November 2013


Resolution of Infertility with Chiropractic Care

A case study published on October 31, 2013, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the case of a woman who was suffering from menstrual irregularities and infertility who was helped by chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by noting that, "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2002, there were 7.3 million American women between the ages of 15-44 who have impaired fecundity, equaling 11.8%."  The authors define infertility as, "...a state of impaired fertility, or sub-fertility, defined as an inability to conceive after at least one year of unprotected intercourse." They note that current research shows that approximately 40-60% of the time, infertility is attributed to the female, while 30-40% of the time it is attributed to the male with 10-20% of cases being unexplained.

In this case, a 31-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with complaints of upper back and neck tension, migraine, and tension headaches and tingling in her left arm. She had first noticed these problems after the birth of her first son. The woman was also suffering from menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, and cycles frequently lasting two weeks in duration. Her problems were so severe, and causing difficulty with daily activities due to heavy bleeding, that she was forced to stay home one to two days a month.  Additionally, she expressed concern because she and her husband had been infertile for a little over three years.

A chiropractic examination was performed that consisted of palpation of the spine, range of motion, thermal and sEMG scans, along with spinal x-rays. Postural abnormalities were noted, ranges of motion were impaired, and palpation showed areas of possible spinal problems. Additionally the sEMG and thermal scans showed problems relating to nerve system function. Between these findings and the spinal x-rays, it was determined that the woman had nerve system interference from multiple spinal subluxations.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun several times per week to correct the subluxations.  The results in this case were immediate as the woman reported that her menstrual cycle, which was on day six, stopped after the first adjustment. This had not happened since the birth of her first son more than three years earlier. She also noted that her mid back pain had slightly decreased. Additionally, by the third visit she stated that her headaches had lessened and were resolved from that point forward. After 26 days and eight adjustments, the woman reported that she had become pregnant.

In their discussion, the authors report on the growing medical industry surrounding infertility. They also point out that infertility treatment is very expensive. They note that chiropractic may present a viable alternative to the medical approach to infertility. "There is a growing body of evidence that links the management of vertebral subluxation to the restoration of proper function within a woman’s reproductive system and therefore enhancing the ability to conceive."


Tremors Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study published on November 11, 2013, in the journal the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documented the case of man suffering from Essential Tremors who was helped by chiropractic care. The International Essential Tremor Foundation describe essential tremors as, "Also known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk."

The authors begin by noting that essential tremor (ET) is the most common tremor disorder in the world. Essential tremors are estimated to occur in 3 to 4 people per 1000 with people over the age of 60 being at a higher risk. The authors report that ET is as much as 20 times more common than Parkinson’s disease.

In this case, a 38-year-old man presented for chiropractic care with a chief complaint of tremors in his upper extremity that started 15 years ago.  There was nothing in his immediate history that seemed to be related to the onset. Prior to coming to the chiropractor, he had been diagnosed with ET which began in both his head and his arms. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst, the man described his head and right arm tremors as a being a 10. His tremors occurred daily and lasted the entire day.

The study authors record the man's history by noting, "The patient was unable to write with his right hand due to the tremors and stated he was unable to lift a drink to his mouth because he would spill the drink everywhere. He stated that all of his activities of daily living are interrupted by the tremors."

A chiropractic examination was performed including thermal heat studies. Additionally, both static spinal x-rays and motion x-rays (fluoroscopy) were performed. The results of the examination verified the presence of subluxation in the upper back and neck of the man's spine.  A course of care involving specific chiropractic adjustments was started.

After the first adjustment, the man noticed an improvement in his symptoms. He reported that he was able to lift his right hand to his mouth with minimal tremors.  As care continued, he showed steady improvement of his symptoms. After a few weeks, of care a second set of x-rays was taken. These new x-rays showed significant spinal improvements in his curvatures.

The study authors report the man's improvement by noting, "The patient reported improvements of 75% for the tremors in both of his arms, 99% for the tremors in his head, 90% for his low back pain, 90% in overall stiffness, and felt that his overall quality of life has improved by 60%."

