August 2020

  • Shoulder Problems Helped by Chiropractic
  • Veteran Taking Opioids with Pain from Spinal Surgery Helped by Chiropractic
  • 15-Year-Old Boy with Post Concussion Syndrome and Whiplash Helped by Chiropractic
  • Resolution of GERD, Constipation, Sleep Disturbance and Developmental Delays With Chiropractic

Shoulder Problems Helped by Chiropractic

Two separate case studies showed chiropractic care helping patients with shoulder problems. The first study was published on June 8, 2020, in the journal The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research and involved a 68-year-old man with frozen shoulder. The second case was also published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on July 31, 2020, and involved a 69-year-old woman who was helped with adhesive capsulitis through chiropractic care.

The Mayo Clinic describes these types of shoulder problems on their website by saying, "Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint." They further explain that "The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement."

The authors of the July 31st study note that in their case a 69-year-old woman had fallen and fractured the top of her right arm bone, the humerus. As her shoulder healed, it became stiff and difficult to move. She was eventually diagnosed as having adhesive capsulitis before seeking chiropractic care.

Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed on the woman’s spine. After six visits, the woman reported a decrease in shoulder pain and a significant increase in all movement. She also noted the ability to perform daily activities such as writing in her journal, doing arts and crafts, getting in and out of the pool more confidently, and being able to reach behind her for the first time since fracturing her humeral head.

The other case published on June 8th involved a 68-year-old man who went to the chiropractic clinic having a chief complaint of left sided shoulder pain and stiffness. He had been given a previous diagnosis of frozen shoulder by his medical doctor. This man’s issue started 20 years earlier after two falls from his bicycle. The man’s pain and stiffness were getting progressively worse prior to seeking chiropractic care.

After a chiropractic examination, chiropractic care was initiated at the rate of three visits per week. As care progressed, the man noted that his pain and stiffness were steadily improving. He was excited to report that he could put on his shirts and jackets without the need for assistance.

In the conclusion of the July 31st study, the authors wrote in their conclusion that "Adhesive capsulitis is an enigma for health care professionals to diagnose and to treat. Treatment options are variable and show differing levels of success. Correcting vertebral subluxations throughout the spine is correlated with improvement in subjective pain ratings as well as active and passive range of motion measures."

Veteran Taking Opioids with Pain from Spinal Surgery Helped by Chiropractic

A study published in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic on July 8, 2020, documented the case of a U.S. veteran who was suffering with lower back pain after having spinal surgery and who was taking opioid pain killers being helped by chiropractic and was able to stop taking the opioid drugs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.1 The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare." It is also estimated by the CDC that opioid addition costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion per year.

Because of the size and scope of the opioid problem, any alternative that can help people and get them away from drugs should be considered a valuable component of healthcare. Chiropractic has been shown through many studies to help people in pain, therefore reducing the usage of opioid drugs.

In this study, a 70-year-old man who was a U.S. military veteran sought chiropractic care at a military VA chiropractic center for chronic low back pain as well as pain in the upper back and neck areas. Years earlier, he had undergone a lumbar laminectory and cervical fusion surgery in his neck. Since his surgery, he has been treated unsuccessfully with physical therapy and shots for his pain.

At the time he went to the Chiropractic VA center, he was taking hydrocodone 3 times daily for his pain. He stated that without the drug he was unable to work or stay positive due to his problems. He also had significant restriction of spinal movement.

After his first chiropractic visit, the man reported an improvement in his neck movement. After a week of chiropractic the man stated, "I have been feeling really good, you guys really brought me a long way. " He elaborated by saying "I am able to bend down and touch the floor now, before I couldn't reach down and pick up a quarter and feel a lot looser."

After seven chiropractic visits, the man reported that he had completely taken himself off opioid drugs. He noted that he was able to increase his activities and was exercising daily in the form of swimming, weight training, walking on the beach, and stretching. He commented "since being off of opioids I feel like I have my life back."

15-Year-Old Boy with Post Concussion Syndrome and Whiplash Helped by Chiropractic

A study published on July 27, 2020, in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic documented the improvement of a 15-year-old boy suffering from post-concussion syndrome and whiplash who was helped by chiropractic. Post-Concussion Syndrome is an alteration in brain function or other brain pathology caused by an external force. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) which usually occurs after a blow to the head or whiplash injury and is considered a non-lethal type of brain injury.

