May 2018

Reduction of Seizures & Self-Aggression Following Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study on April 5, 2018, documenting the reduction of epileptic absence seizures and self-aggression behavior in a male toddler following chiropractic care. This type of seizure is more common in children.

Absence seizures are a type of seizure where the victim can slip into a state of unaware staring. During this time, they are unresponsive and can seem to be staring off into space. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Absence Seizures "…are a type of generalized onset seizures, meaning they begin in both sides of the brain at the same time. An older term is petit mal seizures. They begin and end abruptly, lasting only a few seconds. Absence seizures can be so brief they sometimes are mistaken for daydreaming and may not be detected for months."

In this case, a 3-year-old baby boy was brought to a chiropractic teaching clinic by his parents for consultation and possible care. For the past two years, the boy had been suffering with absence seizures. When the boy was 1-year-old, his parents would find him staring into space. His parents would attempt to talk to him or snap their fingers in front of his face, but he would be non-responsive for 15-20 seconds. Once the seizure ended, the boy would just resume the activity he was doing prior to the event.

By the time the boy was 2-years-old, these seizures became more frequent and were happening about five times per day. After his second birthday, the seizures became more violent being described as, "…he began having clonic seizures where he would stare off and his arms would quickly jerk back and forth, bending at the elbows and going back and forth across his body for approximately 15-20 seconds."  At the conclusion of these seizures, the boy would once again resume his prior activity. When he began to talk, the episodes could interrupt him in mid-sentence. Afterward, he would just continue his sentence. It was reported that the boy was never aware of his seizures. As time went on, the boy started hitting himself in his head with his fists between 5 to 10 times per day.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included static and motion palpation of the spine and spinal musculature, as well as spinal thermal scans, and postural leg length checks. Based upon the examination, it was determined that there was a subluxation present at the first cervical vertebrae (C1) located at the top of the neck. With the consent of the parents, a specific chiropractic adjustment was given to the boy to address the C1 subluxation. Following the adjustment, rechecks of the initial exam finding were performed to verify that the adjustment was effective. The boy was scheduled to receive 2 adjustments per week for the following eight weeks.

After the first adjustment, the study records that the boy did not experience any seizures that day. Over the next two weeks, the number of seizures had reduced from five to only two per day. After eight weeks, the boy's parents reported that their son was only having one absence seizure every other day. They also reported that their son was no longer hitting his head with his fists.

The authors of this study also reviewed additional studies on the subject of epileptic seizures and chiropractic care. They noted that numerous other studies also found similar results in patients with seizure problems. They commented that this study adds to the body of evidence supporting chiropractic care for patients suffering from seizures. "This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in abating the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures in infants."


Resolution of Severe Migraines Following Chiropractic Care

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on May 7, 2018, documenting the resolution of severe hemiplegic migraines after chiropractic care. Hemiplegic migraine is a rare and severe form of migraine headache.

The American Migraine Foundation describes the condition as, "Hemiplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine where people experience weakness on one side of their body (hemiplegia) in addition to the migraine headache attack. The weakness is a form of migraine aura and occurs with other forms of typical migraine aura like changes in vision, speech or sensation."

The study notes that migraines are a common ailment affecting about 12% of the population. It is three times more prevalent in women than in men and is most common in people between the ages of 22 and 55 years. There is some familial tendency with about 50% of those who suffer from migraines having a parent with the same condition.  

In this case, a 36-year-old woman suffering from migraine headaches presented herself to a chiropractor. She had never been to a chiropractor before. Her migraines began when she was 17-years-old and had been getting progressively worse with time. Two years prior to seeking chiropractic, her medical doctor diagnosed her with hemiplegic migraines. The woman would typically have an episode every other month with each migraine episode lasting from between two weeks to a full month. During her migraines, she would experience numbness over the left side of her body including her face.

Her history records that at the age of 16, she was in a motor vehicle accident where she was thrown out of the bed of a pickup truck. From this accident, she suffered two sprained ankles and a whiplash injury.  She was currently on two medications for migraines and bipolar disorder.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included static and motion palpation, range of motion tests and neck x-rays. It was determined from the tests that subluxations were present in the woman's neck. Chiropractic care was started to address the patient's issues.

On her second adjustment visit, one week after her first visit, the woman reported that she did not have a migraine episode since receiving her first adjustment. On her third visit the following week, she reported having only one "traditional migraine" for one week from what she attributed to was "sleeping wrong." On her fourth visit, she reported that she did not have any migraines of any type since her previous visit that week before. A follow-up was conducted seven months later at which time the woman reported that she was still migraine-free.

In their discussion the authors of the study state, "Spinal adjustment is recommended for the management of patients with episodic or chronic migraine with or without aura." They continue by explaining subluxation and the central nervous system, "The central nervous system seems be the ultimate source of migraine. The possibility that abnormal brain hyperexcitability starts migraine attacks is now widely accepted, and the disease threshold seems to be determined by genetic predisposition."


20 Years of Neck and Back Pain Along with Insomnia Helped by Chiropractic

A case study documenting the improvement from chiropractic for long-term pain and insomnia was published in the April 23, 2018, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. This study featured the improvement in overall quality of life for an elderly chiropractic patient who had been suffering for decades.

