July 2017

Resolution of Sleep Apnea Following Chiropractic Care

From the June 12, 2017, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research comes a documented case study showing a patient with sleep apnea being helped with chiropractic. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, "Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound."

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This is when certain throat muscles intermittently relax and block a personís airway during sleep. One of the more noticeable signs of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. There are many different treatments for this condition which include oral appliances, vibration devises, sleep therapy systems, as well as some more invasive surgical and medical procedures.

According to this study, obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men than women, affecting 10% of men and only 3% of women. In the general population, the chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea increase until about the age of 50 to 60. After that age, the frequency decreases for both sexes.

In this case, a 51-year-old man went to a chiropractic clinic for multiple health issues. His chief concern was sleeping problems associated with sleep apnea. Additionally, he had been tripped by a dog 6 years prior and landed on his back. He was also involved in a car accident 5 years ago. He reported that he was suffering from recurring throat infections and had a history of motion sickness.

A chiropractic examination recorded multiple postural abnormalities, and abnormal spinal curvatures. Restricted spinal ranges of motion were noted at certain areas of the manís spine. Additionally, thermographic heat studies were performed along with spinal palpation confirming the presence of subluxations of this manís spine. Specific chiropractic care was then started to correct the subluxations.

As care progressed, the doctors reported that the postural anomalies first seen on his initial visit started to correct. The improvement in spinal motion also signaled the correction of subluxations.

After three visits, the man reported an improvement in his primary issue of sleep apnea. After 33 visits, he reported complete resolution of his sleep apnea issues. He also noted improvement in the nausea he was having with his motion sickness.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case demonstrates the reduction and improvement of obstructive sleep apnea and associated sleeping problems following consistent subluxation-based chiropractic care in a 51-year-old male. This case provides additional evidence to the literature of the positive effects subluxation-based care can have on the improvement of obstructive sleep apnea."


Cross-Eyed and Hypersensitivity Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, May 4, 2017, edition comes a case study of a young boy who suffered from two conditions being helped by chiropractic. His first condition was strabismus, sometimes known as cross-eyed or wall-eyed. His second condition was hypersensitivity to touch, such as clothing and other stimulus.

Strabismus is described on the website www.strabismus.org as "...a vision condition in which a person can not align both eyes simultaneously under normal condition." This study simply states that strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not point in the same direction. It is estimated that up to 5% of all children have this condition to some degree.

Hypersensitivity to touch and clothing is common among children. This is when a child seems to over-react to small stimulus such as clothing, shoes and other things touching their body. Experts believe that this is due to the brain improperly interpreting input sensory data causing the child to think a normal stimulus is causing discomfort.

In this case, a 10-year-old boy suffering from lateral strabismus in his right eye, fatigue, and hypersensitivity was brought to the chiropractor. His hypersensitivity included touching his, heat and bright lights, as well as tightness in his upper chest area. The boy stated that his clothes would make him itch all over. Touching his skin made him feel ticklish all over. He was unable to attend school regularly due to his clothing bothering him, and his fatigue and lack of concentration.

He first started experiencing hypersensitivity after two surgeries to remove a type of tumor known as a teratoma germinoma from his pineal gland in the brain. After the second surgery, there was no further medical treatment needed for his tumor.

During his chiropractic examination, it was noticed that the boy had a hunched posture with right head tilt and left shoulder higher than the right. The one eye deviation was noted but no other anomalies of the eyes were reported. A subluxation assessment was performed, and based upon this assessment, various types of specific chiropractic adjustments for correction of vertebral subluxations were initiated.

On the boy's fifth chiropractic visit, he reported a reduction in skin irritation from his clothing. On his eighth chiropractic visit, a head and neck exam was performed with neurological testing. The examination showed a more fluid bilateral visual tracking during a visual field test, indicating improvement of the boy's strabismus. By the 13th visit, the boy's clothing no longer bothered him. This allowed him to return to school on a regular basis as he was only attending 2 out of 5 days most weeks. By his 19th chiropractic visit, the boy had improved to the point where he no longer had any thoracic tightness, was feeling great, and was no longer getting tired.

In their discussion and conclusion the authors noted, "The case study reports the cessation of hypersensitivity, lateral strabismus and fatigue in a 10-year-old boy following subluxation focused chiropractic care." They continued by explaining, "Chiropractic care alters sensorimotor integration and this may have resulted in positive symptomatic changes in this child."


