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November 2014

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Skills Improved with Chiropractic

A case series study published in the Nov. 3, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documents chiropractic care helping language skills in two cases of diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. The authors begin by explaining, "Autism is defined as a disorder beginning in childhood marked by the presence of significantly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a distinctly restricted repertoire of activity and interest."

The study notes that the number of diagnosed cases of autism in the U.S. continues to increase and is now considered at epidemic proportions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 110 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism.  In California alone, the rate of autism increased 633% between 1987 and 2007. According to the study authors the current rate of diagnosis of autism equates to one new case being diagnosed every two hours.

In this case series, two children who were diagnosed with autism participated in the study. Each of the two children were diagnosed independently by clinical psychologists. The first of the two children was a boy at the age of a 3 years, 8 months. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 years with moderate autism. With this diagnosis, the boy was suffering with severe language and speech difficulties. Additionally, the boy had a history of allergies, ear infections, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, teeth grinding, and sleep problems.

The second child was a girl at the age of 3 years, 5 months, who was diagnosed with autism 2 months earlier. Her autism was characterized by severely delayed expressive and a moderate delay in receptive language skills. In addition to autism, she was also suffering from chronic colds, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, and sleep problems.

In these two cases, a test known as the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) was administered every three months to rate any progress in the children's language skills. Using these tests, the young boy was measured at over one year delayed in language while the girl was even worse and was considered severely language delayed.

Chiropractic care was initiated on both children for correction of subluxations. At the first testing interval, both children showed measurable improvement in the language skills. By the fourth test both children showed significant improvement. The boy actually improved to the point where his language skills were 5 months above the average child his age.  The girl, whose speech was worse at the onset of chiropractic care, improved enough to be only 8 months behind her chronological age.

The improvements in these children were observed and appreciated by their families. At three months into care the young boy said "I love you Daddy" for the first time in his life. The mother of the girl reported that her daughter was doing well in pre-school and was even seen helping other children with their tasks.

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Fibromyalgia Resolved and Medications Discontinued with Chiropractic Care

A case study published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research on Oct. 21, 2014, documents the case of a chiropractic patient being helped with fibromyalgia.  According to the Mayo Clinic's website, "Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues."

The authors of this study point out that more than 5 million adult Americans are affected by fibromyalgia.  Patients with fibromyalgia have an amplification of their pain as well as a heightened perception of pains that may not normally be felt by others. Sleep disorders are also common in these cases and contribute to the pain problems experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers.

In this study, a 31-year-old woman went to the chiropractor after suffering with diagnosed fibromyalgia for two and a half years. Her chief complaint was constant back pain and shooting pain down her legs. Her history also showed that she had been suffering with headaches 3-4 times a week, depression, fatigue, loss of balance, ringing in the ears, visual stars, chronic sinus infections, dry mouth, acid reflux, painful periods, excessive sleeping, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

A chiropractic examination with thermographic studies and spinal x-rays was performed. The x-rays showed multiple areas of spinal bone malpositions including a loss of the normal neck curvature and a head position that was more forward than normal.  It was determined that the woman had vertebral subluxation causing nerve system interference. From this finding, a course of specific chiropractic adjustments was begun.

After her first chiropractic adjustment, the woman reported a 40 percent reduction in her pain. The study records that one month into her care, the woman described improvement in her back pain, headaches, leg pain, sciatica, and constipation. A few weeks later, she stated that her sciatic pain, back pain, and knee and foot pain had all improved, and her pain had decreased 80 percent since starting chiropractic care. At this point, she took herself off all pain medications.

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When to Say No to Your Doctor

The headline above is from an article in the October 2014 issue of  Men's Journal. The article, written by Joseph Hooper, starts with an ominous warning, "Every time you walk into a physician's office, you run the risk of overtreatment: Tests you don't need, medications that are ineffective (or dangerous), procedures that cause more problems than they solve. In many cases the best thing for your health is to do nothing."

Hooper reports that in the US we spend nearly twice as much per person on healthcare as do people in other western European countries, yet our life expectancy is actually several years shorter.  He goes on toreport that the U.S. National Institute of Medicine says that we "...waste $210 billion annually on treatments of no or marginal benefit."

Further strengthening his argument, Hooper continues, "In a study last year, researchers from the Mayo Clinic went through 10 years of the New England Journal of Medicine, from 2001 through 2010. Of the established tests and procedures reevaluated in studies in the journal, 40 percent were found to be worthless."

The problem pointed out in the article is that procedures and tests are being done to find things that are marginally abnormal which initiates treatments and medications that are both dangerous and ineffective. Dr. Gilbert Welch, a professor at Dartmouth's Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, points out, "As doctors, we have focused on the few we might be able to help. The time has come for us to give equal attention to the many who are dragged through the process unnecessarily."

The article recommends several books including one by Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, titled How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. Dr. Brawley is quoted as saying, "In the U.S., we don't stress preventing disease. We stress finding disease early and treating it, which is a shame."

In response to this article, Dr. Michael McLean, president of the International Chiropractors Association and practicing chiropractor in Virginia Beach, Va., commented, "One of the problems with the healthcare system in the U.S. is that it has primarily been a one-option system." McLean continued, "Many people are not even aware that there is a choice in types of care. Chiropractic has always offered an affordable and safe alternative to the much more expensive and hazardous allopathic model. Chiropractic is not only for people with symptoms, but is even more beneficial as a lifestyle choice that leads to being healthy. This should be preferable over merely treating illness after it has been detected." 

