April 2018

Complete Remission of Crohn's Disease with Chiropractic Care

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on March 10, 2018, documenting the case of a man with Crohn's disease achieving complete resolutions of symptoms from chiropractic care. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases, commonly referred to as IBD.

The study begins by noting that IBD is a common disorder affecting 1.6 million Americans, out of which 700,000 are classified as Crohn’s disease. This disease strikes both men and women equally, is not more prevalent in any ethnic group, and typically affects those individuals who are either in their early teens or over 50 years of age. It is estimated that there are 30,000 new cases of Crohn's diagnosed each year with a total of 140,000 of the cases being under the age of 18 years.

According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation website, some of the more common symptoms of IBD include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, and constipation.

The patient in this case study was a 6-foot, 1-inch, 202 pound, 60-year-old male. His chief complaint was symptoms of IBD. He was medically diagnosed with Crohn’s disease three years earlier. The man’s symptoms included abdominal pain and cramping, stiffness all over his body, diarrhea and a generalized feeling of sickness. For several years, he was given a variety of medications which gave him no improvement in his original symptoms, but added a variety of worsening additional side effects. He eventually decided to self-discontinue his medications and seek chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included visual inspection, postural analysis, static and motion palpation, physical exam, and spinal x-rays. Based upon the findings of the examination, it was determined that multiple areas of subluxation were present in the man’s spine, and care was initiated to address these findings.

After two chiropractic visits, the study reports that "...the patient reported a complete reduction in his symptoms, with an overall decrease in severity of symptoms from rare to no longer present. He did not experience any additional flare-ups or symptoms relating to his Crohn’s disease."

Nine months after the start of chiropractic, the patient went to his endocrinologist for a follow-up visit. The study reported that at that time "...the patient’s doctor reviewed his most recent colonoscopy and declared that the patient had complete medical remission of his initial diagnosis."

The study authors explain the chiropractic approach by saying, "Chiropractic’s philosophy in health care involves a vitalistic approach emphasizing the removal of interferences to the nervous system while allowing the body to restore itself to health, healing from within and going from a state of dis-ease to that of homeostasis."


Improvement in Concussion Symptoms with Chiropractic Care

A study was published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics documenting the improvement of concussion symptoms of headache, poor concentration and photophobia in a young boy who had suffered a traumatic accident days earlier. Sometimes called mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), the authors of this study used both these terms interchangeably to describe the same condition.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus website, "A concussion is a type of brain injury. It involves a short loss of normal brain function. It happens when a hit to the head or body causes your head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in your brain." Estimates of the number of concussions range from 2.5 to 3 million cases each year in the U.S. alone.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control list a number of symptom and danger signs associated with concussion. They include headache that gets worse and does not go away, weakness, numbness or decreased coordination, repeated vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, one pupil larger than the other, convulsions or seizures, or a loss of consciousness.

In this case, a 13-year-old boy was brought by his mother to a chiropractor in Auckland, New Zealand. The boy was suffering from a variety of symptoms related to a concussion. Five days earlier, he had suffered a skateboard accident where he had hit his head. After his fall, the boy was unconscious for 30 seconds. The boy also was suffering with a headache, a decrease in his concentration level, a moderately sore neck, and increased sensitivity to sound and light. His head pain would increase when he walked or laughed.

An examination was performed which revealed an increased sensitivity to light as well as a decrease in coordination. Static palpation, motion palpation, and spinal examination procedures revealed the presence of subluxation in the boy’s spine. Specific spinal adjustments were started to address the subluxations.

According the study, the boy reported significant symptomatic relief after the first visit. These immediate improvements included improved concentration as well as less sensitivity to light. After his second visit, he reported that his headache was no longer constant. Over the next several visits, the boy reported improvement in all symptoms and stated he was "feeling freer." His condition continued to improve so that by the eighth visit, he reported a complete resolution of all symptoms.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case illustrates how concussion symptoms, specifically headaches, concentration, and photophobia may improve in patients receiving chiropractic care. Further clinical research is warranted to investigate the efficacy of subluxation based chiropractic care in relation to the improvement of concussion symptoms."


Improved Health and Quality of Life in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on March 22, 2018, documenting the case of chiropractic care improving the overall health and quality of life for a girl who was suffering with autism spectrum disorder.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a ‘developmental disorder’ because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life."

