April 2022

  • Reduction in Blood Pressure Following Chiropractic
  • Improvements in Developmental Delay in a Baby Girl Following Chiropractic Care
  • Neck Curve and Headaches Improved Under Chiropractic Care
  • Resolution of Defiant Behavior and Improved Speech with Chiropractic

Reduction in Blood Pressure Following Chiropractic

On March 14, 2022, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study documenting a case where chiropractic care resulted in the reduction of blood pressure of a patient who had been diagnosed with hypertension.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain hypertension on their website by stating, "Blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can damage your heart and cause health problems if it stays high for a long time. Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, is blood pressure that is higher than normal."

This study begins by noting that hypertension is a major health issue in the U.S. and is closely related to cardiovascular disease and stroke. The study authors mention that pre-hypertension affects 41.9 million men and 27.8 million women.

Commonly, pre-hypertension is defined as a systolic pressure from 120–139 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or a diastolic pressure from 80–89 mm Hg. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association consider hypertension to be a blood pressure above 130-139 mmHg systolic or a diastolic of 80-89 mmHg or higher.

In this case, a 52-year-old woman went to a chiropractor specifically for her issue of high blood pressure. She was employed as a personal trainer and was active in yoga and spin classes. Her MD said that her blood pressure was 185/90 and recommended that she take medication. She was apprehensive about taking medications and decided to try chiropractic first.

A history and chiropractic examination were performed. The examination included spinal range of motion, leg length tests, surface electromyography (sEMG), thermography (spinal heat readings), and some orthopedic testing. Motion and static palpation was used to help determine the presence of vertebral subluxations in the woman’s spine. From these tests, it was determined that multiple subluxations were present. With these findings, a specific course of spinal adjustments was started to address the subluxations.

The woman’s blood pressure was initially measures at the start of chiropractic care to be 185/90 mmHg. On the second visit, her blood pressure was taken again and had dropped to 165/88 mmHg. By the woman’s 7th chiropractic visit, her blood pressure had dropped to 130/86 mmHg, and was reduced even further by the 9th visit to 128/76 mmHg. Her blood pressure continued to improve and was eventually measures at 106/62 mmHg.

In the study conclusion the authors wrote, "The woman reported on in this case experienced an improvement in her blood pressure following chiropractic care." They also noted that it is the autonomic nervous system that affects blood pressure. "While it is impossible to extrapolate this case data on to the general population, other randomized controlled trials and cohort studies have shown similar objective data in relation to the chiropractic adjustments relationship to autonomic nervous system function."

Improvements in Developmental Delay in a Baby Girl Following Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics released a case study on March 11, 2022, documenting the improvement in developmental delay of a baby girl who underwent chiropractic care. The study reports that this is a common issue and between 1-3% of children under five are affected by developmental delay.

The study begins by noting that "Child development can be subdivided into four domains, including: motor, speech and language, social/emotional and cognitive." In each of these domains, there are milestones that a child should achieve to be within a normal range. When the child fails to reach a milestone when compared to other children at the same age, that child is consider developmentally delayed in that specific domain area. When a child under five years of age is delayed in two or more domains, the child can be determined to have global developmental delay.

In this case, a 3-year 4-month old toddler girl was brought to the chiropractic clinic by her mother. Her mother was concerned that her daughter had a "communication delay and walking delay." The girl’s mother also reported that her daughter had learning difficulties, difficulties achieving milestones, digestion and feeding problems, general co-ordination and balance issues, crawling and walking delays, hip and leg co-ordination problems, as well as flexibility, and low muscle tone problems.

A chiropractic examination was performed where it was determined that vertebral subluxations were present. With the mother’s consent, age-appropriate specific chiropractic adjustments were begun.

On the second visit, the mother reported that her daughter had slept better after her first adjustment, and she felt that her daughter was walking better as well. By the third visit, the mother reported that her little girl was calmer and was visibly walking better. As care continued, the girl continued to show improvement in her speech, her movement, her walking, and her sleep.

The study authors listed all the various improvements achieved by this girl. The list included, "sleep quality improved, waking brighter, general mood improvements, general behavior improvements, number of meltdowns decreased, posture improved, improved walking and general movement, pain or discomfort has decreased, strength/stamina has increased, fruit and vegetable intake increased, cold or flu frequency/duration decreased, mental energy levels increased, vitality improved, fewer run down days, physical energy improved, bounced back better from fatigue/stress."

In commenting on her daughter’s improvement, the mother stated, "I feel my child is healthier and has stronger resilience. I feel my child has a higher level of health overall."