The study authors begin by noting that the population, in general, is aging. They point out that the number of people 60 years and above, will double globally, reaching 21.1% of the total population, and exceeding 2 billion by the year 2050. They also explain the aging process clearly by saying, "The ability of older adults to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) depends on largely physical functioning. When gait, balance or range of motion (ROM) is impaired, it can have profound and long lasting effects both physically and mentally. Injury and pain are commonly accepted by the older population as a fact of aging. This can result in immobility which may have the possibility of further injury, therefore resulting in loss of independence and lowered quality of life."

In this case, a 75-year-old woman went to the chiropractor. Her primary complaints included persistent neck and shoulder pain which she had been suffering with for the past 20 years. She attributed the issues to a fall she had about 25 years ago where she suffered a fractured left clavicle.

The woman described her pain as a burning sensation across her upper back and into her lower neck. She rated the pain most times as a 6 out of 10 with 10 being the worst. Occasionally, with movement, the pain would increase to an 8 out of 10.  The pain was affecting her daily activities such as sitting for a short time or doing laundry. Her pain was causing problems with her ability to fall asleep or remain asleep. This resulted in her self-medicating with codeine for pain relief in order to be able to sleep. The codeine then caused the woman to suffer with the side effects of waking drowsy and chronic constipation. In addition to her neck pain, she also suffered with chronic lower back pain which often caused pain down her leg.

A chiropractic examination revealed postural anomalies including a forward head carriage. Additionally, her neck range of motion was reduced and uneven. Thermography and surface EMG studies, along with spinal x-rays, were also done and confirmed the presence of subluxations. Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started to address the spinal subluxations.

By the second visit, the patient reported that she noticed less pain than before when doing her laundry. On the fourth visit, the woman reported an increase in pain, which was decreased by the next visit. On her seventh visit, her right shoulder pain had resolved and did not return. On her follow-up evaluation, she reported that her shoulder and neck pain were gone. She also reported that her back pain was resolved, and she was able to sit for three hours without pain.

In their discussion, the authors described how correcting subluxation has a positive effect on health. "Chiropractic care aims to optimize health and wellbeing through the enhancement of the nervous system function by removing nerve interference caused by vertebral subluxations. The correction of vertebral subluxations by chiropractic adjustments are a fundamental component of personal enhancement and wellbeing."

In their conclusion, the authors summed this case up by stating, "This case study demonstrates that chiropractic care has the potential to improve the quality of life, range of motion and chronic pain that is often experienced in the geriatric population


Posture, Motion and Pain Improved with Chiropractic on Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis

A study published on April 12, 2018, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a person suffering with symptoms from ankylosing spondylitis being helped by chiropractic. The study begins by pointing out the focus of chiropractic. "In addition to promoting health, wellness and disease prevention, chiropractors focus on the neuromusculoskeletal system and its integrity for the purpose of enhancing health and performance."

On their website, the Spondylitis Association of America provides an overview of the condition described in this study by saying, "Ankylosing spondylitis or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis -- new bone formation in the spine -- causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position."

The study notes that AS commonly begins in the sacroiliac joints but can occur in other areas of the spine as well. The condition is progressive and is commonly treated with anti-inflammatory and pain drugs, which often come with significant side effects, especially if used for extensive periods of time. Since this condition is both chronic and progressive, the authors note that many people turn to alternative treatments such as chiropractic in order to avoid long-term drug use.

In this case, a 38-year-old man went to the chiropractic for an assessment and possible care for mid to upper back pain, neck pain, left groin pain, right knee and heel pain, and bilateral buttock pain. He had been suffering with a combination of these current pains for the last five years before seeking chiropractic. Overall, he had sought out medical care for a variety of pains for the previous ten years and was eventually diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. He did suffer one work injury six years ago which made his symptoms worse. He was advised by his medical physician that his condition was progressive and would get worse.

On a chiropractic examination, it was recorded that the man was hunched forward due to the forward curve of his spine. His ranges of motion were significantly reduced. Due to his hunched-over position, a pillow was placed under his chest, so he could lie face-down on the chiropractic table for the examination. Chiropractic care was started with special considerations being given to the man's specific spinal situation.

Seven days after the start of chiropractic care, the man reported that he noticed a decrease in pain and an increase in his range of motion after the adjustment. This improvement lasted for one day. After another chiropractic adjustment, the man immediately noticed a decrease in pain and an increase in his motion. He was then given some home exercises to perform in addition to his chiropractic care.

As care continued, the man reported that the exercises caused some soreness afterward, but that his posture and motion continued to improve as did his pain level. With continued chiropractic care and home exercises, the man continued to show improvement. One description of such improvement noted by the study authors included the following: "Prior to chiropractic care, the patient could not lie supine without the use of a thick pillow to support his ‘stuck' forward head carry as he was not able to extend his neck and upper back far enough for his head to lie flat. With chiropractic care, the patient was able to lie comfortably in the supine position with his head lying flat."   

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case report provides supporting evidence that patients suffering from AS may benefit from chiropractic care."


