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December 2014

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Survey Shows Parents of Children Under Chiropractic Care Very Satisfied

A study published in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed that the parents of children who had undergone chiropractic care were very satisfied with their child's care. The study, conducted in England, surveyed parents who had brought their infants in for chiropractic care for a variety of reasons including colic, crying, difficulty feeding, and wellness.

The authors begin by noting that prior to this study, no other study assessed the satisfaction levels of parents who brought their infants in for chiropractic care. The study was conducted at a chiropractic teaching facility between January 2011 and October 2013.   The infants in this study were all between the ages of one day and 36 weeks. In order to be included in the study, the parents were required to fill out pre- and post-treatment questionnaires.   A total of 395 valid results were collected and analyzed for this study.

The first questionnaire was given to the parents before the chiropractic care was initiated. A follow up questionnaire was given after the end of care. The questionnaires asked parents to rate their level of distress due to their infant's behavior.  At the end of care, the parents were also asked to rate the degree of improvement of their infant's condition and their satisfaction with the care received.

The results of  the study showed a marked reduction in the stress reported by the parents when comparing the stress levels before and after chiropractic care. Prior to care, only 56% of the parents said they were not significantly stressed.  However, after the chiropractic care, over 92% of the parents reported very little stress.

The parents reported that their infant's sleep improved as well. Prior to chiropractic care, only 50% had normal sleep, while after the care period, 79% reported that their infant got good sleep. The study reported that 75% of the parents were completely satisfied with the care their infant received.

In their discussion the authors of the study reported, "The parents in this study reported high levels of satisfaction, and improvement of the presenting condition. Parents reported a decrease in their distress levels, and an improvement in the infantís sleep quality after an episode of care."

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Lowered Postnatal Depression in Mothers After Their Infants Receive Chiropractic

The November 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a study showing that women who have recently had a baby will be less likely to suffer from depression if their baby receives chiropractic care. In this study, the mothers did not receive care, only their infants. 

According to the study authors, Postnatal Depression (PND) is defined as "...the first occurrence of psychiatric symptoms severe enough to require medical help occurring after child birth and before the return of menstruation."  They continue by noting that PND "...has the potential to be a destructive, damaging and even fatal condition." They report that about 13% of women will experience this condition within the first 12 weeks after giving birth.

In this study, data was collected from mothers of infants who received chiropractic care at an out-patient public chiropractic teaching clinic on the south coast of England.  The data collected used a standardized test used to measure PND called the Edinburgh Depression Scale. The test was given to the mothers at the onset of their infants' care and when the infants' care ended.

The Edinburgh Depression Scale is a 10-item questionnaire with each question scoring between 0-3. A maximum score for this test would be 30. The higher the score, the more likely the mother is depressed and suffering from PND. Any score at or above 10 is considered possibly depressed, with certain questions being specifically geared toward looking mothers who could possibly harm themselves or others.

A total of 117 mothers participated in the study.  Even thought their infants were the only ones that received chiropractic care, the improvements from their care resulted in the mothers showing significant improvement in their depression scores. The study showed that, on average, the mothers in this study scored an average of 7.3 on the Edinburgh Depression Scale.  After the chiropractic care was rendered to their infants, that average score improved to 5.04, which is a significant improvement in their score.

In the conclusion and discussion sections of this study, the authors wrote, "This study into PND scores of mothers whose infants underwent chiropractic care showed statistically significant reduction in scores when concluding a course of chiropractic treatment." They explain, "It is reasonable to think that mothers would feel better when their baby is better. The EPDS is considered a good surrogate measure for anxiety in mothers and therefore, should be used as a continuum and any lowering of scores is a benefit."

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Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic Care

A study published on November 6, 2014, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a patient with trigeminal neuralgia being helped by chiropractic care.  According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head." They further explain that, "The typical or classic form of the disorder causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode."

The authors of the study reported that the pain associated with TN is commonly triggered by activities of daily living including shaving, washing the face, applying makeup, brushing teeth, chewing food, drinking, talking, or being exposed to different elements of weather, in particular wind. Due to the severity of the pain and the uncertainty of when it might occur, this problem has been known as "The Suicide Disease."

In this case, a 77-year-old woman went to the chiropractor and reported suffering with severe TN for the past seven years. She was taking medication to try and help the problem, but the pain was made worse by chewing, talking, and smiling. When her TN was flaring, she was unable to eat or talk well. She entered the chiropractor's office crying in agony. She rated the pain as a 10 out of 10 in severity.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, range of motion, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination revealed that the woman had subluxations specifically in the top of her neck. Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun at the rate of three visits per week.

The study results recorded that after just three visits, the patient reported that the twitches related to her TN had stopped and she started to recover quicker from her attacks. After six visits, the woman reported that her pain had decreased from a 10 out of 10, down to just 3 out of 10. As her care continued, she continued to improve to the point where she no longer needed her medication. After 6 months of chiropractic care with 31 visits, the woman declared that she was 100% pain free. 

In their conclusion the authors reported, "The patient continues to be pain free at the time this paper was published. She reports that her quality of life continues to improve and admittedly, chiropractic drastically improved her health."

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Fussy Baby with Abnormal Head Shape, Torticollis, and Sleeping Issues Helped by Chiropractic

In the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics is a documented case study of a baby with multiple issues, including an irregular head shape, being helped with chiropractic. Abnormal head shape is known as plagiocephaly, and can come from the pressure of being on one side excessively.

The study authors report that plagiocephaly may have become more common since the introduction of the back to sleep program in 1992, where it was recommended that infants be put to sleep only lying on their backs. They also note that one study from Canada reports the incidence of plagiocephaly at 45.6% with  21.7% being a more severe form.

