Resolution of Anxiety, Depression and Decreased Medication with Chiropractic
The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 12, 2018, documenting the care of a woman with a clinical diagnosis of depression and anxiety being helped by chiropractic.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things." This condition is twice as likely to affect women than men and is most common in middle age. It is estimated that this condition may affect up to 18% of the population in the U.S. alone, which represents about 40 million people.
There are several symptoms that have been associated with GAD including a feeling of restlessness or on edge, being easily fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, the feeling of your mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances.
Panic attacks are many times associated with GAD and are sudden in onset. To be classified as having a panic attack, a person must be having at least four specific symptoms from a list of 13 symptoms associated with the attack. These symptoms include heart palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, feelings of choking, chest discomfort or pain, nausea, dizziness, or feeling faint, hot flashes or chills, numbness or tingling, and a fear of dying.
Depression is described by this study as, "depressed mood most of the day, diminished interest or pleasure in activities throughout the day, significant weight loss, insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day, psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day, fatigue or loss of energy approximately every day, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt every day, diminished ability to think or indecisiveness nearly every day, and recurrent thoughts of death."
In this case, a 30-year-old woman went to a chiropractor seeking help for anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. She had been suffering with these conditions for 8 years and was being treated medically with a variety of medications. She reported that she felt she needed to take her medication "too often lately".
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, thermography, and spinal x-rays. From the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of four visits per week.
After two weeks of chiropractic care, the woman reported that she had a decrease in frequency of panic attacks, from seven times per week down to less than one per week. She also reported that she was sleeping better and noticed an increase in her energy.
After four months of care, the woman stated that she no longer suffered from depression or anxiety. She stated that she had an increased quality of life due to the ability to be happy as well as her increase in energy. As time and her chiropractic care continued, the patient reported that she was able to get off all her medications for anxiety and depression.
In the conclusion of this study, the authors wrote, "The patient involved in this case study states that she had no anxiety or depression after four months of chiropractic care on subjective patient progression forms. After long term care of two years, the patient ceased all medication for anxiety and depression. The results obtained in this case study shows positive improvement in mental health when chiropractic care was implemented."
Chiropractic More Effective Than Laxatives for Pediatric
In their November 2018 issue, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) published a case study and review of literature following the case of a child who was suffering with functional constipation being helped by chiropractic. Functional constipation is when there is no underlying pathological condition causing the constipation.
Approximately 95% of all cases of constipation do not have an organic cause and are therefore considered functional constipation. It is estimated that 3% of children in the western world suffer from functional constipation. Medical care usually consists of lifestyle recommendations concerning food, and the giving of laxative medications.
Studies prior to this one reported that that 36.4% of children with functional constipation were taken by their parents for alternatives therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathic and chiropractic manipulations, as well as spiritual and psychological therapies.
Beyond just the physical problems from constipation, the long-term effect on a young child can be significant. Suffering with constipation for a long period can put a child at risk of missing developmental milestones, as well as suffering emotional and physical disturbances that can have severe consequences later in childhood and into adult life.
In this case, a 21-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl had been suffering with episodes of constipation for the past 15 months. The problem started when the child started to eat solid foods at about the age of 6 months. The girl would only experience a bowel movement every 5 or 6 days. The girl would strain when going to the bathroom and would occasionally cry out in pain when passing a stool. Rarely, due to the hardness of the stool, the child experienced bleeding from her rectum.
The girl’s parents tried to help their daughter through natural and healthy foods and increased fluid intake. However, eventually, they took their girl to an pediatrician who prescribed laxatives. The laxatives seemed to give some relief, but the problem would immediately return when her parents attempted to take their daughter off the drugs.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual inspection, both static and motion palpation, and spinal ranges of motion. From the examination, it was determined that multiple levels of subluxations were present. Specific spinal adjustments, appropriate for the girl’s age and size, were started to address the subluxations.
After the girl’s first adjustment, it was reported that she started having regular bowel movement either daily, or every other day. The girl’s mother immediately discontinued giving her daughter the laxative medication, as it was no longer needed. After five months of continued wellness chiropractic and without the aid of laxative medication, the girl had not had any issues with constipation.
In reviewing the available scientific literature concerning the medical treatment of functional constipation in pediatric patients, the authors concluded, "The effectiveness of laxatives is not showed in placebo-controlled trials and does not warrant the widely accepted usage. We observe that there are side effects in using laxatives for children." They continued, "Chiropractic experience-based practice showed positive results in functional constipation. Children and infants with constipation as with other conditions should be treated regarding all aspects of their health."
Breastfeeding Reduces Chance of Childhood Obesity
The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) published a review of studies in their November 2018 edition that shows that breastfeeding early in life reduces the possibility of childhood obesity. This paper reviewed previous studies on breastfeeding as it related to early obesity in children.
This study was conducted at AECC University College, Bournemouth, in the United Kingdom. The statistics of obesity in this study were from the European union, but similar, and in many cases worse statistics are true in the United States. The issues are therefore comparable on both continents and should be addressed equally on both sides of the ocean.
