Fever Resolved in Child with Chiropractic Care
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on December 22, 2016, documenting the case of a young boy with acute fever being resolved with chiropractic. Fever is triggered by an activation of the immune system as it fights things such as bacteria and viruses.
The Mayo Clinic states, "A fever is a temporary increase in your body temperature, often due to an illness. Having a fever is a sign that something out of the ordinary is going on in your body." They continue by noting, "Fevers generally go away within a few days. A number of over-the-counter medications lower a fever, but sometimes it's better left untreated. Fever seems to play a key role in helping your body fight off a number of infections."
This study begins by pointing out that although there are many anecdotal reports of chiropractic being effective for cases of fever, there is little in the way of published studies on this subject. Most of the published evidence for chiropractic care is for musculoskeletal conditions such as back and neck pain. However, additional studies have shown chiropractic being helpful for conditions such as menstrual disorders, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, colic, ear infections, and bedwetting.
In this case, an 11-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor. Five days before his chiropractic visit, he developed a fever along with symptoms of general malaise, fatigue, and behavioral changes such as decreased activity, lethargy, and decreased communication. His temperature was monitored by his mother and ranged from 101 degrees to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. The boy's mother was giving him acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) every 4-6 hours with no change in the fever. After 2 days of the fever, the boy was seen by an MD and prescribed amoxicillin for acute unspecified upper respiratory infection.
A chiropractic examination was performed which showed muscle tightness and swelling. Additionally, spinal range of motion showed restrictions. Specific chiropractic adjustments were administered to the boy based upon the findings.
The boy's mother checked her son's temperature upon returning home which was approximately one hour after the chiropractic visit. She reported that her son's temperature had returned to normal at 98.4 degrees. Additionally, she reported that her son's energy increased and he returned to his normal behavior of being talkative, active, and had increased ability to focus.
The boy reported that within 60 minutes of the first adjustment he felt "back to normal" and was no longer achy, sore, or having headaches. His mother reported that his temperature remained normal and he continued to be energetic, talkative, and back to his regular level of activity.
In their discussion the study authors stated, "This case report outlined the care of a male child with acute illness resulting in both immunological and musculoskeletal symptom improvement within 60 minutes of treatment and was sustained at follow-up appointments."
Being Overweight Does not Affect Outcome of Back Treatments, But
Being Obese Does
A study published on December 12, 2015, in the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies showed that being overweight or underweight does not have a significant effect on the outcome of various lower back pain treatments. However, being obese did have a negative impact on the results of care. The study begins by reporting that nearly 30% of the world population reports suffering from back pain while 80% report back pain at some point in their lifetime.
In this study, 681 people with lower back pain were included. Data was collected from each of the participants about their history of back pain, demographics, occupation history, disability, health status and mental health status. The participants were enrolled into one of four treatment protocols: medical care only, medical care with physical therapy, chiropractic care only, or chiropractic care with the use of physical modalities.
The participants were all treated according to the protocol of the doctor they were assigned to, using one of the four types of care categories. Outcomes of care were measured at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 6 months after the initial treatment. For the purposes of this study, a comparison of the various types of care was not made to see if one type of care was more effective than another. Only the effects of weight as measured by body mass index (BMI) were evaluated to see if it had an effect on the results of whatever type of care the person was receiving.
The results showed that, across all treatment protocols, people who were considered to be obese had a decreased chance of improvement with their lower back pain. This included all times of follow-up as well as all levels of pain. However, being overweight, but not considered obese, did not have a significant effect on the outcome of care for any of the categories of care. Similarly, those who were underweight also did not show any significant decrease in their percentage of recovery.
The study did show that those who were obese and lost weight during care did have a better chance at recovery, and those who gained weight during care reduced their chance even further. All other groups of people showed no statistical difference in their ability to recover based upon their weight, unless they were considered to be obese.
In their discussion the authors wrote, "Results of this study suggest that BMI is a relevant predictor of response to treatment. Obese participants are less likely to show improvement from LBP treatment regardless of the care they receive." They also stated in their conclusion, "An association between obesity and less favorable treatment outcomes was inferred in this study. There appears to be an association between obesity and disability as well as obesity and subjective most severe pain.
Infant Head Shape Deformity Improved Under Chiropractic
According to Study
A cohort study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics showed that chiropractic care helped reduce the time for correction of head shape deformity in infants. Head shape deformity, called plagiocephaly, is described in the study as "...an asymmetry in the shape of the skull."
