May 2013


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

In the research periodical, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, a case study was published on April 18, 2013 documenting the improvement of a case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with chiropractic care.

The author of the study notes that in the Unites States Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will affect between 12% and 30% of the population.  It is interesting to note that the rest of the world only reports this issue in between 5% and 10% of their populations. In the US IBS accounts for 12-14% of primary care physician visits and 28% of referrals to gastroenterologists. The authors note that standard medical care is aimed at reducing symptoms like pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

In this case a 32 year old woman, who was an optometrist, went to the chiropractors with complaints of loose, painful, runny stools upon waking with abdominal pain and bloating that began ten years earlier. The woman also suffered from mild depression which began three years earlier, and anxiety that began 10 years prior to her visit to the chiropractor. Her history included being in two car accidents, one at the age of 10, where she was struck as a pedestrian leaving her in a coma for three days, and the second at age twenty where she suffered a fractured pelvis.

A chiropractic examination showed abnormal spinal postural positioning and a decrease in the range of motion in her neck. Thermal (heat-reading) scans were performed which also showed irregularities in the neck area. Spinal x-rays were taken of the neck which showed malpositioning of the first and second bones in her neck. From these findings a determination of subluxations in the upper neck was made. Specific cervical (neck) adjustments were performed to correct the subluxations in the upper neck.

The results showed that on her second visit she reported that she had a pain free, solid bowel movement the morning after her first adjustment which has continued. She also reported that her mood was better and less frequency of anxiety when faced with issues that would normally trigger anxiety in the past.  The study notes that the woman was reassessed three months later in care and she continued to show documented measurable  improvement in her physical and mental issues.

In his conclusion, the author explains that a subluxation in the upper neck can cause nerve system dysfunction that can result in a problem with the bowels. He writes, "Correcting the misalignment at this level restores proper neurological function and thereby proper function of the gastro-intestinal track."


More US Babies Die on Their First Day Than in 68 Other Countries, Report Shows

The above headline comes from an NBC News story on May 7, 2013.  The story, and several more in other news outlets, is based on a report released April 30, 2013 titled "Surviving the First Day", by the organization, Save the Children. The study shows that the United States ranks 68th in the world for infant survival beyond the first day. This places the US last among industrialized nations, and behind such countries as Cuba, Egypt and Mexico.

The report shows that in the US three babies die in their first day for every 1000 born. Page 55 of the report states it clearly by saying, "The United States has the highest first-day death rate in the industrialized world. An estimated 11,300 newborn babies die each year in the United States on the day they are born. This is 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined."

The US spends more on healthcare than any other nation. The US also uses a very high rate of medical intervention in child birth with a national cesarean birth rate of over 32 percent. In some hospitals the cesarean rate is almost 70 percent.

An article in Consumer News on May 8, 2013 questions medical intervention in childbirth in the US. The article starts off by saying, "Pregnant women often undergo medical procedures and invasive interventions, including induced labors and cesarean sections, without fully understanding the risks or being involved in making decisions about their care."

According to the findings of a major new survey conducted by Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit organization that focuses on maternity care, many procedures are unnecessary and carry risks the expecting mother may not be aware of. Maureen Corry, M.P.H., executive director of Childbirth Connection stated, "Our survey suggests that pregnant women need to take a more active role to make sure they get the care that is best for themselves and their babies. They need access to trustworthy information about the benefits and harms of interventions, to educate themselves, and be their own advocate."

The Surviving the First Day report notes that the US has a very high rate of premature births, which they feel contributes to the high death rate. The report notes, "Many babies in the United States are born too early. The U.S. preterm birth rate (1 in 8 births) is one of the highest in the industrialized world (second only to Cyprus). In fact, 130 countries from all across the world have lower preterm birth rates than the United States. The U.S. prematurity rate is twice that of Finland, Japan, Norway and Sweden. The United States has over half a million preterm births each year – the sixth largest number in the world (after India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia)." The report continues, "According to the latest estimates, complications of preterm birth are the direct cause of 35 percent of all newborn deaths in the U.S., making preterm birth the number one killer of newborns."

