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January 2016

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Pediatric Headaches and Neck Pain Resolved with Chiropractic Care

Published on January 7, 2016, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, is a documented case of an 8-year-old girl suffering from chronic headaches being helped by chiropractic.   The study reports that between one-third and one-half of school age children from 8 through 15 reported experiencing headaches.

Recurring headaches in children can have a profound effect on their school, their activity, and their interactions with family and friends. Most of the drugs used to treat children's headaches were never approved for usage in children. Several studies show that between 29% to 41% of children with headaches used alternative,  non-medical forms of care including chiropractic.

This study documented the case of an 8-year-old girl who was suffering with neck pains and headaches. The problems seemed to have started 8 months earlier with the neck pain getting progressively worse while the headaches remained constant. The medical recommendation for this child was to take Tylenol, which provided only minor temporary relief. Her history included an incident where, as an infant, she had fallen off of a counter onto the floor.

A chiropractic examination showed that the girl carried her head in a forward position rather than a normal upright posture. The girl's range of motion in her neck was decreased, and there were several areas of trigger points noticed in her upper back and neck. The conclusion of the examination was that subluxations were present.

Chiropractic care was given to address the subluxations. The results of the care were positive for the young girl. After four visits, the study showed that the girl no longer suffered from her neck pain or her headaches. 

In the conclusion of this study, the authors wrote, "This case report described the successful care of a child with cervicogenic headaches. This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in children suffering from neck pain and cervicogenic headaches."

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Hypothyroidism Improved Under Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on December 10, 2015, documenting chiropractic helping a patient suffering hypothyroidism.  WebMD describe this condition by saying, "Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone."

The study notes that hypothyroidism is the number one endocrinological condition seen world-wide. People with hypothyroidism can typically experience joint pain, cold intolerance, constipation, depression, difficulty concentrating, dry skin, fatigue, hair thinning, hair loss, memory impairment, muscle pain, weakness and weight gain. Medical treatment of this condition is typically medications given to replace the hormone not being produced by the thyroid.

This case involved a 44-year-old woman who went to the chiropractor for primary complaints of pain in the upper back and between the shoulders. These problems seemed to be the result of an automobile accident she was involved in 23 years prior. The accident was a severe head-on collision which resulted in loss of consciousness and some amnesia. She was taking a thyroid medication for her thyroid problem.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included postural inspection, palpation, surface EMG, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination showed a loss of the normal neck curvature and the presence of subluxations. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of three visits per week for a month after which the frequency of visits was reduced. 

After one month of care, the patient came into the chiropractor's office with her teeth chattering, her hands shaking, and the signs of tremors. The chiropractor suggested that the woman return to her endocrinologist to be retested for her thyroid issue. The results of that testing showed that her thyroid had regained enough function that the endocrinologist recommended a reduction in the woman's medication. 

At the six month point of her care, the patient showed significant functional and structural improvements, and her neck curvature returned to a near normal forward curvature. In their conclusion, the authors reported that chiropractic, "...treatment regimen is shown to be effective in reducing vertebral subluxation as well as improve cervical curve in a 44-year-old patient with hypothyroidism. The reduction in signs and symptoms of VSC (vertebral subluxation complex), in this case, correlated to a reduction in hypothyroid symptoms and an overall increase in thyroid function."

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Neck Curve and Quality of Life Improved Under Chiropractic Care

On December 7, 2015, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study documenting the case of a patient with an arthritic reversed neck curve being helped with chiropractic. 

The authors of the study begin by noting the importance of proper curvatures in the spine.  As viewed from the side, the spine should have a forward curve, known as lordosis in the neck; a rearward curve, known as kyphosis, in the middle back; and another lordosis curve in the lower back.  These normal curvatures are essential to properly distribute forces through the body.

Without a proper curvature in the neck, forces of daily activity can create multiple structural and functional problems in the neck including subluxations. According to research, a number of conditions and symptoms have been linked to the loss of neck curvature. These include mechanical neck pain, cervical-brachial neuralgia, vascular headaches, migraine headaches, cervicogenic headache, numbness, vertigo, nausea, airway obstruction, suboccipital pain, occipital neuralgia, numbness or tingling, muscle spasms, and decreased neck range of motion.

In this case, a 31-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief. His complaints included arthritis in his neck, stabbing pain in ribs, and numbness/tingling in both hands. He reported that his neck problems had started 8 years earlier and caused a sharp stabbing pain. He reported that rotating and popping his neck gave him some temporary relief.  He was also suffering from sleep issues and fatigue as well as shortness of breath, heartburn, and depression.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included palpation, range of motion, heart rate variability testing, surface electromyography, thermal scans and spinal x-rays. The tests were performed to detect the presence of subluxation as well as to monitor the body's response to care.

Specific chiropractic care was started at the rate of three visits per week for the first month. After 7 weeks of care, the patient reported improvement in his symptoms with an overall decrease in his symptoms. He felt his posture had improved and he was holding his head higher, slouching less, and he found it easier to keep straight up.

Follow up testing showed improvement in all the objective tests that were performed. Neck x-rays showed a return to normal of the man's neck curvature, demonstrating that his spinal and neural integrity had improved.

In their discussion, the authors of this study note the importance of a proper neck curvature by stating, "Improvement in cervical lordosis or restoration of the cervical curve has been associated with various outcomes in the literature. It has been suggested that restoration of normal spinal curves leads to improved health outcomes, pain reduction, increased function, and improved quality of life."

