December 2021

  • Infant's Failure to Thrive and Other Symptoms Resolved with Chiropractic
  • Study Shows Crooked Spines Helped by Chiropractic
  • Improvement in Balance and Coordination in an Elderly Patient Following Chiropractic Care
  • Can a Chiropractor Help with Migraine?

Infant's Failure to Thrive and Other Symptoms Resolved with Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study on November 22, 2021, documenting the chiropractic resolution of problems for an infant who was medically diagnosed as "failure to thrive."

The John Hopkins Medical website answers the question "What is failure to thrive?", by stating, "Children are diagnosed with failure to thrive when their weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex. Infants or children that fail to thrive seem to be dramatically smaller or shorter than other children the same age."

In this case, a mother brought her four-month-old son into see the chiropractor. The infant boy had previously been medically diagnosed as failure to thrive. The history revealed that two weeks after birth the infant began to be unusually fussy. Within the first month, the infant boy began vomiting all his milk after feedings.

The boy's mother reported that her son was only able to ingest goatís milk with maple syrup, but only 1-2 ounces at a time. He would still moderately spit-up afterward.  The infant cried approximately 90% of the time unless held and bounced. He could not sleep at night and only got small naps during the day. 

Because of these problems, his mother brought the infant to multiple specialists, including a GI specialist who ran a battery of tests that were all negative, confirming that no underlying pathology was present. At that point, the medical diagnosis of failure to thrive was made.

The chiropractor performed specific postural and motion chiropractic examination procedures and took x-rays of the upper neck to check the alignment of the upper neck spinal bones. The examination and x-rays confirmed a severe rotation of the top bone in the neck, the atlas. With an atlas subluxation being confirmed, the chiropractor gave the infant a specific, age appropriate chiropractic adjustment of the atlas vertebrae. The boy's mother was instructed to bring her son back the following day.

The next day, the mother reported that her son's head was no longer rotated to one side, and that her son was less fussy and was able to sleep through the night. Within days, the infant was eating better and began to gain weight. Within several weeks, the boy was returning to normal and meeting all milestones of growth and weight gain.

In their conclusion, the authors of the study wrote, "This case report described the successful outcome of upper cervical chiropractic care on an infant diagnosed with failure to thrive...  Allopathic medical care was unsuccessful in helping this patient. Following the identification of vertebral subluxation, the atlas subluxation was corrected using precisely calculated vectors. The patient experienced resolution of all symptoms related to severe upper cervical misalignment."

Study Shows Crooked Spines Helped by Chiropractic

A study published on November 2, 2021, in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic demonstrated in a series of cases that chiropractic was able to help patients with "crooked spines" that had lateral curves to the side. 

The term "lateral coronal spine displacement" means that a section of the spine has curved to either the right or the left when looking at it from the back. This is commonly seen in scoliosis, but can also occur in just one area of the spine and not create the typical "s" curve seen in a scoliosis. 

The study's title, "Reducing 'crooked' lateral spine subluxation (global coronal imbalance) in 5 patients with degenerative disc disease in their 6th and 7th decade of life" describes this study as a series of individual cases all receiving chiropractic care for lateral curvatures of the spine.

All the patients in this study were between the ages of 50 and 63 years of age with some degree of degenerative disc disease. The website Medical News Today describes this degenerative disc disease by noting that this condition is actually not a disease but rather a process, "Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that happens when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates or breaks down, leading to pain." Degeneration of disc can lead to lateral curvatures of the spine.

All of the patients in this study received a chiropractic examination and spinal x-rays. The x-rays were used to measure the lateral curvatures of the spine. Specific forms of chiropractic care were then administered and after several months of care, a follow-up set of x-rays were taken to measure and compare to the findings on the original spinal x-rays. All participants in these cases were suffering with multiple areas of pain and other health issues.

The results of the cases were all positive. When comparing the follow-up x-rays to the originals, there was significant improvement. On average, the patients' spines originally measured 32.7mm lateral displacement. After chiropractic care, the curvatures were reduced to an average of only 4.2mm of lateral displacement.  

In addition to the measurable improvements seen on all subjects' x-rays, each of the patients experienced symptomatic improvements as well as improvements in their quality of life. The study reports that one of the patients reported a "100% improvement in numbness in the feet and heartburn, a 90% improvement in migraines, an 80% improvement in cold feet, a 70% improvement in LBP and ankle pain, a 50% improvement in mid back cramping, and a 40% improvement in neck pain and stiffness."

