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July 2014

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Chronic Allergies, Sinus Problems, Dry Skin, Leg Cramps and Asthma Helped with Chiropractic

A case study, published in the June 19, 2014, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documented the case of a young girl who was suffering from a wide variety of ailments being helped by chiropractic. The chiropractic care resulted in positive spinal changes and in the patient's overall quality of life.

The authors of the study begin by describing asthma as, "an inflammatory state of the lungs that can be acute
or chronic, causing changes in the airways. This condition is due to hypersensitivity of the asthmatic patient, aggravated by airborne allergens or pollen, cold or other respiratory infections."  They also note that, "Allergies have been on the rise over the past several years with 1 out of 5 Americans being affected by them today. In fact, allergies are the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. as well as being the 3rd most common chronic disease in children."

In this case, an 11-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for the first time. She was suffering from asthma, chronic allergies, sinus problems, dry skin, and leg cramps.  Her asthma, which had only started the prior summer, was causing her to miss school. She was also on multiple medications for her breathing and allergies.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, a surface EMG study, and spinal palpation. Multiple abnormalities in the girl's posture were noted and documented. X-rays were performed which verified the spinal and postural misalignments. In addition, pulmonary function was measured and was shown to be abnormal due to her asthma.

Specific chiropractic adjusting was begun in multiple areas of her spine where problems were found from the examination. About a month and a half into her care, a follow-up postural analysis was performed that showed improvement in the girl's spine. Surface EMG studies, as well as follow up x-rays, also showed improvement as care progressed. Pulmonary function also showed significant improvement when measured.

The girl's asthma was completely resolved as a result of the care.  This was a significant improvement as her asthma had previously kept her out of school twice for six days at a time.  Also, her allergies, which she had experienced since age three, were gone. Additionally, the girl's dry skin and leg cramps that she would get after exercising were corrected.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This retrospective case study was an observation of an 11-year-old child with asthma, allergies, and abnormal posture/cervical curve that affected the quality of her life. While under chiropractic care..., the patient was able to discontinue all medication, demonstrated no further symptoms, and improved her cervical curve and posture, as well as normalizing her lung range."

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Walking Improved with Chiropractic According to Study

A study published in the June 16, 2014, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed that chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on walking, and basic lower body balance and biomechanics. This study looked at leg length differences and documented that chiropractic adjustments changed leg length which had an effect on walking.

The authors begin by noting that there are two types of short legs as seen on patients. "Two types of leg length inequality (LLI) exist, anatomical and functional. It has been suggested that a consequence of possessing a short lower limb is that it places abnormal mechanical stress on both lower limbs."  They explain that an anatomical short leg is one where the leg itself is actually shorter either from birth, disease or accident. A functional short leg is one that is not really any shorter but seems to measure shorter when compared to the other leg. The functional short leg is believed to be resulting from the person's hips or spine being out of alignment therefore causing one leg to look shorter.

This study was designed to look at the effects of chiropractic adjustments on leg lengths and how that affected people's walking gait called "walking kinematics." In this study, 41 participants were tested with a 90-second baseline gait analysis utilizing specific equipment that measures their gait while walking. A short leg analysis was also performed on all subjects to look for functional short legs. Those participants that had a short leg were divided into two groups. One of the groups received a chiropractic adjustment while the other group did not. After this, all subjects were given a follow-up 90-second gait analysis. All participants had no symptoms.

The results showed that there were changes in walking for those participants who were adjusted. Adjustments on the side of the longer leg seemed to cause a larger change than that on the shorter side. There was also improvement noted in step length and knee angle. These improvements were noticed even though the patients included in this study had no symptoms or pain.

The authors of this study concluded, "Preliminarily this suggests that adjustment in response to a functionally short leg results in small changes in certain gait parameters in 18-45 year-old asymptomatic individuals."

