August 2017

Chronic Lower Back Pain After Pregnancy Resolved with Chiropractic

The July 31, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the successful  resolution under chiropractic care for a woman who was suffering from long-term back pain after pregnancy. Most cases of pregnancy related lower back pain are not self limiting and do not resolve by themselves.

The study begins by noting that pregnancy related low back pain is common. Within the first year after pregnancy, the authors report that approximately 80% of women will have mild complaints of low back pain and pelvic pain.  Additionally, 13% will experience moderate pain and 7% will suffer very serious complaints. One study reported that almost 60% of all women with post pregnancy back pain will seek health care services. The most common of these services are physical therapy and medical care along with acupuncture and chiropractic.

In this case, a 33-year-old woman sought chiropractic services due to her suffering with lower back pain. She reported having the pain for the past three years which began when she was pregnant with her first child. She described her pain as a dull ache that bothered her three or four times per week. The woman rated the pain between and 4 and 6 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. Strenuous activity seemed to make the pain worse while sleeping seemed to improve the pain.

The woman's first pregnancy resulted in a cesarean birth because her OB-GYN told her that she was not capable of having a vaginal birth due to her pelvic diameter being too small for a natural childbirth. In addition to her back pain, the woman also reported that she suffered with headaches, neck pain, dizziness and lightheadedness, upper back pain, right foot pain and a very reactive gag reflex.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included heat sensing spinal thermography, and both static and motion spinal x-rays. The thermography studies showed positive signs of the presence of subluxation, while the motion x-rays showed multiple areas of aberrant spinal segmental motion. The conclusion of the examination was that subluxations were present.

Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed to address the woman's subluxations. At her second adjustment visit, six days after her first adjustment, the woman reported that she had not had any episodes of lower back pain, and reported a complete resolution of her complaints. During that second visit, a follow-up pelvic x-ray was taken which showed a 72% correction of the base bone in her spine known as the sacrum.

In the study conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case report provides supporting evidence that pregnant women may benefit from chiropractic care prior to, during, and after their pregnancy."


Vision Loss Regained with Chiropractic

On July 24, 2017, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case in which a teenage girl had regained the vision she had lost in her left eye three years earlier. The vision loss was the result of surgery to repair blood vessels in the front of her brain.

The study begins by reporting that postoperative vision loss (POVL) is a rare complication that is generally associated with surgeries of the spine or heart. The incidence of this type of complication is very rare being less than two tenths of one percent according to studies. There are five types of POVL and the medical treatment for this problem varies according to the type of POVL the patient has suffered from. The study reported that most of the medical procedures are not successful with these cases.

In this case, an 18-year-old woman went to the chiropractor because of a variety of health issues. It was reported that she was suffering from mid-back, neck and low back pain, shoulder pain, and numbness and tingling in both left and right arms and into her left leg and foot. For the past four years, she was also suffering from migraines, seizures, tinnitus, vertigo and digestive disorders,

Her history revealed that four years prior, she had suffered a stroke due to a malformation of blood vessels in her brain. Surgery was performed to repair the blood vessel structure in her right temporal lobe. Immediately following surgery, she noticed blurry vision and a loss of the lateral vision in her left eye. It was at this time that she also started suffering migraine headaches four times per week, and she started having seizures that resulted in multiple falls. Over the next several years, the woman's vision in her left eye continued to diminish until she was totally blind in her left eye. She was placed on a variety of medications to address her issues.

A chiropractic examination was performed and consisted of palpation, spinal range of motion, postural and leg length analysis, thermography studies and x-rays performed by an imaging specialist. The conclusion of these tests was the presence of subluxation at the top of her neck, known as the atlas. A specific form of adjustment was performed to address this subluxation.

After the first visit, the patient did not notice any changes. However, immediately after the second visit, the patient reported "sparkles" in her left eye. The patient was told to remain in the office and rest for 15 minutes. During that 15 minute rest, the patient completely regained the sight in her left eye. The eyesight in her left eye continued working through the remainder of her care. In addition, the patient reported a resolution of neck and back pain and reported a reduction of frequency of seizures and migraine headaches.

In their conclusion the authors stated, "This case study presented an 18-year-old female with vision loss in her left eye that occurred after brain surgery. After two upper cervical chiropractic adjustments her vision was restored while still in the chiropractorís office. The immediate improvement in her vision and its direct result to chiropractic adjustments adds to the evidence of chiropractic care and its influence in visual field perception."


Sense of Smell Regained Under Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study on July 3, 2017, documenting the return of the sense of smell in a patient from chiropractic care. The loss of smell, medically called anosmia, was due to a primary central nervous system tumor.

