March 2019

Resolution of Post-traumatic Epilepsy, Headaches & Dizziness Following Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on March 4, 2019, documenting the resolution of posttraumatic epilepsy following a traumatic brain injury. Posttraumatic epilepsy is when seizures occur for longer than a week in a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The study notes that posttraumatic epilepsy may be as common as 13.8% of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury, depending on the severity of the trauma to the brain. They report that the risk of seizure immediately after an injury is slight, but over time that risk increases until the five-year mark when the risk then starts to decrease. Of those that develop seizures after a traumatic brain injury, 86% can be classified as posttraumatic epilepsy.

Men are more likely to develop posttraumatic epilepsy then women. It is estimated that about half of all people with posttraumatic epilepsy will only experience three or fewer seizures and then go into spontaneous remission. Of all cases of epilepsy, posttraumatic epilepsy makes up less than 10% of that total.

In this case, a 19-year-old man brought himself to the chiropractor six months after suffering a head trauma. The injury occurred when he was struck on his head by a 12 pound fully loaded nail gun that had fallen off a roof. Immediately, he was rushed to the hospital bleeding, confused, and disoriented

CT scans and radiographs taken at that time were negative for fracture or internal bleeding. Subsequently, over the next six months, MRIs, electroencephalograms (EEG), and neurologic exams all were negative. As time passed, he developed progressive dizziness, headaches, and at times stuttering and mental fogginess. He was prescribed several medications for his symptoms. Despite all the negative tests, and medications he was given, by six months after the injury, the man was suffering multiple seizures each day.

A chiropractic evaluation was performed which included a postural analysis, palpation, spinal thermal heat readings, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination revealed that subluxation was present in the top bone of the neck, known as the atlas. Specific chiropractic adjustments were then started to address this subluxation.

Almost immediately after starting chiropractic care, the man’s seizure frequency and duration began to reduce. In the first month of care, the man only experienced four seizures compared to an average of 2-3 seizures he was having per day prior to chiropractic.

Two years later, the man was going to the chiropractor infrequently and was only suffering occasional headaches and dizziness. A later follow-up ten years after he started chiropractic care reported that the man no longer suffered from any seizures.

In the discussion for this study, the authors reviewed additional research regarding epilepsy and chiropractic. They noted, "Several case reports and literature reviews demonstrate improvement in patients with epilepsy under chiropractic care, specifically of the upper cervical type." They continued, "A trend among the case reports was upper cervical chiropractic care being beneficial for patients with epilepsy."


Resolution of Intention Tremor Following Chiropractic in an Infant

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 25, 2019, documenting chiropractic bringing about the resolution of intention tremors in an infant.

In describing what a intention tremor is, the authors of the study stated, "Kinetic tremor is a type of action tremor which is typically perceived while a limb is actually moving. If the movement is part of a goal-directed behavior, the tremor is termed an intention tremor; otherwise it is called a simple kinetic tremor."

When a person is suffering from intension tremors, the tremors seem to get worse as the person is getting closer to their target. For instance, if a person with intension tremors is trying to touch their nose, the tremor gets worse as their hand gets closer to their nose.

In this case, a 20-month-old boy was brought to a chiropractic clinic by his parents. The boy’s mother reported that her son’s tremors occurred when reaching for toys or while eating dinner. She also reported that her son was speech delayed for which he had an appointment for a speech-hearing evaluation two weeks from his initial visit to the chiropractor.

The history revealed that the mother had a difficult birth with significant medical intervention. Additionally, the mother could only breastfeed her son for a week due to lack of milk production. Other than his birth, the boy’s development seemed within normal, and there were no issues with allergies or colic.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural inspection, static and motion spinal palpation, spinal ranges of motion, and thermographic heat studies along the spine. From the findings of the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present. Age specific chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations detected with the examination.

The outcome of the care documented in this study showed that, at the time of a re-evaluation seven weeks into the chiropractic care, the objective findings including the thermographic heat studies showed vast improvements. Additionally, the boy’s parents reported that using a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no improvement and 10 being total resolution of all problems, they rated their son as a 9 out of 10 at that point.

The boy’s parents noted that their son’s overall quality of life, behavior, attention, activity levels, co-ordination, appetite and other symptoms had improved significantly. He also demonstrated higher energy levels and a reduced frequency of colds or infections. In less than two months after starting chiropractic care, the boy was able to speak in three word sentences.

"Chiropractic care focuses on the detection and treatment of the vertebral subluxation by interaction with the spinal cord," stated the researchers in their conclusion. They continued, "This case provides an instance in which multiple symptoms of cerebellar dysfunction in a pediatric patient have improved because of the application of chiropractic care."


