September 2014


Reduction in Blood Pressure with Chiropractic - Study Shows

A study published on August 11, 2014, in the scientific periodical the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, added further evidence showing that chiropractic care has a positive effect on blood pressure. Numerous prior studies showed that people with high blood pressure who received chiropractic care experienced a blood pressure reduction. One study even showed that people who had low blood pressure had their pressure return to normal.

In the opening of the study, the author points out, "According to the American Heart Association, hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases continue to be a leading cause of death in the United States effecting approximately 77.9 million adults." He continues by noting, "The American Heart Association reports high blood pressure was listed as the cause of death or contributed to over 348,000 American deaths in 2009."

In this study, twenty people were randomly divided into two groups. One group, the control group, received a simulated adjustment that sounded real but no movement of the spinal bones occurred. The second group received a real chiropractic adjustment. Follow-up data was taken from all subjects at nearly the same times so as to make the collection of results consistent.  The adjustments given to the subjects were for correction of detected Atlas (top bone in neck) subluxations.

To give both groups in the study the same experience, an instrument was used to render an adjustment to the group that was getting a real adjustment. In the control group, the instrument was set to make sound but not deliver a thrust, therefore simulating a real adjustment. After either the real adjustment or the simulated procedure, all patients were asked to lay on the table for one minute. Afterward, standard post-adjustment procedures were performed to verify that spinal changes occurred in the group that got the real adjustment, while no spinal changes occurred in those who got the simulated adjustment.

The results of the study showed that those who received the real adjustment had a significant reduction in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The control group, who received the simulated adjustment, did not show any statistical change in blood pressure. The effects from the single real adjustment given in this study lasted approximately one month.

In the conclusion of the study, the author states, "In this investigation the correction of Atlas subluxation in the experimental group significantly decreased systolic and diastolic values for up to one month with only one therapeutic intervention." He concludes by suggesting, "The results of this study would suggest there would be a significant benefit in evaluating for and correcting any Atlas subluxation or malposition found in patients that suffer from ABP, (arterial blood pressure)."


Chiropractic Celebrates 119 Years

On September 18, 1895, in Davenport Iowa, the first chiropractic adjustment was given by Dr. DD Palmer to a janitor named Harvey Lillard.  Harvey had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier after hearing a popping sound in his neck while he was scrubbing with his brush.

Upon examining Harvey, Dr. Palmer determined that a bone was out of place in the janitor's neck.  After some discussion, "Dr. DD", as most people called him, decided to move the bone back into place to see if that would help. This primitive first chiropractic adjustment resulted in Harvey getting his hearing back, and the profession of chiropractic was born.

Later, the term "subluxation" was given to spinal vertebrae that were misaligned and causing irritation or pressure on the spinal nerves. DD's son, Dr. BJ Palmer, is credited with being the developer of chiropractic. Over the next six decades, "BJ",  researched and developed chiropractic into the profession it is today.

Dr. BJ Palmer was quite a charismatic man. An August 09, 2014, article on BJ appeared in the The Quad-City Times recanting how BJ was the main celebrity of Davenport for many years. "B.J. Palmer, one of Davenport’s fascinating figures, gathered chiropractors to his campus from over the world in early August of every year. Those were days when an innocent stranger on a street corner might get an unexpected spinal adjustment from a visiting chiropractor," notes article author Bill Wundram. "BJ was colorful, often bombastic. He convened his fellow chiropractors in a circus tent so big that it could hold elephants and the man on the flying trapeze. He called the campus gathering lyceums."

In expanding on the Lyceums of years past, Wundram wrote, "Lyceums had parades, with students carrying spines a half-block long. There also were celebrities. One year, he had Gypsy Rose Lee — a burlesque entertainer of the era famous for her striptease act — on the platform. She was refined and spoke eloquently on the importance of fitness. All the while, BJ took his turn to orate about his divine power to cure all known illnesses through chiropractic. With his trimmed beard and panatela cigar, he was a star. He loved every minute of it."

Many events are planned in chiropractic throughout the world commemorating the discovery of subluxation and the first adjustment. In the state of Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal will be signing a proclamation on September 23rd that declares September to be Subluxation Awareness Month. 