Estimates as to how common
plagiocephaly is vary from 16-21% at 6-7 weeks old, and 20%
at 4 months
There is some disagreement between medical authorities as to whether or not plagiocephaly has an effect on the health and development of a child. The UK National Health Service (NHS) states plagiocephaly is cosmetic only, while other authorities suggest that this condition has been shown to be related to learning disabilities, dysfunctional auditory processing, and developmental delay in the gross motor and cognitive issues.
Chiropractic care for cases of plagiocephaly is focused on the neck and not rendered directly to the head. The study authors describe the purpose of care by saying, "Chiropractors commonly manage infants with plagiocephaly and treat the cervical spine to achieve full range and freedom of motion so that the infant is not "stuck" in one position. If the head can be freely moved, then the pressure on the cranium will be equally distributed and the skull will, ideally, become symmetrical."
The study was conducted at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) clinic, in Bournemouth, UK. In this study, 64 infants and babies with plagiocephaly were examined and measurements of their head shape were made. Most infants in this study were born at full-term with 56% being assisted births and 44% being natural vaginal deliveries. The breakdown showed that there were 62.5% males and 37.5% females. The average age was 11.5 weeks old with the range being from 2 to 44 weeks of age.
The chiropractic care given was in accordance with the standard protocol for children of this age at the school clinic. Head shape measurements were taken at the 1st, 4th and 7th chiropractic visit, with a six week follow up done later. All participants achieved a full range of neck motion from the chiropractic care. As expected, the size of the infant's heads increased accounting for normal growth.
The results showed that the infants’ plagiocephaly measurement significantly reduced over the course of chiropractic care. Of the 64 infants and babies in the study, 20 showed a complete resolution of head deformation. The remainder of the babies all showed significant reductions of plagiocephaly above what would normally have occurred as the babies grew.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This study showed a significant reduction in head deformity in infants during a course of six weeks of chiropractic care." They continued to explain that these results do not suggest a cause and effect relationship but rather a possible approach to helping plagiocephaly. They noted that chiropractic may have facilitated a faster correction of the normal head shape than would normally occur, saying "...the improvements in head shape occurred earlier than the natural course of the condition."
Acquired Torticollis Resolved Under Chiropractic; A Case Study
The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a case study in their December 2016 issue documenting the resolution of a case of acquired torticollis in a baby. Torticollis, sometimes known as wry neck, is a condition where the head is tilted significantly downward and to one side. This is usually due to a pulling from the muscles of the neck.
The study points out that there are two types of torticollis, congenital and acquired. Congenital torticollis is present at birth and is defined by WebMD as, "Congenital torticollis occurs when the neck muscle that runs up and toward the back of your baby's neck (sternocleidomastoid muscle) is shortened. This brings your baby's head down and to one side." Acquired torticollis is similar except that it was not present at birth, and may have been caused by some form of trauma to the child.
In this case, a 31-month-old boy was brought to the chiropractor because the boy was suffering from neck pain and torticollis for the past six weeks. The history revealed that two weeks prior to the onset of problems the boy had fallen while trying to climb into a stroller. No one witnessed the actual fall, but the boy was complaining of left knee and ankle pain and he was limping. A few days later, the torticollis appeared.
A week after the fall, he was brought to a pediatric hospital where x-rays of the left knee and ankle were taken and determined to be normal. The medical diagnosis was an ankle sprain. A prescription of ibuprofen was given for the pain and inflammation. One week later, the child was again brought back to the hospital for the neck pain and torticollis. At that time, additional x-rays and blood tests were performed but determined to be normal.
One month after the hospital visit, the boy was brought to the chiropractor. He was suffering persistent limping and torticollis. The neck pain was more severe at night and had gotten so bad that the boy had started to hit his forehead with his hands. He was also suffering from fatigue, and was lethargic and irritable.
A chiropractic examination was performed and chiropractic care was initiated. Each visit, the results and improvements were recorded. After the first visit, it was reported that the boy had improved about 25% and was now able to lie on his back. By the second visit, he was sleeping better, was less irritable, and the ibuprofen was discontinued. By the third visit, there was no visible torticollis and no complaints on all subsequent visits.
In their conclusion the authors
noted, "Neck conditions are the second leading reason for
patients seeking chiropractic care in Canada and the United
States. It is therefore probable that a parent may seek
chiropractic care for a child who develops a torticollis."
They continued, "Pediatric chiropractic care proved
beneficial for this young boy with acquired torticollis."
Migraines, Chronic Sinus Congestion, and Teeth Grinding Helped
A case study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics records the case of a young girl suffering from migraine headaches being helped by chiropractic care. In addition to migraines, the patient also received help with sinus congestion and the grinding of teeth.
