March 2013


Sinusitis, Constipation and Sore Throat Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study published on February 18, 2013 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documented the improvement of a young girl suffering from chronic sinusitis, constipation, and  chronic sore throat. The study authors start off by noting that, "Chronic rhinosinusitis is described as a disruption of normal sinus fluid production and outflow which can be due to anatomical, physiological, immunological or infectious conditions."

In this case a 9 year old girl  was brought to the chiropractor suffering from sinusitis, constipation and a sore throat. Her mother reported that the reason she brought her daughter to the chiropractor was that her child was sick every two months, and that this had been happening since her daughter was 6 years old. It was reported that the girl had trouble sleeping due to her problems as it took between 45 and 60 minutes a night for her to fall asleep.

A chiropractic examination was performed and revealed a head tilt with her shoulders being uneven. Her neck showed some restricted ranges of motion. Palpation of the girl's spine showed multiple areas of malpositioning, tenderness and restricted spinal motion. Thermal scans of the patient's spine also revealed imbalances. A determination was made of the presence of subluxations and a specific course of adjustments was initiated.

The results in this case showed that by the fourth visit the young girl no longer had a fever, which was previously at the level of 101.2 degrees. Her bowels had improved and sleeping was better, but she still had trouble falling asleep. By the fifth adjustment her sinuses were improved and her bowel movements were returning to normal. Additionally, her mother stated that her daughter would usually get sick on vacation but reported that she did well on a recent trip.

Approximately 2 months after the chiropractic care was initiated, it was reported that the child was feeling better overall, her bowel movements were normal, she was sleeping better,  and she had not developed a sore throat since her initial visit.  The mother even reported that a slight case of congestion that her daughter did have did not develop into an infection which was previously a regular occurrence. 

The authors note in their findings that, "This case report has discussed the chiropractic care of a child who presented with sinusitis, constipation and sore throat. Symptoms were improved following a total of 12 chiropractic visits and were correlated with reduction of vertebral subluxation. This case provides further evidence that chiropractic care is effective in treating non-musculoskeletal related conditions although more research is needed to further substantiate these findings."


Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

Time Magazine published an article, "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us", by Steven Brill on Feb. 20, 2013 which focuses on the high cost of health care and its impact on people with a health crisis.

The article featured people like Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old man from Ohio diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma whose discount health insurance was not accepted at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The center wanted $48,900, paid in advance, to evaluate Recchi and develop a treatment plan.

Recchi borrowed the money from family, quickly worsened, and in another week borrowed an additional $35,000 from family to begin treatment. Recchi, though sweating, shaking, and in pain, was held in the reception area for an hour and a half as MD Anderson Cancer Center checked to verify that the $35,000 check had cleared. As the center could not verify the check, Recchi had to put a $7,500 payment on his credit card before receiving care.

The cost, in advance, to receive a treatment plan and begin care was $83,900, but an examination of the bill reveals an exorbitant markup for drugs and services by MD Anderson Cancer Center, a nonprofit connected with the University of Texas.

The article reported that one tablet of Tylenol cost Recchi $1.50, chest x-rays cost $283, while blood and lab tests exceeded $15,000. In contrast, Medicare bills for the same services, that are calculated to cover costs, overhead, equipment and salaries for providers, would have only been a few hundred dollars.

In 2010 Americans spent $8,233 per person on healthcare for a $2.6 trillion total according to the Los Angeles Times article, "Spending likely to remain high," published on Sept. 8, 2012. This amount is 60 percent higher than any other country in the world, and the cost is expected to rise.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expect spending to reach $4.6 trillion by 2020, equaling 20 percent of the U.S. gross national product. 

The Times article reports that Americans can help to control their healthcare costs by taking better care of themselves according to Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health.  “People do a lot of things themselves that they shouldn’t do that drive up costs,” said Darling. “The largest one historically has been smoking, but that’s now unfortunately been equaled by obesity.”

Chiropractic care has shown to save people money by decreasing hospital admissions by 60.2 percent, shortening hospital stays by 59 percent, reducing outpatient surgeries by 62 percent, and reducing pharmaceutical costs by 85 percent, according to a study published May 2007 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

In this study, the utilization costs for medical care by patients also receiving chiropractic care were substantially below the utilization costs for patients only receiving medical care. “Chiropractic has always represented an alternative and cost-saving approach to expensive medical care,” said chiropractor and president of the Georgia Council of Chiropractic, Dr. Robert Braile.


Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis Helped with Chiropractic

A case series was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, on February 28, 2013, documenting the improvement of a series of patients with Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis, (DISH). It is also known as "Forestier's disease." 

According to the Mayo Clinic's website, "Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) is calcification or a bony hardening of ligaments in areas where they attach to your spine." The Mayo clinic also notes that, "The most common symptoms are mild to moderate pain and stiffness in your upper back. DISH can be progressive. As it worsens, DISH can cause serious complications."

In this case series the authors reported on 4 men with DISH ranging in age from 57 to 65 years.  All four men suffered with pain at the neck and lower back or hip.  Additionally, all four were either overweight or obese, and one of the four was a diabetic. All four men suffered from hypertension.

Upon seeking chiropractic care the average pain rating for these men using a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the worst, was an 8.5.  The examinations revealed no contraindications to chiropractic care, and corrective care was given on all four men for corrections of subluxations determined by examinations and x-rays.

