February 2020

  • Resolution of Hypothyroidism with Chiropractic
  • Resolution of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux in an Infant After Chiropractic
  • Baby Shows Improvement in Developmental Delay Under Chiropractic Care
  • Difficulty in Swallowing and Neck Pain Helped with Chiropractic
  • High Altitude Mountain Climbers Benefit from Chiropractic According to Study
  • How to Go to School to Become a Chiropractor

Resolution of Hypothyroidism with Chiropractic

In the journal The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research are the results of a case study published on January 27, 2020, documenting the resolution of hypothyroidism in a patient undergoing chiropractic care.

On their website, the American Thyroid Association defines hypothyroidism saying, "Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland can't make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood."

The study authors report that the prevalence of hypothyroidism in the general population ranges from 3.8%-4.6%. However, subclinical hypothyroidism, which is less severe, becomes more common in the elderly population and can be as prevalent as 20% in women over the age of 60 years.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism can sometimes be confused with normal aging but include tiredness, weight gain, dry skin, cold intolerance, constipation, muscle weakness, puffiness around the eyes, hoarse voice, and poor memory. It is noted that some people with hypothyroidism have no symptoms and can only be diagnosed with bloodwork.

In this case, a 52-year-old woman went to a chiropractor for a variety of issues. At that time, she was suffering with discomfort and/or paresthesia in the neck, upper and middle back, bilateral knee pain and bilateral hip pain when sitting for an extended period. She rated her pain as a 7 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. The woman had also been medically diagnosed with hypothyroidism for which she was taking medication.

A chiropractic examination was performed consisting of static and motion palpation, a postural analysis and spinal x-rays. The conclusion of these tests was that the woman had multiple areas of spinal subluxations that were affecting her nervous system.

Chiropractic adjustments were started on the woman at a frequency of three times per week. On the woman's 20th visit, she reported a significant reduction of her pain issues. On the 30th chiropractic visit, a follow-up set of x-rays were taken which showed postural and structural improvements in the woman's spine.

On the woman's 31st chiropractic visit, she reported to the chiropractor that she had seen her medical doctor who ran lab tests and informed her that she no longer had hypothyroidism. Her MD then took her off her thyroid medication.

In the conclusion of the study the authors wrote, "Subluxation based chiropractic care may be a beneficial approach in reversing hypothyroidism, reduction of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and improving the quality of life for individuals with hypothyroidism."

Resolution of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux in an Infant After Chiropractic

In the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research is the result of a case study published on January 23, 2019, showing the resolution of a case of laryngopharyngeal reflux which is also known as silent acid reflux.

There are two different types of reflux: acid reflux (GERD) and the less commonly known Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which is also known as silent reflux. In both types, stomach acid escapes into the esophagus. However, in laryngopharyngeal reflux, the acid escapes into the back of the throat and can cause damage to the larynx, vocal chords and lungs. This type of reflux usually does not have the typical symptoms of GERD such as heartburn.

It is estimated that approximately 70-85% of infants will have some form of acid reflux. In most cases, this problem will self-resolve after one year. However, in many cases, the symptoms from reflux will have a significant impact on the quality of the baby's life.

In this case, a 9-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The boy's mother reported that her son had been suffering with acid reflux and congestion since birth. His pediatrician had given the boy a diagnosis of silent acid reflux. His mother noted that her son had difficulties sleeping on his back or being placed in his car seat without regurgitation. He was also was barely able to keep down breast milk.

The history also noted that the infant was not sleeping more than 4-5 hours a night and his skin color was very pale with dark circles under his eyes. The boy's pediatrician prescribed Zantac, but his mother did not see any improvement from the treatment.

During a chiropractic examination, it was noticed that the infant had a noticeable left head tilt. It was also noted that the muscles on the left side of the infant's spine were tighter and there was restricted motion of some of the neck vertebrae in normal neck rotation. It was determined that subluxations in the infant's neck were present and a specific form of age appropriate adjustment was given.

The night following the infant's first adjustment, the infant slept for 6 hours continuously without reflux symptoms according to his mother. It was also reported that the boy rolled over from his back to his belly for the first time ever. On the second night, the infant slept for 7 hours followed by 9 hours the third night, each without any reflux.

The study reports that by the third day, the infant had no acid reflux issues at all and was able to sit in a car seat without any reflux issues. It was also observed that his skin color was more pinkish and there were no dark circles under his eyes. Additionally, the mother reported that her son was more alert and less agitated, so she then discontinued the Zantac medication as she felt her son's problem was solved.