The study author begins by explaining that central nervous system (CNS) tumors are space-occupying lesions that manifest as neoplasms (abnormal growths) of neuroepithelial tissue (stem cells of the nervous system). The incidence of CNS tumors is 20.59 cases per 100,000 people. These are the second most common form of childhood malignancy.

In this case, a 25-year-old man suffering from neck pain went to the chiropractor. His neck pain had started seven years earlier, but he did not recall an incident or injury that caused his problem. He reported that there was no activity or position that made his problem better, but that standing for long periods made him worse. Additionally, he reported tingling and weakness radiating into his right arm. He also was suffering with lower back pain, headaches, and dizziness.

An examination was performed. His vital signs were normal. It was noted that he was unable to detect certain types of smells or identify between them. A postural analysis showed uneven shoulders and hips. His neck range of motion was reduced in all directions. Additionally, palpation of the spine found multiple misalignments. A thermography study performed showed areas of uneven heat. Spinal x-rays of the manís neck showed degeneration between the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae.

An MRI of the patientís neck showed a large tumor in the neck from the second to the seventh bone. His medical physician stated that he was probably born with it, and it should be monitored with future MRI scans.

A chiropractic determination was made that subluxation was present and could be addressed at the top of the spine, known as the atlas. Specific adjustments were applied to this bone as indicated by analysis.

A reassessment was performed five months into care. At that time, almost all testing had returned to normal or had greatly improved. The man reported that his neck pain, low back pain, headaches, and dizziness were all gone, and had been resolved since four months and seven days into his care. Additionally, the man was tested to see if there was any change in his sense of smell. The test showed that he had regained his ability to smell items normally, and to differentiate between them.

In his conclusion, the author noted that due to the rarity of this type of condition and the lack of larger studies, it is not possible to draw generalized conclusions about chiropractic and these conditions. "The patientís perceived pain decreased as well as objective analysis of the symptoms secondary to the congenital tumor." The author continued, "There is little to no research on chiropractic and its use for symptoms secondary to congenital tumors. This patient showed improvement but since this is a case study it is unknown whether these results could be reproduced."


Seizures Stopped with Chiropractic

The July 20, 2017, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study documenting the resolution of seizures in a young man following chiropractic care. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, "A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that usually affects how a person feels or acts for a short time."

The study authors further explain seizures and their prevalence by noting. "Seizures can cause altered awareness, abnormal sensations, focal involuntary movements or convulsions. About 2% of adults have a seizure at some time during their life, and two-thirds of them have never experienced a seizure."

The study points out that there is a difference between having seizures and having the condition of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. While those with epilepsy have seizures, not all those suffering with seizures have epilepsy.

There are several different types of seizures. The symptoms of seizures can vary with problems such as sudden unexplainable feelings of joy, anger, sadness, nausea, blinks, twitches, or unusual mouth movements. Additional symptoms of seizure can include staring into space, muscle twitches, stiffening of arms and legs, or a loss of consciousness.

In this case, a 20-year-old man went to the chiropractor for evaluation and management of symptoms related to his seizures. He had been experiencing the episodes of seizures, as well as anger and aggression, for the past 10 months. Additionally, he was having night tremors and was waking up multiple times per night. He also suffered from neck and lower back pain.

Two days earlier, he had been discharged from the hospital after having a series of tests including an MRI, EEG, blood work and lumbar puncture. He was discharged with no definitive diagnosis or result, and he was given prescriptions for multiple medications.

During a chiropractic examination, the man described a continuous aching, tightness and throbbing discomfort in the back of the neck. He described his pain as a 6 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. His lower back pain was continuous affecting him about 90% of the time. A posture analysis showed imbalances and muscle spasms were observed along his spine.

Thermography, surface EMG, spinal palpation and spinal x-rays lead to the conclusion of the presence of subluxations in the manís spine. Adjustment of the spine to address the subluxations were started.

The study records that after the manís first week of chiropractic adjustments, he reported that he no longer experienced any seizures. He also reported that he was sleeping better. By the 13th week of chiropractic care, he was doing so well that his neurologist took him off all his medications. In addition to the resolution of his seizures, the man noted a marked improvement in his neck and back pain.

In the conclusion of this study, the authors wrote, "This case demonstrates the resolution and successful chiropractic treatment of a 20-year-old patient with idiopathic seizures after one week of subluxation-based chiropractic care. The review of literature shows a group of case studies that have also shown a positive effect of chiropractic care as a treatment. The goal of subluxation-based chiropractic care is only for the removal of vertebral subluxations, which cause disturbances in the nervous system, and does not claim to be used as a treatment method for any illness, disease or disorder."


Vaginal Birth After Multiple Cesareans Following Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a documented case study on July 13, 2017, recording the case of a woman who had had multiple cesarean births, being able to deliver her baby vaginally after chiropractic care. According to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, the most recent national statistic show that 32% of all births in the U.S. are delivered by cesarean.