The study begins by reporting that migraine headaches are the second most common cause of chronic recurrent headache in school children with a prevalence ranging from 3.2 to 14.5%. Migraines in children are different than adult migraines in that the episodes of children’s migraines are typically of shorter duration and occur on both sides of the head.
The International Headache Society has a list of five criteria for the classification of pediatric migraine without aura. These are:
A) A minimum of 5 attacks fulfilling features B to D
B) Headache attack lasting from 2 to 72 hours
C) Headache has at least 2 of the following 4 features:
(1) Unilateral (frontal/temporal) location commonly bilateral in young children
(2) Pulsating quality
(3) Moderate to severe pain intensity
(4) Aggravated by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity
D) During the headache at least one of the following:
(1) Nausea and/or vomiting
(2) Photophobia and phonophobia (may be inferred from their behavior)
E) Not attributed to another disorder
In this case, a 6-year-old girl who was suffering from frequent migraines without aura was brought to the chiropractor. She had been suffering with migraines rated as 5 out of ten, three times per week for the past 6 months. The young girl described the migraine as a diffuse pounding sensation behind her forehead and she felt slightly nauseated. Her parents also reported that their child often ground her teeth at night and was suffering with chronic sinus congestion year round.
Six months after the start of her headaches, a chiropractic examination was performed and care was started. During the first month of care, the child was able to discontinue the ibuprofen she had been taking for her condition. The pain had reduced to a level of two out of ten and the frequency dropped to one headache per week.
Unfortunately, the girl and her family moved further away from the chiropractor and her care was discontinued. During the interruption in care, the girl had a flair-up of headaches which sent her to the hospital and medication was resumed. Several weeks later, her family decided to drive the hour-plus to return to her chiropractor for care.
After the resumption of care, the girl continued to improve to the point where she only experienced occasional mild headaches that did not interfere with her schoolwork or sports activities. Her chiropractic care continued and she was able to discontinue the headache medications. Additionally, her parents reported that their daughter did not grind her teeth as much at night and she wasn’t complaining of mild congestion after going to the pool or playing outside.
Scoliosis Helped with Chiropractic According to Study
A study published on December 12, 2016, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health showed that chiropractic care had a positive affect for the correction of Idiopathic Scoliosis. According to this study, "Scoliosis is commonly defined as a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees. "
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is estimated to occur in 2-3% of children between the ages of 10 and 16.2 years of age. The U.S. National Institutes of Health website describe this condition by saying, "Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that appears in late childhood or adolescence. Instead of growing straight, the spine develops a side-to-side curvature, usually in an elongated "S" or "C" shape; the bones of the spine are also slightly twisted or rotated. "
In this retrospective case series, 36 subjects were included. To be included in the study, patients had to have been 18 years of age or younger and have been under chiropractic care in the past 5 years. All patients included must have had a scoliosis of at least 11 degrees that was measured by x-ray, and each of those must have had a follow-up lumbar x-ray after at least two weeks of chiropractic care.
Using the above criteria, 14 eligible patients were found aged 7-16 with initial scoliosis ranging from 11 to 27 degrees. Additionally, there were 22 subjects within the ages of 2-17 who were considered to be a sub-scoliotic group because they had curvatures between 7 and 10 degrees.
All participants in both groups received specific chiropractic adjustments to restore proper spinal structure and motion by correction of vertebral subluxations. The results of the care based upon examinations and post x-rays was charted in spreadsheets and analyzed.
In the group with a scoliosis of 11 degrees or greater, the average subject age at pre X-ray was 10.77 years old. The results showed that the average number of adjustments given prior to the post X-ray was 5.75. The average time between pre and post X-rays was 39.43 days. As a result of the chiropractic care, the average percent of scoliosis improvement in this group was 25.96%. Additionally, 9 of 14 patients showed improvement, two showed no change, and three patients’ curvatures were worse.
In the sub-scoliosis group with curvature less than 11 degrees, the average age at pre X-ray was 8.91 years old. The average number of adjustments given prior to the post X-ray was 6.41, and the average time between pre- and post-adjustment X-ray was 141.32 days. In this group, 18 of 22 patients showed improvement with the average improvement being 51.84%. One of the patients showed no change, two were worse, and six of those in this group showed 100% improvement over the course of their care.
In their conclusion, the study authors summed up the results by stating, "This study demonstrates a group trend towards structural change within the scoliosis group of 25.96% over an average of 4.75 specific spinal adjustments. An even greater trend towards correction of 51.84% over an average of 6.41 adjustments was found in the sub-scoliosis group who started care with curvatures of 7-10 degrees. Six subjects in this group experienced 100% correction at their first re-examination X-ray."