Food Allergy Improvements Documented Following Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on June 22, 2017 that documented the improvement of food allergies after chiropractic care. This study reports that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,1% of the children in the U.S. have a food allergy.  They also note that these levels continue to rise over the years.

The test used to determine a specific food allergy is a blood test to measure allergen-specific IgE levels. Kidshealth.org describes this test by saying, "An allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test is done to check whether a person is allergic to a particular substance. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to something, often in the environment, that's harmless to most people. To protect the body from this perceived threat or allergen, the immune system of an allergic person produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E. The higher these levels are, the more a person is allergic to a certain substance.

Food allergy rates in the U.S. seem to follow a socio-economic trend. The higher the family income, the more likely it is for the children of that household to have food allergies. Having food allergies also seems to have a correlation with other conditions. The CDC reports that 29% of children with food allergy also have asthma, 27% also have eczema or skin allergy, and over 30% also have respiratory allergies. This means that children with food allergies are four times more likely to have these other related conditions as compared to children without food allergies.

In this case, an 8-year-old girl suffering from hip pain, left internal foot rotation, and allergies was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl's mother described the pain as a combination of dull and stabbing left hip pain, with occasional radiation down the left leg that had been going on for five months. Her allergies were to peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and she was suffering from hay fever. These allergies had been bothering the girl for the past six years.

The hip pain was more pronounced when walking or hiking and prevented the girl from participating in certain family activities. The allergies were measured by the girl's allergist using the allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test which showed that allergies for peanut, pecan, and walnut allergies. Because of these, the girl carried an epinephrine injector pen to use as needed.

 A chiropractic examination was performed resulting in a  diagnosis of hip myalgia, sacral subluxation, cervical subluxation, and postural abnormalities. Specific chiropractic care was started to address the subluxations.

By the fourth visit, the girl's hip pain from extended walking and hiking was reduced from a 5 out of 10 (10 worst) to just 2 out of 10. Within 12 weeks of starting chiropractic, the girl reported that her hip pain had been completely eliminated.

In a routine follow up by her allergist, the allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test showed improvement for each of her food allergies. Her peanut allergy IgE levels reduced from .65 kU/L to .11 kU/L.  Her pecan nut allergy IgE levels reduced from .26 kU/L to .20 kU/L, and her walnut allergy IgE levels reduced from .65 kU/L to .43 kU/L.

In addition to the correction of the hip pain and discomfort that the girl was previously suffering from, the author took special note of the improvement of the allergy tests by stating in the study's conclusion, "This case report describes the subluxation-based chiropractic care of an 8-year-old female and the concomitant objective improvements in peanut, pecan, and walnut allergies."


Otitis Media Resolved and Neck Curve Improved with Chiropractic

On June 29, 2017, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the resolution of otitis media with neck curve improvement with chiropractic care. Otitis media, more commonly known as an ear infection, can come from either bacteria or virus, and is most commonly associated with a cold or allergies.

The authors of this study begin with an ominous warning by noting, "If left untreated, otitis media can cause temporary or permanent loss of hearing which can in turn impair speech, language development, and create learning difficulties." They note that two out of three children experience at least one episode of otitis media before the age of three and it is also the most common diagnosis for children under 15 years of age.

The most common medical treatment for otitis media is antibiotics. Although this approach can kill bacterial infections, this does nothing for viruses and in many cases the ear infections returns again. The most common surgical approach is putting tubes in the ears. Tympanostomy (known as tubes in the ears) accounts for 20% of surgeries on children under 15 years of age. Again, the rate of return infection is very high making the procedure less effective in the long term.

In this case, a 10-year-old boy suffering from fluid in his right and left ears for the past three weeks was brought to the chiropractor. The boy also suffered from allergies and difficulty sleeping. The boy's medical physician recommended allergy medications which had no effect on the fluid in his ears.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, infrared thermography, and static spinal x-rays. Additionally, videofluoroscopy (motion x-rays) of the spine were done to access the individual movements of the bones in the boy's neck.

The conclusion of the examination process was the presence of vertebral subluxations with a loss of the normal forward cervical (neck) curve. With these findings, specific chiropractic adjusting procedures were started.

The results showed that the boy's ears drained the first two days after his first chiropractic adjustment. When he returned for his second visit to the chiropractor, he reported a 100% improvement in his ears. On a subsequent follow-up x-ray of the boy's neck, it was noted that his neck curvature had significantly improved.