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Improvement in ADHD Following Chiropractic - A Case Study

From the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research comes a case study published on July 10, 2014, documenting the subjective and objective improvement of a young boy with ADHD after receiving chiropractic care. The author begins his study by explaining that "Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a condition known to cause bouts of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, poor academic performance and disruptive social behavior." He notes that ADHD has been shown to affect 5% of children and 4% of adults.

The common medical practice in cases of ADHD is the use of medication. The author warns of the dangers of this approach. "Although medication has been shown to help in the management of symptoms in children with ADHD, research shows that academic performance is not improved in the medium and long term and may have harmful effects given the typical way the medications are used in the community and the adverse side effects caused by the medications." 

In this case, an 11-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor having been diagnosed with ADHD two years earlier by his psychologist. He was originally given Concerta but was later taken off that drug by his guardians due to the boy experiencing the side effects of appetite loss and reportedly turning him into a "social zombie." He was also suffering from neck pain for the past three years.

One of the examination procedures performed was a "TOVA" examination. This procedure objectively tests and rates some of the issues with ADHD such as an individualís sustained attention, speed and consistency of responding, and behavioral self-regulation. With this test, it was possible to rate changes to the boy's ADHD before and after his chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination and x-rays were performed which determined that vertebral subluxation was present at the top of the boy's neck. Based on this finding, specific chiropractic adjustments were started to correct the subluxations. The boy was also given exercises and his diet was more closely watched and regulated.

After the first adjustment, the boy's neck pain was gone and did not return. After three months of care, the boy was re-evaluated using the same processes performed at the beginning of his care which included the TOVA examination. The test showed improvement in the boy's spinal structure, and improvement in his neurological imbalances back to normal levels. The TOVA test showed the most objective improvement. A normal TOVA score is "0" or above. The boy's original score was (minus) -3.94, and had dramatically improved after three months of chiropractic to a (minus) -0.46. 

In his discussion of this case the author notes, "Although the purpose of chiropractic care was not to diagnose or treat the patient's ADHD, his condition improved both subjectively and objectively and that likely translated into academic improvement." He continued in his conclusion, "Although it is impossible to make sweeping conclusions about the link between the Atlas Subluxation Complex being a causative factor of ADHD, we can conclude that this patient has achieved quality of life improvement that has been subjectively reported and objectively measured by the TOVA software, neurological exams and behavioral evaluation."

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Trigeminal Neuralgia Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a study on June 23, 2014 that documented the case of a woman suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN) who was helped by chiropractic care.  The American Association of Neurological Surgeons describes TN as "Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, sometimes is described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity. The pain typically involves the lower face and jaw, although sometimes it affects the area around the nose and above the eye. This intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw. It usually is limited to one side of the face."

The study authors note that medical management of TN usually involves medications possibly followed by surgery. They also report that approximately 50 percent of TN cases managed medically will ultimately have surgery for their condition. The authors point out that the medications commonly used to treat TN have a long and serious list of side effects including double vision,  involuntary eye movement, dizziness, extreme fatigue or drowsiness, headaches, involuntary muscle movement, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, skin rashes, and  hypertension.

In this case, a 30-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of left-sided facial pain. She had previously received a diagnosis of TN. She described her condition as the worst pain she had ever experienced, listing it as a 10 out of 10 in severity. She described her pain as dull, aching, and burning down the left side of her jaw and cheek. Additionally, the woman reported that she was also suffering from left-sided neck pain, bilateral shoulder pain, TMJ pain, mid-back pain, and right-sided low back pain.

In her history, the woman reported that her TN started about eight months ago which seemed to be immediately after a visit to the dentist. She had also had a car accident several months prior to the onset of her TN. Some of her medical doctors even suggested that her problem arose from "mental stress onto her from her young son." This suggestion infuriated the woman.

A chiropractic examination was performed on the woman that included palpation, leg length analysis, and specific spinal x-rays of the upper neck. From these, it was determined that vertebral subluxation was present in the upper neck. The authors explain subluxation and the chiropractic approach by saying, "Chiropractic has one goal: to reduce or eliminate the vertebral subluxation. The vertebral subluxation has been described as follows: Loss of juxtaposition of a vertebra with the one above, the one below, or both. It must consist of occlusion of an opening. Nerve impingement. Interference with the transmission of mental impulses."