Bedwetting Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

The August 28, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting chiropractic helping a young boy who was suffering from long-term bedwetting. The study begins by pointing out that all infants begin life without the ability to control their bladder. As children grow, they first gain the ability to control their bladder during the day, and then some time afterward, during the night.

Nocturnal enuresis (NE), more commonly known as "bedwetting", is defined in the study as "...the recurrent involuntary passage of urine during sleep by a child aged five years or older who has never achieved consistent night-time dryness."  The authors note that bedwetting also can create self-esteem issues, and can lead to emotional abuse by siblings and parents. Treatment has typically been behavioral therapy, alarm therapy, and pharmacologic therapy. Most of these therapies take quite a long time and are mostly ineffective.

In this case, a ten-year-old boy who was suffering from long-term bedwetting was brought to the chiropractor. He was having the problem regularly and had never gone for more than two or three weeks without an episode. Prior care included behavioral modification and alarm therapy, which was not successful. The problem created considerable embarrassment for the young boy, and he was reluctant to sleep at friends' houses as he was afraid he might wet the bed.

The study reports that a physical examination was performed which included a postural examination, neurological screening, muscle strength and reflex tests, sensory testing, cranial nerve testing, and a chiropractic examination for vertebral subluxations. From the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present in the boy's spine at the upper neck and at the base bone.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were delivered for correction of the subluxations. Chiropractic adjustments were given on a weekly basis and no other form of care was used. By the fourth week of care, the boy's mother reported that her son had only wet the bed once since the care began.  On several other occasions, her son woke up "just in time" to make it to the bathroom.

By the eighth week of chiropractic care, no other episodes of bedwetting had occurred. As a result, the boy felt confident enough to stay overnight at friends' homes. His mother also noted a positive change in his attitude and self esteem. The boy continued to receive chiropractic care on a wellness basis and did not have any bedwetting issues over the next two years.

In the study conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case study adds to the growing body of literature that supports a link between chiropractic care and improvements in NE (nocturnal enuresis)."


Insomnia Drug Linked to Doubling of ED Visits

The headline above is from an August 15, 2014, article in Medscape Multispecialty. The article is based on research released on August 7, 2014, from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. The report showed that overmedicating with insomnia medication has caused a doubling of emergency department visits among the elderly.

The report titled, "Emergency Department Visits Attributed to Overmedication That Involved the Insomnia Medication Zolpidem" showed that from the years 2005 to 2006 up to the years 2009 to 2010, the number of emergency department (ED) visits due to the sleep aids has doubled.  In the years 2005-2006, the report shows that there were 21,824 ED visits due to these drugs. By the years 2009-2010, that number had nearly doubled to 42,274 ED visits due to overmedication of these drugs.

For those who have never heard of Zolpidem, the study explained, "Zolpidem is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for shortterm treatment of insomnia and is the active ingredient in the popular sleep aids Ambien®, Ambien CR®, Edluar®, and Zolpimist."

The study also reported on the dangers of mixing these drugs with other medications. "Researchers previously found that use of zolpidem in combination with other pharmaceuticals or alcohol was associated with increased likelihood of being admitted or transferred to the ICU.10 Findings in this report show that almost half of zolpidemrelated ED visits involving overmedication resulted in hospital admission or transfer. More than two thirds of ED visits that resulted in hospital admission or transfer involved other pharmaceuticals, mostly other CNS depressant medications."

The Medscape article reports that last year the FDA required companies selling this medication to lower their recommended doses by 50% to reduce the reactions people were having. The FDA recomendations went further and stated "...warning that patients who take the sleep medication zolpidem extendedrelease (Ambien CR)—either 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg—should not drive or engage in other activities that require complete mental alertness the day after taking the drug because zolpidem levels can remain high enough the next day to impair these activities."

An article in the New York Times on July 30, 2014, addressed this same issue. In that article, Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, the geriatrician at the University of Montreal, said, "I’m not comfortable writing a prescription for these medications. I haven’t prescribed a sedative-hypnotic in 15 years."