The study further explains the condition by saying that ASD is "…a multisystem neurodevelopmental condition that occurs in a period during the first 36 months of life that manifests as abnormalities in communication deficits, social skills, along with repetitive stereotyped behaviors." This condition has become one of the most common disabilities in the U.S. with estimates being that ASD affects 1 in 68 children, with a higher prevalence in boys than in girls. The number of children being diagnosed with ASD has been growing rapidly. Between the years 2002 and 2008, there was a 78% increase in the number of diagnosed cases. The costs for care for children with ASD is staggering, with estimates of medical and educational additional costs being as high as $17,000 per child per year.

In this case, a 10-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for care of her primary problems of neck and lower back pain. The girl did not suffer an accident or injury, but she did mention that her pain was worse when she was looking down at her book while studying. She was suffering with this pain for about four years, and running and sitting for too long made her pain worse. The girl had been previously diagnosed with ASD, pervasive development disorder (PDD), and explosive outburst disorder (EOD).

The history notes that the girl had met all developmental milestones until the age of 18 months. Then, at 18 months of age immunizations were given, after which developmental milestones were no longer being met. She became unable to throw a ball, climb or descend stairs, use a spoon, feed herself, identify body parts, sit herself in a chair or perform several other common tasks that a child of her age should be able to accomplish.

A chiropractic examination was performed with the conclusion being that multiple areas of vertebral subluxation were present in the girl’s spine. Chiropractic care then began at the rate of three visits per week.

The study reports that once chiropractic care was started, the girl only needed to be restrained once a week rather than the 20-30 times per week prior to chiropractic. As care continued, the mother reported that her daughter was hurting herself less, calming down, stopped flapping her hands, exhibited improved communications, had less repetitive behavior, had better interaction with other children, improved eye contact, and better sleep. Her original symptoms of neck and back pain were also improved.

In the study’s conclusion, the author wrote, "This case study shows improved health outcomes, behavior and quality of life, subjectively and objectively, following chiropractic care in a child with ASD."


Improved Thyroid Function Following Chiropractic Care

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on March 19, 2018, documenting the case of a chiropractic patient diagnosed with hypothyroidism having their thyroid function improve due to chiropractic. According to the study authors, "Hypothyroidism is defined as the failure of the thyroid gland to produce sufficient thyroid hormone to meet the metabolic demands of the body."

On their website the American Thyroid Association describes the function of the thyroid by saying, "The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should."

In hypothyroidism, the cells of the body are not getting enough thyroid hormone causing them to slow down. This can cause symptoms of feeling colder, becoming tired more easily, the skin can become drier, becoming forgetful and depressed, and constipation. It is estimated that 10 million Americans have this common condition, with about 10% of all women having some signs of hypothyroidism.

In this case, a 49-year-old man complaining of neck, back, and shoulder pain went to the chiropractor. He did not have a specific time of origin for the problems which had been ongoing for a while. His health history revealed that he had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism four years earlier. Five years ago, the man started noticing that he felt low energy, fatigue and started having slurred speech. His medical practitioner ordered bloodwork from which he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

The man’s medical practitioner prescribed the artificial thyroid hormone replacement Synthroid® at 100 mg per day. While under medication, most of the symptoms from his hypothyroidism were under control.

A chiropractic examination was performed which consisted of health history forms, orthopedic and neurologic testing, static and motion palpation, thermography, and spinal x-rays. Based on the tests, it was determined that subluxations were present. Specific forms of chiropractic care were begun at the rate of three visits per week.

During his chiropractic care, there were no changes in the man’s lifestyle, diet, or exercise levels. Several months into chiropractic care, a follow-up blood test was performed showing an improvement in the man’s thyroid hormone level resulting in a decrease of his medication. After eight months of chiropractic, his hormone level had returned to normal and he no longer needed the thyroid medication. The study did note that, against recommendation, the man did reduce his chiropractic visits causing a minimal setback and a partial return of symptoms.

In the conclusion of the study, the authors noted that this was not the first study linking improved thyroid function to chiropractic, they stated, "This paper appears to be the fourth to link the decreased need for synthetic thyroid medication while under chiropractic care." They further explained, "Because synthetic thyroid hormone is now the only current treatment for hypothyroidism, it would be beneficial to have an alternative treatment such as chiropractic care. Those currently receiving synthetic thyroid medication risk its side effects, drug interactions, and associated costs."


Ear Infections and Bedwetting Resolved with Chiropractic - A Case Study

On April 2, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the resolution of ear infections and nocturnal enuresis in a young girl who received chiropractic care. Nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting or nighttime incontinence, is when a child urinates in bed while sleeping, after the age when they should have been able to control their bladder.

The technical name for ear infections is otitis media. The study authors explain this condition by saying, "Otitis media is very common in children. Generally, it is referred to as acute otitis media (AOM) or otitis media with effusion. Otitis media is the most common reason that children, visit the doctor, take antibiotics, and have surgical procedures."