In this case, a 6-month-old baby girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The mother was concerned that her baby seemed to persistently favor turning her head to the left, and that her skull was deformed in shape. The baby had a pediatric check-up just three months earlier where everything checked out fine.  One week after that examination, the baby's issues started. The baby was also experiencing difficulty in breast feeding and problems with sleeping.

The mother brought her baby to the chiropractor to try to avoid medical care for her head shape problem. Typically, medical intervention used in these cases is helmet therapy, which involves having a baby wear a helmet for a lengthy period of time. Other medical approaches include head repositioning, botox injections into the neck muscles, or even surgery in the more extreme treatments.

A pediatric chiropractic examination was performed where it was determined that the child had multiple subluxations in the neck. To correct these subluxations, specific light force adjustments were performed over the next several weeks. Advice was also given to the mother to entice the infant to turn her head toward the opposite side.

The study reports that immediately following the first adjustment, the chiropractor and mother noticed that the infant exhibited a more willing and active motion towards her less favored side of rotation.  By the second visit, the mother reported  that her baby girl now had regular sleep patterns and was not having any episodes of regurgitation or fussiness with breast feeding.  By the age of nine months, the infant had no cranial shape abnormality detectable, and all of her other problems had completely resolved.

 In their conclusion, the authors of the study wrote, "The chiropractic care of newborns could potentially be a key component in addressing the integrity of an infantís nervous system, in a safe and conservative way."

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Cesarean Avoided due to Transverse Pregnancy Resolution with Chiropractic

Published in the the Journal of  Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on November 25, 2014, is a case study of a transverse pregnancy being corrected and a cesarean birth being avoided due to chiropractic care. The normal position for a fetus in the third trimester of pregnancy is head-down, known as the vertex position.

A transverse presentation, also known as a shoulder presentation, is when the fetus is lying across the mother's womb. This type of presentation is more dangerous that a breech presentation where the fetus is positioned feet-first. The risks associated with transverse presentation include premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa, and a higher prenatal mortality rate.  The authors of this study note that transverse or shoulder presentation occurs in approximately 1 in 300 deliveries.

Breech and transverse presentation result in a much higher rate of cesarean birth. In the U.S., 86% of breech presentations are birthed through Cesarean section.  A cesarean birth comes with a list of possible complications including obstetric shock, uterine rupture, cardiac arrest and hemorrhage which can result in the need for a blood transfusions and/or a complete hysterectomy.

The study reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) states that only a 10-15% cesarean rate is appropriate.  In the U.S. in 2011, the cesarean rate was 32.8%, but only roughly 12% of those were due to a breech or transverse presentation.

This case involved a 28-year-old expectant mother who came to the chiropractor in the 37th week of her pregnancy. She had an ultra sound 2 weeks earlier that confirmed the her fetus was in the transverse position. She also just started experiencing low back and sciatic-like pains down both of her legs.

A chiropractic examination revealed muscle spasm, as well as spinal and pelvic subluxations. It was decided to utilize the Webster technique with spinal adjustments.  The Webster technique is a specific technique developed by a chiropractor, Dr. Larry Webster. This special procedure addresses in-uterine constraint in a very non-traumatic way. The procedure has been shown to be very effective in allowing a breech fetus to return to the normal vertex position.

During the application of the Website technique, the chiropractor noticed a pelvic relaxation indicating that the procedure was successful.  The woman had a checkup with her ObGyn shortly after seeing the chiropractor. An ultrasound was performed that confirmed the fetus had moved into the normal vertex position. The woman continued chiropractic care and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery at 40 weeks.

In their conclusion, the author discussed the success of this case and wrote about how this procedure could help many other expectant mothers in the same situation, "This case report discussed the chiropractic management of a patient with a transverse lie fetus utilizing the Webster Technique. Women in this same position are often faced with the challenge of deciding what is best for their health and for the health of the fetus. Common solutions include cesarean section and ECV, however both come with risks to the mother and the fetus."

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ADHD and Migraines Helped with Chiropractic

The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on December 5, 2014, discussing chiropractic care helping a patient with both ADHD and migraines. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was first described by Sir George Still in 1902.

According to the CDC, the rate of ADHD has increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006, and increased to 5% from the years 2007 to 2011. The rate of ADHD diagnosis varies greatly per state with it estimated that currently 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed nationally. As of 2011, 6.1% of all children between the ages of 4 and 17 were taking ADHD medications. This is up from 4.8% on these meds in 2008.

In this case study, a 21-year-old man went to the chiropractor suffering from symptoms of ADHD, migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, neck pain, and back stiffness.  He was taking a number of medications for his problems including  paracetamol, codeine, ibuprofen, and valium.  The history noted that the man had been suffering from migraine headaches since age 4 that were accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision.

A standardized test known as the ADHD Symptom Regularity and Severity Questionnaire was given to the man before the onset of care, and later during care, to monitor the changes to his ADHD condition from the chiropractic care. In addition, the man was also given a standardized headache questionnaire to measure the changes he may experience with his headaches.

After a chiropractic examination, care was initiated to correct subluxations. Each of the questionnaires was then repeated and documented improvements in both his ADHD scores and his migraine headache rating.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case study illustrates the positive outcomes of a twenty one year old male with signs and symptoms of ADHD and migraine headaches...." The authors continued by explaining, "Subjective decreases in the regularity and severity of symptoms of ADHD and migraine headaches were reached. Objective results in functional improvement were seen with tonal indicators of subluxation, heart rate variability, posture and ranges of motion."

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