All the patients in this study got improvements in a wide variety of health issues. Some of the other documented improvements reported by the patients included a 90% improvement in back pain, left leg sciatica pain and double vision, a 90% improvement in tingling into the hands and numbness into the right toes, a 50% improvement in constipation, and a 90% improvement in tingling into the hands. One patient reported not only a 90% improvement in low back pain and left leg sciatica pain, but also a 90% reduction of double vision.

Improvement in Balance and Coordination in an Elderly Patient Following Chiropractic Care

Above is the title of a study published on December 6, 2021, in the journal Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the improvements in balance and coordination of an elderly patient receiving chiropractic care. This study begins by explaining the importance of balance and coordination in the elderly population. "Gait and balance deficits in geriatric patients are common presentations in clinical settings and are a major source of morbidity in the elderly."

The study author goes on to point out how dangerous a loss of balance or coordination can be for an elderly person. "Senior patients with gait imbalances are at a higher risk of falling, which can lead to injury, physical disability, and a decreased quality of life. In the United States alone, 30% of adults 50 and older experience falls that impact both the personal and social life of the patient and financial burden upon society."

In addition to the health problems for individuals who fall, the costs for the individual and society in general are extremely high. The study reports that the costs of fall-related injuries in 2011 were estimated to be $3.1 billion. That number grew to about $32 billion by 2020.

In this case, a 65-year-old man presented himself for chiropractic care because he was concerned that he was experiencing unsteadiness on his feet. The man did not recall any specific incidence that started his unsteadiness and commented that it seemed to gradually come on over the past year.

The man had been an avid ballroom dancer. He was engaged in this activity up to five nights per week. One evening, his dance instructor pulled him aside to tell him that she noticed problems with his balance that she had not previously seen. After that episode, the man began to realize that he was also having balance problems with walking in general. The problem continued to get worse affecting all parts of his life. Eventually the man had to give up dancing, and even had to hold onto a shopping cart to go grocery shopping.

A full chiropractic examination was performed including spinal x-rays. From his examination, it was determined that the man had multiple vertebral subluxations that were affecting nerve system function. With this information, and with the manís consent, chiropractic care was started initially at the rate of two visits per week. As care progressed, the patient was routinely tested for balance and showed steady improvement both in the tests and in his daily activity.

In the study conclusion, the author points out that chiropractic does not directly treat balance or coordination problems, but rather nerve systems problems from subluxations that can create balance issues. "The purpose of this paper is not to conclude that chiropractic adjustments are intended to treat gait disorders but to make a connection between the abnormal physiological and biomechanical functioning of the patient to the presence of subluxation.

Can a Chiropractor Help with Migraine?

The above is the headline of an article written by Mary West, and medically reviewed by Dominique Fontaine, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, HWNC-BC, that was published in September of 2021. What is unusual about this positive on chiropractic article is that it appeared in Medical News Today, a publication that requires a medical review for all articles before publication.

The article begins by suggesting that there is limited research on chiropractic for migraine headaches, but the research that the author could find showed positive results under chiropractic care. In fact, if you include case studies published in the scientific chiropractic journals, it is easy to find dozens of studies documenting the effectiveness of chiropractic for patients with migraine headaches.

The article correctly points out that many people who come to chiropractors with migraine often sought out chiropractic for other related health issues. "People may seek a chiropractor for migraine because they often  have associated symptoms, such as neck pain and stiffness, which chiropractors commonly treat."

The Migraine Research Foundation lists a number of interesting facts about migraine on their website. These include:

  • Migraine is the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine.
  • 18% of American women, 6% of men, and 10% of children experience migraines.
  • Migraine is most common between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • Migraine is the 6th most disabling illness in the world.
  • Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room complaining of head pain
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.

The article goes on to explain why people choose chiropractic for migraines by noting that medically, "Migraine has no cure, and many medications that doctors prescribe for migraine come with significant side effects. For this reason, individuals often opt for alternative or complementary therapies, such as chiropractic."

Many chiropractors will tell you that they have cared for a large number of patients suffering with migraine. The article highlights this point by citing a study on chiropractors caring for migraine patients. "A 2017 survey questioned 1,869 chiropractors to determine the prevalence of migraine treatment and management. The results showed 53% had a caseload that was high in individuals with migraine headaches."

In the article's conclusion, the author probably states the most obvious reason that many migraine sufferers seek chiropractic care. "People often consult a chiropractor to treat migraine because they get relief from the condition but do not experience the side effects they may get from medication."