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Resolution of Mortonís Neuroma in Foot with Chiropractic

A documented case study published in the January 4, 2016, issue of the  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research describes the case of a elderly woman suffering with the foot problem, Morton's Neuroma, being resolved by chiropractic.

In describing this condition, the Mayo Clinic website states, "Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton's neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes."

The authors of this case study note that chiropractic care is not the treatment of feet. The goal of chiropractic is to allow the body to heal itself. They describe, "The goal of chiropractic care is to optimize the bodyís function by restoring nerve system integrity through the correction of vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxation can be defined as 'a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health'."

In this case, a 63-year-old woman went to the New Zealand College of Chiropractic Clinic with a variety of symptoms. She noted that she had been suffering from  right foot numbness and tingling for ten years, as well as neck and low back pain for as long as she could remember. Additionally, she reported headaches for the past three years.

A chiropractic examination was performed for the presence of subluxations. Care was started for correction of her subluxations at the rate of three visits per week for a month. The results of the study showed that by the second visit the patient was noticing an increased overall range of body motion. She also reported that her posture had improved by about visit 5 or 6.

By the 10th visit, the woman reported that the numbness in her toes had been corrected. This was followed by complete resolution of the toes tingling by the next visit. At the one month point of care, she reported improvements in walking, standing, sitting, lying, sleeping, digestion, and exercise.

In their discussion, the authors of the study summed up this case by saying, "This case study reports on the positive improvement in a 63-year-old woman with Mortonís neuroma receiving chiropractic care. This case study adds to the growing body of evidence that chiropractic care can positively influence the physical health and function of individuals with Mortonís neuroma."

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Infant Diagnosed with Failure to Thrive Helped with Chiropractic

The December 17, 2015, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study documenting the case of an infant who was medically diagnosed with failure to thrive being helped with chiropractic. 

The authors of the study describe failure to thrive (FTT) as infants who cannot maintain growth or have inadequate growth. The condition is fairly common affecting approximately 3-10% of children attending care in a hospital setting and 5-10% of children attended to in a primary care setting.

This may be due to disease, or not enough calories in the infant's diet or even an infant that burns too many calories. The study reports that 80% of all cases have no known underlying medical conditions for the FTT. Because of the lack of clear medical treatment, the study reports that many parents turn to alternatives such as chiropractic, in these situations.

In this case, a 5-month-old infant girl with a medical diagnosis of "failure to thrive" was brought to the chiropractor. The infant girl was also suffering with inconsolable crying, chronic diarrhea, and was dangerously underweight.

The infant's mother reported that her daughter's problems began at the age of two months when she was brought to the pediatrician for a stomach virus, oral thrush, and loose green stools.  Medication was prescribed but was ineffective as the infant  continued to suffer from green-colored diarrhea and weight loss for the next six weeks.

The problem worsened to the point that the medical recommendation to the infantís mother was surgical insertion of feeding tubes into her childís stomach. It was at this point that the mother decided to try chiropractic for her daughter.

A chiropractic examination revealed the presence of subluxations in the infant's upper neck. Subluxations can cause interference to normal nerve function and have an effect on overall physiology.   Chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct the subluxations and restore normal nerve function.

After the the infant's first chiropractic adjustment, her mother noted that her daughter slept  several hours continuously, without waking up and crying.  After the third adjustment, the child stopped the daily screaming, and her stools started to return to normal. After one week of care, the child had gained 2 oz.  Each successive week, the child's rate of weight gain continued to increase until the child had returned to a normal weight.  A five year follow-up showed that the child was normal, in good heath, and properly developed for her age.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, " This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with a failure to thrive. We encourage further research and theoretical development on this approach to patient care vis a vis the detection and removal of spinal subluxation."

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Why Cancer Screening Has Never Been Shown to Save Lives

Above is the title of an article in the January 6, 2016, issue of the British Medical Journal, (BMJ). The article points to the statistics showing that screening for cancer does not seem to have an impact on overall survival rates for those who underwent screenings.

According to the researchers, most all studies looking at survival rates examine only the death rate from the cancer that the patients were screened for. Within these specific parameters, the survival rates from death from those particular cancers is improved. However, the overall survival rate from all forms of death is no better in those screened for cancer than those who are not.

The BMJ article begins by explaining, "Despite growing appreciation of the harms of cancer screening, advocates still claim that it 'saves lives.' This assertion rests, however, on reductions in disease specific mortality rather than overall mortality".

Two of the reasons cited in the study to explain why the mortality rate does not improve with screening is the possible harm from the test themselves, and over diagnosis. In some cases, abnormal cells are diagnosed and treated even though they would have never become cancerous.

In a January 7, 2016, Reuters news article on the BMJ study, lead author,  Dr. Vinay Prasad of Oregon Health and Science University, stated, "It is clearly the case that some deaths unrelated to cancer are due to screening, whether from complications of procedures or treatment of cancer." He continued, "Yet because of screening, a person may undergo surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and more to treat it Ė all those treatments have side effects."

For many years, cancer screening has been heavily promoted by the medical profession. Dr. Prasad offered his opinion of this tactic by saying, "There used to be ads saying if a woman hadnít had a mammogram, she needed more than her breasts examined. The fact that the medical profession promoted screening so strongly, when it was always a balancing act, when it was always a personal choice, is really shameful."

In their conclusion, the study authors wrote, "We encourage healthcare providers to be frank about the limitations of screeningóthe harms of screening are certain, but the benefits in overall mortality are not. Declining screening may be a reasonable and prudent choice for many people."

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