The study begins by noting that obesity in the European Union (EU) is increasing. Notably, England and Poland have demonstrated the steepest increases in obesity. It is estimated that each year 400,000 children across Europe are becoming overweight or obese. Evidence shows that overweight children generally become overweight adults. This then puts them at higher risks of all the health issues that arise from obesity as well as a higher risk of death from the issues related to obesity. It is estimated that in the EU around 2.8 million deaths per year result from obesity associated diseases.
The study authors point out that proper diet and exercise can correct obesity, but they concede that the implementation of this lifestyle is many times easier said than done. They also note that there is a correlation between the tendency to become an overweight child and breastfeeding early in live. They state, "Several high-quality studies indicate that breastfed children have a lower risk of childhood obesity." Unfortunately, the researchers point out that England has one of the lowest rates of breast feeding in Europe.
The study recommendations for breastfeeding say, "It is extensively acknowledged that infants should be nourished with nothing other than breastmilk for the first six months of life and that breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods for up to and beyond two years of age." The researchers sought to find out if lower rates of both exclusive breastfeeding and combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding could affect the increase rate of obesity in children.
Using a calculation known as the body mass index (BMI) as a common way to determine obesity, the researchers looked at a large number of studies to determine how many fit the criteria and could add insight into breastfeeding rates and the effect on obesity. In their review, they determined that 25 studies with 226,508 subjects met their criteria. Data from these studies was then analyzed to draw conclusions.
The results of the analysis of all these studies showed that babies who were breastfed for seven months or longer were 22% less likely to be obese compared to who had never been breastfed. When the researchers compared those children who had at sometime been breastfed to those that had never been breastfed, the results still showed a 15% reduction in obesity for those babies who had some breastfeeding as compared to those who had never been breastfed at all.
In their discussion the authors state that, "The answer to the research question is that breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk for childhood obesity, at least to some extent." They continued in the study conclusion by saying, "Research suggests that early breastfeeding is protective against childhood obesity."
Bedwetting Solved with Chiropractic
A case study was published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics November 2018 issue that documented the improvement and eventual resolution of bedwetting in a little girl as a result of chiropractic care. The technical name for bedwetting at night is nocturnal enuresis.
According to this study, "Nocturnal enuresis can be defined by the involuntary loss of urine during sleep, without organic disease at a developmental age of 5 years or older." Nocturnal enuresis is more common in younger children but can be present as a child grows older. The prevalence shows that this condition occurs in 15% to 20% of children of five years of age. It then decreases in prevalence to 5% of children of 10 years of age, and only 1% to 2% of children at age 15 years or older.
Common medical treatment involves medications or behavioral interventions. However, in many cases the problems re-occur when the medications are discontinued. Bedwetting can lead to a social and emotional stigma, a reduction in the quality of life, and can lead to self-esteem issues.
In this case, a mother brought her 10-year-old daughter to the chiropractor. The mother was seeking a second opinion to see if chiropractic could help her daughter with bedwetting that had been unsuccessfully treated both medically, and with behavioral modification. Prior to seeking a chiropractic evaluation, the young girl had never experienced a dry night. She had no history of traumas, accidents or other injuries. Due to her problem, the girl has been sleeping with pull-up diapers since age five.
A chiropractic examination was performed with the primary goal of looking to see if subluxations were present. According to the study authors, "In chiropractic, a vertebral subluxation is a biomechanical change in the spinal column that causes neurological dysfunction. The urinary bladder is supplied by both autonomic and somatic nerves emerging from the lumbopelvic region of the spine." If there was a subluxation affecting the nerves that control the bladder, then correction of that subluxation could cause normal bladder function and the correction of the nocturnal enuresis."
After obtaining informed consent from the girl’s mother, specific chiropractic care was started to address the subluxations that were determined to be present. The young girl was initially seen twice per week for four weeks, after which visits were reduced to once per week. The girl was asked to keep a diary of her progress so that she could monitor changes.
After the first week of chiropractic care, the girl reported two consecutive dry days. After her third chiropractic visit, the girl reported in her diary that she was no longer waking in the morning with fully wet pull-up diapers. After five chiropractic visits, she reported having four consecutive dry nights. The young girl was very pleased with her results as she was very happy and proud to show her bedwetting progress she had recorded in her diary. Between the girl’s 8th and 12th visit she did experience some minor setbacks due to family activity and stress. However, between her 12th and 14th visit, it was reported that she was totally dry, which represented the longest period of her life that she had experienced dry nights.
Long-term follow-ups of this girl’s case showed that she continued to remain free of nocturnal enuresis. This created a positive change in the girl’s mood and self-esteem. It was reported that she was able to participate in more frequent sleepovers with friends without the stress and fear of wetting the bed.
Improvements in Autism Spectrum Disorder Following Chiropractic
The November 2018 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a case study documenting the improvement in a 3-year-old who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study defines this condition by saying, "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that can cause problems with cognition (thinking), emotion (feeling), language (talking) and sociability (the ability to relate to others)."
