, a newborn boy was born weighing 8.1 lbs. and measuring 21 3/8 inches. The labor and delivery were at home with a Certified Practicing Midwife (CPM) present. The birth occurred at  39 weeks 2 days of pregnancy, and the child was born vaginally with no medical interventions or surgical procedures. The delivery was natural without any complications. 

At one minute after birth, the respiratory rate was 93 breaths per minute, with normal for a newborn being between 40 and 60.  The study records that at two and a half minutes after birth, the baby was showing obvious signs of distress and was grunting, flaring nostrils, and making gurgling sounds. The baby's Apgar score at 1 minute after birth was recorded at a 6 due to weak respiratory effort, bluish color, and grimacing reflex stimulation. Apgar scores are rated between 1 and 10 with 10 being optimal. It is considered a good normal to have an Apgar score between 8 and 9.

A chiropractor who was on site was asked to examine the infant for subluxations. Based on a pediatric chiropractic evaluation performed, the chiropractor determined that a subluxation was present at the upper cervical (neck) area and, with the consent of the mother, a specific form of chiropractic adjustment for an infant was performed.

At 10 minutes after the birth, and following the chiropractic adjustment, another examination was performed that showed the Apgar score had returned to a normal score of 9. Additionally, the respiratory rate had also lowered to 80 breaths per minute, and within one hour had lowered further to 74 breaths per minute. The report notes that at 12 hours after birth, the respiratory rate was at 60 breaths per minute and all other findings were within normal range.

The authors of the study summed up the success of a chiropractic adjustment in helping this infant by saying, "The case of a newborn diagnosed with Transient Tachypnea of Newborn is presented. Respiratory rate, Apgar score, and other signs of TTN improved dramatically following an upper cervical adjustment to reduce vertebral subluxation."


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