The authors reported that in three of the four cases the men's pain was resolved with chiropractic care. In the one other case the patient had improved to where his pain had decreased to being rated as a 3-4, before he voluntarily discontinued care due to lack of his insurance covering the care. During the 11 month period of the study it was noted that the benefits of the chiropractic care remained.

Based upon the positive results of this study, the authors concluded, "There is ample literature on the benefits of chiropractic care for neck and back pain but there is little literature on chiropractic care for patients with DISH. Chiropractic is likely beneficial for patients with DISH and further investigation is warranted."


Migraine Headaches Helped with Chiropractic

A case study published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research on January 24, 2013 documents chiropractic helping a patient with migraine headaches. The study authors note that "Among children between the ages of 5-15 years, the prevalence of migraine headaches are at 10.6% while among those 15-19 years of age, it is as high as 28%."

According to the Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society, Migraine headaches usually are one sided affecting one half of the head and pulsating in nature, lasting from 2 to 72 hours. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light), phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound) and the pain is generally aggravated by physical activity. Up to one-third of people with migraine headaches perceive an aura: a transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance which signals that the headache will soon occur.

In this case a 16 year old girl went to the chiropractor, with the consent of her parents, suffering from migraine headaches without aura.  Her history revealed that she had been suffering migraines since kindergarten, and with headaches for as long as she could remember. She described her headaches as a throbbing pain located in the frontal area, with these attacks occurring at a rate of 1-2 per week, and lasting approximately 2-3 hours per episode, occurring primarily at night.  Since puberty her headaches seemed to have gotten worse.  Over the years she had been prescribed approximately 15 different medications for her headaches.

A chiropractic examination and x-rays were performed. The examination showed postural abnormalities with the girl's head being tilted to one side, and the range of motion of her neck was restricted. Additional abnormal alignment findings were also noted from her examination. The specific x-rays taken showed spinal vertebrae in the upper neck being malpositioned, which were determined to be subluxations in her neck.

A specific plan of correction for the subluxations was begun. The study authors noted that the results were immediate.  They recorded, "On the day following the patient's first visit, the patient reported noticing 'some' improvement in the intensity of her HA complaint. On her second visit and 5 days since her initial visit, the patient indicated no subjective complaints of headache that day."

Chiropractic checkups occurred regularly over a 5 year period to monitor the girls progress. The authors noted that, "According to the patient, her HA intensity being bearable without the need for medication and her headache attacks abated to approximately 2-4 migraines per month."


Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

From the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, comes a story on February 21, 2013, documenting the resolution of a case of trigeminal neuralgia with chiropractic care.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines this condition by stating, "Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. The disorder causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like face pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as 2 minutes per episode. These attacks can occur in quick succession. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating."

The authors of the study report that this condition is more common in females and usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 70 years. The incidence of TN is 4.3 per 100,000 people.

 In this case a 58 year old woman went to a chiropractor for the first time. She was suffering from intense stabbing pain above her right eye. The authors recorded that at night the woman was, "hesitant to lift her head off the pillow for fear of inducing the facial pain." She was initially referred to a neurologist who diagnosed her with trigeminal neuralgia and she was prescribed medication. After 6 months, the medication she was taking with limited results, seemed to no longer be effective.  Since she was not a proponent of medication, she then sought out a more natural approach.

A chiropractic examination and x-rays were taken and a subluxation in the upper cervical (neck) spine was noted. Specific chiropractic care was then initiated for correction of the subluxation. The results of the care showed an improvement of the physical findings and of her pain. In a follow up, the patient stated that she had not had any attacks of her trigeminal neuralgia.

In her conclusion, the author noted that there were very few published studies on chiropractic and trigeminal neuralgia. She wrote, "This case does demonstrate promise for the successful implementation of upper cervical chiropractic care in the management of trigeminal neuralgia, however there is certainly a strong need for further research to support this claim."


Post Pregnancy Pelvic Pain Helped with Chiropractic

On February 11, 2013, a study was published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documenting the case of a woman being helped with post pregnancy pelvic pain. In this case the woman was suffering from "osteitis pubis", which is a noninfectious inflammation of the pubis symphysis (the pubis bone in the front of the pelvis), causing varying amounts of lower abdominal and pelvic pain.

The authors note that the incidence of osteitis pubis is not well known, but that one in seven women with the diagnosis of chronic pelvic pain had an undetermined cause and were typically treated with rest and pelvic stability support belts.

In this case a  32 year old woman was referred to a chiropractor from her OBGYN.  She had been suffering from chronic pubis symphysis pain which began two years earlier in the last trimester of her first pregnancy. The pain somewhat relieved after her first pregnancy. The authors report that the woman's pain intensified during her second pregnancy and remained 2 months following delivery. 

When asked to rate her pain on a 1-10 scale, the woman stated it was between 7 and 10 with 10 being the worst. Her pain was aggravated by normal activities such as standing, walking, walking up stairs, and rolling over in bed.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation of the woman's lumbar spine, sacrum, and pelvic bones. The examination showed that there was a restriction in the left sacro-illiac joint (SI) resulting in a limited range of motion.  The examination also showed tenderness over this SI joint.  Specific postural x-rays were taken noting malposition of the pelvic bones.

A determination was made that subluxations were present of the woman's pelvis and a series of specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated to correct them. In a short amount of time the woman's pain rating went from 7-10 to a 4-5 and remained at that level for a time. Exercises were added to her care plan and the pain eventually completely disappeared, at which time she was able to resume a normal exercise routine. A one year follow-up reported that the woman was still completely free of the pain.


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