The study begins by noting that a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) can be a real and viable birthing option for most women who have had a previous birth by cesarean section. The authors also list reasons that women would want vaginal births after cesarean. These reasons include; a womenís instinctual desire to experience a vaginal birth, opposition of surgical procedures performed without medical necessity, a safer method for both mom and baby, and faster recovery time for mom.

Vaginal births after cesarean are associated with less illness and better mortality rates for both the mother and baby. Women who choose to have a virginal birth after having cesarean have a success rate of about 70 to 87%, which is close to the same success rate for vaginal births in general.

In this case, a 39-year-old mother of three, who was in her 28th week of pregnancy with her fourth child, went to the chiropractor on the recommendation of her doula. After three previous cesareans, and because she was experiencing back pain, the woman decided to try chiropractic even though she had never experienced chiropractic care before.

The pain in the woman's lower back was localized to her sacro-illiac area in both hips. She noted that the pain would come and go, but would be worse by the end of the day. Additional symptoms included mid-back pain, headaches, numbness and hip pain.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included motion and static palpation, thermography scans, static surface electromyography scans (SEMG), and a posture analysis. The posture analysis showed an unbalanced posture, resulting in undue stress on spinal structures. The thermography and SEMG studies reported positive findings for the presence of subluxation. 

Specific chiropractic adjustments were started based upon established protocols for analysis and care of pregnant women under chiropractic care. Regular assessments were performed to monitor the woman's progress. Follow-up scans were performed and showed improvements over the original scans. Additionally, the woman reported a decrease in her lower back pain as chiropractic care continued. After being under care for 9 weeks, the woman gave birth vaginally after three prior cesarean deliveries.

The authors of the study summed up their findings in their conclusion by saying, "This case study shows improvement of symptoms of low back pain in a 39-year-old woman who was pregnant with her fourth child. She was able to have a VBAC3 after 9 weeks under subluxation-based chiropractic care."


Improvement in a Child with Autism Following Chiropractic

In the July 6, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case report documenting the improvement of autism symptoms in a child after undergoing chiropractic care. The study describes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a set of developmental disabilities that can lead to significant social, behavioral and communication restrictions.

The word spectrum refers to a variety of symptoms associated with autism which affect skills at various levels of impairment. The number of ASD diagnosed children is increasing world-wide. In the U.S., it is estimated that the number of children with ASD is 1 in 68. This has increased over a four year period from what was estimated at 1 in 88 children. This problem is much more prevalent in boys as the numbers show that at the age of eight, approximately 1 in 42 boys have ASD compared to 1 in 189 girls.

ASD adds a financial burden to both parents and schools. It is estimated that the yearly increase in medical costs for a child with ASD is $3,020.00, while the increased cost to educate a child with ASD is $8,610.00 more per child per year. On average, mothers with children with ASD are forced to work less, costing them about 28% of the income they would have earned.

According to the study, the diagnosis for ASD is not an exact science as there is no medical test, such as a blood test, to determine this condition. Diagnosis of ASD is made by judgment of the activities and abilities according to certain criteria of the child involved.

In this case, a 6-year-old boy was brought by his mother and father to the chiropractor. The boy had been previously diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by a neurologist. His parents noticed that he was hindered in his social activities and had become somewhat aggressive. The boy was not sleeping well and would often walk throughout the night. He would rarely eat a full meal and was very picky about his food selections. The boy was put on psychiatric medications by his medical physician for his condition.

The boy's history included a cesarean birth which the parents described as including a lot of pulling and twisting of the baby. In his early years, the boy also had multiple ear infections and took antibiotics for each occurrence. He had his full range of vaccinations as well.

A chiropractic exam was performed which included both static and motion palpation. Due to the boyís condition, the exam process was difficult. A sEMG scan and a thermal scan were also performed. From the exam, it was determined that the boy had subluxations affecting nerve system function.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of three visits per week. Home stretching exercises were also given. During the first week of care, the mother reported that her son had fallen asleep earlier than normal, and had been sleeping later than he normally would. During her sonís second week of chiropractic, his mother reported that she had not administered either of the two psychiatric medications since his first week in the clinic. She also noticed an improvement in his behavior, and a week later, his eating improved. As chiropractic care continued, the mother continued to report improvements in all areas of initial concern. At one point, her son had improved to such a point that she threw her sonís medications into the trash.

In their conclusion the authors noted, "This case study demonstrates the reduction of ASD symptoms and impairments with the use of subluxation-based chiropractic care." They explained how chiropractic helped by saying, "As chiropractic care does not treat any disease, this study can further connect possible vertebral subluxation effects on the nervous system of ASD patients."