September 2019

Improvement in Post-Concussion Syndrome Under Chiropractic

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case series on August 19, 2019, documenting the improvement under chiropractic care of two patients who were suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome. Neither of the two patients described in this case series had their health complaints until after having head trauma.

The study author begins by describing concussion. "Concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that is described as a head trauma resulting in disorientation, impaired or loss of consciousness lasting 30 minutes or less in combination with a number of unspecific neurological and cognitive symptoms."

In the first case, a 16-year-old girl went to a chiropractor. Her chief health issues were dizziness, ringing in the ears, headaches, and brain fog for 3 months following a concussion injury. The girl reported that her symptoms began after she fell from a horse and struck her head on the ground. Immediately after the fall, she was taken to the ER but was discharged after a CT Scan ruled out intracranial bleeding. Two months after her fall, she was still missing school and she was unable to read or study for more than 20 minutes. She was also suffering from severe headaches which affected her activities.

The second case in this series involved a 30-year-old woman who was suffering with chronic migraine headache and vertigo following an automobile accident. After the accident, she was taken to the ER and was diagnosed with a concussion and cervical sprain injury. Since her accident, she was suffering with daily migraine headaches and dizziness.

Both of these patients underwent a chiropractic examination and spinal x-rays. Based upon the analysis of the findings, it was determined that both had various forms of subluxation and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed.

In the case of the 16-year-old, she reported continual improvement. After the 5th week of care, she reported a 60% improvement in dizziness, 100% improvement in headaches, and 60% improvement in concentration.

In the second case, the 30-year-old woman reported that she noticed relief starting just after her first adjustment. By the 12 visit, she reported an 80% improvement in headache intensity and that she no longer suffered with dizziness. She also noted that the frequency of the migraines had drastically reduced.

In their conclusion the author wrote, "The preceding case series describes the improvement in 2 female patients with post-concussion syndrome utilizing (chiropractic.)"


Access to Chiropractic May Reduce Medical Spending on Spine Conditions for Seniors

A study published on August 9, 2019, by the American Journal of Managed Care shows that when the elderly have access to chiropractic care, the expenditures for spine related problems decreases.

The purpose of the study, as stated by the authors was, "Chiropractic care is a service that operates outside of the conventional medical system and is reimbursed by Medicare. Our objective was to examine the extent to which accessibility of chiropractic care affects spending on medical spine care among Medicare beneficiaries."

This study looked at health records of 84,679 older adults enrolled in Medicare who had moved at least once from 2010 to 2014. The researchers checked to see if these Medicare recipients moved from an area of higher access to chiropractors to an area of lower access, or from an area of low access to a higher access area.

The researchers would then look at the expenditures for these people to see if relocating to a new area with either a higher or lower density of chiropractors had an effect on overall spending for medical spine-related conditions. The researchers also adjusted their results of account for any availability changes in medical care. With this, the results obtained would be purely due to the accessibility of chiropractic care.

The study reports the financial impact that spine related conditions has by noting, "Back pain and neck pain are associated with an estimated direct cost of $86 billion to the United States economy." The study also reports, "Approximately one-fourth of all adults will experience nonspecific back pain during a 3-month period, and at any one point in time, approximately 30% of older adults suffer from back pain."

Chiropractic care is widely used by the U.S. population as the study states. "With more than 100 million visits for spine conditions each year the chiropractic profession is the largest health service that operates outside of the conventional medical system and the only such service reimbursed by Medicare."

The importance of this type of information was explained by the researchers when they described the usage of chiropractic for the population is covered by Medicare. "Medicare spends $400 million to $500 million on chiropractic care each year and chiropractic care has been scrutinized several times by the Office of the Inspector General. A prior study uncovered an association between higher accessibility of chiropractic care and lower reliance on primary care services, suggesting that chiropractic care may substitute for medical care."

This study showed that overall there was a statistically significant reduction in costs for medical care of spine conditions when chiropractic care was more readily available. In their conclusion, the authors summed their findings by saying, "Among older adults, access to chiropractic care may reduce medical spending on services for spine conditions."


Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ in Sons

The headline above is from an article published on August 20, 2019, in the publication, The Scientist. It is based on scientific study published the day before in JAMA Pediatrics with the title, Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada.

The study, which was also reported on in many news outlets, used data that was collected as part of a program in Canada called the "Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals program." The program reviewed information on pregnant mothers and their children born between 2008 and 2012 in six Canadian cities.

