March 2021

  • Canadian Family Physicians Have Positive Attitude About Chiropractic According to Survey
  • Improved Behavioral Changes and Quality of Life in an Adult with Autism Following Chiropractic
  • Improvement in Eczema, Allergies, and Insomnia in a Child Following Chiropractic
  • Improvements Following Chiropractic in an Infant with Excessive Crying, Screaming, Feeding Difficulties & Sleep Disturbances

Canadian Family Physicians Have Positive Attitude About Chiropractic According to Survey

An advanced publication of a research survey released by Research Square on February 18, 2021, shows that Canadian family physicians have an overall positive view of chiropractic and often refer patients to chiropractors for care. The study was conducted by researchers at McMaster University, a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The study begins by noting that one in eight Canadians report seeing a chiropractor in the past year. Most of those people seek chiropractic care for help with lower back and neck pain. This high rate of chiropractic usage is in spite of the fact that the medical and chiropractic professions have not always had the best professional relations.  The study reports that, as late as 1972, the Canadian Medical Association reaffirmed their policy that medical physicians may not make referrals to chiropractors. This was similar to the American Medical Associationís 1983 policy which held that it was unethical for medical doctors to associate with chiropractors.

In this study, a 50-item survey was randomly sent to 2,429 Canadian family physicians which included a "chiropractic attitude questionnaire" (CAQ).  Of that total number of doctors, 162 responded, representing 7% of those that the survey was sent to. This survey was similar to one conducted in Canada in 2010.

Since this study was designed to gather the general impressions Canadian family physicians had about chiropractic, the researchers also looked at how familiar the medical doctors were with chiropractic. When the medical physicians were asked where they get their information on chiropractic, the study showed that 32% relied on patient feedback, 41% had a relationship with a chiropractor, 41% stated that they used scientific journals, 30% had personally received chiropractic care, 18% got their chiropractic information from the media, 13% said they learned about chiropractic in medical school.

The study pointed out that many patients who see both a chiropractor and a medical physician do not share with their MD that they are also seeing a chiropractor. The results of the study showed that 72% of Canadian family physicians have referred patients for chiropractic care. According to the study, most referrals are because of a patient request or a lack of response to medical care.

The results of the survey showed that 48% of the MDs who responded to the survey held a positive impression of chiropractic, with 27% having some level of uncertainty and 25% holding negative views. The survey also revealed that only 13% of the MDs worked in a multidisciplinary environment where chiropractic care was offered alongside the medical care. Similarly, 15% felt that chiropractic care should be included in multidisciplinary healthcare centers, and 25% said that chiropractic should be available in hospitals.

When asked if the cost of paying for chiropractic care should be covered by government programs, 35% agreed that chiropractic coverage should be included, while 33% were unsure, and 27% did not think chiropractic should be covered.

The overall conclusion of the study is that Canadian family physicians have an overall favorable impression of the chiropractic profession. In their discussion the authors wrote, "Our survey of Canadian family physicians found that most report favorable perceptions of chiropractic, including the belief that chiropractic care is effective for some musculoskeletal complaints, provides a useful complement to conventional medicine, and can reduce family practitioner workload."

Improved Behavioral Changes and Quality of Life in an Adult with Autism Following Chiropractic

Published on January 25, 2021, in the journal Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, was the results of a case study which documented the improvement under chiropractic care of a patient diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The study begins by explaining that "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long early developmental disorder that causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or functional areas in the personís life that are not otherwise explained by intellectual disability or global developmental delay."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes ASD by saying "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people."

In this case, a 22-year-old woman who had been medically diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder was brought by her mother to the chiropractor for issues of menstrual pain and discomfort. The womanís mother stated that her daughterís ASD was vaccine induced, following an MMR vaccination in 1995. The mother commented, "After vaccine (daughter) lost all verbals less than 12 hours after (vaccine administration)".

In addition to ASD, the mother reported that her daughter suffered from anxiety, nervousness, and menstrual disorders. The young girl also had difficulty with personal interaction in social settings and speech. Her mother brought the young woman to the chiropractor in the hopes of obtaining optimal health on all levels and increased interaction with others.

A physical examination was performed as best as possible due to the limited cooperation of the autistic girl. Postural abnormalities and muscular asymmetry along with areas of spinal sensitivity were noted. Range of motion was decreased in all areas of the spine and certain spinal segments showed lack of individual movement upon palpation. From the examination, it was determined that multiple levels of spinal subluxation were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations.

The young girl was seen eight times in the first thirty days. As care progressed, the mother reported that her daughter was talking more and fairing better with daily routines. A test known as the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), developed by the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, was used to objectively monitor the young girl's progress. The results of this test after chiropractic care showed that the girl had progressed with an improvement of 41% in the subscale of sociability and 24% improvement in the subscale of health/physical/behavior. The girl's total improvement was 18% following chiropractic care according to the pre and post ATEC questionnaire with online grading.

In their conclusion, the authors explained how correction of the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) through chiropractic care could help patients with ASD: "Chiropractic is used to correct subluxations that result in improvement in autonomic nervous system function by normalizing mechanoreceptor signaling to the brain. The autonomic nervous system is closely related to autism symptomatology and we can see improvement in behavioral functioning correlating to the Limbic system. Improvements in behavior are correlated with the removal of VSC in autism spectrum patients."

