May 2019

Bellís Palsy Resolved Under Chiropractic - A Case Study

On April 15, 2019, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the resolution of Bell's Palsy in a patient undergoing chiropractic care. WebMD defines this condition by stating, "Bellís palsy is a condition in which the muscles on one side of your face become weak or paralyzed. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to droop or become stiff on that side."

This study begins by noting that Bell's Palsy was named after the Scottish anatomist, Sir Charles Bell, who lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s. This condition accounts for about half of all cases of facial paralysis, affecting between 11.5 and 53.3 per every 100,000 people. This condition can cause difficulty in eating and an inability to close an eyelid, which can lead to serious eye problems. Typical medical treatment is not overly successful and usually involves steroids and antivirals, sometimes in combination with surgical decompression.

In this case, a 68-year-old man went to the chiropractor to see if he could be helped with his drooping and paralysis of the left side of his face. The man stated that his facial paralysis started two weeks earlier, and mentioned that there was no pain with his paralysis. From this problem, the man was unable to close his left eyelid and because of this, he was suffering from dry eye. He also reported that he was having difficulty eating, drinking and speaking. His medical physician prescribed steroids and eye drops, both of which were ineffective. His history revealed that he had been involved in a serious car accident several months earlier.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included an inspection, postural analysis, range of motion, palpation, cranial nerve testing, a heart rate variability study and surface electromyogram (SEMG). In addition, spinal x-rays were taken of the upper portion of the man's neck. From these procedures, it was determined that the man had subluxations in the uppermost portion of his spine and specific chiropractic adjustments were begun.

Upon returning to the chiropractor's office after his initial chiropractic adjustment, it was recorded that the man's face was 80-90% improved in mobility. Two visits later, the study records that the man's facial paralysis was completely resolved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case report provides supporting evidence that patientís presenting with symptoms consistent with Bellís Palsy may benefit from chiropractic care..." They added, "We encourage continued documentation of chiropractic care of similar patients to inform practice and research."


Resolution of Severe Vertigo, Weakness & Headaches in a Patient Undergoing Chiropractic

On April 11, 2019, a case study and review was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documenting chiropractic helping a patient with severe vertigo, headaches, and left sided weakness. 

Wikipedia defines vertigo as "... a symptom where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worse when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness.

This study reports that vertigo is a very common occurrence. They report that in any given year, 5% of the adult population will suffer some form of vertigo, with 1.4% having vertigo as an ongoing issue. This condition becomes more common with age with up to 30% of the elderly population being afflicted. Women are two to three times more likely to suffer from vertigo than are men.  Although vertigo is rarely life-threatening, it does have a significant impact on the quality of life.

In this case study, a 41-year-old woman suffering from severe vertigo went to a chiropractor in hopes of getting help. She also was suffering from left-sided weakness and involuntary swaying from side to side. The woman reported that her problems had been occurring on and off for years, with the most recent episode happening one month before seeking chiropractic.

The vertigo was severely impacting her quality of life as she had difficulty walking without assistance and could not focus visually. Upon further questioning, the woman said that she was suffering from headaches and the entire left side of her body was weak which affected her balance. Her previous medical care from her general practitioner and three different neurologists included the use of corticosteroids, but was ultimately not successful.

A chiropractic examination was performed with great care as the woman needed assistance to prevent her from falling over.  The procedures that could be performed noted the presence of subluxations. After consent from the woman, specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the frequency of three visits per week.

The results of the chiropractic care were immediate and profound. The study reported, "Immediately following the patientís first set of chiropractic adjustment, she stopped swaying and could immediately stand up and walk normally without assistance." The researchers continued to document the progress by noting, "Furthermore, the patient did not experience vertigo. There have since been approximately 10 follow-up chiropractic treatments over about a 1-month time frame without any returning of vertigo symptoms."

In the study's discussion and conclusion the authors stated, "The impact of the chiropractic care should be examined beyond symptom resolution and from a holistic perspective, examine the impact of chiropractic care on this patientís quality of life." They continued,  "This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the patients presenting with vertigo of unknown origin."


Ultrasound Confirmed Resolution of Breech Presentation & Low Back Pain Following Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on April 25, 2019, documenting the case of a woman with a breech pregnancy being resolved under chiropractic care. The woman initially sought chiropractic due to lower back pain during her pregnancy.

A high percentage of the general population will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. Pregnancy is a common factor in the development of lower back pain. The study reports that "Pregnancy-related low back pain has been defined as pain between the 12th rib and the gluteal fold that is present throughout the course of pregnancy. Studies have shown that between 50% and 80% of pregnant women will suffer from low back pain during their pregnancy."