In the conclusion the authors summed up this case by saying, "In this study, the patient entered the clinic with OM (otitis media) painful enough to alter his sleep. In addition to dysfunction in the patientís ear, he also presented with a loss of cervical curve. This case demonstrates how specific chiropractic care to remove subluxations resulted in resolution of otitis media and restored the cervical curve."


Resolution of Breech Presentation Confirmed by Ultrasound Following Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case on June 8, 2017, showing the correction of a breech presentation pregnancy after the application of the chiropractic procedure known as the Webster Technique.

The head down position, known as the vertex position, is the correct position for delivery as it provides the safest passage through the birth canal. A breech presentation is when either the feet or the buttocks are downward. According to this study, about 3.2% off all pregnancies are in a breech presentation during the last stages of pregnancy.

Initially, about 25% to 30% of pregnancies are in breech prior to 28 weeks of gestation. Most, however, will turn by the 34th week. It is those that fail to turn that are of concern and can lead to problems with delivery. Since the advent of cesarean birth, most breech presentations are not allowed to deliver, and the surgical alternative is used.

There are certain health factors which seem to be associated with an increased possibility of breech presentation. These include the mother's age, maternal diabetes, smoking, congenital malformations and placental implantation issues.

In this case, a 26-year-old woman in her 27th week of pregnancy with her second child was having bilateral sacroiliac pain. At 28 weeks, it was determined by ultrasound that her baby was in a breech presentation. Her first pregnancy resulted in a natural birth with no complications.

A chiropractic examination revealed muscles spasm in the lower back as well as restricted ranges of motion of the lumbar vertebrae and pelvis. Based upon the examination, it was determined that subluxations in her spine and at the base bone, the sacrum, were present and that the Webster technique could be helpful.

Dr. Larry Webster, a chiropractor and founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. On the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association website, this procedure is described. "The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved."

A second ultrasound was done at 39 weeks after a series of chiropractic adjustments and the Webster technique had been applied. The second ultrasound showed that the baby had turned into a normal vertex position. One day after the ultrasound, the woman had a normal natural vaginal delivery with no complications.

In their conclusion the study authors wrote, "Traditional medical procedures when pertaining to a breech birth are effective, yet can come with serious risks that must be considered. The results of this study contributes to evidence based practice that women with breech pregnancies may benefit from the Webster Technique along with the side posture adjustment in relieving sacral subluxation and its relationship to a healthy pregnancy."


Patient with Foot Drop Helped with Chiropractic

On June 19, 2017, a case study was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the correction of foot drop in a patient receiving chiropractic care. According to the Mayo clinic website, "Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a general term for difficulty lifting the front part of the foot. If you have foot drop, you may drag the front of your foot on the ground when you walk. Foot drop isn't a disease. Rather, foot drop is a sign of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical problem."

The most common mechanism for foot drop is damage or entrapment of the peroneal nerve. This nerve is a branch that comes off the larger sciatic nerve and innervates the muscles in the front of the lower leg and foot. Damage to this nerve anywhere along the path from the origin at the lumbar spine down to the foot can result in symptoms of foot drop or a loss of sensation in the webbing of the toes.

Medical treatment for foot drop includes lightweight braces to support the foot, shoe inserts (orthotics), physical therapy, or even surgery. Braces or shoe inserts are designed to support the problem but can not help correct the cause. Physical therapy may help strengthen the muscles involved on a temporary basis. If a specific entrapment to the peroneal nerve is identified, surgery may be helpful.

In this case, a 24-year-old male weight lifter went to a college chiropractic clinic after he developed foot drop of unknown origin. He stated that he went to get out of the bed in the morning and had no strength in his lower right leg. He also described a mild tingling feeling on the front portion of his leg below his knee. When he lifted his right leg off the ground, his foot would point as he had no ability to raise the foot up to a normal position.

Upon testing the muscles of the leg, it was observed that the man had no strength in the muscles of the front of his lower leg.  This would cause his foot to just fall. The muscles of the front of the leg are controlled by the peroneal nerve.

The patient received chiropractic adjustments to address subluxations of the spine and a misalignment observed in the right knee. The patient reported that after each chiropractic visit there was some improvement in this condition. Initially, the man noticed an increase in sensation to the areas that had a loss of sensation. By the fifth visit, he was able to start to bring his foot up again toward a more normal position. By the twelfth visit, there was complete resolution of his foot drop.

In their conclusion, the study authors summed up the results by saying, "In this particular case of insidious onset of foot drop, chiropractic care was shown to help in the complete resolution of signs and symptoms."