The researchers examined the mothers’ fluoride exposure during their pregnancy and compared that information with IQ studies of their children at 3 or 4 years of age. The study looked at 601 mother-child pairs recruited from 6 major cities in Canada. In those cities, 41% of the mothers lived in communities supplied with fluoridated municipal water.

The scientists assessed the amount of fluoride exposure for the pregnant women in two ways. One way was to measure the amount of fluoride in the womens’ urine samples during pregnancy. The second way was to calculate the fluoride consumption based on how much was in their city's water supply and how much the women recalled drinking.

The pregnant women who lived in cities with fluorinated water showed 0.69 milligrams per liter of fluoride in their urine, compared to only 0.4 milligrams per liter of fluoride in the urine of women living in cities without fluoridated water.

The results showed that at between ages 3 and 4, the children of the mothers who were exposed to fluoride in their water supply had a lower IQ score. This finding was more pronounced in boys than in girls. In boys, it was shown that 1 ml increase of fluoride in the pregnant mother’s urine resulted in a 4.6-point drop in their son’s IQ level when tested 3-4 years after birth.

Christine Till, a co-author and associate professor of psychology at York University in Toronto stated in a NPR article on the study, "Only boys were affected when we looked at urinary fluoride," she said, "but both boys and girls were affected when we looked at maternal fluoride intake or water fluoride concentration."

Another study author, Rivka Green, a neuropsychology doctoral candidate at York University in Toronto, Canada, commented in the Scientist article "We tried to be as cautious and careful as possible," she says. "We’re not coming in saying that fluoride is poison or anything like that. We’re just . . . letting the data tell the story."

The conclusion of the study stated, "In this study, maternal exposure to higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged 3 to 4 years. These findings indicate the possible need to reduce fluoride intake during pregnancy."


Pregnant Woman Injured During Pregnancy Helped with Chiropractic

A case study was published on August 1, 2019, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, documenting the improvement of a pregnant woman who was helped by chiropractic care after an injury during her pregnancy.

The authors of the study begin by reporting that traumatic injuries complicate 6% to 8% of pregnancies. This results in approximately 30,000 pregnant women having to seek care for their injuries. The breakdown shows that 54.6% are from motor vehicle accidents, 22.3% from violent assaults, 21.8% from falls, and the remainder from a variety of other incidents.

Accidents and trauma during pregnancy can affect the mother and the unborn infant. Studies have shown that the infant survival rate after a serious trauma is reduced to 56% following the trauma with most of the fetal deaths occurring in the 2nd trimester. The study points out the serious consequences, "Among pregnant women who sustained severe injuries, there is 17-fold increased risk for placental abruption and a 30-fold increased risk for fetal death."

In this case, a 36-year-old woman who was in the 33rd week of her pregnancy presented herself for a chiropractic evaluation and possible care. Two weeks prior to her visit, she fell down a 15-step set of stairs. After the fall, she went into premature labor and was taken to the hospital. She was released two days later and told that she would probably have her baby early.

One week later, the woman developed pain in her hips, lower back and pelvis. She reported that it was becoming increasing difficult to lift her toddler son as well as perform her daily activities. She rated the pain as between 8 and 10 on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being the worst.

A chiropractic examination showed several postural abnormalities including a forward position head and an increased curve on the lower back. Palpation of the woman’s spine showed multiple areas of sensitivity and tight musculature. Her spinal range of motion was both restricted and painful.

It was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given appropriate for her subluxations and being pregnant. It was recommended that she be adjusted 2-3 times per week for the remainder of her pregnancy.

The woman reported that within the first three chiropractic visits, she had a significant improvement in her pain and quality of life. After three visits, her pelvic pain had resolved as did her lower back pain after five visits. She delivered a baby girl just one day short of 38 weeks, which was longer than expected by her medical physicians and longer than for her first child.

In their discussion, the authors relate how common chiropractic care is becoming for pregnant women. "Since the inception of chiropractic, the care of the pregnant patient has taken place. In the modern era, the popularity of chiropractic for this patient population is justified in terms of chiropractic’s effectiveness in addressing pregnancy-related musculoskeletal complaints and improvements in quality of life."