The study begins by reporting that "The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 10 million people are affected annually by traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it is an injury that will surpass many fatal diseases as the primary cause of death and disability in 2020."  In New Zealand, where this study occurred, it is estimated that there are 24,000 cases of concussion each year. The Brain Injury Research Institute estimates that in the United States between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur  each year.

The symptoms of a concussion could include headaches, cognitive changes such as feeling like you're in a fog, loss of consciousness, amnesia, neurological deficits, balance impairment, gait unsteadiness, irritability, slowed reaction times, and sleep disturbances.

The history of this case involved a 15-year-old boy who fell forward headfirst into a bed frame and struck the front of his head. This caused hyperextension, or whiplash-like force to his cervical spine along with external injuries to his head from the impact.  The boy was admitted to the hospital and released after two days. About a week after the injury, the boy started experiencing concussion related symptoms of headaches, dizziness, behavioral changes and an inability to conduct his activity of daily living.

After a chiropractic examination, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started. The boy was also given stretching exercises to perform at home and some nutritional supplements. Over the course of his chiropractic care, the boy showed continual improvement as well as testing improvement in concussion protocol test conducted by his MDs. Within a three month period, the boy reported having felt that he had 98% returned  to normal with a disappearance of his concussion symptoms.

In their discussion, the authors reviewed additional research on this subject and reported, "The current research suggests that spinal misalignments can change the way the central nervous system (CNS) processes sensory motor integration. The current research demonstrates improvement in sensory integration following spinal manipulations, indicating there is scope for chiropractic research to investigate these sensory integration functions."  They concluded "This case study demonstrates improvements in post-concussion symptoms and whiplash in a 15-year-old male following chiropractic care."

Resolution of GERD, Constipation, Sleep Disturbance and Developmental Delays With Chiropractic

Published in the July 9, 2020, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health was a case study with the title, "Resolution of Severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Chronic Constipation, Sleep Disturbance & Developmental Delays Following Chiropractic in an Infant with Birth Trauma." Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is more commonly known as GERD. The American Academy of Allergies Asthma and Immunology describes GERD as "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults."

The authors of this case study begin by explaining the purpose of this study by saying, "For many people, chiropractic is a vastly misunderstood concept. This challenge, along with explaining the benefits and safety of pediatric chiropractic care to parents, can prove to be very difficult. In a chiropractic office, children can present with multiple symptoms of both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal complaints. In an effort to provide more evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care for children, we are describing the successful chiropractic care of a pediatric patient who had multiple co-morbidities. These included severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic constipation, severe torticollis, developmental delays, abnormal sleeping patterns, and plagiocephaly."

In this case, the mother of an 8-month-old boy brought her son to the chiropractor to see if he could be helped with a variety of health issues. At that time, the baby boy was suffering with severe GERD, frequent vomiting, constipation and problems sleeping. It was also reported that the boy had developmental delays in language, cognition, and movement/physical development. The boy had suffered through a very difficult birth process that resulted in his head being misshaped due to the forced used.

A chiropractic examination noted that the boy had significant loss of muscle tone causing him to be able to only hold his head up for about 10 seconds before he would become extremely fussy. He was also unable to turn his head to the left. Neck x-rays, thermal scans and spinal palpation were also performed. It was determined that the boy had multiple areas of spinal subluxation in his neck.

With consent of the parents, specific, age appropriate forms of chiropractic adjustments were rendered to the boy's neck to address the subluxations. After the boy's second chiropractic visit, his mother reported that he had had normal bowel movements and was no longer constipated. She also reported that his sleeping had improved. By the fourth chiropractic visit, his GERD had improved to the point where his mother was able to remove him from the medications the MDs had given for his GERD. She also reported that her son was able to tolerate tummy time for much longer; improving from 10 seconds of being on his tummy to 15 minutes.

As care continued, the boy regained full range of motion of his neck, and by the 14th chiropractic visit, he had improved developmentally achieving some important developmental milestones including being able to roll over and hold himself up on his hands and knees. After five weeks of chiropractic care, the boy had met many more developmental milestones and was able to reach for objects, crawl forward, pull himself up on furniture, and sleep throughout the entire night. After two months of care, he began walking unassisted.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This is a case report of successful chiropractic care of an 8-month-old male with both subjective and objective complaints consistent with GERD, constipation, abnormal sleeping patterns, torticollis, developmental delays, and plagiocephaly. This study gives evidence of improved and resolved symptomatology involving both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions after chiropractic care; it suggests the possibility that patients dealing with similar conditions may also benefit from chiropractic care."