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Resolution of Plantar Fasciitis with Chiropractic - A Case Study

On Oct. 6, 2014, a case study was published in the journal Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the case of a patient with plantar fasciitis being helped with chiropractic care.  According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes."

The study authors note how common this issue is by reporting that  in the United States, 2 million people are affected by this disorder, and it accounts for more than one million visits to foot specialists and primary care physicians each year.  They also report that there is discussion about whether this condition is inflammation or degeneration in nature. In either case, the authors consider this issue to be biomechanical in nature and therefore well within the chiropractic area.

This case involved a 23-year-old woman who went to the chiropractor complaining of bilateral foot pain. She had been medically diagnosed previously with plantar fasciitis. The pain was severe and was determined to be between a 7 and 8 out of 10 (ten being worst) on many days. Her podiatrist prescribed orthotics, and gave her foot stretching exercises to do each morning. She was also taking ibuprofen daily to deal with the pain.

The woman described her pain as worse in the morning with the right foot being more painful than her left. She also reported that although she had been a jogger, she was no longer able to jog due to the pain. Other daily activities were also being affected by her condition. She was even forced to wear only tennis shoes in order to minimize the pain when walking.

A chiropractic and orthopedic examination was performed. The results of the orthopedics test did not reveal any results.  However, the chiropractic examination did show multiple issues related to the spine and pelvis. Based on the history and the results of the chiropractic examination, it was determined that multiple areas of subluxations were present, and a course of chiropractic care was begun. The patient was also given exercises to perform at home.

After only one chiropractic visit, the patient reported significant relief and stated, "The pain is less and I can walk with significant less pain."  After 10 visits, an update was done on the patient to check her progress. In that update she proclaimed that she "...has not had any exacerbations, her feet feel strong, more stable and great." Shortly thereafter the patient was able to resume light jogging and wear any shoe she wanted.

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Concussion Patient Helped with Chiropractic Care

The Nov. 3, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study of a young woman who had suffered a concussion being helped with chiropractic care.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, "A concussion may occur when the head hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head. A concussion is a minor or less severe type of brain injury, which may also be also called a traumatic brain injury. A concussion can affect how the brain works for awhile. It may lead to a bad headache, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness."

The study authors point out that much of the discussion about concussions has involved sports with football being singled out.  They report that, currently, more than 3,000 professional football players are suing the NFL for not properly educating them on the risk of brain injury while playing football.  Children who play sports are also at risk as the study points out that estimates suggest that 5,000 American children are injured or die from sports related concussions per year.

In this study, the concussion was not caused by a sports injury. This is the case of a 15-year-old girl who was struck on the head by a falling van rear door. She was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a concussion. Twenty-eight days after her injury, she was brought to the chiropractor suffering from pain on the back portion of her head, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.

Prior to her injury, the young girl played high school hockey. As a precaution related to her sport, she was given a pre-injury ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) concussion test, which could be used to access her norm should she suffer a concussion playing hockey. As it turned out, this test prior to her injury would help access her progress after her injury.

An extensive chiropractic and neurological examination was performed which included palpation, range of motion, nerve tests, surface EMG, and thermography.  X-rays taken at the hospital after the accident showed a slight reversal of the normal forward neck curve. From these findings, it was determined that subluxations were present in multiple areas of her spine.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct her subluxations. After her first adjustment, the patient reported immediate relief. She continued to report improvement by her fourth chiropractic visit. After her ninth visit to the chiropractor, the patient had another  ImPACT test performed which showed that she had improved so much that her score was higher than the score she had received prior to her injury. By her thirteenth visit, the girl reported that she had not had any more headaches and that her difficulty concentrating had completely resolved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case report reviews the benefits of chiropractic care in the management of a patient with concussion. By correcting the patientís spinal subluxations with specific chiropractic adjustments her symptoms were alleviated. The patient's cognitive function was tested and shown to be at a level higher than before her injury."

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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Immune Function Improved with Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on Oct. 9, 2014, documenting the resolution of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis through chiropractic care.  The study authors explain, "Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), also known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or Juvenile Chronic Arthritis, is a chronic inflammatory disease that can begin anywhere from infancy to age 17. "

The study points out that "There are four main subtypes of JIA including oligoarticular, polyarticular, systemic onset, and enthesitis-related. This case focuses on oligoarticular JIA, which is defined as JIA that effects up to four joints. The average onset of oligoarticular JIA is 5 years of age and is predominant in the female population."

In this case, a 15-year-old girl went to the chiropractor complaining of lower back pain and joint pain. Her history also revealed that she was suffering from digestive dysfunction, seasonal allergies, diarrhea, and significant abdominal pain.  She was diagnosed with JIA at the age of twelve and was given Nabumetone and Neurontin by a medical doctor.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a weight-bearing postural evaluation, spinal range of motion, muscle testing, reflex testing, and palpation. After reviewing all the results from the examination procedures, it was determined that the underlying problem was from multiple vertebral subluxations.

A set of specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to help correct the subluxations. After six weeks of chiropractic care, the rheumatologist stated that the girlís JIA was in remission. Her rheumatologist then recommended that she discontinue  her medications.  A follow-up blood test revealed that her white blood cell count was within normal limits.

The study results recorded that, "At the latest reassessment, the patient shared that she is no longer taking medication for allergies and asthma as the symptoms have resolved. She also stated that her bowel movements have been of regular consistency with no abdominal pain."

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