Also from the New York Times article, "There’s a constellation of risks that contribute to falls, and medications are clearly part of it," said Dr. Jerry H. Gurwitz, a geriatrician at the University of Massachusetts Medical School who has studied drug safety in older people. "And high on the list of those medications related to falls and fall-related injuries are sedative-hypnotics."


Urinary Incontinence Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study research article published in the August 24, 2014, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a woman suffering from urinary incontinence and pain being helped by chiropractic.  The study authors begin by noting that urinary incontinence is a relatively common condition where the bladder empties involuntarily.  They also report that the International Continence Society defines urinary continence as the "...complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine." 

This condition affects approximately 13 million Americans with the large majority, 85 percent,  being women.  Some estimates say that 50% or more of elderly persons living at home or in a long-term care facility suffer from urinary incontinence.  Medical care for urinary incontinence consists mainly of drug therapy or surgery.  Both approaches have limited success and come with possible significant side effects and risks.

In this case, a 63-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with complaints of neck pain, mid back pain, and lower back pain which made standing difficult. At the time of her chiropractic visit, she was taking a beta blocker as well as medication for her overactive bladder.

An examination was performed which included range of motion, a postural analysis, and spinal x-rays. The results showed several postural abnormalities, along with abnormal curvatures in her spine.  The authors noted that the woman's neck x-rays revealed a loss of the normal forward curve when looked at on the side view. From the findings, it was determined that the woman had multiple vertebral subluxations present in her spine.

Chiropractic care was started which included specific chiropractic adjustments at the rate of three times per week for the correction of her subluxations. In this study, the care continued for twenty-two visits over fifty-four days.

The results showed that after the fifty-four day period, there was a complete resolution of the woman's neck and lower back pain.  Her mid-back pain minimally persisted with the rating being only 1 out of ten in severity.  Although the woman did not seek chiropractic care for this issue, she reported a complete resolution of her  urinary incontinence. She was also able to discontinue the medication she was taking for this condition. She even reported that her bowels were functioning better. Follow-up spinal x-rays showed that the woman's spinal curvatures underwent considerable improvement. 

In their conclusion, the authors of the study wrote, "This case shows improvement in subject and objective measurements after conservative chiropractic care." They also report that chiropractic care "...may indeed help patients with neurological problems, including urinary incontinence."


Females Ignored in Basic Medical Research - Experts Say

The September 2014 issue of the scientific journal Surgery, published a study from Northwestern University titled, "Sex bias exists in basic science and translational surgical research."  In the opening of their paper, the researchers state the purpose of their study by saying, "Although the Revitalization Act was passed in 1993 to increase enrollment of women in clinical trials, there has been little focus on sex disparity in basic and translational research. We hypothesize that sex bias exists in surgical biomedical research."

The study triggered several articles in the media including an August 28, 2014, article in Science Daily with the title,  "Females ignored in basic medical research, experts say." Melina R. Kibbe, M.D., senior author of the study and a vascular surgeon at Northwestern Medicine® said, "Women make up half the population, but in surgical literature, 80 percent of the studies only use males."

The problem is that the physiologies of men and women are different. This means that the results of research on men, male animals, or male cells may not reflect what will happen when the medical procedure is applied to females. "Requiring the sex of animals and cells is a very small thing to ask of authors," Kibbe said. "It should be a requirement of all medical journals." 

Some of the points brought out in the study as reported by the Science Direct article included:

  • 22 percent of publications using animals did not state the sex studied.
  • In studies that stated the sex of the animal, 80 percent used male animals, 17 percent used females, and 3 percent used both.
  • Most of the studies using cell research did not specify the sex (76 percent).
  • In cell research that did specify the sex, 71 percent used only male cells, 21 percent only female cells, and 7 percent used cells from both sexes.
  • Only 1 percent of studies reported sex-based results. In female-prevalent diseases, 44 percent did not report the sex; when reported, only 14 percent studied females.

In the study conclusion, the authors summed up their concerns by saying, "Sex bias, be it overt, inadvertent, situational, financial, or ignorant, exists in surgical biomedical research. Because biomedical research serves as the foundation for subsequent clinical research and medical decision-making, it is imperative that this disparity be addressed because conclusions derived from such studies may be specific to only one sex."


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