In describing the link between child development and chiropractic, the authors explain, "Chiropractors and chiropractic students recognize that the central focus of chiropractic care is to assess for and reduce nerve interference, caused by vertebral subluxation, to enhance nervous system function and support the optimization of health and well-being." They further define subluxation by saying, "A vertebral subluxation has been recognized as a complex of functional and/or structural changes in articulations of the spine and pelvis that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health."

Neck Curve and Headaches Improved Under Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published the results of a case study on February 23, 2022, documenting the substantial reduction in headache frequency and severity, along with the improvement of neck curve of a young woman undergoing chiropractic care.

This study begins by defining cervicogenic headache. "Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is defined as a "secondary type of headache caused by disorders of the cervical spine or any of its components." In other words, these types of headaches come from issues in the neck and are usually only on one side of the head.

In chiropractic, it has been noted that the curvature of the neck has a direct correlation with neck pain. When viewed on a side x-ray, the neck should have a smooth forward sweeping curvature. Many Doctors of Chiropractic have noticed that a reduced or reversed neck curve is more prevalent in patients suffering from headaches. This study examines one such case and documents the results of chiropractic care on both the condition of cervicogenic headache as well as the cervical curvature.  

In this case, a 26-year-old woman went to a chiropractor seeking help for her headaches that were severe enough to cause nausea. The woman reported that she was also suffering with upper back pain, neck pain, and pain on the mid-lower back on her left side.

An examination was performed which included palpation, range of motion, some orthopedic tests, and some muscle tests. Spinal x-rays were also taken in a standing position. The x-rays showed multiple areas of misalignment and the side cervical x-rays showed a curve reversal of a part of the woman neck.

With the information obtained from the examination and x-rays, specific forms of chiropractic care were started to address the spinal abnormalities. The woman was initially seen 25 times over a two month period.

After 25 chiropractic visits, the woman reported a 90% reduction in her headache severity and frequency. Her nausea was completely gone at this point. She also reported a 70% reduction in her neck pain as well as an 80% reduction in mid back and upper back pains. The woman also noted that she was able to sit longer at work and it was easier for her to perform her job duties.

The woman’s neck curve was reevaluated with a follow-up set of spinal x-rays. These new x-rays showed that the neck had improved from a partial reversal of her curve to a more-normal forward curvature. Two and a half years later, the woman reported still maintaining her good improvement.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "A cervical kyphosis was reversed back to a normal lordosis in 8 weeks and coincided with dramatic resolution of cervicogenic headache in a young female. The cervical lordosis may be a key biomechanical biomarker in cervicogenic headache."

Resolution of Defiant Behavior and Improved Speech with Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on March 25, 2022, documenting the positive outcomes from chiropractic care of a toddler who was suffering from behavioral and learning issues.

The study begins by noting that explaining to parents the benefits and safety of chiropractic for children can be challenging. Many people believe that chiropractic care is for adults with musculoskeletal complaints only. However, since chiropractic deals with correcting interference to the nervous system, the effects can be much further reaching. The authors note, "Chiropractic has a direct effect on the brain and a person’s neurology every time they receive a chiropractic adjustment that removes vertebral subluxations."

In this case, a 3-year-old girl was brought to a chiropractic health center by her mother. The girl had become non-verbal and started displaying defiant-like behaviors suddenly at the age of two. After she became non-verbal, the little girl started having dramatic increases in emotional outbursts including defiant-like behaviors, and she was becoming unable to connect with her family.

The girl had been in speech therapy for the last six months but had not had any perceivable results. Her mother noted that her daughter was unable to make social connections, verbally, emotionally, and physically. These problems coupled with the increasing defiant behavior was cause considerable stress on her family.

The study reports that the girl's first few visits were difficult as the little girl would cry, throw a tantrum, and be very nervous about being touched. Examination procedures were conducted gradually depending on the child's mood and tolerance. The focus of the chiropractic care was detection and correction of subluxations specifically in the upper neck.

As chiropractic care continued for the correction of subluxation, the mother reported that her daughter was improving in a number of areas. Those included better sleep quality and quantity, better ability to concentrate, improved vocabulary and ability to communicate, less anxiety with better moods, and an ability to better regulate her emotions. Eventually, the girl's mother reported that her daughter was communicating more appropriately for her age and she no longer was displaying defiant like behaviors.

In their conclusions the authors noted, "Initially this patient displayed defiant-like behaviors and speech development issues. She was able to start communicating and connecting with her family, loved ones and world with no complications following the delivery of chiropractic care." They further explained, "The reduction of vertebral subluxations proved successful in reducing the frequency of emotional outbursts, improvement in speech, and ability to connect with family members."