According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), the rate of diagnosis of this issue has significantly increased. It is now estimated that approximately 1 in 59 children are reported as having some form of ASD in 2018. According to the Community Report on Autism released by the CDC in 2016 "…the economic burden of treatment for individuals nationwide diagnosed with ASD from birth to age 17 was estimated to be between $11.5 - $60.9 billion per year in the United States."
ASD is treated medically in a variety of ways including behavior and communication therapies, occupational therapy, family and educational therapies, and medications. The medications are usually given to address the symptoms and to assist in socialization or learning. However, there is much controversy concerning using medications on developing brains, as well as the long-term impact of this type of medication usage.
In this case, a 3-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl had been diagnosed with ASD. She could not communicate verbally and did not use any form of non-verbal cues such as pointing for basic needs or sign language. Her only form of communication was through crying and an occasional guttural sound. The young girl did not like being touched. At times being touched would not bother her, but other times it would send her into a temper tantrum. The girl seemed to walk on her toes half the time and seemed off-balanced, often bumping into things when walking or running.
The history revealed that the mother had a difficult birth with her daughter. Due to difficulties, both vacuum and forceps were used during the vaginal delivery. A large amount of head swelling was noticed on the infant after birth and she was cyanotic requiring oxygen to be immediately administered after birth. The girl had received all scheduled vaccinations. From previous testing, it was determined that the girl’s original ATEC total composite score was 105. A score of 104 or higher indicated that the girl was considered severely autistic.
Considering the girl’s condition, the chiropractic examination was modified to accommodate her situation. The examination included inspection, a postural analysis, leg-length analysis, and both motion and static palpation. Based on the findings, chiropractic adjustments were started.
After the girl’s fourth adjustment, it was reported that she held eye contact with her mom for five seconds. This was the first time that her daughter had made purposeful eye contact with her mother. By the seventh chiropractic visit, the girl’s mother stated that there had been a "big change" in the amount of eye contact that her daughter would do and her demeanor had gotten much calmer when they are at home.
During the 11th visit, the girl held the chiropractor’s hand calmly after her adjustment. Her subsequent ATEC score had dropped to 63, which was a significant improvement. As the girl’s care continued over time, she was able to make additional improvement surpassing several milestones. Eventually, the girl’s ATEC score had reduced to 32. A score below 50 indicates that the child will most likely be able to lead a semi-independent life without needing to be placed in a formal care facility. A score below 30 would indicate that the child possesses somewhat normal behavior patterns and communication skills and has a high chance of leading a normal and independent life.
In the conclusion, the authors of this study wrote, "This case report helps to strengthen the relationship between correcting subluxations and the improvements in the myriad of symptoms of children diagnosed with ASD.
Dogs with Paraplegia Helped by Chiropractic According to Study
On November 26, 2018, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study highlighting chiropractic helping dogs that were diagnosed with paraplegia secondary to intervertebral disc disease. The authors noted the reason for this study by saying, "The objective of this article is to explore the role of animal chiropractic in helping canines suffering from hind end paralysis secondary to vertebral subluxation and intervertebral disc disease."
The study begins by noting that the demand for alternative types of care for animals has been increasing as of late. One of the factors cited in the study for this increase is the expense of surgical procedures and rehabilitation for veterinary care.
Detractors of chiropractic care have long said that the positive results from chiropractic can be explained away by a placebo effect. However, this can not be the case in animals as chiropractic would not present a possibility for placebo effects when rendered to an animal.
It is estimated that 3.5% of dogs will suffer with intervertebral disc disease sometime in their lives. Typical medical treatment is medications or surgery with possibly some physical therapy. As in humans, this regime on canines is often expensive with less than great results.
Chiropractic care for animals centers around the detection and correction of subluxations. The study explains, "Chiropractic addresses vertebral subluxations in the spine via the adjustment. A subluxation, in terms of animal chiropractic, is defined as a shift in the normal structure of one vertebrae compared to those above and below, causing a biomechanical change that can interfere with the nervous system."
This study reviewed 24 individual cases of dogs who were brought into a veterinary chiropractic office. Each canine had been diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease by their respective veterinarians. Additionally, each of the dogs in this study also suffered from varying degrees of hind end paralysis because of their disc problems. The majority of the dogs were recommended to have a MRI followed by disc surgery.
All 24 dogs had significant inflammation and hunching in their mid-back areas. Some were experiencing pain from their problems while others did not seem to exhibit any pain. The common characteristic of the dogs in this study is that each of the 24 were found to have subluxations that were then addressed by chiropractic adjustments.
In this study, all 24 dogs experienced positive results. All 24 recovered completely from their hind end paralysis and were all were able to walk normally again. There was some variation seen from case to case in the amount of time needed, and the number of visits required before total recovery.
In the conclusion of the study, the researchers summed up the results by stating, "Twenty-four canines diagnosed with hind end paralysis secondary to intervertebral disc disease were evaluated and cared for in our practice. Every canine that began care eventually regained the ability to walk again. This indicates that chiropractic care may be an effective treatment to address biomechanical pathology that results from dysfunction of the spine."