The authors' conclusion stated, "The patient’s symptoms and quality of life were dramatically improved under chiropractic care when his vertebral subluxations were reduced. The medical community has experienced very little success with treating essential tremors, while the chiropractic community has limited research on the subject. This case is an example of the potential of chiropractic care in helping patients suffering from ET, and shows that there is more research needed on the effects of chiropractic and ET."


Understanding the "Ouch" After a First Chiropractic Adjustment

A recent study published on September 15, 2013, in the scientific medical journal Spine, looks at the slight incidence of mild pain that occurs in a small percentage of people who have a first adjustment.  The study is titled, "Outcomes of Usual Chiropractic. The OUCH Randomized Controlled Trial of Adverse Events."

The stated purpose of the study was to, "Establish the frequency and severity of adverse effects from short-term usual chiropractic treatment of the spine when compared with a sham treatment group."  In essence the study was trying to determine if chiropractic adjustments caused pain when care is initiated.

The authors point out that prior studies have looked at adverse effects after chiropractic adjustments but none of these studies have looked at comparing real adjustments to "sham" or fake adjustments. This allowed the researchers to determine if an adverse reaction was just due to the patient getting worse normally, or if the adjustments may have created an increase in pain.

The results of the study confirmed what other studies have shown in that adverse reactions are both rare and mild after chiropractic adjustments.  However, this study also showed that an almost equal number of patients who received the sham adjustments also experienced mild adverse reactions.

The researchers showed that there was a slight increased in pain in 36% of those who received a chiropractic adjustment. However, 29% of those who got the sham adjustment also reported mild increase in pain. This meant that only 7% experienced an increase in pain due to the adjustment. Similarly,  29% of those who had a sham adjustment felt an increase in muscle stiffness, compared to 37% of those who got a real adjustment. With headaches, 17% of those who got a fake adjustment claimed to have a headache compared with 9% of those who had the real adjustment.

Because of the sham adjustments also causing mild adverse effects the researchers theorized, "A substantial proportion of adverse events experienced during chiropractic care for spinal pain may be the result of natural symptom fluctuation or from nonspecific effects." They also noted that their results showed that, "No serious adverse events were reported."

Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor, past president of the International Chiropractors Association and the Georgia Council of Chiropractic, who was not affiliated with the research commented, "It is important to remember that after a chiropractic adjustment, the nervous system should be functioning better. This means that it can accurately give feedback to the brain about body parts. If a part of the patient's body was not experiencing pain because the signals were blocked by subluxation, then removal of those subluxations will allow the pain signals to be transmitted to the brain. Although this is a rare occurrence, this is not a bad thing, but actually a positive step in healing."


Chiropractic Helping Heart Trouble and Cholesterol Levels - Case Study and Literature Review

A case research study published on November 4, 2013, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documented the case of a man being helped with heart problems as well as his cholesterol levels. The study authors note that there is much public confusion about cardiac condition and cholesterol levels. They devote a portion of their paper in the attempt of clarifying these issues.

The authors point out that the commonly believed notion that cholesterol is bad, is false. They point out that cholesterol is essential for life and that many items in the human body have cholesterol as an essential ingredient.  These include brain synapses, cell membranes, sex hormones, and numerous other parts and bodily functions.  If there is not enough cholesterol in our system, our liver will start the production of it.

The authors describe cardiovascular disease by saying, "Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels. Heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and strokes are usually acute events mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain, respectively."  They state that according to the World Health Organization, "Behavioral risk factors are responsible for about 80% of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease."

In this case, a 54-year-old man went to the chiropractor because of altered levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. He was also suffering with additional complaints including anxiety, constipation, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, neck pain, and stiff neck.  He also indicated suffering from depression due to the death of his father, mother, brother, and uncle which all occurred within the previous year. One month prior to starting chiropractic, the man had blood work performed showing abnormal levels of cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.

A chiropractic examination including palpation, sEMG, thermal scans and x-rays were performed and subluxations were determined to be present. A series of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated to correct the subluxations.