In their conclusion, the authors stated, "This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with bothersome gastroesophageal reflux (GER), silent or otherwise."

Baby Shows Improvement in Developmental Delay Under Chiropractic Care

On January 16, 2020, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic published the results of a case study documenting the improvement in developmental delay of a baby girl undergoing chiropractic care.

The authors of this study begin by noting that a child is considered developmentally delayed when he or she is not obtaining specific milestones of ability at a predicted rate or age. As of 2008, one in six children was considered to be to some degree developmentally delayed. They note that this number increased dramatically since 1998. They point out that the milestones children are supposed to reach are separated into five separate and distinct categories. They are:

4 months: The ability to lift chest up from a belly down position
6 months: Child can pull up into sitting position
9 months: Ability to roll both ways and sit up
12 months: Child can pull himself/herself up to stand and walk with one hand holding on
18 months: Getting up into standing position and walking alone

In this case, a 15-month-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. It was reported that the girl was suffering with hypotonia and developmental delay. According to the study, "Hypotonia is a term used to describe low muscle tone in young children. It presents as excessive spinal range of motion, decreased postural stability as well as an overall diminished quality of movement."

The mother stated that her daughter had always been small and had always been one to two months developmentally delayed in achieving the standard milestones. The baby was born by Cesarean section and had a mild torticollis at birth. At six months, the baby girl was unable to sit by herself and strongly disliked lying on her belly.

An age-appropriate chiropractic examination was performed and resulted in the determination that multiple levels of subluxation were present. A course of specific chiropractic adjustment, appropriate to age, were started to address the subluxations.

After six chiropractic adjustments, the girl was able to stand and walk while holding on to some means of support. After 20 visits, the girl was able to repeat some simple words clearly. She was also able to stand and take up to six steps without holding onto anything. After five months of chiropractic care, the girl was walking unassisted with ease and had become more verbal. After seven months of care, the girl's mother reported that her daughter was able to climb down off a chair and move a foot stool so she could climb up to put her cup on a bench.

The authors of the study explained subluxations by quoting a chiropractic authority group, "Vertebral subluxation is a chiropractic term that has been defined by a collective of chiropractic colleges named the Rubicon group as: a self-perpetuating, central segmental motor control problem that involves a joint, such as a vertebral motion segment, that is not moving appropriately, resulting in ongoing maladaptive neural plastic changes that interfere with the central nervous system's ability to self-regulate, self-organize, adapt, repair and heal'."

In the conclusion of this study the authors wrote, "Improved outcomes in this 15-month-old could be associated with improvement in sensorimotor integration following the correction of vertebral subluxation during chiropractic care."

Difficulty in Swallowing and Neck Pain Helped with Chiropractic

A case study published on December 29, 2019, in the journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports, documented the care of a woman suffering with neck pain and difficulty swallowing who was helped by chiropractic. This case study was conducted at the New York Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Centre, New York Medical Group, in Hong Kong, China.

According to the Merck Manual, "Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing. The condition results from impeded transport of liquids, solids, or both from the pharynx to the stomach."

The authors of the study point out that "Dysphagia is frequently seen in geriatric individuals, occurring in approximately 15% of the elderly population due to normal changes in the mechanism of swallowing function." They note that the danger is that dysphagia can lead to other health issues. "The main concern is mortality due to aspiration-induced pneumonia, dehydration, and malnutrition."

In this case, a 70-year-old woman suffering from neck stiffness and swallowing problems presented herself for chiropractic care. Her history reported that she had been having difficulty swallowing solid food for the past three years. Over the past year the problem became worse as the woman reported that she often choked even when trying to swallow liquids.

The woman had a battery of medical test which found nothing more than a weak pharynx. She had been receiving weekly speech therapy for the past two months as well as weekly acupuncture treatments for the previous four months. None of these approaches seemed to help much. Because she did not see any results, and her condition was getting progressively worse, she sought chiropractic care for her issues as well as neck pain she was now suffering with.

A chiropractic examination and spinal x-rays were performed. The results showed some degeneration of the vertebrae in the woman's neck along with subluxation. Chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxation along with some strengthening exercises.

The study records that after three chiropractic sessions in the first week, the woman reported that her neck stiffness and swallowing problems were mostly resolved. Follow-up x-rays were taken after two months of care which showed positional improvements in the woman's spine. Six months after the start of care, the woman reported "no symptoms of dysphagia and was able to take in normal diets without choking or choking sensation."

