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October 2015

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Osteoarthritis, Mobility, and Quality of Life Improved Under Chiropractic Care

The September 17, 2015, issue of the  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research carried a case study documenting an elderly woman with osteoarthritis and mobility issues being helped with chiropractic care. 

The study authors begin by reporting that osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common of 140 types of arthritis conditions. The elderly are most commonly afflicted with this issue. They note that OA generally involves weight bearing joints such as the feet, knees, hips and the spine. Joint pain with swelling and loss of joint mobility are some of the more common symptoms affecting people with OA. Common medical care for OA includes painkillers, NSAIDS, and steroidal injections.

In this case, an 82-year-old woman went to the chiropractor because she was suffering from pain and swelling in her knee joints resulting in a decrease in mobility.  This problem made it difficult for her to walk and go up stairs. She also reported an irregular gait to her walk and was often in need of a walking stick. She had been suffering with this pain for over 5 years which resulted in considerable emotional stress.

A chiropractic examination was conducted consisting of leg length tests, postural analysis, range of motion, and observation of the lower body joints. X-rays taken of the woman's lower spine and pelvis showed spinal disc degeneration as well as mild osteoporosis. 

Specific chiropractic care was begun to correct subluxations. The authors report that over a period of five and a half months, the woman was checked and adjusted when necessary twice a week. 

Over the course of the care, the woman noted that she was more mobile and had an increased desire and ability to exercise.  She also reported that she was experiencing other improvements in her health including better digestion, better sleep, a feeling of wellbeing, better eating habits, improved toilet habits, and physical stamina.  The woman's initial knee pain had significantly decreased and her spinal range of motion also improved.

In their discussion, the study authors explained how chiropractic care helped this woman as well as many others suffering from OA, "Chiropractic aims to optimize nervous system function thereby improving overall function of the body in response to internal and external factors. By removing interference to the nervous system via adjustments of vertebral subluxation the brain and body are able to communicate better allowing for an increase in health and wellbeing including increased movement and improved lifestyle. This is important in all age groups but is particularly important in older people as the body's susceptibility to impaired function increases."

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New Study Says Humans Are Drowning in Sea of Toxic Chemicals

The headline above comes from an October 7, 2015, article in the Washington State publication, the Sun Valley Chronicle.  The article reports on a Special Communication released by the  International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) on October 1, 2015, in their publication, the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 

The report begins with a warning, "Widespread exposure to toxic environmental chemicals threatens healthy human reproduction."  Some of the negative health outcomes listed by FIGO from chemicals in our environment include: miscarriage and still birth, impaired fetal growth, congenital malformations, impaired or reduced neurodevelopment and cognitive function, and an increase in cancer, attention problems, ADHD behaviors, and hyperactivity.

Dr. Gian Carlo Di Renzo, MD, PhD, Honorary Secretary of FIGO and lead author of the report commented, "We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern."

The report notes that in the U.S. alone, more than 30,000 pounds of chemicals are manufactured or imported  per person. However, the vast majority of these chemicals have not been tested.  On a global scale, the report estimates that nearly 4 million people die each year from exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.

The report suggests that the solution to this crisis in the form of awareness and involvement from all healthcare workers. "FIGO proposes physicians, midwives, and other reproductive health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals; work to ensure a healthy food system for all; make environmental health part of health care; and, champion environmental justice."

The recommendations to help reverse this problem have wide-spread support and have been endorsed by: American College of Nurse-Midwives; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Canadian Association of Midwives; Endocrine Society; European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology; National Aboriginal Council of Midwives; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada; and University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals is a feature of everyday life across the planet, and it harms the capacity for healthy human reproduction."

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Bedwetting Helped with Chiropractic A Case Series

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case series study on October 5, 2015, documenting chiropractic helping two young boys with nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting. The study begins by noting that nocturnal enuresis (NE) is fairly common and estimates that by the age of 5 years, 15% of children will suffer from NE. Twice as many boys have NE than girls.

Because of the stigma of "wetting the bed", NE can lead to psychological and physical abuse from other children. The authors report that conventional medical care such as alarms or medications are either ineffective, or carry a significant risk of side effects. For these reasons, the study authors note that more parents are turning to alternative care such as chiropractic for their child's NE.

This case series reports on 2 young boys who were suffering with NE. The first of the cases involved a 10-year-old boy who was brought to the chiropractor for neck pain following a fall from a trampoline. His history revealed that he had been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at 6-years-old. He was also suffering from NE every night since the age of two.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual inspection, palpation, range of motion, neurological examination, and spinal x-rays. The examination findings were consistent with the presence of vertebral subluxation. Specific chiropractic adjustments were then begun.

In this case, the boy's bedwetting was completely eliminated after the first adjustment. Chiropractic care continued with no setbacks. The boy's mother reported that her son, "...has been lifted to new heights and is now looking forward to sleepovers without fear of embarrassment."

The second case was a 9-year-old boy also diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and suffering from NE for the prior 4 years. This boy also did not have a dry night prior to seeking chiropractic care. His mother brought him to the chiropractor after hearing about the success of the first boy with similar issues.

A chiropractic examination also revealed the presence of subluxations in the boy's spine. Chiropractic adjustments were initiated to address his subluxations. In this case, the boy showed an immediate improvement in the bedwetting, but he suffered a small setback during his care. The chiropractor then made a change in the types of adjustments being delivered to the boy and his bedwetting completely resolved.