Breech pregnancy is when the fetus is not turned in the normal head down position as the time of birth gets closer. The study reports that between 25% to 30% of all fetuses present as breech before 28 weeks of gestation. By the 34th week, the number of breech pregnancies has decreased down to between 3% and 4% prior to birth.

There is a financial aspect to breech pregnancies as well. Breech pregnancies can increase the cost of a birth by increasing the need for interventions and by increasing the possibilities of complications. The study cited the increased expenses by noting, "The cost of a natural birth in a birthing center averages at $2,277. The cost of a hospital vaginal birth without complication averages $10,657. The cost of a hospital vaginal birth with complications averages $13,749. The cost of a hospital cesarean section without complication averages $17, 859. The cost of a hospital cesarean section with complication averages $23,923.9."

In this case, a 31-year-old woman with complaints of low back pain presented herself for chiropractic evaluation. The woman was 25 weeks pregnant with her second pregnancy. She stated that her lower back pain had started two weeks earlier while holding her 1-year-old child on her hip. The next morning, she was unable to stand. She described the pain as constant and sharp which was aggravated with all types of movement.

A chiropractic examination showed multiple postural distortions such as a right head tilt, right high shoulder, right high hip and increased midback and lower back curvatures. Her spinal ranges of motions were decreased in many areas. A rolling thermal scan and surface electromyography were both positive for the presence of subluxation. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations.

At the time of the womanís seventh visit, she reported that an ultrasound showed that her pregnancy was breech. She also reported a significant improvement in her lower back pain. With further analysis, a chiropractic technique known as "Webster technique" was started to address subluxations and intrauterine constraint. It has been reported that intrauterine constraint can prevent the fetus from moving into a normal head-down birth position. The Webster technique was specifically designed to address this issue.

Two visits later, on the womanís ninth chiropractic visit, it was confirmed by her midwife after another ultrasound that the fetus had turned head down into the normal vertex position. The fetus remained in the proper position, and the woman continued to report a decrease in lower back discomfort.

In their study conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case describes the outcome of a 31-year-old pregnant woman with low back pain and intrauterine constraint under subluxation-based chiropractic care." They further explained, "The necessity for restoration of proper biomechanical function before, during and after delivery is a strong argument for why all pregnant women should be under chiropractic care regardless of the fetal position or onset of low back pain."


Quality of Life Improved with Chiropractic for Child Suffering with Aspergerís Syndrome

On April 8, 2019, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the improvement in the quality of life of a young boy who was suffering with the symptoms of Aspergerís Syndrome as well as neck pain, mid-back and lower back pain, stomach aches and anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Asperger syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder. It is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a distinct group of neurological conditions characterized by a greater or lesser degree of impairment in language and communication skills, as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior." They go on to describe the signs of this condition by noting, "The most distinguishing symptom of AS is a childís obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else."

In this study, the authors point out that the rate of ASD has significantly increased over recent years and is estimated to be 1 in 68 for children at age 8. They also note that the condition is 3 times more prevalent in boys than in girls. They point out that an increasing number of parents are turning to chiropractic for children with some form of ASD to avoid medication treatment and the side effects that accompany the medications used to treat ASD.

In this case, a nine-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother for an evaluation and possible care. At that time, the boy was suffering with neck pain on the right side, midback and low back pain, stomach aches and anxiety. His mother stated that she believed that her son was born with torticollis and still had a slight head tilt.

The boyís neck pain was constant, aching and throbbing and got worse with movement or prolonged sitting. His midback pain was a constant ache that also was made worse with movement or prolonged sitting. The boyís low back pain was characterized as frequent tightness made worse by prolonged sitting. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the boy's neck pain was rated as a 4, his mid back pain was rated as a 5, and his lower back pain was a 6 out of 10.

Due to a long history of problems with irritability since birth, the boy was being treated by medical professionals and therapists. Eventually, when the boy was in the first grade, he was tested and demonstrated traits of Aspergerís Syndrome and determined to have anxiety disorder. Since that point, he has been receiving counseling therapy on and off.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural inspection, static and motion palpation, thermographic heat studies, and spinal x-rays. The conclusion reached from these procedures was that subluxations were present. At that point, specific chiropractic adjustments were started on a weekly basis.

The study reports that one month after the boy started chiropractic care he said, "I had a GREAT day at school." His mother commented that her son had many less tantrums and meltdowns and had better days at school. She noted how unusual that was for her son by saying, "this never happens." The study also documented the improvement of his neck, mid-back and lower back pains.

The study reported that despite good results, marital problems in the boyís family created a situation where he was unable to continue long-term chiropractic care. In their conclusion the authors took these factors into account and stated, "This study provided supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in patients with ASD, document the burden of raising a child with ASD and parental satisfaction with their childís chiropractic care."