The report also points out that the US has a high rate of adolescents giving birth. "The United States also has the highest adolescent birth rate of any industrialized country. Teenage mothers in the U.S. tend to be poorer, less educated, and receive less prenatal care than older mothers."


Medical Research Journal Publishes Study Showing Benefits of Chiropractic for Back Pain

The medical research journal Spine, published a report on April 15, 2013 titled, "Adding Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy to Standard Medical Care for Patients With Acute Low Back Pain: Results of a Pragmatic Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study."  The study was conducted on military personnel.

This study did not compare chiropractic care to medical care for patients with back problems. This study looked at the difference between patients who received only medical care versus those who received both chiropractic and medical care for acute lower back pain. 

This study looked at patient responses relative to pain and  physical functioning for the both the group receiving  only medical care and the group that also received chiropractic.  The 91 subjects in this study were active-duty US military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 years. The study was conducted from February 2008 to June 2009 at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. 

Lead author,  Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., vice chancellor for research and health policy for Palmer College of Chiropractic, explained the reasoning behind the study by saying,  "While a number of studies have shown spinal manipulation to be effective in treating low back pain in research settings, the appropriate role of chiropractic care in treating low back pain within the health care delivery system, including the military, has not been clearly established."

The results showed that those who received the chiropractic care in addition to the medical care did significantly better both with pain reduction and functional ability, than those who received only medical care. Col. Richard Petri, Chief of the Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center (IPMC) at WBAMC commented, "This is a significant step for recognizing the value of chiropractic care in the military," he said. "Continued research in this area will ultimately result in better healthcare delivery systems as well as the improved health of our beneficiaries."

Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., President and CEO of Samueli Institute who funded the study noted, "It is critical that we explore drug-less approaches to reduce pain." He added, "Chiropractic manipulation is an important option to consider for musculoskeletal disorders, which is the most prevalent pain complaint in the military."

The study authors concluded, "The results of this trial suggest that CMT (Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy) in conjunction with SMC (Standard Medical care) offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard (medical) care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute LBP.


Tourette Syndrome Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study published on May 6, 2013 documenting the improvement of a case of Tourette Syndrome from chiropractic care. The study authors describe Tourette Syndrome as being characterized by sudden, brief, repetitive involuntary or semivoluntary movements and or sounds.

The Tourette Syndrome Association defines Tourette Syndrome as, "a neurological disorder which becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence before the age of 18 years. Tourette syndrome is defined by multiple motor and vocal tics lasting for more than one year." The authors of this study note that medical treatments can involve behavioral, pharmacologic, or surgical interventions, dependent on the extent to which the disorder incapacitates the person.

In this case a 14 year old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother seeking possible relief from the symptoms associated with his Tourette Syndrome.  Due to the severity of his motor tics, migraine headaches and severe fatigue attributed to his prescribed medications, the boy had missed school the two previous days.

The boy's history revealed that he was having 1,000 violent motor tics a day that consisted of whipping his head involuntarily in flexion and extension. He was also getting migraine headaches daily. In an attempt to treat his problems, the boy was taking 6 Ibuprofen pills, 10 mgs of Abilify® (aripiprazole), and 1mg of Orap® (Pimozide) per day.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation of his spine, range of motion, thermal (heat) scans and spinal x-rays. A determination was made that subluxations were present in the boys spine and a specific protocol of spinal correction was initiated.

Upon a re-examination the authors reported measurable changes in the thermal scans, x-rays and other findings. The boy's problems improved significantly going from having 1,000 tics per day to only 30-35 tics per day. Additionally the boy was no longer dependent on Ibuprofen since his first week of chiropractic care. The dosage of Abilify was reduced to 2.5mg daily, and ORAP (Pimozide) was reduced to 0.5 mg daily on medical consent.