The results of the care reported that the woman experienced less pain from the onset of care.  She did experience a flare-up of her TN around her 5th chiropractic visit.  However, by her 10th visit the woman reported that she was no longer having any pain.

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Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease and Abnormal Spinal Curves Helped with Chiropractic

From the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, comes a case study published on June 26, 2014, documenting the improvement of abnormal posture, neck curvature and Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) from chiropractic care.  The authors describe GERD by saying, "Gastroesophageal reflux disease is arguably the most prevalent clinical condition of the gastrointestinal tract. The main symptom is heartburn - a retrosternal burning sensation aggravated by eating, lying down, or increased intraabdominal pressure."

The authors also explain the importance of spinal posture and alignment by noting, "Abnormal posture or any type of spinal misalignment can wreak havoc on the body. Abnormal spinal alignment has been correlated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, lower back pain and social function.  The curves in the spine act as levers, shock absorbers, and as resistance to gravity; they also protect and reduce forces acting on the spinal cord and nerve tissues." 

In this case, a 28-year-old female hair stylist went to a chiropractor's office complaining of chronic headaches, neck pain, dry skin, GERD, and back pain since she was 15 years old.  Her problems all seemed to appear after she was involved in an automobile accident that occurred at that time.

A chiropractic examination including x-rays confirmed the abnormal spinal curves, and a determination was made that spinal subluxations were present. Based on this finding, a course of specific chiropractic care was begun.

The study recorded that after only two months of care, the woman showed postural curve changes towards normal. After two months, her GERD symptoms were reduced to the point where she no longer needed to take any of her medication for this problem. It was also reported that her other problems had improved significantly from her chiropractic care.

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Resolution of Neck Pain and Headaches in a Patient with Dandy Walker Syndrome

A case study was published on June 13, 2014, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health that documented the case of a young girl who was diagnosed with Dandy Walker Syndrome, and who had been suffering with headaches and neck pain, being help by chiropractic care.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Dandy-Walker Syndrome is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum (an area at the back of the brain that controls movement) and the fluid-filled spaces around it. The key features of this syndrome are an enlargement of the fourth ventricle (a small channel that allows fluid to flow freely between the upper and lower areas of the brain and spinal cord), a partial or complete absence of the area of the brain between the two cerebellar hemispheres (cerebellar vermis), and cyst formation near the lowest part of the skull."

In this case, a 13-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor with right-sided headaches, neck pain, and lower back discomfort. The girlís history reported that she suffered from Dandy Walker Syndrome since birth. She currently has a cerebral shunt running from her right fourth ventricle to the left atrium of her heart.

Her headaches had started about 6 months before seeking chiropractic care. They had gotten to the point where she was experiencing debilitating headaches 2-5 times per week that lasted from 1-3 hours each. The study notes that the only way the girl was able to get relief from her headaches was to rest without any body movement.

The girl's neck pain also started about 6 months prior and was progressively getting worse. It was most severe by the end of the day. Her lower back pain was much less severe by comparison.

Based on a chiropractic examination, it was determined that vertebral subluxations were present in the girl's spine and chiropractic adjustments were begun. Immediately after her first adjustment, she reported that her lower back "felt great."  The next day, she reported via telephone that she had not had any headaches the night before, was not having any neck pain, and her back pain had not returned. By her third visit, she had still not experienced any headaches or neck pain, and the back discomfort that had returned a few days prior was once again gone.

Over the course of care, the study notes some gaps in her visits that resulted in some headaches which were relieved after getting adjusted. Specific tests related to her Dandy-Walker Syndrome showed some improvement in her coordination and abilities. In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This study adds to the evidence on the salutary effects of chiropractic care in children with headaches, neck pain and concomitant symptoms associated with Dandy Walker Syndrome."

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