Foot Drop and Foot Numbness Resolved Under Chiropractic - A Case Study

A case study was published on February 11, 2019, in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic that highlighted the case of a man suffering with foot drop and foot numbness being helped by chiropractic. Foot drop happens when a person is unable to lift the top of their foot upward causing it to drop down as if pointing their toes.

Typically, foot drop is accompanied by a numbness in the top side of the foot. The study notes that the common peroneal nerve is often the source of the dysfunction that then results in the muscles controlled by this nerve being unable to flex the foot upward.

The common peroneal nerve is a branch from the sciatic nerve. A dysfunction in either the common peroneal nerve or the sciatic nerve or the origin of the sciatic at the spine can create foot drop without there being any pain in the nerves that feed the muscles for the top of the foot.

In this case, a 61-year-old man sought care at a hospital-based chiropractic clinic. His chief complaint was right-sided foot drop. His problem began 9 days prior to his chiropractic visit. As described by the study, his symptoms began "following 3 days of sitting in his canoe with the right lateral aspect of his leg resting against the gunnel of the canoe." The man had been sitting on a canoe for three hours each day over the course of three days. By the end of the third day, he had problems walking up a hill as his foot would not flex properly.

Upon arriving home an hour later, he noticed he had lost some feeling on the top of his right foot, as well as being unable to flex his foot upward at all. He went to his medical doctor who did not prescribe or render any treatment other than to tell the man to wait ten days to see how he was doing. After nine days with no improvement, the man decided to seek chiropractic care.

A physical and chiropractic examination was performed which confirmed the loss of sensation and feeling on the top side of his right foot. Chiropractic care was started with the man being seen twice a week for the first three weeks, followed by once a week visits. In addition, the man also received physical therapy in the hospital setting.

In the discussion, the authors of this study provided an overview by stating, "Our patient initially presented to his primary care physician, who told him to monitor his condition for any changes; there was no treatment provided, no recommendations for palliative care and minimal discussion related to his condition. Still seeking answers, the patient came to the chiropractic office on a self-referral, where a complete and comprehensive physical exam was performed, and a treatment program was implemented."

As a result of his care, the study reports that the man continued to improve with both his ability to upwardly flex his right foot as well as an increase in sensation and feeling in his foot. By the 11th week, the man had completely regained the function of his right foot and no longer had a loss of sensation or feeling.


Resolution of Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures Following Chiropractic

A case study published on February 11, 2019, in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented the resolution of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in a patient undergoing chiropractic care.

According to Peter Pressman, M.D., former clinical instructor in neurology at the Memory and Aging Center of UC San Francisco, "Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), also referred to as pseudo-seizures, are sudden episodes that resemble epileptic seizures. The difference is that epileptic seizures are caused by changes in the electric activity of the brain, while non-epileptic seizures are believed to have a psychological cause, rather than a physical cause." 

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are not very common. According to this study, only about 4% of all seizures are PNES. Because the symptom are closely related to epileptic seizures, many patients with PNES are initially treated for epilepsy before being given a diagnosis of PNES.

In this case, a 30-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. The woman's chief complaint was that she was suffering from full body convulsions that began several years earlier. Prior to seeking chiropractic care, the woman was diagnosed with a nonepileptic seizure disorder by an internist and two neurologists. The medical tests included a full blood workup, brain scans and an electrocardiogram, which all showed to be within normal limits. She was given medication which did not help her condition.

Her symptoms included light-headedness, fainting without loss of consciousness, heavy chest compressions resulting from anxiety and even a loss of vision lasting 30-45 seconds. She also reported having a complete loss of motor function in her legs, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and tremors. These episodes were occurring three times per week, lasting an hour each time, and usually happened when she sat up quickly or arising from bed in the morning.

The woman underwent a series of medical tests including a full blood workup, brain scans and an electrocardiogram, which all showed to be within normal limits. She was given medication which did not help her condition. As medical care continued, her condition seemed to be getting worse to the point where she was having 6 seizures per day. At this point, her internist contacted a chiropractor to see if she could be helped.

Upon seeking chiropractic, the woman was given a chiropractic evaluation and specific spinal x-rays. From the findings, specific forms of chiropractic care were started. The woman's care plan began with three visits in the first week, and then twice a week for the next five months. 