In their conclusion of this study, the authors summed up the results by stating, "This case series provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in patients suffering from nocturnal enuresis."

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Resolution of Constipation in Children Following Chiropractic Care - A Case Series

Published in the September 26, 2015, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case series study documenting the resolution of severe constipation in two small children. In both of these cases, the children's conditions were serious enough to have a negative effect on their daily lives.

The study begins by noting that functional constipation accounts for approximately 3% of visits to medical pediatric clinics. In about 40% of these cases, the parents of the children seek some form of alternative care due to the lack of results their child received under medical care.

In the first case, a 3-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. She had been suffering with constipation and had only had one or two bowel movements per week for the last two weeks. Her mother reported that the girl would say she needed to go to the bathroom, but was unable to and was in significant pain. The girl's diet contained lots of vegetables, raw fruit, and plenty of water.

In the second case, a 3-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother with chronic constipation since birth. The mother noticed that her son was "miserable" since the age of 6 weeks. His constipation was so severe that his mother would have to use a rectal thermometer to stimulate bowel movements. The boy's pediatrician provided no real explanation for the child's constipation and no treatment options were offered.

Both the children received chiropractic examinations consisting of various physical and functional analyses. Both children were determined to have subluxations that were affecting nerve system function. Based upon the findings and histories, the children began chiropractic adjustments for corrections of their subluxations.

In the case of the young girl, she experienced regular bowel movements by the fifth chiropractic visit, and did not have a repeat of the constipation problem thereafter. Her mother elected to have her daughter continue chiropractic care on a wellness care basis.

The young boy showed some improvement in the first few visits, though progress was slower but steady. By the 11th chiropractic visit, the boy's rate of bowel movements had dramatically improved. After 6 weeks of chiropractic care and 13 visits, the mother reported that her son was having normal daily bowel movements. The child was placed on wellness care thereafter.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case series provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in children with constipation."

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Neck Pain, Arm Tingling and Frozen Shoulder Gone with Chiropractic

A study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on October 8, 2015 documented the case of an elderly man suffering from neck pain, tingling in his arm, and a frozen shoulder being corrected under chiropractic care.

The study begins by pointing out that neck pain, (cervicalgia) is very common and will affect about 70% of the population at some time. A frozen shoulder, (adhesive capsulitis), is when the shoulder gets progressively stiffer and looses mobility. Studies suggest that this afflicts between 2 to 5% of the population, primarily in females between 40 to 60 years of age.

In this case, a 67-year-old man came to the chiropractor with severe neck pain and tingling down his right arm, which he had been suffering with for 2 years. He rated his pain as an 8 out of 10 in severity.  Additionally, his left shoulder was stiff for the past 20 years, for which he received a previous diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis.

During a chiropractic physical examination, several postural abnormalities were observed. These included a left head tilt with the head being further forward than normal, and restricted motion of his neck. He also had a higher left shoulder and hip, a right foot flare, and an increased curvature in his mid back. Spinal x-rays confirmed multiple spinal problems in the man's spine. Specific chiropractic care was then rendered for correction of subluxations.

By the second visit, the patient noticed a significant reduction of his neck pain, now rating it as only a 5 out of 10.  By the third visit, the man had regained full range of motion of his shoulder joint. After 4 weeks of care, the man rated his neck pain as only a 1 out of 10. Additionally his arm tingling had disappeared and he regained full range of motion of  his shoulder.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "Chiropractic care has been reported to be beneficial to the geriatric population for many conditions including cervicalgia and low back pain.  The findings of this case suggest that chiropractic care... ...for reduction of vertebral subluxations had a positive effect on cervicalgia and adhesive capsulitis in an elderly patient with a complex clinical history."

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Resolution of Cervical Radiculopathy with Chiropractic Care: A Case Report

A case study published in the September 9, 2015, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reports on the resolution of cervical radiculopathy in a 61-year-old woman. WebMD describes this condition by saying, "Cervical radiculopathy is the damage or disturbance of nerve function that results if one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation along the nerve's pathway into the arm and hand, depending on where the damaged roots are located."

The authors of the study note that this problem is prevalent in patients aged 40-60 years, with most cases occurring to individuals in their 60s.  Common medical treatment include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/ or surgery. One of the more common types of care for these problems is chiropractic care.

In this case, a  61-year-old New Zealand woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was suffering from two months of numbness, tingling and a burning sensation in her right arm. She would feel pain up to 12 times per day that lasted several minutes. Additionally, she reported suffering from stiffness in her neck which had started 20 years earlier.

A chiropractic examination revealed multiple vertebral subluxations in her neck and upper mid back, for which chiropractic adjustments were started. The woman received the adjustments at a rate of twice per week for a six week period, at which time a re-evaluation was performed. 

At her re-evaluation, the woman reported greater ease with movement and reduction in numbness.  Additionally, she also mentioned an improvement in her posture, an increase in flexibility, improved walking, standing, lying, sleeping, reduced stress, an increase in alertness and an overall improvement in her state of mind. After 2 months of care, the study reports that the woman's cervical radiculopathy had been completely resolved.

In their discussion, the authors explain how chiropractic  helped in this case by stating, "The correction of the vertebral subluxation can improve radiculopathy and pain sensation, assist with balance, daily activities and movement in older patients." They concluded, "This case reports a reduction in cervical radiculopathy in a geriatric patient receiving chiropractic care. It adds to the growing body of evidence that chiropractic care may be beneficial for some older patients suffering from degenerative conditions."

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