Animal Chiropractors Adjust Elephants, Guinea Pigs -- Even Snakes

The above is the headline from an Associated Press article appearing in the Business section of NBCNews.com on April 21, 2013. The article, written by Sue Manning covers the wide spectrum of animals now receiving chiropractic care.

The article starts off by reporting on one veterinarian who was a skeptic about chiropractic, but now uses it himself on his animal practice. Manning writes, "Thirty years ago, Dr. Gene Giggleman was a veterinarian who thought chiropractors were quacks. Since then, he says he's straightened out thousands of dogs and cats, not to mention the occasional snake, hamster, gerbil and guinea pig."

According to the article 90 percent of Giggleman's patients receive chiropractic care while only 10 percent receive traditional veterinary medical care.

The article also reports on Dr. Rod Block, a chiropractor from Southern California who has cared for a variety of animals including elephants. Dr. Block explains, "A chiropractor promotes the flow of energy within the body. Anywhere there is an obstruction or blockage of energy due to subluxation or a dysfunctional group of muscles, what the chiropractor does is normalize that function.  

Dr. Block has also written a book, "Like Chiropractic for Elephants," available on Amazon.com. The description of the book reads, "In Like Chiropractic for Elephants, Dr. Block, one of the true pioneers in animal and zoo chiropractic, details the intriguing physical, spiritual, and emotional connection he has discovered and developed between human and animal nature. Based on his 40 plus years of experience working with, and understanding the nervous system, Dr. Block explains in depth the relationship between 2 legged and 4 legged beings. Dr. Block reveals to us that animals know what we know and that our animal spirits have a great deal to teach us about awareness, empathy, and personal discovery. Dr. Block has the uncanny ability to tune into the root cause of animal states of disease without the use of drugs or surgery. In Like Chiropractic for Elephants, you will experience some of these miracles."

Dr. Giggleman, who now teaches at Parker College of Chiropractic in Texas, summed up the difference between chiropractic and traditional veterinary care in the article by saying, "Chiropractic care is a drugless, non-surgical approach to treating animals." And he added, "Much cheaper than traditional medicine with its surgeries and drugs."


Reduction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Following Chiropractic Care: A Case Study

The above is the title of a research case study published on April 11, 2013 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.  The author of the study describes Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) as,  "a spinal curvature that presents from the age of 10 until skeletal maturity."  It is more common in girls than in boys. 

In this case a fourteen year old girl came to the chiropractor concerned about her right hip being higher than her left. She was not experiencing any pain. An initial chiropractic examination showed that her range of motion was within normal limits. A postural analysis showed that her head was rotated to the left and tilted to the right.  She also had a right high shoulder and hip and her left foot was rotated outward.

Palpation of the girl's spine showed multiple areas of increased sensitivity as well as muscle spasm along her spine. X-rays of the girls spine were taken which confirmed the presence of a scoliosis. Using a standard measuring system called the "Cobb" it was determined that the girl had a scoliosis with a Cobb angle that measured 17.2 degrees in the mid back area of her spine.

A series of specific chiropractic adjustments were given over the next 13 weeks. The girl was also given home spinal exercises to aid in the corrections.  Assessments were done twice during the course of the 13 week period and improvements were noted each time.

The author noted that the first reassessment showed obvious postural improvements with the head and neck. There was still muscle spasm noted, but it had decreased. Her head rotation had improved and the head tilt had totally corrected. The author notes that the girl was pleased with the changes she was able to notice.

On the second assessment, further improvement was noted in posture and positioning.  A second set of x-rays was taken that documented an improvement in the spinal curvature from a Cobb angle of 17.2 degrees down to 13.5 degrees. This improvement represents only the 13 week time frame of the study as published.

In her discussion the author comments, "Conservative methods of treatment for scoliosis should continue to focus on the prevention of the progression of scoliosis until the etiology is known." She continues and elaborates on the chiropractic approach by noting, "Regardless of the technique used, the majority of chiropractors are focused on detecting and removing vertebral subluxations to reinstate normality to function."


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