After her initial adjustment, the woman reported that she was able to stand upright without feeling compression on her spine and internal organs, which she could not do prior to her first chiropractic adjustment. She also reported that her convulsions with preceding symptoms stopped for two days after her first visit. She reported that after her second adjustment, her symptoms went away for ten days.

After 7 months of care, the woman reported very few short convulsive episodes that she described as self-induced due to activity. After that point, the woman continued chiropractic care and had no further episodes or symptoms of her previous PNES problems. 


Study Shows Single Chiropractic Adjustment Increases Strength in Stroke Victims

A study published on February 25, 2019, in Nature's Scientific Reports, showed that even a single chiropractic adjustment showed an increase in strength in stoke victims. According to the researchers, "The objective of this study was to investigate whether a single session of chiropractic care could increase strength in weak plantar flexor muscles in chronic stroke patients."

Plantar flexion occurs when you point your toes such as when standing on your toes. Researchers can measure plantar flexion by measuring the V-waves and H-reflexes of the soleus muscle. The soleus muscle is more commonly known as the calf muscle and is the powerful muscle at the back of your lower leg. In many stroke victims, these muscles are affected making walking and daily activity very difficult. Any procedure or therapy that can help to strengthen these muscle will dramatically improve the quality of life of a stroke victim.

The study begins by pointing out the impact that stoke has on our society. The authors note, "Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. It is estimated that 17 million people per year suffer from a significant stroke worldwide, with 5 million of those people experiencing long term physical disability following the stroke." They continued, "Stroke often results in prolonged physical, emotional, social and financial consequences for stroke survivors, family, friends, and caregivers."

The study was conducted at Railway General Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Railway General Hospital is a teaching hospital run by Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.  The data was collected and tabulated by a team of researchers from the Centre for Chiropractic Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic.

In this study, 12 chronic stroke patients were tested for soleus muscle activity by measuring their V-waves and H-reflexes. All 12 of the participants were initially tested for their V-waves and H-reflexes of their soleus muscles. The participants were then separated into two groups. One group would receive a single chiropractic adjustment to an area where a subluxation was determined to be present. The other group got a controlled passive movement intervention. A follow-up measurement was taken immediately after the chiropractic adjustment and the controlled procedure. Another follow-up measurement was take on all subjects seven days later after all participants had received the controlled passive movement.

The group that received a single chiropractic adjustment showed an average improvement in the testing of 64% compared to the group that only got the controlled procedure. The researchers stated, "The key findings in this study were that in a group of chronic stroke patients, with lower limb muscle weakness, plantarflexion muscle strength increased on average by 64.2% following a chiropractic care session." They concluded, "Plantar flexor muscle strength increased in chronic stroke patients after a single session of chiropractic care."


US Ranks 35th on List of Healthiest Nations

A report released on February 24, 2019, showed that the U.S. is ranked 35th in health worldwide. This study, the "Bloomberg 2019 Healthiest Country Index" ranks the countries with the 169 largest economies according to factors that contribute to overall health.

This study showed that the U.S. has dropped one ranking from 34th to 35th from the prior report in 2017. The U.S. trails almost all modern industrial nations in health. But what may seem shocking is that the U.S. also is behind the nations of Costa Rica, Cuba, Croatia, Chile, Estonia, and the Czech Republic. The countries that are just below the U.S. include Bahrain, Qatar, Maldives, and Lebanon.

Spain tops the list as the healthiest nation in the world, surpassing Italy who was on top in the prior report. The top ten healthiest nations according to the report are: Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, Norway, and Israel. 

In creating the ranking, the index grades countries on multiple factors such as life expectancy, obesity, tobacco use, availability to clean water, environmental factors, and sanitation. Japan and Switzerland have the overall longest life expectancy, with Spain being just behind them and expected to overtake them in the coming years.

In explaining why Spain does so well in health ranking, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies 2018 review of Spain noted that in that country, "Primary care is essentially provided by public providers, specialized family doctors and staff nurses, who provide preventive services to children, women and elderly patients, and acute and chronic care."

The report points out that the U.S. life expectancy has been decreasing over the past several years. This decrease and the subsequent lowering of the health ranking as compared to other nations is primarily due to deaths from drug overdoses and suicides.

Another factor sited as a reason for the U.S. performing badly is the epidemic of obesity. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. This equates to about 93.3 million obese Americans.

Dr. George Curry, a chiropractor and president of the International Chiropractors Association added a chiropractic perspective on the U.S. ranking. "The U.S. spends the most money by far on medical care. Additionally, Americans take vastly more drugs than people in any other nation. These factors, combined with diet and a tendency to over-treat many conditions, leads to a less healthy population that we see reflected in this report."