Pelvic Pain Resolved in Pregnant Woman Under Chiropractic

On April 18, 2019, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping a pregnant woman who was suffering with pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is not uncommon in pregnant women, with many women seeking chiropractic care for help.

The study begins by noting that, as the uterus grows during pregnancy, there is a change in the biomechanics and positioning of a pregnant woman's pelvis. In addition to this, changes in hormones along with fluid retention can contribute added stress to the pelvis resulting in pain and discomfort.

Many women avoid typical medical care for this type of problem due to fears that medication could negatively affect the developing fetus. For this reason, many pregnant women suffering with pelvic pain seek non-medical forms of care. The most common non-medical care pregnant women utilize for these issues is chiropractic.

The study reports that between 3% and 8% of women who suffer pregnancy related pelvic pain have a specific form of pain known as pubic symphysis dysfunction. Pubic symphysis dysfunction is when the front bones of the pelvis, known as the pubic symphysis, experience excessive movement with possible misalignment and creates pain. According to this study, during pregnancy, this pain can be debilitating and can result in significant physical, psychological, and socioeconomic consequences. 

In this case, a 28-year-old woman in her 20th week of pregnancy presented herself for chiropractic care for the first time. This was her second pregnancy and she was now suffering from painful symphysis pubic dysfunction for the past three weeks. She characterized the pain as aching, dull, stabbing and sharp, that she reported was progressively getting worse. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the woman rated her pain at 5-7 noting that it was present about 60% of the time. Her past history showed that she had suffered a fall during her previous pregnancy which also initiated pubic symphysis pain to a much lesser degree than her current pain.

A chiropractic examination was performed and it was determined that subluxations were present. Specific chiropractic adjustments, appropriate for pregnancy, were started. The study recorded that after three chiropractic adjustments, the woman's pain had completely resolved and she once again had full mobility. After the third chiropractic adjustment, the woman continued care and did not experience any additional symphysis pubic dysfunction during the rest of her pregnancy. She went on to deliver a healthy baby boy. After her pregnancy, the woman also reported that she had greater comfort while walking.

In their conclusion, the authors of the study stated, "This case report provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care for the pregnant woman with pelvic bowl dysfunction."


Anxiety and Panic Attaches Helped with Chiropractic

A research case study distributed on April 9, 2019, documented chiropractic helping a woman with anxiety, panic attacks, low back pain and neck pain. The study was originally published in the Volume 2, 2019, edition of the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic.

The study begins by noting how common a problem lower back and neck pain are. "Low back and neck pain are a significant public health problem affecting increasing numbers of people. In 2015, low back and neck pain were the 4th leading cause of disability-adjusted life years after ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infection."

The study also reports that, according to the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study of 2015, mental disorders were among the highest-ranking causes of nonfatal burdens worldwide. Anxiety which they defined as the "fear or nervousness about what might happen" is the 9th leading cause of nonfatal disability.

In this case, a 38-year-old woman suffering with low back discomfort for 2 years, plus neck pain for the past 6 months and a 3-month history of anxiety and panic attacks, presented herself for a chiropractic evaluation. She stated that her back pain was constant for the past two years but got worse when she was under stress. The woman rated her neck pain as 6 out of 10, and it was made worse when sitting at a desk and leaning forward. These problems affected her ability to get a good night's sleep.

For the prior three months, the woman had also been suffering with anxiety and panic attacks. Her general physician diagnosed her with mild anxiety, but she was not given any medication or referred out for therapy of any kind.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, range of motion evaluation, spinal palpation, a surface EMG study, and a thermography heat study. In addition, a PHQ-4 instrument was used to access the womanís anxiety and depression. The PHQ-4 instrument is a commonly used self-reported assessment short-form that accurately measures depression and anxiety. It has been shown to be reliable and accurate. The womanís initial PHQ-4 score was indicative of mild depression and anxiety.

Based on the presence of subluxations, specific forms of chiropractic care were started. By the 6th visit the woman reported that her neck pain was only present occasionally and had gone from what she rated as a 6 out of 10 down to a 1 or 2 out of 10. She also noted that her back pain had also gone away causing her to comment that she "rarely noticed back and neck pain."

The PHQ-4 screening instrument showed that her anxiety and depression had reduced to almost not being present at all. In addition, the woman showed improvements in her ability to manage stress, as well as her physical functioning and mental and emotional wellbeing.

The study authors summed up the finding in this case by reporting that chiropractic care "Öfor the assessment and correction of vertebral subluxation, was associated with resolution of subjectively reported musculoskeletal discomfort, improvement in measured mental health and physical function in a 38-year-old female." They explained how chiropractic was able to help this patient by stating, "One approach to chiropractic care aims to optimize health and wellbeing through enhancing nervous system function by correction or reduction of vertebral subluxation, typically by manual adjustments."