Chiropractic Utilization Increasing in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a release on June 20, 2016, with the headline, "New Study Reports Substantial Growth in the Use of Chiropractic Care by the Department of Veterans Affairs." The new study appeared in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).
The F4CP begins by reporting that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has included chiropractic services as part of the standard medical benefits package offered to all enrolled veterans for more than a decade. The chiropractic care has been available at VA facilities by doctors of chiropractic employed through the VA to offer their services.
As a result, the JMPT study showed a 700 percent increase in chiropractic utilizations over that time period. In the F4CP release, lead author of the JMPT study, Anthony J. Lisi, DC, Director of the VA Chiropractic Program, and Chiropractic Section Chief at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System commented, "Our work shows that VA has steadily and substantially increased its use of chiropractic services each year following their implementation in late 2004."
The study revealed several facts relative to chiropractic utilization at the VA. The number of patients seen yearly in VA chiropractic clinics increased by 821 percent. As a result, the number of chiropractic visits grew by 693 percent annually. Additionally, the total number of VA chiropractic clinics increased by 9 percent each year, and the number of chiropractor employees increased yearly by 21 percent.
Dr. Sherry McAllister, a chiropractor and executive vice president of the F4CP, commented on the study, "The growing utilization of chiropractic services among veterans for pain management and other health concerns, particularly those in the Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and older adult populations, showcases the clear-cut demand for chiropractic care and is a direct reflection of the improved clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores that have been documented previously."
The chiropractic VA program was initially mandated by an act of the US Congress. However, the growth of the program was driven by the need for care and the VA responding to that need. Dr. McAllister noted, "We commend VA for its participation in ongoing chiropractic research to help further improve the health and well-being of our respected and valued veterans."
Headaches, and Arm Pain Resolved with Chiropractic
The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition documenting the resolution of long term migraine headaches, tension headaches, and arm pain through chiropractic.
According to the study authors, headaches are the most common neurological problem affecting people. According the World Health Organization, about 47 percent of the population will suffer at least one headache in any given year. Headaches can affect any age group. The study reports that there have been numerous studies showing chiropractic being effective for patients suffering from headaches. However, they note that few studies are available on chiropractic helping the elderly with headaches.
In this study, an 89-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for care. The man was suffering from chronic daily tension-type headaches in the front of his head. His headaches had developed into incapacitating migraine headaches every 2 to 3 weeks over the past several years. He also reported suffering from years of chronic right arm and neck pain.
The man's history included significant trauma, including multiple motor vehicle accidents in 1957 and 1962 in which he suffered fractures in his right arm and spine respectively. The man was a World War II veteran and had suffered a blast injury during an artillery bombardment.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, a postural and balance assessment, range of motion (ROM), orthopedic and neurological tests, muscle strength and stretch reflexes tests, and sensory and cranial nerve testing. Spinal x-rays were also performed.
Based on the examination findings and x-rays, the diagnosis given was "...chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines without aura, musculoskeletal neck and arm pain, and concomitant vertebral subluxations." Chiropractic care was started using a specific adjusting protocol to address the subluxations found.
The study reports that following the first adjustment the patient almost immediately noticed a considerable decrease in the intensity and frequency of his headaches, and arm and neck pain. After six weeks of care, the patient reported that he was continuing to improve and that his headaches were no longer daily and were much less in severity. He also noted that he had not gotten any migraine headaches.
After 12 weeks of care, the patient reported a complete cessation of all headaches and migraines, and also that his arm pain had completely subsided. He commented that he felt a lot more comfortable walking and he had more energy for daily activities. In a one-year follow up, the man reported no further headaches, neck pain, or arm pain.
In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case study describes the presentation, chiropractic care provided, and outcomes of care of an 89-year-old male experiencing medically diagnosed chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines and co-existing musculoskeletal neck and arm pain. The patient reported a cessation of longstanding headaches and musculoskeletal complaints after 12 weeks of - chiropractic care."
Special Needs Children
Helped with Chiropractic -
A Case Series
On June 16, 2016, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case series documenting the positive effects of chiropractic care for eight special needs children. The study authors report that the number of special needs children is continuing to rise at an alarming rate. "More children each year are being diagnosed with neurodevelopmental challenges ranging from Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder."
The study reports that the rate of autism has risen from 1 in 5000 in 1975, to 1 in 88 as of 2008. The rate of ADHD has risen 16 percent since 2007 to the present where current estimates show that around 10 percent of children ages 4 to 17 are being diagnosed with the condition. The number of children enrolled in Special Ed programs has risen 30 percent in the last 10 years and currently is at 13 percent of all school age kids being in these programs.
In this study, eight children with a variety of special needs were studied to see the results of chiropractic care. Four of the children were seen at a chiropractic university clinic, and four were seen in one of the author's private practices.
Each of the children received chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations that were determined to be present. Each of the eight children showed improvement for their respective neurological issues.
These issues included a 11-year-old girl who had difficulties with reading comprehension, handwriting, and mathematics. After chiropractic care, it was reported that she has now been selected to be tested for the honors program. Two sisters, ages two and four, were suffering from anxiety and speech delays. After chiropractic care, the study documents that the two-year-old girl had improved to the point where she can now be in daycare, and the four-year-old no longer needed speech therapy and was accepted into a prestigious preschool program.
