Asthma Resolved and Medication Discontinued After Chiropractic
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on September 5, 2016, documenting the case of a young patient suffering from asthma and headaches being helped by chiropractic.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing." They estimate that currently 25 million people suffer with this problem.
The number of asthma cases and the impact on healthcare has continued to increase. The authors of the study report that in 2011, 1.8 million people visited an emergency room with the chief complaint of asthma. Additionally, 14.2-million people visited a general physician and reported asthma as their primary reason for the visit.
In this case, a 15-year-old boy with a chief complaint of asthma was brought to the chiropractor. In addition, he also reported stiffness in his neck and back, and muscle spasms. He also suffered from frequent headaches.
For the previous 7 or 8 years, the boy was reportedly taking three to five medications per day and using an inhaler as needed. If the boy was suffering from a cold or experienced a coughing attack, he was instructed to use his nebulizer three times a day in addition to a steroid taken orally once a day.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included inspection, palpation, a thermographic study, and both static and motion x-rays. Based upon the findings of the examination procedures, specific chiropractic adjustments were started on the boy's spine.
The study records that after the second chiropractic adjustment, the boy reported decreased difficulty in breathing. Improvement continued, and after three months of care, the boy was able to discontinue all medications. The boy's MD suggested he carry his inhaler in case of emergency, but several months later, the boy discontinued on his own accord. The study reports that his headaches also were completely resolved.
FDA Warns Against Using Ovarian Cancer Screening Tests
The above headline comes from a September 7, 2016, article published on the medical informational website Medscape. The article, as well as several others in the news, stem from an FDA report released on September 8, 2016, titled, "Ovarian Cancer Screening Tests: Safety Communication - FDA Recommends Against Use."
The FDA warning notes that doctors should not recommend the screening tests to women due to the high likelihood that the test will yield inaccurate results and lead to unneeded treatments or the lack of preventative measures. In what was called a safety communication, the FDA stated, "Despite extensive research and published studies, there are currently no screening tests for ovarian cancer that are sensitive enough to reliably screen for (the cancer) without a high number of inaccurate results."
The FDA website provided background information on ovarian cancer by noting, "Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in or near the ovaries grow and form a malignant (cancerous) tumor. In the United States, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women."
In stating the findings for issuing this warning, the FDA explained, " Based on the FDA's review of available clinical data from ovarian cancer screening trials and recommendations from healthcare professional societies and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, available data do not demonstrate that currently available ovarian cancer screening tests are accurate and reliable in screening asymptomatic women for early ovarian cancer."
The FDA issued several recommendations for both women and for doctors. For women, the recommendations include, "Be aware that there is currently no safe and effective ovarian cancer screening test. Do not rely on ovarian cancer screening test results to make health or treatment decisions."
To doctors, the FDA makes the recommendation that physicians, "Do not recommend or use tests that claim to screen for ovarian cancer in the general population of women. Be aware that testing higher risk asymptomatic patients for ovarian cancer has no proven benefit and is not a substitute for preventive actions that may reduce their risk."
Woman with Vertigo Helped by Chiropractic
On August 25, 2016, a study was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the case of a woman suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo being helped by chiropractic. The term vertigo is often interchanged with dizziness. However, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is more exactly described as a spinning sensation perceived with changes of head position and movement.
BPPV is fairly common. The Vestibular Disorders Association reports that this problem occurs in 107 out of 100,000 people per year. Over a lifetime, about 2.4 percent of the population will suffer this condition, which is more common in women than men.
In this case, a 33-year-old female teacher presented herself to the chiropractor. She was suffering with BPPV. According to the woman, her vertigo was constant, aggravated by movement, and she was unable to find relief. She described the feeling like being on a cruise ship all day, and she was nauseous. She was unable to walk fast or make sudden movements without making the problem worse. She was unable to drive and had to be driven to her appointments. The woman also reported that, additionally, she was experiencing neck and lower back pain.
In the preceding seven years, the woman had experienced three prior episodes of vertigo. It was reported that her medical doctor "shook her head" and the vertigo was relieved. When her new episode occurred, her MD prescribed medication which the woman refused to take since she was nursing her baby.
A chiropractic examination was performed consisting of palpation, thermal scans, a surface EMG study, and spinal x-rays. It was determined that vertebral subluxations were present and a program of specific chiropractic adjustment were initiated.
The case study reports that by the third chiropractic visit, the woman was experiencing fewer vertigo episodes. Additionally, her neck and back pain had decreased. The woman continued to improved, and by the fourth visit, she was able to drive herself to the office for her appointment. By the 14th visit, the vertigo had resolved and the woman no longer had any of her original symptoms.
In their conclusion, the authors explain how chiropractic helps patients suffering with vertigo by stating, "The various connections between vertebral subluxation, the vestibular system, and altered neurological responses have been explored. It is therefore suggested that those suffering with vertigo seek chiropractic care before resolving to medication or surgery, as chiropractic adjustments address the cause of neurological dysfunction, rather than masking symptoms."
Breathing and Strength Problems Improved in Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Chiropractic
A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 18, 2016, showed how chiropractic helped improve the quality of life for a patient with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by showing improvement in breathing and muscle strength.
The study begins by defining MS by saying, "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system that is demyelinating and inflammatory in nature and is characterized by patchy sclerosis of the central nervous system (CNS)." They note that MS affects 400,000 people in the United States and over 2 million people worldwide. Half of those with MS also experience depression, and almost all patients with MS have a shortened life expectancy.