Resolution of Chronic Constipation Following Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on August 12, 2019, documenting the resolution of chronic constipation in a toddler following the introduction of chiropractic care. Childhood functional constipation is reported to affect between 8-9% of the pediatric population with the condition affecting boys and girls equally. It is responsible for 3% of all pediatric primary care doctor visits.

The Mayo Clinic lists several signs that a child is suffering with constipation. These include: less than three bowel movements a week, bowel movements that are hard and dry and difficult to pass, pain while having a bowel movement, stomach pain, and blood on the surface of hard stools.

The author of the study notes that the main nerve in the body that controls the gastrointestinal system is the "vagus" nerve. This nerve originates in the upper neck area and travels down to many of the internal organs including the intestinal system. Any malfunction in the transmission of the nerve can have a negative effect on the gastrointestinal system, causing problems such as constipation.

In this case, a 3-year-old girl was brought by her parents to the chiropractor. It was reported that the girl had been suffering with chronic constipation for the prior year. During this time, the young girl would only have a bowel movement approximately every three to five days with the help of medication. When she did have a bowel movement, it was usually very large and more solid than normal. The medical physicians who examined the girl could not find a medical cause for the constipation and therefore said it was "functional."

A chiropractic examination was performed. This included a postural evaluation, spinal range of motion tests, spinal segmental range of motion, and a heat reading thermographic study. From these tests, it was determined that subluxations were present, mainly in the upper neck. Specific forms of age-appropriate adjustments were started.

There were no changes noted after the girl’s first adjustment. However, after the second adjustment, the girl said she needed to go to the bathroom, and she had a bowel movement in the chiropractic office restroom. The girl’s parents noted that this was the first bowel movement she had in months that was not initiated by medication or laxatives. On the third visit one week later, the girl’s mother reported that her daughter was having daily bowel movements without any laxatives or medications. In the following three months, there was only one reported episode of the girl having constipation. This one episode was relieved on the same day after a chiropractic adjustment.

In the study’s discussion and conclusion, the author wrote, "Constipation adversely affects the quality of life of those afflicted with this condition. Any treatment that can fully alleviate constipation, and notably without dependence upon a pharmacological agent which reduces the symptom temporarily, warrants strong consideration. This case report provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in a young patient diagnosed with chronic functional constipation.


Child Saved from Possible Adenoids and Tonsil Surgery with Chiropractic

In the August 8, 2019, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, is a case study documenting the resolution of a case of swollen tonsils that was recommended for surgery but became unnecessary after chiropractic care was started. 

The adenoids and tonsils are both part of the lymphatic system and therefore an important part of a defense system from parasites and bacteria. Years ago, it was common practice to remove tonsils and sometimes adenoids if these were infected or swollen. The U.S. Library of Medicine Medline describes these organs by saying, "The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. The adenoids and tonsils work by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose. Adenoids usually start to shrink after about age 5. By the teenage years, they are almost completely gone. By then, the body has other ways to fight germs."

Although the adenoids and tonsils are important parts of the body's defense against germs, there are times when these become enlarged to the point where they can cause sleep problems in children. If medications fail to reduce this situation, surgery is a common medical recommendation to address this issue, even though it may leave the child more susceptible to other types of respiratory issues and infections.

In this case, a mother brought her 2-year-old daughter to the chiropractor for a consultation and possible care. The girl was suffering with swollen tonsils and adenoids which was causing sleep problems. Her sleep disturbances observed by her mother included snoring, mouth breathing, choking in her sleep, and waking up on average three times per night.

Several months prior to the chiropractic visit, the girl's mother took her to the pediatrician and related that her daughter was having the variety of symptoms she had been observing. Her MD diagnosed the girl  with hypertrophy (swelling) of the tonsils and/or adenoids. The child was prescribed medications and referred for surgery for removal of the adenoids and tonsils in a month.

A chiropractic evaluation was performed on the child which included a postural inspection and palpation. It was determined that subluxations were present. With the mother's permission, specific age-appropriate adjustments were started at the rate of  two times per week.

The study reports that following the first adjustment, the child's mother reported that her daughter showed improved sleep, less snoring and was not waking up as often at night. Her mother estimated that the girl was 50% improved after just the first adjustment. As chiropractic care continued, the girl continued to show improvement. After 12 weeks of chiropractic care, the girl was examined by her pediatrician who stated that there was no evidence of swelling of the tonsils or adenoids and surgical intervention was longer necessary.