One month after he began chiropractic he reported, “I feel so much better and relaxed."  The results also showed that after 18 weeks of chiropractic care, the patient went for another panel of blood work which showed, "...improvement in every area." During this time frame the patient had made no lifestyle changes.

The patient's cardiologist was also impressed with the man's progress and reduced his medications. In a letter mailed to the patient, the cardiologist stated, “Your liver functions and CPK were within normal limits. Your numbers looked great. Keep up the good work."


Love Gets Good Vibrations From Chiropractic Care

The title above is from a November 4, 2013, release from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), and carried by NewsUSA.com. The "Love" they speak of is Mike Love, famous singer from the Beach Boys musical group.

Love Gets Good Vibrations From Chiropractic CareThe article relates how chiropractic has helped the iconic singer over his long and successful career. "In more than 50 years of performing over 100 shows a year, I've traveled by car, van, bus, train, plane and occasional boat," he says of the toll all that touring has taken on his body. "Chiropractors have helped me remain mobile and pain-free." 

The F4CP point out in the release that Mr. Love is one of the growing number of Americans who've turned to what the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies calls "...one of the most frequently utilized types of complementary and alternative care by older adults." The journal article estimates that 14 percent of patients cared for by chiropractors are age 65 and over.

"The entertainment world seems to be ahead of the general public in utilizing chiropractic services." comments Dr. Michael McLean, president of the International Chiropractors Association. "Such well known starts as Kevin Costner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, and Jennifer Lawrence, just to mention a few who understand that chiropractic helps them get through their hectic schedule and keep them performing."  Dr. McLean continued, "But we must remember that there is nothing special about the spine or nervous system of a performer compared to the average working person. Everyone can benefit from a nervous system that is free of interference and functioning properly."

As the lead singer of the Beach Boys, their biggest-selling hit, "Kokomo," reached number one in 1988. He still loves performing in front of audiences worldwide.  To be able to sing the many hits from the Beach Boys, Love has a regimen to keep himself at the level needed to perform at his best.  "With my active lifestyle, I use regular chiropractic care as a complement to my daily practice of transcendental meditation and hatha  yoga."


Mental Health & Chiropractic

A paper published in the October 24, 2013, issue of the Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic discussed the subject and benefits of chiropractic for patients with mental health issues. According to author Dr. Christopher Kent, a chiropractor and attorney, the objective of the paper was, "To review the history and research regarding chiropractic, emotional and psychological health."

Dr. Kent begins by stating, "The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the nervous system. Although many chiropractors and those they serve tend to focus on disorders associated with the physical body, it is obvious that abnormal nervous system function may also affect emotional and psychological health."

Dr. Kent's paper reports that, historically, there were several very successful chiropractic facilities dedicated to caring for those with mental health issues. One such facility, established in 1922, was called the Chiropractic Psychopathic Sanitarium, which later changed their name to the Forest Park Sanitarium.  The success rate for the chiropractic institutions was much higher than for the public institutions. This was pointed out by North Dakota Judge A. W. Ponath noting that at the North Dakota state mental hospital, the "...cure and discharge rate" ranged from 18-27%, compared to 65% at Forest Park."

The paper also reported on several modern research projects involving chiropractic and psychological issues. In one of these studies, a survey was done of 2,818 respondents in 156 practices. This study showed strong connections  between persons receiving chiropractic care and self-reported improvement in health, wellness, and quality-of-life.

In another study a systematic review was published which examined psychological outcomes in randomized controlled trials of spinal adjustments. The study concluded that, “There was some evidence that spinal manipulation improved psychological outcomes compared with verbal intervention. The clinical implications are that physical treatments, such as spinal manipulation have psychological benefits."

In an attempt to give an overview explanation of how chiropractic care can help those with psychological disorders, Dr. Kent related a personal story of how he first got interested in the field. "Over 38 years ago, my first chiropractor explained that everything we experience is processed through our nervous system. When our perception of the world is distorted by nerve interference, it compromises our ability to respond appropriately. He noted that in addition to damaging our physical health, it could result in impaired psychological and
emotional function as well. Finally, he opined that when this happened to a significant number of people in a society, a sick society would result."


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