Common medical treatment of bedwetting involves some form of behavioral modifications or rarely medications. However, otitis media is commonly treated with medications and surgery by the insertion of tympanostomy tubes into the ears.

In this case, a 12-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl’s primary health issues were recurring ear infections and bedwetting. A health history showed that the girl, who had been adopted at an early age, had been suffering with repeated ear infections almost since birth. She was born with low birth weight and was drug addicted at birth.

The girl underwent her first surgery to insert tympanostomy tubes at the age of two. Over the next ten years, the girl had five additional surgeries for insertion of the tympanostomy tubes as each previous attempt had only lasted for a short time. The most recent tubes only lasted two weeks before falling out. Her medical physicians wanted to schedule the girl for a seventh surgery when her mother decided to try chiropractic care. During this entire time, the girl was also suffering from nightly bedwetting which was starting to cause sleep difficulties.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included observation, a postural evaluation, spinal range of motions tests, spinal palpation, and functional leg length checks. A determination of the presence of spinal subluxations was made. Chiropractic care was recommended at the rate of three visits per week for the first three weeks with gradual reduction in frequency as care continued.

On each visit, the girl was monitored for changes in her ear infections or her bedwetting problem. After 11 visits, the girl reported that she had no symptoms of ear infections. The study also reports that the girl had a progressive decline in frequency of bedwetting as a result of her chiropractic care.

The authors of the study noted that the patient and her mother stated the effectiveness of chiropractic. The study notes, "The patient’s mother stated that prior to seeing a chiropractor the patient was having episodes of bed wetting every night and was constantly having ear infections. Since being under chiropractic care these conditions have stopped completely or have occurred noticeably less often."

In their conclusion, the authors summed up the results of this case by saying, "This case demonstrates the health outcomes following chiropractic adjustment to resolve neurological interference and decrease symptoms of enuresis and otitis media."


Infertility Resolved Following Chiropractic Care

On March 12, 2018, a case study was published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health reporting on a woman who was unable to conceive for years becoming pregnant due to receiving chiropractic care. The study defines infertility as the failure to achieve a pregnancy within one year of regular unprotected intercourse.

The study begins by reporting that in the United States between 10-15% of couples have difficulty becoming pregnant or carrying the baby to normal term. Becoming pregnant gets progressively more difficult as a woman gets older. Between the ages of ages of 15-29 about 11% of women have difficulty conceiving. The difficulty in becoming pregnant increases in women between the ages of 35 and 39 to where 23% have difficulty becoming pregnant.

In 2002, a study of 700 couples was conducted ranging in age from 19 to 39. That study found that after the age of 27, fertility starts to decline and drops at a higher rate after the age of 35. It is estimated that 9.3 million women have sought fertility treatment with most seeking conventional medical care. The cost of conventional infertility treatments can be quite expensive, especially in the U.S. which is the highest in the world. A  successful birth achieved by infertility treatments can cost upward of $50.000.

In this case, a 29-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care in the hopes of helping her with her infertility. She had never had chiropractic prior to this initial visit. For the past three years, she had been unsuccessfully attempting to get pregnant. She had previously been taking estrogen modulator, clomiphene citrate (Clomid) for five-months with no result. Additionally, the woman had  attempted in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination, all with no success.

The only other relevant health history noted is that the woman had been in a major car accident five years earlier. Since that time, she was suffering with 3-5 headaches per week.

A chiropractic examination, thermography and spinal x-rays were performed. The x-rays did not show any pathology, fracture, or infection. It was noted that the woman's neck curve was reduced from normal when viewed on a lateral cervical x-ray. Functional leg length tests did show an imbalance.

Based on the results of the examination procedures, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given where indicated.

Within two months of starting chiropractic care. the woman reported that her headaches had stopped. She continued to receive the recommended course of chiropractic care for another two months. At that point, she had a visit with her obstetrician where an ultrasound was performed confirming that she was indeed pregnant. The obstetrician was able to back-date the onset of the pregnancy to about two months after she had started chiropractic care. The woman continued to receive chiropractic care for correction of subluxations throughout her pregnancy and was able to deliver a healthy baby vaginally.

In their conclusion, the authors of this study summed up how chiropractic was able to have a positive effect in this case. "This study helps show the clinical application of chiropractic care and infertility. While chiropractic does not treat infertility, studies have shown the vertebral subluxation and their effect on the autonomic nervous system. The ability of the nervous system to work more efficiently can lead to many desired benefits. The evidence of this case being that after multiple failed conventional medical treatments."