High Altitude Mountain Climbers Benefit from Chiropractic According to Study

The Journal of International Medical Research published the results of a study on January 16, 2020, showing that high altitude mountain climbers can be helped with headaches caused by acute mountain sickness. The study was conducted at Lhasa People's Hospital near Tibet in China.

The researchers in this study looked at cases of mountain climbers who came to Lhasa People's Hospital suffering with acute mountain sickness (AMS). According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus, "Acute mountain sickness is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at high altitudes, usually above 8,000 feet (2,400 meters)." This condition is also known as altitude sickness or high-altitude pulmonary edema.

According to Medline Plus, acute mountain sickness is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. The faster a climber ascends, the more likely this problem will occur. Some of the symptoms that occur with this condition include dizziness or light-headedness, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath with exertion.

The study begins by pointing out that the plateau area of China accounts for about one-sixth of the land mass of China and averages about 3000 meters, (about 9800 feet) above sea level. People traveling to this area from lower elevations near sea level can suffer from dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting from acute mountain sickness.

This study looked at 100 people who had traveled to Tibet for the first time and were suffering with acute mountain sickness. The group consisted of 58 men and 42 women with an average age of 39.3 years. These 100 people were randomly separated into two groups. One group received only one single chiropractic adjustment, which the researchers called "spinal chiropractic manipulative therapy (SCMT)." The SCMT group did not receive any drugs or oxygen. The second group received standard medical pain treatment of ibuprofen and oxygen but did not receive any chiropractic care.

The results of the study showed that both the group with drugs and oxygen, and the chiropractic adjustment group showed improvement in their symptoms from acute mountain sickness. The chiropractic group also showed improvements in blood pressure. The bottom line is that the group that received chiropractic care recovered just as well as the group that got drugs and oxygen and did so without the risk of any side effects or negative outcomes.

The researchers stated, "The results suggest that SCMT can be used to relieve AMS-induced headache, as well as dizziness symptoms, blood pressure abnormalities, and oxygen saturation of people traveling rapidly to high altitudes." They went on to note how chiropractic is easier to apply and might be preferred by the patents, "The operation is convenient and is not limited by the need for special equipment. Therefore, SCMT is suitable for popularization and application for the management of AMS for patients who prefer to avoid the use of drugs or oxygen"

How to Go to School to Become a Chiropractor

The above headline comes from a February 3, 2020, article in US News and World Report. The article, written by Ilana Kowarski, takes an outside look at what it takes to become a doctor of chiropractic.

The article describes chiropractic as being for pain conditions specifically of the lower back. Whereas a high percentage of patients going to a chiropractor suffer from musculoskeletal conditions of the lower back and neck, chiropractic has proven itself to be helpful for people with a wide variety of health issues. This is because chiropractic deals with correcting interference to the nervous system which controls all the body's functions.

The article begins by saying, "When people struggle with intense back pain or body aches as a result of a traumatic event such as a car accident, they often seek help from a chiropractor, a health care provider who specializes in fixing problems with bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons." After that quote, the author then goes on to offer a "guide for anyone interested in becoming a chiropractor."

The article correctly states that all 50 U.S. states require a chiropractor to have a "doctor of chiropractic" degree. It should be noted that states do refer to chiropractors differently in their state licensure. Some states only use the term "chiropractor" while others include "doctor of chiropractic" or "chiropractic physician." While some states use the term "chiropractic medicine" there is no degree for chiropractic medicine, and all chiropractic education in the U.S. receives the same accreditation from the Council of Chiropractic Education recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Today, many states require new chiropractic applicants to not only have a doctor of chiropractic degree, but also a bachelor's degree. Some of the chiropractic colleges require the bachelor's degree before entering their schools, while other require 90 hours toward a bachelor's degree for entry and allow the student to complete their bachelor's degree while in chiropractic school.

The article reports on the various reasons that a person might want to become a chiropractor. The author focuses on one such doctor who was on the path to be a medical physician, when he suffered a sports injury and was helped by chiropractic when medical care had failed. In many cases, young future doctors of chiropractic are drawn to the drugless approach chiropractic offers patients.

A chiropractic education has much of the same course structure as other professionals when it comes to anatomy and physiology. The difference occurs in the specific training future chiropractors receive for chiropractic adjusting, spinal analysis and x-rays. A chiropractic education typically takes 4 years of higher education after regular college.

The author reports that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the median income for a chiropractor as of May 2018 at $71,410 annually. The Bureau also predicts that the chiropractic profession will grow at a rate of 7% for the next decade which is 2% higher than other professions.