Resolution of Infertility in a 30-Year-Old Following Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on April 26, 2018, documenting the case of chiropractic care resolving infertility in a 30-year-old woman. As defined by the study, "Infertility is the inability to accomplish a pregnancy within one year of regular sexual intercourse without contraception."

The statistics of infertility show that 20% are due to combined male and female factors, while 35% are due to solely male factors and equally 35% are due to female factors with the remaining 10% being attributed to unknown factors. In the U.S. alone, it was estimated that in 2010, 48.5 million couples were infertile.

According to an April 18, 2018, article in the US News and World Report, about 85,000 women undergo in vitro fertilization each year. The cost of such treatments is high with the article reporting that the average cost of IVF treatment, including cycle costs and medication, is $25,000. In most cases, two cycles are needed, bringing the total bill to near $50,000. With these figures, it is no wonder that more couples are turning to alternative care such as chiropractic for a possible solution.

In this case, a 30-year-old female nurse sought out chiropractic care. Her reason for seeking chiropractic was to see if she could be helped with her infertility issue. However, she was also suffering with headaches, low back pain and middle back pain. She had been diagnosed with infertility a year earlier and was trying a variety of medical approaches including performing temperature monitoring and purchasing ovulation kits for infertility as well as taking Clomid throughout days 5-9 of her cycle.

A chiropractic examination revealed spinal areas of increased sensitivity along with a decreased range of motion. Spinal x-rays showed a loss of normal curvatures and malpositioned vertebrae. Specific forms of chiropractic care were started to address the subluxations that were present.

The report shows that after two months of chiropractic care, she had ovulated for two months in a row for the first time. After three months of care, the woman had reported that she had conceived and was pregnant. Additionally, the other symptoms she initially had of headaches, lower and mid back pain were resolved.

In the discussion section of the study, the authors explain how chiropractic care is effective in cases of infertility. "How does chiropractic care and improvement of posture help resolve infertility? It is presumed that stimulation and relief of tension on the spinal cord and nerves play the key role in enabling a female patient to become fertile following chiropractic care. Structurally speaking this patient had vertebral subluxation and reduced sagittal curves throughout all regions in the spine. This lengthens the spinal canal and therefore exerts increased tension onto the spinal cord even during normal motions of the spine and neck. The resultant ‘pathologic' neurological tensions are likely the culprit in neurologic compromise in function of the organs, including those related to fertility."


Resolution of Asthma and Other Functional Disorders Following Chiropractic

On April 9, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study showing chiropractic helping a 9-year-old who was suffering from asthma as well as a number of other functional health issues.

The study begins by noting that in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that approximately 10 million children were diagnosed with asthma, of which 6.8 million of those children continue to live with this problem today. The study reports that in the period between 2002 and 2007, the cost of asthma in the U.S. was 56 billion dollars. Additionally, in 2008 alone, it was estimated that children were absent from school for a total of 14.4 million days from this condition.

According to the professional version of the Merck Manual, "Asthma is a disease of diffuse airway inflammation caused by a variety of triggering stimuli resulting in partially or completely reversible bronchoconstriction". The authors of the study explain asthma by stating, "Asthma is a bronchial tube disorder that is caused by an immune response to a variety of stimuli that causes airways to hyper react to its environmental input." In layman's terms, asthma is when some kind of irritant causes the tubes leading to the lungs to constrict and reduce airflow.

In this case, a 9-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor. The boy was suffering with a number of health complaints with the chief among these being asthma. His asthma had resulted in four previous trips to the emergency room with one of those visits requiring a five day in stay at the hospital. His problem required him to use an Albuterol inhaler one to four times each day.

In addition to the asthma, the boy also suffered with mid back pain that was worse when sitting at school. He also suffered from headaches and neck pain that was accompanied by dizziness. Since birth, it was reported that it would take the boy between one to three hours to fall asleep each night. In addition to all these issues the boy was also suffering with episodes of low back pain, leg and foot pain, colic, sugar cravings, stomachaches, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, behavioral problems, ADHD and eczema.

A thorough chiropractic examination revealed a number of areas of postural distortion and neuromusculoskeletal system dysfunctions. Thermal scans and surface EMG scans also showed variations along the child's spine.  It was determined that subluxations were present and chiropractic care was started.

As the chiropractic care progressed, the child's asthma started to show steady improvement to where he was able to reduce his medication from four times per day to an as needed basis. Additionally, the other symptoms he was experiencing also started to reduce. His sleeping returned to normal so that it did not take hours for him to fall asleep. The boy's complaints of headaches, stomachaches, constipation, diarrhea, neck pain, and back pain were all resolved. It was even noted that he no longer needed special accommodations at school for his ADHD diagnosis.

Previously, the boy would regularly miss days of school due to his asthma and illnesses. After starting chiropractic care, it was reported that he only missed one day of school, his grades greatly improved, and the boy made honor roll.   

In the study conclusion the authors wrote, "This case study shows that chiropractic care to reduce vertebral subluxations may lead to improved health outcomes. It adds to the current literature on the positive outcomes of chiropractic care and children with asthma and other functional disorders."