The authors summed up this case by saying, "The patient in this study experienced improved health outcomes related to autism following chiropractic care."

Improvement in Eczema, Allergies, and Insomnia in a Child Following Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on January 21, 2021, documenting the improvement from chiropractic care of a child who had been suffering from eczema, allergies and insomnia. Although eczema is not a life-threatening condition, the symptoms can drastically affect the sufferer's quality of life. Eczema affects between 9% to 20% of children in the United States.

The study begins by pointing out that "Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, is a chronic immune response that manifests as inflammation of the skin." According to the Mayo Clinic website, "Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is common in children but can occur at any age. Atopic dermatitis is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically." 

In this case, a 4-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor because he was suffering from long-term eczema and allergies. The case history revealed that the eczema had started approximately 18 months before the boy was brought to the chiropractor. At the time of the chiropractic visit, the eczema had progressed to where it was a full body rash and was rated as a 9 out of 10 in severity, with 10 being the worst. According to the boy's mother, her son's symptoms were constant with reported flare-ups.

In addition to his eczema, the mother reported that her son also suffered from allergies to dogs, eggs, and tree nuts that would result in anaphylaxes, itchy skin, and difficulty sleeping. His allergies were also rated as a 9 out of 10 in severity. The boy was administered a variety of topical creams including topical steroid cream and Hydroxyzine. These remedies would offer some relief for a short period of time but would soon lose their effectiveness.

An examination was performed which included a physical, thermography, a surface EMG test, and a specific chiropractic analysis. It was concluded that subluxations were present, and specific forms of chiropractic procedures were started on a regular basis.

At the first reassessment after just over two months into the boy's chiropractic care, his mother reported that her son's eczema flare ups had decreased in both quantity and severity. She also noted that he was able to sleep throughout the night, and that he was happier, and wanted to play more.

In the study's conclusion, the authors summed up the results of this case by stating, "According to the patientís mother, the full body rash and eczema flare ups decreased in severity and frequency at the two-month reassessment. The mother reported that the child was happier, and that his body was able to recover from his eczema flare up symptoms faster than before."

Improvements Following Chiropractic in an Infant with Excessive Crying, Screaming, Feeding Difficulties & Sleep Disturbances

The title above comes from a case study released on February 18, 2021, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health. This case study documents the improvements from chiropractic care of an infant who, prior to chiropractic, was suffering with difficulty feeding, frequent crying and screaming with disturbed sleeping patterns.

The study's authors frame the severity of an infant who is continually crying by noting that, "Crying in infants is considered normal and natural, however, excessive crying in infants can results in distress of not only the infant, but also their parents as well. Frustrations can lead to 'maternal depression and child abuse' in parents who have infants with excessive crying habits."

Excessive crying and sleep disturbances are two of the most common reasons that infants are brought to healthcare professionals. However, medically, only one in twenty of these cases is found to have an organic reason for the problem, leaving the remainder as a medical mystery.

In this case, the mother of a 6-week-old infant girl was brought to the chiropractor. The infant was suffering with frequent crying and screaming, disturbed sleeping patterns, and she was favoring her right shoulder. The girl was born after a high-risk pregnancy that resulted in five ultrasounds during the mother's pregnancy. Although the mother reported no complications during birth, during her pregnancy she suffered with numbness in both her legs and frequent charley horses or calf cramps, as well as having multiple left shoulder dislocations during her pregnancy.

The mother reported that her infant daughter usually only slept two to four hours per night and could only sleep on her stomach. During the day, the infant could not sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time, and would wake up crying and screaming for at least 30 minutes. If the infant was swaddled or placed in a car seat, the mother reported that her baby girl would "scream bloody murder" until removed from those positions. The infant also had difficulty latching, resulting in discontinuation of breastfeeding after two weeks.

The infant cried throughout the entire chiropractic examination process. Even with these difficult circumstances, postural abnormalities were observed as well as a reduced range of spinal motion. Several normal neurological reflexes were also missing. Thermal scans showed significant variations from normal and palpation revealed sensitive areas as well as abnormal spinal segmental motion.

With the mother's permission, age appropriate specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started. Immediately after the infant's first adjustment, it was reported that the girl relaxed, causing the mother to comment that it was the first time she had seen her daughter stretch out and lay relaxed since birth. On the second visit, it was reported that the girl could rotate her head to both the left and the right. She could also lay on her back without screaming or appearing to be in any distress.

The girl's mother also noted that her daughter was able to sleep for six hours the night after her first adjustment. Additionally, the girl was able to be fed while lying on either her left or right sides. After the third visit, it was reported that the infant's symptoms were still resolved.

In their conclusion the study authors wrote, "This case described the response of a patient with symptoms of disturbed sleeping patterns, excessive, inconsolable crying to chiropractic adjustments, which resulted in significant improvement. Chiropractic adjustments should be considered for infants who have inconsolable crying, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Pediatric chiropractic adjustments are gentle, noninvasive and may remove interference within the nervous system to allowing the baby to have reduced discomfort."