In their summary the authors noted, "Seven out of eight showed improvement that drastically reduced or discontinued one or more other services that they had been a weekly part of their care." One child with Cerebral Palsy showed good improvement but limitations prevented the marked improvements seen by the other children in this study.
Lower Back Pain with
Radiating Pain Down Leg into Foot Helped with Chiropractic
The June 2016 issue of the Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study documenting the case of an elderly woman who had been suffering with pain in her lower back and leg being helped with chiropractic. This case was unique due to the woman having an MRI confirming the presence of a synovial cyst in her lower spine.
A synovial cyst is an uncommon occurrence where a cyst or soft tissue lesion forms inside the spinal column just outside the spinal cord. It is usually found in the lower back and is associated with lower back pain with radiating pain into a leg. It is commonly seen with some amount of spinal degeneration, and is more common in elderly patients. When discovered, the most common form of medical care is surgery.
In this case, a retired 76-year-old woman was suffering for the previous 6 months from pain in her buttocks down her right thigh, down her leg into her right foot. She also reported abnormal sensations in her right leg. With ten being the worst, the woman reported that pain as an eight. Standing and walking made her worse while sitting afforded some minimal relief.
A physical examination was performed which included reflexes and observation. An MRI was performed prior to chiropractic care and showed the presence of a synovial cyst along with a mild amount of spinal degeneration in the lower spine.
Initial chiropractic care was begun on the woman followed by supportive care. The study reports that after only a short course of care, the patient reported a complete resolution of her symptoms.
During a six-month follow-up, it was noted that the patient was still symptom free. At this point, a second MRI was performed to check the status of the cyst. The MRI showed that, although the patient was free from the pain, the cyst did not seem to have changed.
The authors noted that this case puts to question whether or not a synovial cyst is the cause of the pain. They stated, "This case report shows that although symptomatic resolution occurred following conservative care, the synovial cyst may not have resolved. This leaves open the question concerning the mechanism of symptom generation in these cases." They noted the uniqueness of this case and the findings by adding, "This is the first reported case of MR imaging appearances of a lumbar facet synovial cyst pre- and post- successful conservative management resulting in symptomatic resolution."
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with Chiropractic
A case study published in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics documents the recovery of a infant suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) under chiropractic care. According to the Mayo Clinic GERD "...occurs when food backs up (refluxes) from a baby's stomach, causing the baby to spit up."
The author of the study begins by noting that medical care for gastroesophageal reflux disease has not been shown to be effective. One study showed that the most common type of medication used for GERD has been shown to be no more effective that a placebo. Because of this, alternative care such as chiropractic is in great need for babies with this condition.
In this case, a four-month-old baby girl suffering from recurrent regurgitation after feeding was brought to the chiropractor. The baby was exclusively breastfed. The baby did not like being carried and often regurgitated after feeding. She also suffered with frequent crying, belching, interrupted sleep, choking, wheezing while sleeping, fussiness, distended stomach, and excessive intestinal gas.
The girl's mother reported that she noticed these problems from about the second day after birth. In order to better sleep, the baby's mother would place her on an incline mattress. The baby would also regurgitate almost every time her legs were raised to change her diapers.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included visual inspection, testing of reflexes, neurological testing, range of motion of the spine, palpation of the abdomen, and dynamic palpation of all spinal segments. Most of the test were normal. However, the abdomen was distended and areas of restriction were found in the spine. Subluxations were determined to be present and care was initiated.
The result of the care was the complete resolution of the baby's GERD. The baby's distended stomach returned to normal and the wheezing while sleeping stopped.
In the conclusion the author wrote, "Since current evidence fails to support traditional medicinal methods to treat GERD in infants, chiropractic care merits investigation as a safe alternative that might prove more efficient than medication and with fewer side effects."
Infant Benefit from
Chiropractic Care According to UK Study
A study published in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed that a vast majority of parents who brought their infants in for chiropractic care in the United Kingdom were pleased with the results. The study was conducted at the Anglo European College of Chiropractic, Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
This study surveyed parents who brought their children to a university affiliated chiropractic teaching clinic on the southern coast of England. The survey used was a parent reporting outcomes instrument, known as the the United Kingdom Infant Questionnaire (UKIQ).
The study notes that 21 percent of the patients who received care at the Anglo European College of Chiropractic clinic between 2006 and 2010 were pediatric patients. The age ranged from infants to 15 years of age. The study reports that 98 percent of the pediatric patients at the clinic were infants.
The reasons why parents brought their infants for chiropractic care included personal experiences, lack of appropriate treatments available from conventional medicine, and referral from a medical physician.
In this study, every mother of an infant brought in for care was given a 12 question form to fill out. At the completion of care, the mothers were then asked to complete a form with 13 questions. The questions were set to monitor the progress of the child's care and to obtain an overall picture of the baby's complaints or discomfort as well as the mother's concerns.
The most common health concerns for which the infants were brought in for chiropractic care included 21 percent for crying, 20 percent for feeding issues, 19 percent for uncomfortable spine, 16 percent for sleeping issues, 16 percent related to difficult birth or checkup, and 8 percent for head shape issues. Only 25 percent were brought to the chiropractor first while 75 percent had been to medical professionals before chiropractic care.
The survey showed that 97 percent of the mothers who brought their children in for chiropractic care reported a positive improvement in their babies. Of this, 34 percent commented that their infants were "...completely better, like a different baby." During the course of the entire study, no adverse events were reported.