Some of the symptoms associated with MS can include numbness in the extremities, fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, vision loss, blurred vision, loss of coordination, gait alteration, seizures, mood swings, depression, tremors, impaired bladder control, and loss of sphincter control. Medical care for MS is geared around helping patients with the symptoms, as there is no known medical care available for the condition itself.
In this case, a 58-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was confined to a wheelchair and had been diagnosed with MS. Her history shows that she was suffering with constant, severe, throbbing pain in her left hip for 6 years. Additionally she reported suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, wrist pain, irritability, constipation, sinus problems, cold feet, cold hands, tension, dry skin, heat and cold intolerances, tingling sensation in her arms, shoulder pain, shortness of breath, depression, and difficulty urinating.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual and postural inspection, spinal x-rays, and thermographic studies to check for heat variations. In addition her respiratory volume levels were checked and her hand grip strength was measured.
Specific chiropractic care was begun to address the subluxations determined to be present in the woman's spine. Care was rendered over a 10 week period consisting of 30 total visits. After this period, a re-evaluation was performed.
The re-evaluation x-rays showed a notable spinal improvement. Additionally, the woman's respiratory volume had measurably improved. Her grip strength also improved, with her left-hand grip strength improving from 2.8 lbs to 12 lbs, and her right-hand grip strength improved from 3.0 lbs to 8.0 lbs.
The results of this study were consistent with other studies of MS patients under chiropractic care. The authors cited several other studies showing chiropractic helping patients with MS. In one reported study, researchers found that 90.9% of MS patients in that study showed symptomatic improvement and no further progression in the MS disease process while under chiropractic care.
In explaining a possible mechanism for why MS patients can be helped by chiropractic, the authors stated, "A properly functioning immune system will prevent MS development or can even initiate healing within the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to restore immune system integrity to a normal state."
Improvement in Autistic Behaviors Following Chiropractic Care - A Case Series
In the August 11, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a published case series showing chiropractic helping four children suffering from autistic behavioral symptoms.
The authors of this study explain that the vegus nerve is a major controlling pathway for the parasympathetic nerve system. It is the parasympathetic system that has been shown to have a broad effect over autism-like behaviors and problems. This study looks at three children to see if correcting subluxations affecting the vegus nerve can have a positive effect on children suffering with autism behaviors.
The first child was a 7-year-old boy with a variety of autism related symptoms who was diagnosed with high functioning autism. After eight chiropractic visits, it was reported by his mother that her son seemed to have a decrease in looks of confusion and an increase in talking. Additionally, his mother also reported a decrease in bed-wetting and a decrease in response to food allergies, as well as being less picky in food choices. His mother also noted that her son won the most improved student award, to which she commented, "I cried, because I just never expected him to win an award like this."
The second patient was a 5-year-old girl also diagnosed with high functioning autism. In this case, her mother reported a decrease in constipation as well as improvement in auditory and processing skills. The girl was given an "Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist" test after four months of chiropractic care. This test showed that the girl had improved in all four areas tested, which include speech/language communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical/behavior.
The third patient was a 4-year-old boy also with high functioning autism, who, according to his father, was better able to throw a baseball after chiropractic. It was also reported that the boy showed improvement in initiating conversations with adults and children at his school, and had improved eye contact. These improvements allowed him to begin to participate in after-school activities.
The fourth child patient was a 4-year-old boy suffering with oculomotor apraxia. The authors described this condition by stating, "Oculomotor apraxia is a condition in which the child must turn their heads in order to follow their eyes, which cause a clumsy gait and difficulty in learning motor skills." The boy also suffered with seizures and motor skill delays. After chiropractic care, the child was better able to run. He also showed improvement in his endurance, being able to walk at an aquarium for 5 hours. Additionally, it was reported that the boy was able to nap better, had less moody outbursts, and less apprehension.
In their conclusion, the authors explained chiropractic's role in helping these children by stating, "The social engagement system controlled by the vagus nerve has significant potential ramifications for a child on the autistic spectrum or with other neurodevelopmental issues. As seen in the four above cases, each child showed significant behavioral improvements, which may be in part due to activation of the vagus nerve, thereby activating the social engagement portion of that nerve."
America's Other Drug Problem: Too Many Prescriptions for Elderly
The headline above comes from an article published on September 4, 2016, in the Los Angeles Daily News. The article was originally produced on August 30, 2016, by Kaiser Health News, and highlights the over usage of prescription medication on seniors.
The article begins with observations by Dominick Bailey, a clinical pharmacist specializing in geriatric care at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. In performing his job of reviewing medication that the patients are taking, he noted several medications for elderly patients that were contraindicated and could cause harm. One 74-year-old patient, who had a history of multiple health problems, was on 36 different medications. Bailey's reactions was, "This is actually a little bit alarming."
Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit also at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, commented, "This is America's other drug problem-polypharmacy, and the problem is huge."
The article reports that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the elderly account for about 35 percent of hospital stays. However, they note that over half experience drug-related complications causing hospital stays to be extended by an average of about three days.
One of the issues pointed out in the article is that many medications are being given to the elderly with no time line to ever consider discontinuing them. "There's a tendency in medicine every time we start a medicine to never stop it," stated Dr. Ken Covinsky, University of California, San Francisco researcher and physician.
One of Bailey's responsibilities at the UCLA Medical Center is to reduce the number of medications the elderly are taking. He also explains his concepts to other pharmacists and young interns at his center. In one such exchange, he explained that there is a fundamental difference on how drugs affect older people, "As you know, our elderly are already at risk for an accumulation of drugs in their body," he told the group. "If you put a drug that has a really long half-life, it is going to last even longer in our elderly."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among older Americans (aged 60 and over), more than 76% used two or more prescription drugs, and 37% used five or more.